Improving My Photography

Before I start this isn’t a tips post! I am literally not one for giving out tips of any sort unless it on ‘how to be as lazy as possible’ or ‘101 ways to put off things until tomorrow’ but I have been working hard behind the scenes in a few areas I know I can definitely improve on.

Like most of us, I have a list as long as my arm on things I think I need to work at. Obviously content is king when it comes to blogging but sometimes, when you are me anyway, you can spend too much time focusing on one area and unintentionally neglect the others.

I have been lucky recently that my hard work has paid off and my stats have improved dramatically. Views have doubled (whoop), my social media following is steadily increasing and I have some amazing opps lately. Normally this would have been enough for me. Gleefully resting on my laurels and rubbing my hands with delight that what I was doing was enough. Sure it is good enough, but could it be better? (Is it just me or do I totally sound like a self help book now)

Don’t worry I’m not about to produce an e-book on how to grow your following, I’ll leave that up to those who actually have a clue of what they are doing and buy theirs instead! But I thought it wold be nice to share with you what I have been learning and putting into practise recently with regards to my photography.

This was definitely one area that I was struggling with. Sure I could knock out a few hundred words that resembled something remotely half decent that people felt was OK. Maybe worth a cursory glance once in a while. But my photos were seriously lacking, like seriously. Now I don’t have buckets of cash lying around (I wish) or even a swanky top of the range camera. It’s a Smartphone all the way for me, but there are a few changes I have made to how I take my pictures, where I take them and what is in the actual picture itself.

So lets look back to just a few months ago. Back to a more simpler time before I spent hours finding the right position, the right light, the right anything and just snapped away. To a more simpler time when uploading a picture didn’t take me hours just to actually take! (I didn’t say I was any good, just that I have improved!)

improving my photography weekend box mini review

Now lets start with this. From a post back in January when we reviewed a Weekend Box. I wasn’t happy with it at the time but back then I had no idea of how to improve it or change it. I was also only getting a handful of views a day back then (can we see why?)

As the year progressed I started experimenting. Not one for having ornaments or decorative displays around the house, unless you include Olivia’s mess then my house is full of ‘art’. I really struggled to place items in the shot to make them more appealing and a la beauty blogger style. Or if I’m completely honest just better that above. It also took me a while to realise that the best light in the house for pictures is in the kitchen. And the living room floor most definitely wasn’t the place for using as a background. However with the table being a makeshift wardrobe it wasn’t always an option for taking pics.

Eventually I came across some lovely posts from more established bloggers and started experimenting. Now sometimes it takes me a while (forever) to get it right. I have to get there in my own time and see the changes myself or it won’t sink in. So for a while I plodded along. Some great pictures mostly not so great ones. But just as importantly, I began experimenting with editing! As you can see below. I still love the frosting effect but I try not to use it so much these days.

improving my photography business-cards-with-hobds-reprographics-the-backGetting better! From my Hobs Reprographics Business Card Review.

Then I discovered how much better it was to have a background and moved away from the dark and dingy living room to the kitchen (finally!) and started getting some great shots in. There were flat-lays for outfit posts too, damn I was getting good at this taking pictures malarkey!

improving my photography holiday outfit pink pants and top from primarkTaken in the garden using an off cut of wallpaper from Wilko’s and edited in Pic Monkey for an outfit post for Olivia.

improving my photography before picture of pink outfitThe before shot!

So What Have I Learnt?

There are a few things I have picked up recently mostly from blogging friends or tips from other bloggers posts. Most recently reading this one from Mummy Saver, Money Maker about ways to improve your pictures when selling online. Now even though I’m not technically selling products on my blog, companies work with me to help promote their products. I need to make my pictures sell the item I am reviewing. They also need to help me sell my blog to other companies too.

I invested in some marble effect sticky back plastic from Wilkos (thanks to the aforementioned post) as opposed to just using wallpaper. I also picked up this little vase with fake flowers in to use as a prop and I have various candles, decorative frames around the house to help me out for different projects. Photography sessions take place in my kitchen on the table where there is natural light coming through not in my dark living room.

I use the marble effect background as a sheet over my black glass dining table and use my Samsung S6 Edge+ to take the shot. I play around with angles and settings, I don’t know what they all are yet but I experiment all the same. I have even covered a box I got from work with the sticky back plastic should I need to photograph something that can’t be moved to the dining table!

improving my photography-resize-only of decorative itemsThis is an edited before picture only resized in PicMonkey

improving my photography photography-edited picture of decorative itemsEdited using the auto adjust feature and miniature edit option in Pic Monkey for a different effect.

improving my photography picture of behind the scenes of my dining tableWhat it actually looks like! Original picture no resizing or editing.

