A great photo can really make a post pop. We’re all pretty visual creatures and the success of Instagram or Pinterest are only further proof of that. With so many guides, posts and tips advising you to focus on your images in order to gain more attention to your written content making sure you’ve got a great image is key. However taking a good photo can be daunting, digital cameras and editing are scary and complicated for some of us. I’ve got five tools that’ll make your photo-taking process that much easier.
- Your Eyes
It’s pretty simple, just keep those peepers peeled for interesting things. It can be the way things just happened to be laid out when you dumped them, the way some textures look together or how the light falls just so at 15:46 from your kitchen window. Make sure to note what it was that you liked, and replicate it when the photo-taking mood strikes. If it’s time dependant plan out in advance so you can utilise that picture perfect moment.
Not all of us have pretty white floors or walls or surfaces. I cheat this quite a bit by using good old simple white paper, like in the photo above, to get that seamless white look. To do this prop up (or blue-tack) a sheet of white paper, printer paper works too, to a wall and lay one on the surface right next to it. If you like you can create a portable studio with this method and a cardboard box so you can move with the light.
Or any light source! I like windows, they give the best light but getting the time of the day just right can be tricky. Despite the time constraints nothing beats window light for me, so I “eyeball” composition ahead of time by playing about with products, surfaces and texture. To note it all down I snap a picture on my phone for easier recall. When it’s time I just need to whip out the camera, lay things out and shoot.
Ahhhhh depth of field. I love a bit of it, yeah really what gave that away? Maybe every other image on my blog. The only way to truly get depth of field is space – and a lens with a wide aperture. However if you’ve a kit lens (I highly recommend you splurge on a 50mm f/1.8 lens) you can cheat the blurred out background look with loads and loads of space. Simply clear the floor are prop you subject in the front with some interesting bits further back, play around until you’re happy with the results.
Plain old aluminum foil can come in handy for more than just wrapping up leftovers! If you feel that you’re lacking a bit in light in some area of your shot use some foil as a reflector. The foil’s reflective surface will bounce the light into those slightly darker areas if you move it around until it’s just so.
Overall photography is about playing, noticing and capturing. My best tip is to never take it too seriously and to have fun – because without fun what’s it even worth? If you’ve got a tool that really makes your photo-taking that much better share it in the comments – I’d love to know.