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?