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.
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.
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.
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:
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?