Now let me preface this by saying I am by no means a photography expert. I almost feel silly writing this post but I want to share with you guys what I have learned. There is still a lot for me to learn to continue improving my photos but I wanted to share some basics on How to Improve your Blog Photography.
I am not the photographer in the family, my husband is. I’m blessed to have married into a fancy camera with great lenses. When I started blogging I took my photos on my iPhone and you’ll see some of those as we contrast and compare. I know some bloggers can take and edit some amazing photos on their iPhone but I’m still living in the dark ages with my iPhone 4s so that wasn’t for me. I’ve gone through many stages with my photos. When I decided to take blogging seriously I started learning how to use my husbands Canon EOS Rebel T1i 15.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD and EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens camera. I still don’t know all the in’s and out’s, often I’m calling him at work asking what the ISO should be at or the F-stop. So this post wont’t be super technical, i’ll let him share that later. But enough of my rambling, here are a few things I’ve learned that are vital.
1. Natural Light– I didn’t realize how important natural light was until I took a photo in my living room during the day and noticed the difference. It makes the biggest difference in my photos. As I said I started out just snapping photos of food with my iPhone, then I moved on to the Canon but I was doing it at night or just in my kitchen which lacked natural light. I went through a phase where I took pictures of the food outside, those are ok but not great. Then I moved into my garage and opened the garage door to take the photos, I’m sure my neighbors thought I was crazy out there photographing food. Now I’m in my living room until I get my photo area set up in the guest room. Here are a few examples of how my photos have evolved.
Iphone photo inside at night. At night in a lightbox During the day with natural light
2. Backgrounds– A good background is so important. I have some photos with natural lighting but without a decent background. I thought I can’t afford to buy anything fancy but it turns out in my house I have a lot of things that will work. For one, I have this gorgeous cutting board. But when I make something bigger and need more room I’ve started using my coffee table. I just flip it on it’s side and use it as a background. It’s old and knotty wood and so perfect. My brick fireplace is also another background I use. So if you think about it you probably have good things in your house that could make good backgrounds!
3. Props– Food just sitting on a plate can get pretty boring and it all starts to look the same. Sometimes it can be as simple as using a new plate or just using the bare cutting board. Solid colors are best and white always looks so good. I only have a few props and need to add to my collection. Searching the clearance rack at Target or Ross, TJ Maxx or Marshall’s is a great way to get some props for cheap!
4. Garnish– I just took some pictures of this delicious soup recipe but it’s just a creamy soup no texture, no color just boring looking. So looking at it you wouldn’t think it’s that good. But I added some cheese on top to add some texture and make it look more visually appealing. That always helps but I’ve also read not to garnish your food with something that’s not in your recipe. Using extra blueberries in the background of a blueberry recipe is another good example of garnishing.
5. Camera Lens– Ok I’m getting a little bit technical with this one but my photography improved drastically when I started using the 50mm lens. I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Sally’s Baking Addiction, and stumbled upon her tips for food photography. They were so helpful and she talked about using a 50mm lens. Well low and behold my husband had this Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens and it seriously has added so much to my photos!
These are just 5 Tips for Improving your Blog Photography. I know there are so many other great ones out there so I would love to hear your best tip?
Teresa @ Crafty Wife says
Love all of these tips! Especially the one about light and the photo examples you gave. Natural light makes all the difference. Great post! 🙂
Thank you 🙂
trish @ tagsthoughts.com says
I love these tips!! Natural light is amazing and your props and backgrounds are absolutely appealing. Thanks for sharing!!!
Thank you Trish!
I love your background ideas. I’m going to look around my house and see what creative ideas I can use. Photography is something I’m working on as well, so I appreciate all the tips.
Thank you! I’ve been surprised by some great ones I’ve found in my furniture and items I own!
Christine @ One TIPsy Chick says
Great tips. The light is a big struggle for me. Most of the meals I photograph are taken at dinner time, when I actually cook. Its been hard to get well lit photos, but I just can’t seem to make my dinner at 3-4pm, when my lighting is best here.
That is one of my biggest struggles too!
I need to invest in a greater variety of backgrounds.
Amy @The Stitchin' Mommy says
Love these tips! Natural light is so important for great photos. I’m still trying to get the hang of it all but I definitely see an improvement from when I first started 🙂
I’m still working to improve everyday and get more creative! I figure there is no where to go but up from where I started haha!
Britney @ THe Princess & Her Cowboys says
Great tips! I’m always struggling with this and it’s something I definitely need to work on!
Thank you Britney!
These are such great tips! I shoot with Nikon and am still learning the ropes. I can tell you though that lighting is everything and can really make or break your photo. I struggle with background ideas and garnishes so I’m going to try these out the next time I take photos for my posts. Thank you!
Lori Who Needs A Cape? says
Great post Emily! We’ve never professed ourselves at Who Needs A Cape? to be photographers…far from it, always learning, thanks for sharing these tips!
Evelyn @ My Turn for us says
Thanks for these tips!! I always need help with my photography:))
I am always looking for tips to improve my food photography and these are great ones!! Thanks for sharing!
Good Afternoon Emily, Thank you so much for the tips of improving food photographs. I agree, natural light is always the best, but there lies the problem, here in the North of England, and especially today, it is quite dark and it is only 3.30 pm. I have to try and get my photographs organised during the morning.
Thank you for all the helpful tips.
Great tips I’m always open to new tips to make my photography better! Thanks!
Katie Pierce says
I am currently using my iPhone, like you said you started out using..and MAN natural light makes ALL the difference. Plus it’s fun to experiment with different backgrounds. Hopefully one day I’ll move up to a DLSR 🙂
It really does make all the difference!
Katie Pierce says
I’m still trying to improve my photography skills, so these tips help a lot!
Me and you both! Thanks!
Chelsea @ Life With My Littles says
These are great! I am hoping to get a DSLR soon, and will definitely be able to upgrade my photos. Until then, these are really helpful things to learn!
Thank you Chelsea!
Sheena @ Hot Eats and Cool Reads says
Great tips! Such useful information!!
Joanna Sormunen says
Great tips! I just got a new camera and I’m so excited about it. And I’m really looking forward getting better and better pics with it 🙂
Sarah @ Sarah's Kitchen says
Love the tips! Thanks!
Jen @ Simple Nails and Beauty says
You shouldn’t have felt silly writing this post, you take great pictures and it is kind of you to share your tips! Thanks!
Thank you Jen!
Jenna @ A Savory Feast says
Natural light was the biggest thing for me! I have finally found a couple spots around my house with enough natural light. My photos are looking so much better now! I also went to Goodwill and bought some cute dishes and cups to use as props. Stopping by from Wine’d Down Wednesday.
Goodwill is such a great idea, I need to do that for some props!
These are all great tips, and creative ideas! I would have never though to turn over a table but asa background, it looks perfect and is a great contrast to dark items. I can always use photography tips, thanks so much for sharing all of these.
Great tips ! Natural light is always the best option. Pinning and thanks for sharing!
Great post and you’re right, natural lighting is crucial! I can’t believe I went without it for so long!
I’m always looking for photography tips! It’s one of my big goals for 2015. I feel like I’m way in over my head sometimes when it comes to staging, props, lighting…there are just so many things to think about at once!
There is so much to consider, it can be overwhelming! I try to make sure I have a good block of time where I can focus on it!