Each time I whip out my camera and take a photo, I strive to make it better than the last one. It is my way of expressing my creativity. I love anything visual and to me, photography is one of the most important parts of a blog. By no means am I, or claiming to be a professional photographer, or saying these are the only ways you should take photos. Everyone has different photography styles, and finding out what works for you, and the equipment you own is so important. I take photos because I enjoy doing it. Its my hobby. Its my passion (alongside writing of course). There is nothing more satisfying than capturing a memory in a photo, something you can look back on years down the line. I know that there are many of you reading this,who don't feel as confident in photography as others,which is why I hope this post will help you out and allow you to learn something new!
DSLR vs Phone
It is so important to understand that you do not need to go out and spend thousands on an expensive camera to get really good photos. I have been using my iPhone 6S for photography since I started my blog, and only recently invested in DSLR, the Canon 100D. Having never owned a DSLR before, it was pretty daunting to pick up this camera, see all the different settings, and have no idea how to use it! However, after a few weeks you become so much more comfortable with all the different complicated settings! However, if you don't want to splurge out on an expensive camera, which I can completely understand, there are so many other options for you. Like I said before, I have been using my phone since I started my blog and still got some beautiful shots. And if using a phone isn't working out for you, there are plenty of really good quality, cheap digital cameras on the market out there.
Of course, it would be a lie for me to sit here and say there is no difference between a DSLR and a standard camera phone because obviously there is. The images are much more crisp, adjust to different lightings much better, and generally produce photos of a higher quality. However, with that being said, you can be completely happy using your camera phone, or any other product you use, because you can still get beautiful shots! If you do choose to invest in a DSLR, I would definitely recommend that you do your research first, because even if you choose one of the less expensive ones like I did, it is still a lot of money to spend.
Finding the perfect lighting is essential in taking a good photo. Natural lighting is probably the best lighting you can use. It makes the photos so much more crisp and most of the time shows true colours, which is very important when taking photos of makeup products. If you tend to take your blog photos during the evening/night due to work, or other commitments, you may want to invest in a daylight bulb or studio lighting. I personally don't have either of those things because I always find it convenient to take my photos in the day, when the lighting is best.
Above: Natural lighting
Above: Standard Bulb Lighting
As you can see, using standard bulb lighting gives your photo a orangey tone, which in my opinion isn't too attractive. It also invites shadows to join your photo, which doesn't look professional at all!
Another big no-no is taking photos using a flash. I think when using a flash, it makes your photos look as if they were taken on a cheap, low-quality camera. They do not look professional and can make your photos look washed out at times, especially if you are taking photos of a white product on a white background!
Above: No Flash
Another lighting tip is to never take photos facing towards the light. This will give you the opposite effect of using a flash. It will make any product or figure, appear black and it will usually only focus on the background. For the best effect, always take photos away from the light.
Above: Facing the light
Above: Facing away from the light
Actually taking the photo is what many people struggle with. Its so important to figure out the best angles, which backgrounds look the best, how close you should get to the product and so on. Sometimes, I take my photos on an angle, sometimes I take them straight. It really just all depends on what product you are taking photos of and which angles you find work best. You may choose to photo your product on its side, laying down, standing up. Experiment with different ways until you know you've found the perfect shot. Another tip is to not take the photo too far away. You want your readers to be able to see the product without squinting their eyes! Make the product your focus point, which is very easy to do with a DSLR.
Above: Bad composition- too much background space
Above: Good composition
Another big tip is to not have background clutter. It can look extremely messy and sometimes draw attention from the product you're actually photographing!
Above: Background Clutter
Above: No Background Clutter
Making sure your product is in focus is so important! The best way you can do this is having your camera on auto mode, or macro mode, which most cameras have. Macro allows you to get very close to something without loosing focus or having a photo that looks blurry. However if you use a phone, it will be very hard to choose a focus point. This is because it tends to just focus on the whole photo, not one certain point. Also making sure you focus on the right object is important. As shown below, the focus object is the brushes, and the flower should be out of focus.
Above: Wrong focus point
Above: Correct focus point
I really hope some of you have found this little guide useful. Like I said before, I am not a professional photographer, nor have I ever studied photography. These are just a round up of my tips, that I have picked up during my time blogging. If you are new to photography, or struggle with it, the worst thing you can do is give up. Play around with it, find your photography style because everyone has a different one. And don't think you have to make your photos look like the ones above, or anyones else's for that matter. Have fun, thats the most important thing.
If you have any tips that I haven't mentioned, leave them below! They might help other people out!