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How to take the best blog photos

I've seen quite a few of these types of post lately and they're really useful for many people, they can really help a beginner get to grips with the basics of blogging. Not only that, but even us regular bloggers need some tips and inspiration from time to time and there's nothing wrong with wanting to spruce up your routine and photos, reading about how others do it along the way.
Most 'A guide to blog photography' posts I come across are a bit more technical and camera-focused, guiding you through the settings and properties of DSLR cameras. I don't actually use a camera to take my photos and I know a lot of other people don't either, so I wanted to talk through the stages of photo taking with the technicalities pushed to one side. I'm also basing this on product photos for beauty blogs but most stages apply for other types of photos too!

little disclaimer: I am not nor do I think I am a pro in any way! I use these steps every time I take photos for my blog and it works for me.

1. Gather your products
The first thing is selecting the products appropriate for your blog post. If it's a review then obviously only the one main item is needed, but for monthly round ups or favourite posts there can be quite a few. Sometimes using other products in the background will help to emphasise the one you are focusing on, so any similar or related items may come in handy.

2. Choose appropriate props
Other products can be used as props but it's also good to get some other bits in there. Makeup brushes are good for makeup posts as well as general dressing table accessories, this just helps to set the scene a little. When it comes to skincare posts it's good to use more appropriate props and accessories to switch things up a little. I have a full post on props you can read here.

3. Determine your shot
This is where you need to decide which shot is going to look more effective. If you're photographing something small then a close up at an angle might work best, but if there are more products then it might just be that a flatlay is more suited. You want to make sure that the main product is the main feature of the photo anyway.

4. Ensure lighting is good
This is a must in getting an eye catching photo. Make sure that it's not too dull but not too bright either from where you're shooting. Take a few tester photos first to help you see what the outcome is going to be. Its also good to use mirrors or white surfaces at the sides of your shot to help reflect the light if a little more is needed.

5. Bulk shoot
Never just take 1 or 2 photos, it's all about trial and error with getting the perfect shot. Take plenty and move things around a little until you feel completely happy. For example taking around 50 with a mixture of different angles and props will give you much more to choose from when you're finished.

6. Take some close ups
It's always good to include a close up or two in blog posts. If it's a review then a close up is a must, as well as some swatches. This will help your post to have more content and be overall better quality. For monthly roundups or favourites then they aren't as necessary, but it all depends on what the post is about I guess.

7. Select your favourites and edit
Lastly, now you have several photos to choose from you can take your time in comparing and selecting the best. Edit them to look bright and fresh so that they are eye catching. Editing them in the same way each time helps your photos to look unique and more recognisable as yours.

Do you have any good tips on how to take the best photos?

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