They say every picture tells a story but what are your photos telling your readers when they click on your website or blog? You quite obviously don’t want to be paying for a professional photographer for all of your images and stock images can’t always fulfil what you need which is why a certain amount of photography know-how is needed in this modern digital world where businesses online are key. So how can you easily create amazing photos without being a photography whizz? Here are our tips:
Natural light is your best way of achieving great images without the need for purchasing lighting kits. Find a window that allows a decent amount of light, preferably one with a large windowsill or one that you can set up a table next to and still be able to get that stream. You will need to learn which times of day are best for this (which will of course change with the seasons), it will just be a case of playing around until you take the best pictures. My biggest tip for this would be when you have a great lighting day take all the photos you may need for future posts as well as for that day.
Don’t Go Filter Crazy
It’s easily done, isn’t it? Your phone has all these wonderful filters which can make even an ugly photo look soft and hazy but when it comes to your website you want real, you want a theme and you want consistency. Using different filters on each photo will end up looking messy and confusing to your customer or reader. They need to be able to click on your site and know that it’s you. Filters may have their place on Instagram but for your website have a play around with brightness, contrast, sharpness and see what results you may get, I think you’ll be surprised.
A blogger’s favourite! Stunning white backgrounds for products work wonders. It immediately makes the image look fresh and clean and the eye is immediately drawn to the product rather than anything else. Messy backgrounds just do not work. If you want to make a professional statement you need to think about the whole picture. If you don’t have a white floor or wall just improvise… wallpaper samples are free from hardware stores, white foam will do the trick as will a white shelf. I took the image below for a review of these cake pops for Valentine’s Day. I think this works so much better than simply having them in a kitchen or on a coloured surface.
Image credit Emma Reed
Don’t pin all your hopes on one image, not many people get that perfect shot first time. No matter if it looks good on your phone or camera screen keep going. Take 50 if need be, they can always be deleted afterwards. Light, movement, slight handshake and so on, can all have an impact so don’t take the risk of missing a great shot.
Get Your Angles Right
A photo taken from the wrong angle is one of my bugbears. I cannot stand a lovely picture being ruined because the photographer decided to take what they may have thought would be an ‘arty’ angle. For example, to get a nice photo of somebody standing up you need to be at their level. If you are below them, pointing the camera up the proportions of that person are going to be all out and they can end up looking as though they have long legs on a short body. Children are often playing on the floor and we usually think about taking the photo from above because that is how we always see them. How about going down to their level? Lay on the floor and get the picture from their perspective. Bring your reader into their world.
Don’t be afraid to move around your subject/product in order to capture the best photo. As I said above, try out your angles but then also try out different viewpoints. What may look good to you may not be perceived the same way on camera, yet just a slight move could make it amazing. You always see professional photographers moving and trying out different angles so go ahead and do the same!
If you want to take photos of yourself, you are going to need some equipment to achieve this. If you use your phone, a selfie stick or a phone holder will both do the trick. If you use a camera, purchase a tripod that can easily be carried around with you. Taking selfies is a bit of an artform and they aren’t for the self-conscious. I would recommend learning how to get the perfect shot at home first. Work out your best side, sounds a cliche, I know but it will save you time when you want to get the shot when you are out and about. Trial and error will tell you what angle works, how far to set the tripod up from yourself, how high to set it, practice with the timer and even your shutter speeds and available modes (landscape, sunset, auto, sports etc).