Improving My Photography, What Are My Top Tips?

Well, not so much top tips as I’m still learning myself. More like what have I learnt really!

  1. Invest in a background. Mine cost £5 from Wilkos
  2. Find the best natural light you can. For me it’s my kitchen.
  3. Edit, edit edit! I would never post without editing now (or taking 5000 shots first)
  4. Check out sites such as Pic Monkey or Canva (I use the paid version of Pic Monkey)
  5. Add relevant items to your shot to enhance and improve your pictures
  6. Experiment with settings, angles and options on either your camera phone or your camera.
  7. Look for tips, read (other) bloggers posts like this (probably best to find an expert)
  8. Practise, practise, practise.

So. what do you think? Am I showing signs of improvement or do I need to go back to the drawing board? If you would like to check out more posts where I have been experimenting with my photography my current favourites are my Chatty Feet Review and my Savisto 3 in 1 Blender review. As always any advice, tips, offers of help and coffee always appreciated. Thanks for reading.


Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Inside Martyns Thoughts
Spread the love
  • 4

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Great post. The difference is amazing! I think it makes such an impact to a post if the photos are good quality.
    Thanks for linking up with us on #Blogstorm it is back live again tomorrow if you have any posts!

  2. My own photography needs a good bit of work. I get lazy most of the time. Filters are an absolute God send but I tend to over filter photos sometimes. #kcacols

  3. Massive improvement definitely! I’m on the same mission and always looking out for material or wallpaper samples now for flat lays. Lighting is a massive issue I. My house as everywhere seems to create unwanted shadows and our spotlights make it tricky in the evening but it’s all practise #kcacols

  4. That’s a great improvement – love the before and after shots Tracey! I went to the photography session at Blogfest and she said that the most important thing for photographing is natural light! She also gave out some tips on having a prop box too which it sounds like you already have! #KCACOLS

  5. Hello, Tracey! It is the best example of improvement in photography. I like the pictures you shared that are with editing and without editing. It shows a great difference. Nice blog! Keep posting such type of blogs.

  6. I am stealing the background idea! That’s amazing and looks just like real marble.
    Your improvement is huge! Well done you.


  7. This is a fab post Tracey. And just shows how little things can make such a big difference. Thanks for sharing. #KCACOLS
    Nadia – Scandimummy x

  8. Your most recent pictures are looking fab! There are some great tips, I am really focusing on trying to get some better shots recently and need to focus more on the editing and learning to use my camera I think. x #KCACOLS

  9. This is such a good post, I have been slowly working through my old photographs and making them a bit less red eyed…and applying some much needed filters…I would love to have s clever camera but I can never get them to work or figure out exposure etc. I love the tip about the paper it looks fab! Well done for growing the blog! Some fantastic points ## KCACOLS

  10. Wow I can see such an improvement! Well done you. I love photography and wish I had time to learn to use a proper camera or do a course. But there are some great tips about getting the best out of what you have 🙂 #KCACOLS

  11. Well done you! I did a photography course a few years ago and really got familiar with my camera. I took a few lovely photos. I have now forgotten how to use all of the settings and tend to just take photos on the automatic setting. I guess my message is that you need to keep it up and have fun with it. Pen x #KCACOLS

  12. Amazing difference – you’re photographing like a pro! The light and background have made so much difference. Is that the main reason your stats have improved so much, or have you been doing other things too? Either way, really well done! #KCACOLS

  13. Some great tips! I find the photos are the most time consuming element of writing a blog post, and I don’t always edit my photos due to running out of time! Great work X #KCACOLS

  14. Wow, it’s funny how a few little tricks can change things so much! I think about my pictures when I’m taking them but rarely edit. Most of my pictures are of people rather than items. #KCACOLS

  15. Some great tips here and I could learn a lot from this post. That marble background is amazing – it looks so real on your picture! #kcacols

  16. Great tips – I always wondered how people got such lovely photos! That final edited picture is stunning! #KCACOLS

  17. Great tips – I always wondered how people got such lovely photos! That final edited picture is stunning! #KCACOLS

  18. Great tips! It is amazing the difference between the first photo and what you are doing now 🙂 Well done! I will definitely use your tips 😉 #KCACOLS

  19. You really have got it sussed, I was trying to take some piccies of food tonight for my blog and there was bloomin shadows, reflections and kids hands in it and I just took them anyway! I should of read your post first!;)



  20. Wow, you have come a long way since January. Your pictures are looking fab and I love the background idea, I definitely need to invest in something for my own pictures. I love picmonkey and always edit my photos now before putting them on my blog, I have been getting lots of compliments lately on my pictures so I must be doing something right. Fab post hun xx \kcacols

