Blog Photography On A Budget
I never really thought about photography when I started my blogging journey, mainly becuase my posts were race related and a quick Google search worked perfectly well for posts on the topic of racism. Now that I am getting more stuck into the product reviews and lifestyle posts. I have been working on my photography skills and as this series is all about creating magic on a budget, we will be focusing on using your camera phone to create visual content for your blog and socials.
|@Char_x.o // Blog: Memoirs & Musings|
I have not let not having a camera get in the way of my photography. It is all about being creative and timing. Timing? Yes, timing because if that sun ain't popping, then my photo shoot days have to be rescheduled. I relay solely on natural lighting to take my product shots, which is great when there is blue skies and pure sunshine, but it's London so those days are rare. This approach to blog photography is fine when you're starting out but the more you explore the blogging world you may want to experiment with lighting and locations.
If you want to know a little more about camera choices and photography tips you can read my summary from last years Black British Bloggers Social event, where Tatenda Nyamande gave us a photography masterclass here.
Lighting - As I said before natural lighting is going to be your best friend when it comes to product shots. However there are options for bloggers on a budget who want to improve their lighting. You can create your own light box, for simple product shots, or clear a space and create flat lays using relevant materials that can be found around the house like paper clips, plates, flowers, throws etc.
You can also buy a ring light or a set of box lights to create more light to fill up a room, if you want to shot during the day without worrying about inconsistent light. I wouldn't know which ones to recommend, however I would suggest asking around for the best quality and price.
Props - Hopefully you saw me and Shahira's outing a few weeks ago on our instagram stories. We went to Primark and Tiger to do some browsing. We spoke about using products from Primark's home ware section for blog photos, Tiger has great seasonal props. If you missed our instagram stories don't worry we will be out and about again very soon. Use what you have at home; books, empty jars, food, plants, framed pictures, clothes to add in different patterns and textures, and you can use jewellery.
You can read Saira's post How I Take My Blog Photos for some more help reageding lighiting and props.
|@Industrymeofficial // Blog: Industry Me|
When it comes to shopping for props I always head straight to the home section, my favourite place to buy props is Wilko. They a have super affordable pieces you can pick up from stationary, art materials, faux plants to candles.
I love reusing tissue paper from the boxes I receive to add texture and colour to my photos. I always keep tissue paper and ribbons just in case they can be used for future shoots, plus I'm a hoarder, so any excuse to keep things I don't really need.
Location - I take 99% of my blog photos at home, not the coolest place to shoot, but location is definitely something I want to play around with in the future. I bought a 5m roll of white paper from Wilko for only £1.25. Using this paper I can create a clean white backdrop for photographs by taping the paper to my wall. The paper does crease way too easily though, so I will be using card next time. Creating a plain background allows you to create your own setting.
Location is important, you need the right amount of space, a space that isn't too restricted so you can really let your creativity flow.
Utilise free spaces, and be aware of the lighting situation, especially if you are shooting indoors. The location and whatever it is that you are photographing should make sense, so think about what is happening in the background of your shot and play around with angles.
Equipment - As I use my phone to take my pictures I found it difficult to get the right angles for the perfect photo. Thanks to a few recommendations from my friends, I purchased a tripod for £2.39 from eBay. I didn't realise how much I needed a tripod until I got one. No more one handed shakey photos, being able to set the camera down and play with the items in shot is what is going to improve your photography game fo sho.
How I Edit My Photos
When it comes to editing I keep it pretty simple, a cool filter, adjust the brightness, contrast and sharpen up the photos and they are ready to be showcased on the gram.
Lately I have been using Canva to create my blog photos. I use their blog graphic and instagram templates to make my blog photos more interesting.
Here is one post I have created using Fotor to edit my photo and then Canva to give it it's minimal background and font.
There are loads of free apps to download, but it be a whole trial and error process finding the app that does everything you need it to. I would highly recommend Fotor and Snapseed. I use both these apps for different reasons, I use Fotor if I want a really simple edit and Snapseed if I want to get creative with filters.
If you missed the first part of the series you can read it here. Ray & Charlotte share some more of their photography tips and insight on my instagram, follow the series with the hashtag #BOABWithSaabirah and feel free to get involved and share some of your photography knowledge.