Monday, 10 March 2014

Blogging Tips & Tricks: Photography, Lighting & Cameras

Hello gorgeous ladies!

This post is heavily influenced by Sunday's bloggers chat, which had the topic of photography - during the chat quite a few fellow beauty bloggers were amazed at how I took my photos and said that they had to try it too! So, here are a few tips that I thought I would share with you. I am by no means a photography expert, but I studied photography for three years and have had plenty of cameras in my time so have gathered up some knowledge over the past 8 - 10 years that I have been taking pictures for - so I thought I would share them.

Tip #1: The Camera.

This topic took over the majority of the chat - many people saying they wished for a better/more expensive camera so they could get amazing photos for their blog. Every single time I replied with the same answer; it's not the camera that makes a picture good. It's the lighting/composition/background of the photos that make them good.

Let me show you the cameras I use.

I use a simple point and shoot camera, a Nikon Coolpix camera with 16megapixels and 5x Zoom - The best part? It cost £40 from Argos.

It runs off 2xAA batteries, so if I take it on the go I don't have to worry about it running of of power, I can just pop some new batteries in. I use a 16gb memory card which is more than enough storage.

The other camera I use is my iPhone 5S camera - and those photos come out just as good as my £250 Nikon camera with changeable lens'. Yes, I do have an expensive camera, however, I haven't used it in over a year as the lens is currently broken.

This is why a simple, non-expensive camera is good.

  • Cheap - so if you break or lose your camera, it's not the end of the world. You may remember I lost my camera on New Years eve. Not the end of the world, as it only cost me £40 to replace it.
  • Light weight means Good Angles - Because point and shoots are good is because the are small and light, meaning you can get some many more angles and into different positions with it, than with a large SLR. Bigger cameras are heavy so can hurt your arms after a while of taking photos (especially if you take them in bulk).
  • On The Go: Unlike digital SLR's - if you have a point and shoot camera, it means it's travel friendly and can fit in your bag easily for when you are out and about taking photos (especially handy if you are a fashion blogger or going to an event!)
These two photos are taken with my point and shoot Nikon and my iPhone 5s. 

 Nikon point and Shoot                                                   iPhone 5S        

Not much difference is there? 

Another tip; with your camera - try not to rely too much on autofocus or any auto settings - have a day, and just play with your camera and get to know it. Many cameras now come with a whole array of settings and 'scenes' to help combat difficult lighting. Try using the macro setting on your camera to get lovely clear shots of products up close. Play with them, you'll be amazed at what you can do with that little camera in your hands!

Tip #2: Backgrounds and Lighting

I'm combining my tips of lighting and backgrounds because for me, these come hand and hand. Now this is the part of the chat were bloggers were amazed at how I took photos to get such a simple and clean background. How do I do it? I use my bath.

No, Seriously, I do.

It's only recently I have discovered this trick. Before you judge.. let me talk you through it. Previously, I used to take my photos on a window ledge, using white paper as a background and to take advantage of the natural light from the window. 

However, the problem I found with this was I was limited to space and the window cast shadows. It also made it difficult for larger products, such as this body lotion. So, I tried photograping in a place what was already white and had quite a large surface area.. the bath!

I have found that the best lighting in my house, is in the bathroom. Also; the window is right next to the bath meaning there is so much natural light there - plus a perfectly white and smooth background for my photos. The thing that I love about photographing in the bath though, is that because of the material of the bath and because of it's shiny surface, it reflects the light - meaning it bounces natural light all around the product so it is evenly lit from all directions.

Good lighting is key, and natural light is the best light to use, especially when doing swatches. It helps show off the true colour and texture of a product. Avoid shooting in the evening unless you are using artifical lighting, and never use flash. It doesn't give off a true representation of the colors, and if you are shooting swatches, it can often give the picture (and/or your skin) a grey tone to it, making the rest of the tones and shades in your picture off. Bright and clear pictures are the best for showing products true colours.

 Personally I prefer to have a clean white background, but other people prefer something to compliment the product there too in the background - such as flowers or candles to make the picture more interesting. It's amazing what you can find around your house to jazz up your photos.

Tip #3: Be You, Be Unique

Another big talking point during the bloggers chat was people were wanting to create photos like fellow bloggers had. My response? Don't!

Don't try and copy or compare yourself to other bloggers or photos - copying other peoples photos won't make your blog unique, be creative - making your own backgrounds and playing with style and objects is what make your blog unique. Don't be afraid to be different.

Do you have any tips, leave them below in the comments!


  1. Fantastic idea to use the bath!! Lovely post!!

    1. Thank you! I'm surprised not many people use this technique either. Fantastic for people on a budget who can't afford fancy lighting/backgrounds. x

  2. I do this! I also like to take photographs outside when the weather is good. The colours are so vivid in natural light

  3. Brilliant advice, thanks! I use my iphone too x

  4. I just checked out this post after you sent me a link on the bbloggers chat, thankyou for sharing it with me this post had some great tips :)

    Natasha Paris

  5. Really you describe an important issue and share some fantastic useful tips, as we know image can play a big role so, it is important to know basic photography techniques. Thanks from | hair extensions sheffield

  6. This is such an interesting and useful post! Thanks for sharing ! Off to clean the bath ! 😃 xxx

  7. I loved this post, I normally use my window ledge too, I never even thought of using the bath! I'll definitely be giving it a try

    Sophie Leigh x


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