my blogging notebook for future posts and what I need to photograph. If I have any new posts to add to my list, I add them and that's all I do on Thursdays. On Friday evenings after work, I charge all my camera batteries and clear my memory card so I can take photos as long as possible without interruptions. I also gather the products I want to photography into a little tray or basket ready for the next morning. I make notes on what props I want to use and what angles I need to take of the photos depending on what I am in the mood for.
2. Background/Lighting: I know some of my pictures may look fancy and you may think my set up is fancy but it's all regular. I take majority of my photos in my bedroom and it's just very convenient for me. Any photographer will tell you that good lighting is what makes a photo and by good lighting, I mean natural day light. I have a large window which allows light come into my room really well. I draw my curtains completely to greedily let in all the light. I recently got some studio light and a small LED light which I would be talking about in another post. I am not a fan of using them and very much prefer using natural light. I used them when we had limited day light in the UK and they were fine at the time.
3. Blog Props: I already mentioned I have a Blog Photography Post here which you can check out for ideas on what props/backgrounds you can use to improve your blog photos. I have added a few more props to my stash since that post. I am pretty sure you would have seen them if you are a regular reader of this blog. I have a couple of fake flowers which I got from Wilko and I also got the vases from there as well. I have these little canvas boards which I think are meant to be wall art or wall frames but I love them as props. They sell majority of them in many stores but I got mine from Wilko and Sainsbury's and they were all under £5. The Fake Succulent Plant is also from Sainsbury's and I think their home section is just amazing. I try to switch up my backgrounds every now and then but let's face it, I am sometimes lazy so I use the same ones. My favourite little prop is this Mini Cake Stand and I just love it
Setting up my Background/Props
I take all my photos on my bed which is really convenient for me because I can get on my chair and take a nice flat lay. I am not very tall so the bed allows me capture various angles for my blog photos. The first thing I do is lay my IKEA Faux Sheep Skin Rug on my bed to create a white background. I do this because white backgrounds look very flattering for blog photography and it gives products a soft focus effect. Also, I don't want any part of my bed sheet /duvet peeking through because it is not the most flattering colour. Once my rug is on, I choose what props I want to go for depending on what I feel like using. For this particular blog post (ELF Haul, coming soon), I decided to go for a Spring Theme in celebration of the amazing sunlight that we have been blessed with here in London. I chose my faux flowers, vase and two smaller vases with fake flowers. I also chose one of my Canvas Boards which I thought went well with the flowers.
Once that's all set up, I ensure that the flowers are well arranged and angled so they all get into the shot. I also get my miniature cake stand which I love because it helps bring products more in focus. It also looks pretty and anything made from glass always looks flattering and reacts well with light. That's the reason why Jewellery stores always use glass storage because it looks much better against light. Anyway, I take a flat lay photo of all the products. I try to make my photos tell a story; usually in line with the structure of my blog post. I take photos of all the products together first and then play with more angles.
Then, I take individual products which I love to do. Some products which are shaped like pencils are very naughty and roll around everywhere. I always use Blue Tack underneath to keep them in place and you can never tell because they are inconspicuous. I also have my Makeup Wipes ready especially if I am taking photos of products I have used already. I don't mind seeing posts with products already used, in fact I sometimes prefer it. However, I don't want to see dirty products or smudged products and I am sure some people don't like that as well, So, I wipe the products well and also wipe off any swatches I may have done.
When I take my photos, I ensure I am well zoomed in because I want the products to be the focus point. Well, I am not technically zoomed in as such because my Lens (Canon 50 mm 1.8 Lens) does all the hard work. It's just the best affordable lens for blog photos and portraits. I can't sing its praises enough but I would talk more about it in my subsequent post on Camera Settings. I also use the flip screen of my Canon 600D Camera because it helps me get really flexible with angles. I don't generally use a Tripod for blog photos but if you are unsteady with your camera, a tripod will really help prevent any blurry images and they are super cheap.
Once I take all my photos, I just check them out on my laptop screen and delete the ones I don't need. That's pretty much all I do in terms of backgrounds and set up. I hope this was helpful in some way. I love taking photos especially when the lighting is good and that's why I have a lot of photos on this blog. Make sure you check back next week Monday to see my Camera and Lens Settings. How do you take your blog photos?