Although I’m new to blogging and photography, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks. I still have a long ways to go with my blog photography, and I’m envious of anyone who can pull together a gorgeous flatlay or snap a good food photo in one go. But photography is a slow and steady learning process, and I’ve finally gotten to the point where I have a few tips of my own to share.
Sometimes, I’ll post an image on Instagram and expect it to fail spectacularly, but it’ll actually end up gaining more likes than a photo I’m proud of. Basically, the moral is that photography is subjective, and the learning curve will always be there – no matter how good you become.
ps – want to see more of my photos? Follow me on my instagram: @fung.shui
Amp up that exposure
Actual photographers will probably want to draw and quarter me if they read this.
If I’m doing a flatlay, I’m usually including a white background, natural sunlight, and some bright colours. A lot of blogging photos are extremely bright, and often, that looks much more appealing on Instagram than a darker image. If a photo is a bit dark, I usually amp up the exposure either directly on my DSLR camera, or through editing.
You do want to be careful when exposing photos. If you go too high, everything will look washed out, and you might end up creating too much noise (that grainy look to photos). You want to maintain that perfect balance of brightness, while not blinding your viewers.
Use a white sheet of paper
So simple, so cheap, and so versatile. A large, white sheet of paper can be used for flatlays, as a vertical background if someone is able to hold it up, as a way to reflect light, or whatever ideas you can come up with.
Get close and personal
Don’t be afraid to leave parts of your subject(s) outside of the frame, and play around with cropping your images after taking them. Just a simple crop can make all the difference, and actually liven up your photo!
Think of the image as one you want to immerse yourself in. When you zoom in, or better yet, physically move in, the camera will capture an image that makes the viewer feel like they’re actually there.
Take advantage of your aperture
This is most relevant for DSLR cameras, but if you are using a phone camera, then it’s still important to be aware of depth of field.
A shallow depth of field means that the subject of your photo is in focus, but the rest of the photo may be soft, or blurred. A deep depth of field means that most of the image is in focus, including the background. If you want a comprehensive look at depth of field and how to adjust it on your camera, check out this article.
Creating a shallow depth of field is great for when you want to highlight the subject of your photo, such as a specific product. I love creating the soft, blurred background in most of my photos – the image ends up becoming more dynamic. Play around with your aperture, and see what suits you the best!
Rule of Thirds
Most of us know this photography rule. It’s when we envision an image as having a 3×3 square grid. Depending on your content, it’s typically more pleasing to the eye if your subject is placed on a third of a section instead of right in the middle.
Rules are meant to be broken, and I often break this rule with food photography. Sure, photos will look amazing if they follow the rule of thirds, but I usually like to centre my food if it’s placed on a circular plate. For example, I would prefer to centre a ramen bowl to display all the ingredients and the overall look of the dish.
Photography is like any skill, and it takes time. The more you shoot, the better you’ll get. Also, if you take a photo and you get discouraged with how it looks, don’t delete it! Try to add some edits or adjustments, and see what you think after you’ve added the bells and whistles. Editing is a huge part of the photography process, and one that’ll pay off in your blogging or Instagram game.
Bonus Editing Tip: Food photos look great when there’s a bit more saturation, contrast, and clarity added. VSCO is a great app for food pictures, especially if you don’t feel like bringing your clunky DSLR camera to a nice restaurant.