There are some great bloggers who always produce beautiful photographs of their homes and projects—and have even shared their tips and tricks for using your camera to its potential. I’m not one of those bloggers. But, I like to think that the photographs I take for my posts have improved since I began blogging nearly three years ago. And, so, these are the lessons I’ve learned about blog photography—the hard way :)
A Good Camera is Worth the Investment
I’ve had my Canon Rebel XSi for over two years now, and have yet to read the manual. (I don’t do manuals. I have no patience.) But, I do love my camera and am able to take pictures of our house and our kids that are clear, usually by just sticking to the automatic setting. Overall, I would say it’s the best investment I’ve made for my blog so far.
It’s also been a great investment in my sanity as a mom. I was in tears after first birthday pictures that turned out like this with my old point and shoot camera:
Soon after, we bought the Canon. It’s taken the pressure off of feeling like I need to have professional pictures made of the kids on a regular basis.
Natural light & No flash!
With interior shots, I’ve learned that time of day is everything. I used to write all of my posts late at night (I still do, actually) and would just take pictures around the house then, too. Since there was no natural light, I turned on every light in our house and used my flash. And, that is why my navy walls looked purple and there’s a strange glare on everything:
The same room in sunlight and with the flash turned off:
Turn off the lamps
One thing I noticed when the Better Homes & Gardens team came to shoot our house is that they didn’t want one lamp or overhead light on. Looking back at my own photos, it only creates a weird glow and some terrible reflections in the mirror. (Focus on the picture quality here, and not my decorating mistakes!)
Natural light + no lamps = Much better and brighter!
Experiment with Angles
I could seriously look at 35 pictures of the same room when a blogger takes interesting shots from different angles. All of the photographs together tell a story about a room, which is really what interior blogging is all about. When I take pictures for my posts, I sit on the floor, stand on chairs, hold my camera up in the air. . . Whatever it takes to get good pictures (and to entertain you, of course).
Pay attention to detail
In the early days of my blog, most of my house pictures were straight-on views like this:
And, could my nightstands look any worse? I didn’t even bother clearing the clutter before snapping this picture (which I proudly posted). A pretty blog post these days is all about the details.
A wide shot of the room is great, but I love seeing those little details close-up. Those are the images that grab the readers’ attention and are often “pin-worthy.”
Pinterest alone brings more traffic to my blog than any other site these days. Although it’s a great tool for getting your blog (or work) noticed, it also means that your pictures could live in “infamy.” Even the bad ones, if they happen to get pinned. . . So, include the detail shots in your posts, make them pretty and clear—and it doesn’t hurt to add your watermark or web site, so that there’s no question about the source.
Enhance with an editing program
I will admit that I’ve never used PhotoShop, and it’s not even on my list of things to learn . . . What I do use is the photo editing program (Windows Live Photo Gallery) that came with our computer, and it’s worked okay for what I need to do. It lets me play with contrast and brightness, and change color temperature if something’s not reading right onscreen.
Okay, that’s all I got. What tricks have you learned for improving your blog photography?