Saturday, March 5, 2016

How I Take Blog Photos

If you've been blogging for any amount of time, you know how important photos are. If you look back at my original posts, you'll see that my photography has drastically improved. Even in the past few months my photography has improved greatly. A lot of it has been trial and error and finding out what style of photos I like. Some of what's helped me improve is learning from other bloggers who make posts like this, which is why I decided to write one now that I'm feeling pretty good about my photography skills.

How I Take Blog Photos from Courtney's Little Things


Step 1 for me when taking blog photos is planning. No surprise there, right? I plan mostly because it's easier for me to take photos for several posts on one day since I am busy and the sun doesn't always want to cooperate. 

I just take a day where I don't have many things on my list and then add "Take blog photos" to my list for that day! Then on a post it I write which posts I need to take photos for and maybe write down a few props I want to use if I already have an idea for what I want the photo to look like.


When it's blog photo day, I convert my living room into my little studio. In my apartment I take photos in my living room because I have 2 large windows that let in lots of natural light. When I'm living with my family (like right now) I take photos in my room so I can take my time without anyone disrupting and I have a window that let's in pretty good light!

Once I have an area cleared, it's time to set up the background for the photo. I have a white trifold poster board I use as my "wall" and reflector, and then I sometimes vary what I use as my main background. Some backgrounds I use a lot are:
- White poster board
- Confetti tissue paper
- Cream colored blanket
- Contact paper

How I Take Blog Photos from Courtney's Little Things

The last step for prepping my little studio is gathering props. I recently started keeping my seasonal and most used props in a basket, and it's already been a lifesaver. I also gather other props that I use in my apartment like candles, books, stationary, and art supplies. When I have gathered up all the props I'm using for the posts I'm taking photos for, I usually end up grouping them so I have an idea of what will go together.

How I Take Blog Photos from Courtney's Little Things


Now that all the prep work is taken care of, it's time to start styling - placing all the props in just the right order and all that jazz. For me, styling photos is just a process of trial and error. I'll try one arrangement, take a few photos, adjust where things are placed, then take a few more photos. 

How I Take Blog Photos from Courtney's Little Things

To be honest, I don't usually spend that much time putting together and taking my photos - usually an hour tops for several different posts. Hopefully that shows you can take pretty good photos in a short amount of time.


Once taking the photos is done, I clean up the mess I've created and if I have time, start editing photos then. Usually though, I take photos in the early afternoon, do some work, and then do my editing in the evening, or even the next day. I know some bloggers tell you not to because then you might have to recreate the whole shoot if all your photos turned out blurry or bad, but let's just be honest, there's not always time to do it all in one shot!

Anyways, I upload my photos to my laptop and place them in a folder for that specific post or for stock photos I can just use as needed. If you want the details, I have a folder for each month and then in that month's folder I have folders for each upcoming post and for personal photos. It really saves time searching since I know exactly where my photos are when I need them!

After the photos are uploaded it's time to dive into the editing process. I use PicMonkey to edit my photos. I've been using PicMonkey's free editing program for ages (like since high school) so I'm very familiar and comfortable using it. Their free program has everything I need for editing my photos since I'm mostly doing basic things like making them brighter and adding text. The 5 things I always do to edit my blog photos are brighten, increase the contrast and saturation, sharpen, and resize the photo so it's a bit smaller and easier to upload.

How I Take Blog Photos from Courtney's Little Things
How I Take Blog Photos from Courtney's Little Things

Now you have the whole process I use for taking blog photos! I'm no professional photographer, so hopefully all of this made sense and was explained clearly. If you want more info on any part of this, leave me a comment.

How I Take Blog Photos from Courtney's Little Things

How do you take your blog photos? Any tips? If you're new (or old) to blogging, did this post help?

Related Posts: Blog Notebook Tour, 20 Photo Prop Ideas, How to Come up with More Blog Post Ideas