  21. I love this, to include the before and after photos is great to see the difference it can make. I need a trip to Wilko’s!! #KCACOLS

  22. I’m finding it pretty tough to get to grips with this side of things, but i’m definitely trying to pay attention to lighting, that is such a huge deal it seems! x #kcacols

  23. We are in it together; all improving. I was inspired by the same post and like the look of that marble effect paper. We’ve got the floral one for my daughters’ chest of drawers. #KCACOLS

  24. I always take loads of photos before I get one I’m happy with, my phone is full if slightly out of focus pictures of books! It takes me as long to sort the photos as it does to write a blog post but I think it’s definitely worth the effort, your shots look great. #KCACOLS

  25. Wow, you’ve come a long way since Jan. You’d never guess from the close up shots that you’re using stick back plastic, it looks like the real deal. I definitely need to invest in something like this x

  26. Oh wow, you’re doing great, big progress! I’m always trying to improve my photography, I love taking photos x #KCACOLS

  27. Great tips! I keep meaning to do a photography course or at least get to grips with the DSLR but I never find the time. Editing is so important, I really need to get clued up! #KCACOLS

  28. Some fab ideas will definitely give them a go as I’m rubbish at taking photos at the minute #KCACOLS xx

  29. This is SUCH a useful post, Tracey!
    I’ve been wondering how I could possibly use my smartphone to take quality pictures since my pictures are so inconsistent in their quality, but your tips make a ton of sense. Thanks for sharing! #KCACOLS

  30. A definite improvement! This is something that I need to work on too. Mostly I think I need to keep my house more tidy for when I’m taking action shots of my daughter! #KCACOLS

  31. I love photography but I agree. It is all about staging and natural light. Reflections of light bulbs and shadows can be a real nightmare. I have photoshop so I tend to brighten and optimise them if the lighting conditions aren’t right. It’s true that practice makes perfect and you should be really proud of how far you’ve come. Not just with your photos, but with your blog. Thanks for sharing. #KCACOLS

  32. The thing I love about blogging is that it’s an opportunity to take one skill (or one that’s lacking) and totally turn it around, thanks to a bit of inspiration from others and a bit of focused effort. Look at how far you’ve come! I often look at Instagram and wonder how these amazing mums manage to take fabulous shots without loads of mess in the background. My living room is full of toys, my sofa has sheets over it and our ‘rug’ is made of those brightly coloured foam mats. Lovely. But you’ve just gone to show that with a bit of imagination, you can do anything! Well done and keep up the fab work! #KCACOLS

  33. I’m just getting to grips with photo editing too and picmonkey has become my saviour! My kitchen is also the best for lighting and like you, I’ve just realised it! It’s just having the time to play with it but I’m getting there. Your pics are looking good hon! Xx #KCACOLS

  34. I can definitely see an improvement and am very impressed. I also need to pay more attention to my photo taking. I’m not really a “photo” person. These are some good tips though, and I’m going to keep them in mind. #kcacols

  35. Having only just started out with the blogging malarkey it’s fair to say pictures have not been my focus – more of a “I’d better find something to use in the post” level of priority. So now you’ve got me thinking and I clearly need to sort myself out – great tips to get cracking with, thanks! #kcacols

  36. Those pics are definitely getting better! I’m still so focussed on content. I’ve got some travel shots already that sometimes naturally accompany a post, but designing a shot specifically for a post is lacking for me atm.

  37. I love these tips – those bottom shots are awesome, you’d never think the actual set up area was so small! I always struggle with photography, I think it will be my goal for next year, to work on it. 🙂 #KCACOLS

  38. Now that I am working with companies and products I need to save this and really work on my photography skills.


  39. Most of the photos on my blog are of my daughter posing in various situations. My tip is to take tons of shots and sort through them later. More often than not at least one of the 30 will be usable! #KCACOLS

  40. Comment
    This so so interesting and helpful. Thanks for sharing. I’d love to buy myself a good camera but it really isn’t an option at the moment so its great to know that such lovely photos can be taken with a smartphone. I’m going to bookmark this page for future reference. Your photos are lovely! #KCACOLS

  41. What a great post! Photography is the part I find the hardest in my blogging world – they never turn out as I expect! I’ll definitely be taking on board your brilliant tips! #KCACOLS

  42. Not sure if my last comment registered Tracey because my computer crashed as I was submitting it!! Just wanted to say there’s a big improvement and these tips are just what I needed. I’m off to buy some props!! #KCACOLS

  43. You have definitely improved! Well done for investing the time in practicing and making things better. I especially like the blender pic with the container of veg with the microwave behind (the one before the soup). Look forward to seeing yet more brill photos in the future. I’ve been trying to improve my photographs but have not invested as much time as I need to. You’ve shown me it’s worth the effort! #KCACOLS

