7 Things I’ve Learned About Blog Photography

If you read my monthly goals posts, then you probably know I usually set a goal for myself that involves blog photography. I’ve mentioned several times how little I knew about blog photography when Currently, Lately first started up. I didn’t realize how much work actually went into taking photos, especially for beauty and lifestyle posts.

For me, I really wanted to make March about mastering a photography routine. While I know that’s a pretty hefty (and improbable) goal, I’m always looking for a new way to challenge myself. Although I still think that I have lots of room to grow, I have definitely seen improvements in my photos this month.

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January 
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March

As you can see, the difference in my photos from January to March is pretty drastic. Strangely enough, I didn’t even notice it until recently.

Today I thought I would share a few things that I have learned from blog photography. Looking back on my photos from even a month ago, I cannot believe how much my pictures have changed. It’s amazing to me that just a few tweaks have helped me produce better photos.

1. Flatlays are not as effortless as they look

Before I started getting serious about my photography, I assumed that flatlays were just as simple as they look. Scrolling through Pinterest or Instagram, I would see flatlays that I liked and think ‘this can’t be that difficult. All it is is setting makeup products on a pretty background.’ Little did I know that I couldn’t be further from the truth. Creating a good flatlay takes a lot of time and strategy, especially if you’re someone who’s as meticulous as me. Not every composition looks good together and it’s obvious when you’ve simply thrown something together. I cannot tell you how many flatlays I’ve deleted because I’ve gone back and realized how sloppy they look. Don’t feel bad if it takes you long time to get a shot you like. Continue to change things up until you’re happy with them.

2. Lighting is crucial to a picture

For a long time, I didn’t like the idea of using natural lighting. I wasn’t keen on the fact that weather conditions had to be extremely specific if I wanted to take pictures. Once I realized what an impact it had, I dropped my hesitation on the matter. There’s a big difference between a picture taken during the daytime on an overcast day than during the evening.

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Taken just before sundown
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Taken on an overcast afternoon

3. Sometimes less is more 

A flatlay doesn’t have to be filled with tens of different products. Sometimes it is best to take a simple shot of one or two items rather than a whole arrangement of them. If you put too many things in your composition, viewers may have a difficult time figuring out the focus of the shot. Don’t be afraid to snap simple photos.

4. Don’t expect perfection

This is probably the thing I have the hardest time with. I’m the type of person who obsesses over even the slightest of details. If I look at a photo I’ve taken and dislike the angle of one bottle of nail polish or a little tube of mascara, I usually will scrap the whole thing. It’s important to remember that photography is something that takes time to master. Not every composition you photograph will be better than the previous one. Keep in mind that you’ve improved and that you’ll continue improve. It’s all part of a long process.

5. Coffee is the best blog prop

It’s no secret that coffee is a majestic substance that manages to energize even the most tired individual, (seriously. I don’t know if I would be typing this post right now if it wasn’t for my morning cup) but it also makes for a good blog prop. If you’re looking for a little something to finish off a composition, try a mug of coffee. In my experience, coffee looks great in just about any flatlay.

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6. Take photos whenever you can

This tip is something that I need to work on myself. Because I opt to use natural lighting, I can only take pictures on specific days. It’s important to make the most of good weather conditions by snapping as many shot as you can. You never know when you’ll be hit with a string of sunny days and have no photos on hand, which is why you should get them done when you have the chance.

7. Purchase a few staple blog props 

In February, I made the decision to buy a couple of standard blog props that I could use year-round. I keep them in a bag in my closet, so that they’re always there when I need them. If you get creative, you can use the same things several times without it being repetitive. For example, take this notebook I got at TJ Maxx:

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As you can see, you don’t need new props for every composition. Mixing and matching is a great way to get the most use out of your materials.

Thank you so much for reading this post. Sorry that it was so long! I’m very happy with the changes I’ve made to my photography, so I had a lot to say about it. If you’d like to see more flatlay-related posts, feel free to let me know.

What’s the most important thing that you’ve learned about blog photography? 

Sincerely,

Paige

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Hi, I'm Paige and my favorite things are lipstick, books, and coffee.

19 thoughts on “7 Things I’ve Learned About Blog Photography

  1. Totally the lighting, really does make so much difference. I usually edit my photos to brighten them waaaay up!! The brighter the better. It’s such a pain when you plan on taking a ton of photos and it decides to rain literally ALL day.
    Loved your post. Always keen to read photography tips.
    😘Samantha.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely tips! I think most people don’t realize how long it can take. Totally agree with doesn’t have to be perfect. Sometimes, for me, it will be as good as it gets that day, and I am fine with it. I know what you mean, wish I had good lighting right now! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think just learning how to take photos is my goal. haha I do all my photos from my iphone with flat lays done on my bed, literally the only space I have for them. I’m constantly fighting shadows, blanket wrinkles, and stray cat hairs in my photos. After my vacation in May, I’m going to have to invest some time and money into photo stuff. A light box or something similar would be ideal for me due to friggin shadows but it needs to be one that I can take apart and store because of space. Any suggestions?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get so annoyed about the little hairs and shadows too! It could be the smallest thing and I would still be annoyed by it lol. I’m actually thinking about getting a light box too! From what I’ve read, bloggers really seem to like the ones on Amazon! Plus, they’re not crazy expensive

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been looking back on how bad my photo game has been lately! I don’t know if my 8-year-old point-and-shoot camera is starting to go or if I’m being lazy but my pics have been really poor quality lately – super blurry with all of the dark shades looking weirdly spotty. I also hate photographing products that can roll because of course that one eyeliner is going to roll out of place right when I take the picture, time after time after time.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. For whatever reason I never thought of using tape! I’ve tried propping them against things that don’t roll, which limits how I stage everything and is a copout.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a great post! I’m constantly on the look out for improving my photography skills, I only joined Instagram recently so I’ve realised how important a good photo really is! I try to focus on lighting and quality the most. That being said all my photos are taken using my iPhone 5s haha so I do the best I can. Still trying to master the flatlays, but sometimes imperfections leads to the perfect picture. If that makes sense 😅

    https://thetypicalbeautyblog.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great tip on the coffee! I’ve never really thought about it before, but coffee is something that I think a lot of us associate with being productive so it adds a lot to a photo! I always love your flatlays! xx

    Liked by 1 person

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