I’ve talked a lot about photography when it comes to blogging, and one of the questions I get asked the most is how to take good blog photos when you don’t have an expensive camera. I’m happy to say that dropping tons of money on a big DSLR camera is definitely not necessary for taking beautiful blog photos. You can get really gorgeous pictures just by using your smart phone – here are the rules I would follow if I was only able to use a phone for my blog photos..
- Chase the light. By “chase the light”, I mean go to wherever your natural light source is. Phone cameras are already a bit grainier than DSLRs, so try to use bright, natural light whenever possible to get the best photos. If you’re inside, try to get as close to an uncovered window as possible. Outside? Find some shade under a tree or awning so you can still get a well-lit photo without having harsh sunlight directly on your subject (this also means turn that flash off!). Also, magic hour (about an hour before the sun completely sets) is called magic for a reason – utilize it when you can.
- Try different angles. Ones you’ve got your photo set up, make sure to try out different angles and photo sizes to get the best shot. Maybe the overhead flatlay of your makeup bag contents doesn’t look quite right as a 5×8, but cropped to a square it looks killer. Or perhaps an overhead shot of your new boots isn’t the best angle, and they’d look much better up against the wall with the camera directly in front of them and level with the floor. It really all depends on what style and look your going for with your blog photography, so try as many ideas out as possible so you’re sure to get the best possible shot.
- Hold still! I’ve said this when talking about taking blog photos on a camera, and I think it’s just as important (if not more so) with using your phone as your main camera since the pictures can become blurry and grainy more easily. It’s super important to hold as still as possible when shooting photos on your phone so that they turn out sharp, clear, and focused. If you need to, think about investing in a tripod or remote for your phone so you can get blog-worthy photos.
- Tap to focus. One thing that some people might not know is that you can tap the screen of your phone right before taking a photo to focus in on a certain area. This can be especially helpful if you’re going for that blurred out background look – just tap on whatever is closest to the phone and it will help that become in focus while everything else behind it will become a bit blurred out.
- Always edit. I think there’s a bit of a stigma around editing photos, like you’re not supposed to edit them or you’re being “fake”. While I don’t advocate photoshopping your face to hell and back, I do think every photo, whether taken on a small phone or a big camera, needs to be edited at least a little bit to correct lighting and color issues. Some of my favorite photo editing apps are A Color Story, Snapseed, Afterlight, and VSCO. Whenever I edit my photos, I always make sure to add some brightness, contrast, clarity, and sharpness, and then I’ll play around with saturation, temperature, tint, and midtone color if the overall color of my photo is a little off. Each picture is different, so you may need to do more editing on one than on another – practice and edit a bunch of different photos until you find what works best for your style/brand.
Do you have any little tricks for phone photography?