I was recently asked on Twitter if I’d ever posted about my blog photography, but it’s not really something I’ve ever thought about. There are so many beauty blogs out there with stunning photos, I always thought mine were ‘okay’ but nothing outstanding. That said, there are times when I’m pretty darn pleased with one of my snaps so I thought I’d share some fairly basic tips!
Camera & Lenses
I take all my blog photos with a DSLR (mine’s a Sony and I use mostly old skool Minolta lenses – but that’s by the by as they all do a great job if you know how). I like to use a DSLR over a point-and-shoot as you can be more creative (focus, lenses and the like) – you basically have more control.
The main 3 lenses I use weekly are:
– Standard lens that comes with the camera, mines happens to be a 55mm but they’re often a 35mm too. This is good for standard shots – not too close in, perhaps shots from above, where everything is in focus. A good all rounder!
– Macro lens, which really is a god send with beauty blogging. If we’re being really simple, this lens is for the super close up shots of products still-life or them on the skin, perhaps a close up eye or lip shot. They can get in really close and maintain focus on a tight area.
– 1.4 50mm, which is a real ‘blogging’ lens. It allows you to create a great depth of field which (it pains me to use this phrase!) is basically ‘background de-focus’. You know the shots – product in focus with a blurry candle/flower/fairy lights in the background (a fave for beauty YouTubers too!).
When it comes to beauty blogging, you want your beauty products to stand out – especially make up which is all about colour. I got myself a £40 white Ikea table and painted a wall in my spare room cream to allow for this and boy, does it make a difference. You have plenty of space to set out your products and snap them. It doesn’t have to be white – a gorgeous wooden surface or tiled floor works just as well!
Natural light is always best, especially for beauty photos because you really want to show the true colour of a product or swatch. Flash will distort and in my opinion, look ugly. Saying that, I actually purchased two softbox lights for making YouTube videos with and I now swear by them for taking my blog photos under too. They beam continuous light (so they don’t flash) and they have daylight bulbs which means they give out a light that is similar to, well…daylight. This creates true colours and bright photos.
I edit all my photos before I blog them, no matter how small the tweak – they can always look better. I have Photoshop but if I’m honest, I rarely use it. I find it too much hassle for what I want to do so I use online tool PicMonkey. It allows me to do most things I want – whether it’s a simple crop or rotate, or maybe to enhance the brightness or contrast. It’s worth playing with these settings as they can help you get the best from your photos. Sometimes, no matter how good the light, a certain lipstick won’t look like it does in real life. With a little tweak of the saturation, you can get it looking much more realistic for your readers. (Generally – I’ll up the brightness, increase the saturation and sharpen ever so slightly. I like the white in my images to be a true white!).
Angles & Props
I love to play around with angles and easily take 20 or 30 photos of one product when I’m blogging. I like to shoot from above (a stool is often required!), or straight on. I take the lids off products, pop some props around – brushes, a make up bag, maybe a bit of context like a magazine (or the ultimate cliche – the flower!). It all adds to the feel of your photos, but remember to keep it clear and simple so the product shows.
So that’s it…I think! Comment below if I’ve forgotten anything as it’s always helpful to hear other tips. Fashion blogging photography is a wholeeee different story but if you’re keen, I can try and do a post on that at some point too. Oh, and the photos above were taken on my Nokia Lumia 1020 which has an insaneeeely good camera. Worth a look for bloggers!
If you’ve landed here, you’re probably looking to find out more about Katherine-Louise. Run by me, Kat - put simply I'm a 30 year old who is decidedly normal. My blog is a destination for women just like me - the same interests and aspirations, working our way through the same twists and turns of life. Katherine-Louise is designed to inspire and inform; to give you a break from the norm as well identify with the beauty of routine. A fifteen minute recoup, or an hours vacation, it’s the go-to for Everyday-Joe’s, just like me, who want a few minutes off the radar.