  44. I LOVE the wallpaper idea!!! How have I not even thought of this before?
    Totally gonna send hubby to town tomorrow on his lunch break to pick up samples (why not get if free if you can!) and some funky sticky back plastic too!
    Thanks for the tip, I’m excited to try some more pictures now, oh and I’ve definitely learnt about the 1000’s of pictures to get just one good shot haha

  45. Lovely pictures, you have included some great tips. I enjoy using CANVA!! I LOVE your blogging space. It’ gorgeous! #KCACOLS

  46. Ah, this is great! I read it word by word! Thank you! I’m at the very start of my blogging journey and totally useless with photography (well, maybe that’s a bit harsh, but I haven’t put any time and effort into it), so these are amazing tips, thank you! And I love how you showed the before and after – congrats on some amazing photos! #KCACOLS

  47. I love this – definite improvement in images! I’m trying to be better with my photos – it’s so tempting to just snap and blog it though as it’s so easy! Have been meaning to get some backgrounds for a while so going to have to check Wilkos out. I have a decent enough camera, I’ve just never really worked out all the settings… there’s never enough time!!

  48. You can really see the difference in your pictures, got to love a bit of natural light! As a photography student I use Photoshop and Lightroom a lot but I still love Picmonkey as its so easy to use. #kcacols

  49. Well done – nice pictures definitely draw people in, so it’s worth putting the effort in. I can totally see the improvements! #kcacols

  50. Such a big difference, well done! I really want a trip to Wilkos now to get some different backgrounds! x #KCACOLS

  51. I really needed to read this as I am rubbish at photos and usually use photos from pixabay for my blog posts. You have made huge improvements, I’m going to try to do the same even for instagram. #KCACOLS

  52. These are some great tips, I need to work on my photography skills, my downstairs is quite dark so I may need to invest in lighting! #KCACOLS

  53. There are some really good tips there . Sometimes I am really happy with my pictures then others I think gosh they are rubbish . I may go back through one day and update some #KCACOLS

  54. That’s brilliant. I thought your last photo was taken on a marble mantel at first glance. I am going to give some of these tips a try. #KCACOLS

  55. Your pics look great! I really need to spend more time on my photography. I have a decent camera, but too often I’m too rushed or too lazy to spend time editing the images and just post them as they are. #KCACOLS

  56. wow the background makes a huge difference! I agree with lighting, using a flash just never looks great does it. I love taking images and editing too #KCACOLS

  57. Thank you so much for these awesome tips! I’m a real nabb at photography – so these tips will help me out a lot! 😀
    And congrats on your boosts! Well done!! Your blog looks beautiful! 🙂 x x


  58. These are very helpful tips. I have to work on my photography as well. I enjoy that part of blogging but never find that I have enough time to put much effort into it. I also have a hard time with natural light. Since I’m usually blogging in the evening all of my pictures are very dark. I like the idea of a light background and getting some nice home accessories to make things a bit prettier. #KCACOLS

  59. You’re doing amazing! I’m really working on my photography but feel like I’m getting nowhere. I have literally no idea how to use my camera which probably doesn’t help. I also am struggling with editing! I’m using PicMonkey but really have no idea where to start other than auto adjust. I’m hoping one day I’ll see improvements like you though! #kcacols

  60. Great tips! I started thinking about this the other day (after writing the post I just published actually!) as I realised that all of the pictures (taken on my supposedly decent camera phone) were in fact rubbish. Grainy, too dark and in some cases blurry. Which I’m now embarassed about as it was for a review, and I don’t have any means of taking better photos. I’ve now decided I should look at investing in a camera in the new year, and potentially some sort of lining or backdrop (love the wallpaper idea btw!) in order to take photos of static items, and then photos with the little man in I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed! Haha. #KCACOLS

  61. I use pic monkey a bit, but only the free version, might have to look at the paid version. I know my hubby has got me a light box, some lights and some backgrounds, I cannot wait to get them and try them out.

  62. Really interesting advice – I will be visiting Wilkos asap!! You can definitely see how you’ve improved. Picmonkey seems really good too. #KCACOLS

  63. My pictures are all a bit rubbish. I should probably try to up my game but it seems like haaaard work. Like the wallpaper idea though! #KCACOLS

  64. Your photography tips are brilliant and I love the before and after shots to illustrate it! I might have to invest in some form of lighting as our house is so dark that I struggle! #KCACOLS

  65. Congratulations on your blog and social media boost! Keep up the good work! That edited picture looks amazing, very looking forward to your new photography work.