One of the questions that new, up-and-coming bloggers frequently ask me is “How can I improve the quality of my blog photography?”
I find it strange that anyone would ever approach me with this question, because I’ve always been pretty open about the fact photography is not my area of expertise. It’s taken me a really long time to find my groove, and I also now outsource a lot of my photography. However, I do have some practical and simple advice that should be valuable for anyone who is trying to elevate the look of their blog photography. Here’s what I would suggest…
Four Simple Ways to Improve Your Blog Photography
1. PROPS, PROPS AND MORE PROPS
I mentioned props before, in my post about elevating flat lay photography. But I’m happy to say it again, because props really do help bring images to life. It’s a great idea to put together a prop box, which you keep in your home office. Inside mine you’ll find candles, spectacles, magazines, stationery, makeup bags, LED light boxes to write messages on, small plates/dishes, perfume bottles and jewellery. And, if you’re ever in doubt, add a bunch of flowers!
2. PREP YOUR CLOTHES
Aside from saving up for the best camera you can afford (and learning how to use it properly), there is one other piece of kit that I suggest investing in: a handheld garment steamer. I use the Philips Steam&Go Plus, which is compact, great value and will make your life so much easier – both in terms of blogging and when it comes to general day-to-day laundry.
The simple truth is, you can capture the most incredible image for your blog or Instagram feed, but if the outfit featured is a little bit creased or wrinkled it’s going to stick out like a sore thumb.
Professional stylists always steam everything ahead of photoshoots. It’s much more reliable than ironing, because you can de-wrinkle and refresh clothes without the fear or burning the fabric or accidentally ironing in more wrinkles (my speciality). Plus it’s so much quicker!
The Philips Steam&Go Plus heats up in a matter of seconds, allows you to steam both vertically and horizontally, and it can be used on delicate fabrics (including cashmere and pleats). I even use it to de-wrinkle my bed linen whenever I’m doing interior shoots. It’s so, so useful!
The Steam&Go Plus is such a worthy blogging investment. And the absolute best part is that it also removes odours and kills 99.9% of bacteria. So anything in your wardrobe that requires frequent trips to dry cleaners can easily be refreshed with a quick steaming session, in-between dry cleaning appointments.
Get 30% off the Philips Steam&Go Plus until July 31st, 2018, when you shop online at philips.co.uk. Just enter the code STEAM4 at checkout.
3. STEP INSIDE YOUR IMAGES
This point may not be for everyone, but I really can’t overemphasise how valuable it is to become more visible on your blog and Instagram feed. Your audience wants to connect with you. They want to see you. So the quickest way to make your photos standout and shine bright is by stepping into them yourself.
I used to feel incredibly awkward whenever I had my photo taken, so I can understand if the prospect of being in front of the camera makes you feel icky and uncomfortable. So take baby steps if you need to…
Find a professional photographer or a friend that you feel comfortable posing in front of. And if the thought of staring straight down the camera lens is way too much for you, snap some photos while you’re working on your laptop, drinking a cup of coffee or looking off camera instead.
4. SETTLE ON A DISTINCT EDITING STYLE
Last year photographer Jay McLaughlin introduced me to the world of Lightroom and Lightroom presets. I was very late to the party with this, considering I’d already been blogging 11+ years. However, it just goes to show that it’s never too late for you to pick up a new skill.
Jay showed me how to do general edits on my images – altering brightness, contrast and saturation, etc. And he also taught me how to create and save my own presets. This makes the editing process 10x quicker; as once you’ve settled on the right editing style for your blog you can then upload the preset to every image you import from your camera at the click of a button.
So, if you don’t already use presets, I’d suggest watching a few Lightroom tutorials on YouTube so you can learn the ropes. And if you don’t feel capable of creating your own preset you can purchase ready-made designs online. For example, Josie Fear from Fashion Mumblr has her own collection of Lightroom presets (and she’s also a fan of the Philips Steam&Go Pro, as it happens!).
Do you have any extra tips on how to improve your blog photography? And are you keen to invest in the Philips Steam&Go Plus now? Leave a comment below to have your say…
~ This post was sponsored by Philips Steam&Go Plus. Thank you for continuing to support the sponsors that make Coco’s Tea Party possible. ~
Photos by Lydia Collins