3 Ways I Improved My Blog Photos Without Spending A Dime

by - 12/05/2015

When I first started blogging, it was my frustration to get good photos for my blog. Everything is dark and grainy! Not to mention, the background looks cluttered and messy and it takes away from the main focus of my photo.

Slowly I improved. One product, one photo at a time. But there were times when I wanted to just splurge on some equipment just so I could produce better photos right away (although they say that's not a guaranteed way). Let's just say being in the blogging world, especially the beauty blogging world, made me a little bit envious of what others have and do. You know how materially focused beauty blogging can be.

But despite deciding on making “investments”, I was kinda scared that it would all go to waste because there were also times in my blogging life when I lose heart from blogging. Wouldn't that have been a such waste if I spent a lot of money on something I might never use again?

So instead, I found ways that I could do to improve my photos without spending too much. Today I'm sharing with you these simple ways and hopefully you'll find them useful for your blogging too.

Camera and Lighting.

Use whatever camera you already have, even if it's just your phone's camera. Most smartphones these days already come with good quality camera, so they can already serve the purpose of taking blog photos (unless your blog is about photography). Most cameras though (even the expensive ones) are dependent on the light available in the room to produce nice results.

So choose a room that receives lots of light. I noticed that rooms facing the east are better than those that face the west because the west ones tend to be warmer and that kind of lighting ruins the white balance in my photos. The east facing ones produce clearer and truer colors and it matters when you're photographing products.

Although late afternoon light is considered "golden" by photographers, I find that it's not so good for product photography because either it casts stark shadows, or it casts a really warm tinge.
Earlier in the day is better. Among my photos around 1:30pm, the left one looks more pleasant than the right one, but the nail polish color is pinker than in actual. The right one is more closer in color.

Background and Decor.

Use what you already have around the house. Don't keep buying stuff to use as blog photo décor. If you must buy stuff, then pick something you can also use around the house, instead of something that will only serve one purpose - just as décor.

Such things as pretty linens, books and magazines, plates or saucers with intricate designs, are just some of the things I use as background of my photos. Heck, I even use plushies in some of my photos. :D

One of my favorite things to use is a drawing pad. It's white, it's huge, it's cheap. It instantly brightens up the photo compared to using a colored background. Plus, using white as background makes it easy to edit the photos if they turn out still darker than what I desire. How does white make it easy to edit? Because you have a basis for white. As long as the yellowish background that's supposed to be white becomes white in your editing, then you can be pretty sure that the other colors are almost spot on too. Another reason I love white for editing is that if I need to crop parts of the image, I wouldn't worry that the color or pattern of the background would be altered. I explained more of that in my Photoshop tutorial on sharpening images.

Time of capture: 7pm
Background of cake on the left is a green glass plate set on a black glass tabletop. Light source is about 2 meters away.
Background of cakes on the right is a white porcelain plate set on an open drawing pad over a table. Light source is almost overhead, about half a meter away. 

Layout and Positioning.

Don't take that photo in the middle of a mess. Clear up a little space. I know it looks nice to have a few things blurred in the background, but keep it to a minimum so as not to make your product look like the general with his army. If you find that your photos are looking quite messy, try a flat lay so you can control what is inside your frame.

Although I like the look of products standing on the table or any surface, I usually do a lot of flat lays because aside from being able to control what's in the frame, I also can control my shadow. I find that taking photos with a product standing on a table is a lot like a solar eclipse. Product must face light - I must photograph product's face – I get in between product and light. With a flat lay, I can take the photo from above, positioned beside the table.

The photo looks cleaner when the product is lying down.

So aren't these very simple and easy? These are things you can change up easily the next time you take your blog photos. Aside from the drawing pad which is the only thing I bought (and it's less than P100 too), none of these require any spending.

So what do you think? Think you'll try these out for yourself? Well whether you'll try these or not, I hope you enjoyed my post. Have a nice day!

*iPhone 5 is used to capture all photos.
*None of the exhibit images were edited (I edited only the post header).

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  1. This was an interesting post! Thanks for the tips. I'm thinking about saving some up for lights because my room doesn't get good lighting all the time and weather can be very unpredictable. I love white background too x