Last week I was beyond honored to be a speaker at the Reviewer’s Retreat (iRetreat) Conference. I always love going because it is intimate, you get to know everyone and you learn a lot. This year I was talking about staging photos and how to really make the most of pictures for your blog. I promised everyone I would share the session here on the blog and I also wanted to include the Prezi I created for it.
When you are staging photos, background is important. You need to consider the color of the object you are going to be photographing and then start looking around your home for things that will work well. As I shared at the conference, I only use homemade items (foam board for light reflecting, scarves, scrapbooking paper, cutting boards, wood, old crates, etc). Ellen shared with us about an Etsy shop that creates amazing vinyl backdrops that would be great for a blogger as well. Another important thing to keep in mind is to clear the clutter!
I never use my flash. Ever. My husband actually makes fun of me for carrying all of our food out on the front porch before we eat. I just get so much better pictures outdoors in natural light. The reality is, pictures are always going to look better when you have natural light to work with. On the rare occasions when I do not have natural light to work with, I create a light box of sorts out of a 3-sided foam board. I have also been known to use poster board or any other white item on hand.
Blogs and Magazines
I try to make sure to immerse myself into fun and beautiful magazines and blogs whenever I can. So many of their pictures can translate into something you may be working on in a new way. I often feel inspired to be more creative once I’ve looked at a Real Simple Magazine or visited The Pioneer Woman. Who doesn’t?! You can even find great photos on Pinterest.
Think about where the item you are photographing lives. Does it hang out on the coffee table? Does your child play with it? Film it in it’s home. Showing your product in use is also a great idea. This makes photos interesting and fun to look at. Also, think about what accessories would go well with your item. If you are cooking maybe you want to include the ingredients along-side.
Don’t be afraid to do something different. Stand under or over something. There have been many times you will see me standing on a chair in order to really hover over an item. I’ve also been known to take pictures while lying in the floor. Whatever it takes! Someone joked on my Instagram feed just the other day about not dropping my phone in the ocean. I like to find interesting angles and chances are, your readers will appreciate it as well! Consider the important details and remember the rule of thirds (grid lines on your iPhone. Match your subject with the line… not the center). Also, remember that rules were made to be broken. Have fun!
Here’s the Prezi as well: