The photo styles you’re drawn to on Pinterest are important. Learn how to duplicate that style with these five simple tips to improve your blog photography!
When I first started blogging two and a half years ago there were a lot of things I didn’t know and so much that I could have done better. I wasn’t blogging to gain visitors (which is why I thought crappy iPhone photos were good enough) and I certainly wasn’t utilizing Pinterest to drive traffic to my website. Now I know that people like to click on posts if the main photo appeals to them and catches their eye. That’s why Pinterest draws in so much of our blogging traffic. So how do we make sure that our photos are eye-catching and bring people to our site? Where do we start on our quest to improve our blog photography? It’s actually quite simple, and I’m excited to share what I’ve learned with you!
Before we get started, there is one thing you should ask yourself, “what makes you click on a photo on Pinterest?”. The color, the style, the layout? Something else? Once you figure that out you need to ask yourself if you’re styling your photos the same way, because there is obviously a reason you are drawn to those specific types of photos!
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Personally, I love clean, bright, and simple blog photographs and have been trying to move my own photos towards that specific style. I haven’t been doing it for that long but so far I’m pretty pleased with my results! And because of this I want to share five of my favorite tips that will get you on your way to better blog photography!
One of the most important factors in any type of photography is natural light. While certain lights you can buy off Amazon promote the fact that they are natural and won’t give you that awful yellow glow that regular lights give, they still pale in comparison to natural light and all it offers. If you’re like me and don’t have great light in your home, going outside to take blog pictures is a must. However, that can pose a problem during those long winter months. So, what do you do?
- See how each room of your home lights up throughout the day. One thing I’ve started to do is take notice of how the light shines in my house throughout the day. I’ve always thought that our home lacked natural light, but being more aware has made me realize there are certain rooms at certain times of the day that get enough light for me to take indoor photos.
- Shoot early in the morning or later in the evening. One thing I hate about shooting mid-day is the shadows that are cast on my photos. Shooting earlier or later means the sun isn’t as harsh and you’ll be able to get beautiful light on your images.
- Use the sun as a backlight. Backlight is actually my favorite type of light. Backlight is when the sun is behind whatever you’re shooting and it usually means that there will be no harsh shadows thrown across your image. It also means everything should be lit up evenly. I always think it makes for a much more visually pleasing photo.
- Don’t be afraid to use your flash. This is a bit contradictory to what I said about natural light but hear me out! Using your flash in situations where you’re getting weird shadows on your images can help balance everything out and evenly light up your photo. Try bouncing the flash off the ceiling or some other neutral point of your surroundings in order to get your photo lit up properly. This takes some practice so don’t be disappointed if it’s not happening right away. You can also use reflectors (like these) to get the same effect without having to use your flash!
When taking photos of projects or products it’s always best to lay them on a neutral background to make your project stand out. I like to use wooden backgrounds but other good options are fabric or a white poster board. Knowing when to use a darker vs. lighter background is key, because darker doesn’t always convey the message you’re trying to send through a photo. Make sure whatever background you use elicits the types of feelings you want to come across when someone looks at your image.
Keeping the background simple means you can dress up your photos in other ways, which leads me to point number three…
In food photography this could mean using napkins, ingredients from your recipe, plates, tableclothes, etc. I used props to get my point across in my main virtual baby shower image, and this was my first attempt at this type of photo (I’m so pleased with it!). When using props there are a few things you can do to make sure the image is visually pleasing:
- Use either contrasting or complimentary colors from the color wheel in your photos.
- Pick one color and use different shades of that color throughout your photo.
One of the toughest parts of blog photography for me is learning how to lay out my projects so they are visually pleasing. I’m starting to learn that simple is better, but it’s taken me a really long time to learn that! When using props and taking photos work with odd numbers, those seem to be more visually pleasing than even ones (that kills my OCD but it’s true!).
If you’re unsure where to start when it comes to improving your photos, look to your favorite blogs for inspiration. There is a reason you love the blogs you do, and if one of those reasons is the photography you should study their photos and try to recreate the same look on your own blog. Create a Pinterest board and pin your favorite images to it so you can come back and look at them any time you want. Look for patterns in those pictures, what you love about them and what you would do differently. Soon enough you’ll find a theme throughout your favorite images and that’ll help you when you go to recreate those pictures for your own blog!