October 2017 / Charley Lucy

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Monday, 9 October 2017

How I Take and Edit my Blog Photos

How I Take and Edit my Blog Photos
*This post features sponsored content by Panasonic.

Since I started my blog in 2013, using a combination of my smartphone camera and my beloved bridge by Fuji, cameras have come a long way. The world has gone from 'revolutionary' HD video to shooting 4k from the palm of your hand on cameras like the Panasonic CSC Camera*.

This, paired with the the rise of insta-fame, seems to put a lot of pressure on us bloggers to get things right. I see so many tweets with bloggers beating themselves up about their photography or even refusing to take photos because they've 'only got smartphone'. Do you know how powerful any camera can be when used in the right way?

Today I'm talking you through how I take photos for my blog. It's evolved quite a lot in my 4 years blogging and I'm hoping to pass on a few of the tips and trick I've learnt along the way. For more blogging and photography tips, please visit my Blogging Hacks page.


Step 1: Planning

It's a good idea to have a general idea of your shot before you set up to take it. Do you have all the products you want to showcase? If you're taking lots of photographs using soft boxes or ring lights, things can get very cramped - and very messy - very quickly! Planning ahead means you can focus on whats important: the shoot, rather than wondering where you hid your marble tray!

What about props? Blog photography props don't have to be expensive. I don't think I've ever bought a 'prop' just because it will look great on camera. I much prefer using objects I genuinely enjoy and have purchased for my home, like baskets, blankets, trays, candles and other makeup. Alternatively, you can opt for a cleaner, more minimalist set up like I did briefly below. It's entirely up to you! Your styling can switch from post to post. Variety is encouraged.

'Bare it All' with 'Rock Solid' Nails by Leighton Denny

Once I've looking through my lens (an important step!) and made the necessary adjustments making sure all product labels and colours can be seen clearly, I'll start snapping away. I'll take 20-30 photos with minimal changes before changing up the shot in front of me by changing my perspective or switching around objects. Typically, the last few shots I take of a particular set up are going to be the best, so I've started honing in on them on Lightroom first.


Step 2: Getting the lighting right

Lighting is so, so, so important when it comes to photography. Many bloggers I know strive for daylight and batch photograph in front of a large window on weekends, during the darker nights. If you're serious about your photography, or low on time, you can also look into purchasing a ring light.

What you're aiming for here is nice, bright white light that fills the space your photographing. That's not to say that beautiful fashion shots can't be achieved during the golden hour or crisp autumnal snaps using candles and fairy lights - it's just a general rule of thumb for product shots.

Camera Lenses

Step 3: Editing

I like to edit my photos before I begin my post, where possible. I use Adobe Lightroom to do this but, in the past have used: Photoshop, Gimp, Polarr, Canva, PicMonkey and Picasa, to name but a few! The main things I check for are the focus - is the main object nice and crisp? - and the temperature - is it too green or too yellow? I shoot in my office and know my magnolia walls tend to tinge everything a little warm and a little green. It's this learning that allows me to quickly and efficiently go in and make quick changes to the photos before the real editing begins.

Before I knew how to properly use programs like Lightroom, I used to just play around, make changes and undo things if they weren't what I was looking for. It's how I learn my way around and I highly recommend you to do the same!

Beauty and Makeup Haul, Barry M, Makeup Revolution, L'Oreal Makeup Forever


My Photography Journey

When I was growing up, it was the height of the disposable 35mm camera. They were expensive, time-consuming and a perfectionist's worst nightmare. So, it wasn't until digital cameras came in that I began to fall in love with photography. I borrowed the family camera before purchasing a few brick-like point and shoots in my early teens, trading up to a bridge camera, snapping shots for Instagram on my Galaxy S3 and, eventually, purchasing my DSLR. I've used everything from Paint to Lightroom to edit my photos and many of the tools I started to learn on aren't even available anymore! I've spent weeks agonising over the slightest changes and trying new techniques - even if, looking back, I cringe at the final product!

I'm not declaring myself an expert here, just expressing a keen interest in a hobby of mine and passing on the wisdom that these things rarely happen overnight. So, if you're a new blogger, agonising over the photos you see on your Instagram feed, remember we all had to start somewhere and I hope these tips help guide you into finding a style of photography that suits you.

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