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!)
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.
Getting 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!
Taken in the garden using an off cut of wallpaper from Wilko’s and edited in Pic Monkey for an outfit post for Olivia.
The 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!
This is an edited before picture only resized in PicMonkey
Edited using the auto adjust feature and miniature edit option in Pic Monkey for a different effect.
What 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!
- Invest in a background. Mine cost £5 from Wilkos
- Find the best natural light you can. For me it’s my kitchen.
- Edit, edit edit! I would never post without editing now (or taking 5000 shots first)
- Check out sites such as Pic Monkey or Canva (I use the paid version of Pic Monkey)
- Add relevant items to your shot to enhance and improve your pictures
- Experiment with settings, angles and options on either your camera phone or your camera.
- Look for tips, read (other) bloggers posts like this (probably best to find an expert)
- 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.