Tuesday, 29 January 2013

BBHQ December/January Task: How Do You Photograph For Your Blog?

This month’s task was to share how we take photographs for our blog. I consider myself a keen photographer, but not a particularly good one. I am very particular about taking photographs, I like to make sure I get the best colours and detail possible — I know I appreciate it in other bloggers posts and I hope it is something people like about my blog.
What camera(s) do you use for your blog photography?
I use a combination of my IPhone 4, usually for posts where getting the right colouring or detail isn’t necessary, monthly empties for example. But when detail is needed, I use my Canon 600D, which I treated myself to after getting my first full time job. I also purchased a second lens, which lets me get good close up shots but from a distance, which means I don’t get the shadow of me hovering over the products and affecting the colours.

What type of lighting do you use? Natural light, indoor light, studio lamps, etc.?
I try to use natural light as much as possible. Now winter has set in, this is next to impossible because I am rarely at home when there is natural light so I make do with indoor lighting.

Do you use a lightbox (purchased or diy)?
I actually hadn’t heard of a lightbox prior to this question and now I've looked it up I really want one! I've seen cheap handheld lights before, which can be used to help with lighting but now I'm thinking a combination of those might be a good start for a DIY lightbox. If you have any suggestions please let me know.

Do you use a specific background?
I like to use different fabrics underneath product shots, nothing too patterned or distracting though. When I say different fabrics, this is usually clothing and once a plastic bag!

For makeup shots, because I have white wardrobes, I tend to use this as my background, unless I can convince a family member to take a picture for me, in which case I will stand where ever they say! My camera included software that allows me to remotely take photographs using my laptop so I tend to use this so that I can make sure I am in focus and don’t need to use the timer.
What does your photographing setup usually looking like?
Usually something like the scene below! I don't have anything fancy, I tend to create an interesting shape with the fabric I'm using and place the product in the middle taking up as much of the frame as possible.
I received a tri-pod for Christmas, so I have started using this for product shots. I also plan on using it for face shots but I haven't figured out the best setup for that yet since I usually connect my camera to my laptop and use that for remote shooting.
What is your top photographing tip for a beginner blogger?
I still consider myself as a beginner, so I would just say be patient and play. I’ve sat with one blush in front of me and tweaked every setting my camera has. I’ve ended up with hundreds of blurred or over/under exposed images but it has helped me to understand my camera.

Also, if you can find a good enough deal (try Groupon, Social Living, Voucher Cloud etc) and go on a photography course. I paid £19 for a walking tour of London and it really helped me to understand the basics. Even though the course was the opposite of what I do for the blog, I was able to apply what I learnt, and I think my images have been better since.

For fun: If you could upgrade your photography equipment today, what would you buy?
This is easy, I already have a list! A a polarising filter for my lenses, a macro lens and a remote control.

I hope you found this blog post helpful, feel free to ask questions if anything isn’t clear and your suggestions are always welcome.

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