Monday, 2 March 2015

Lifestyle: The 5 Props Every Blogger Should Have To Boost Their Photography

Blogger Photography props

Photos are vital to our blog posts, as they break up our texts which makes reading more pleasant and let's face it, we're visual creatures. If a picture can't draw us into the post within a couple of seconds, it is unlikely we read the post or come back to a blog. As the weather is still very miserable, most of us are forced to shoot their pictures indoors. I thought it is time to share some advice on how to improve your photography when you have to shoot on your desk or somewhere else in your home.

To make pictures stand out and interesting, you can use a variety of props. Here are my top 5:

1. A White Board


Most of us are attracted to clear photography that's been shot with enough light which you can capture through a lot of white. White is plain, neutral and perfect to reflect light to create that effortless and airy effect that makes pictures so harmonious to our eyes. To achieve these neat pictures, bloggers use all kinds of 'tools' such as light boxes, some even paint their floors white or they have IKEA drawers or have their own little photography studio at home. All of these 'tools' are cost intensive, but don't worry, there are affordable alternatives.


White IKEA Board

Since I've sold my IKEA Malm drawers my dad (who never throws anything away) has given me a white solid cardboard to use for my shoots. This one is easy to carry around and to put away in my flat. I also have a spare white bookcase level which I can use to build a setting when I'm shooting. If you haven't got any of these by hand, than you can also use freshly ironed bedsheets or white table clothes.

Where to get it? Bedsheets and table clothes from your mum or at your nearest home department store. White cardboard, like the one I have, you can get easily from furniture and DIY stores (e.g. Homebase, B&Q).

Costs: around £10-£20.

2. External Lighting


Warm, pleasant lights make us feel comfy and you can achieve this spark in your pictures with an external lighting. My source for lighting are these branch lights* from LEDHut which are not only great to look at as a normal interior accessory, but they bring a cosy and homey atmosphere to my pictures. They also serve as an additional light source in case your chosen shooting spot doesn't have enough natural light, so there's a positive side effect to it, too. The possibilities with a lighting source are manifold and worth having a play around as it creates fantastic effects.

Branch Lights LEDHut

Where to get it? LEDHut have a great collection of indoor lights for all year around purposes. You can also use small LED lights, lamps or candles.

Costs: The branch lights come around £12, candles from £5 onwards.

3. Flowers (Natural Or Plastic)


Girls love flowers and the most effective way to pimp your pictures are to include them alongside your product. Your pictures will look fresh, girly and natural which is appealing to our eyes and capture our attention. It doesn't matter if you're using plastic or real ones, the effect will always give your pictures a professional look.

The Library of Fragrance Sunshine and Rain

Where to get it? Plastic flowers are available at IKEA or at any decent home department store. Real ones are available from the supermarket, flower shops or, if you have the chance, from your own garden.

Costs: £1-£10.

4. Magazines, Wall Paper, Fabrics Or Scarfs


As nice as a white background is, it gets boring after a while. To give my photos a twist, I like using different backgrounds. Fashion magazines work well, so does wall paper, fabrics or scarfs. As long as the surface is smooth you'll be fine. Cole&Son are my favourite wall paper brand, but I haven't got £100 to spent on a single role. Luckily most retailers give out free samples. Just ask and you can play around with the most amazing backgrounds.

Magazines, Scarfs and Wallpaper for photography

Where to get it? WHSmith for magazines. Most wall paper and fabric retailers give out free samples or charge a small fee. For scarfs I'm sure you already have one in your wardrobe, but in case you don't, Primark and Accessorize are good places to start to achieve exquisite results for your visuals.

Costs: Free - £15.

5. Post Related Items


A visual can speak more than a 1000 words and I've seen pictures, that have lost sight of their purpose and didn't relate to the post at all. If you include props that are related to your post, this will apply an extra boost to your visuals and underline what they are going to say. For example, if you're reviewing a foundation or eye shadow, why not include some makeup brushes? If it's a fashion post why not add accessories like necklaces, earrings or bangles? This further emphasizes the purpose of your picture, but be careful to not overload your composition and distract from your focus.

Beauty related blog post

Where to get it? Have a look in your makeup bag and jewellery box.

Costs: Depends what you have already :)

I'm not a professional photographer and I'm not a master in editing either, but these changes helped me a lot during the last year to improve my visuals. It is equally important to play around with different props to show diversity in your pictures and find out what works best for them. I hope you found these tips helpful and if you have one to add let me know in the comment section.

Thank you so much for reading today's post and I hope you'll join me on my next adventure. What are your favourite props to use to boost your photography? Which ones from my list do you use already? Looking forward to your tips. Also, if you're interested in more photo props for blogging, you can check out my follow up post with the link provided.

Till next time,

xx CAZ xx

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29 comments

  1. Great tips! I do struggle with props but I'm starting to enjoy adding little accessories. I do a lot of food photos and like to include contrasting napkins diagonally across, it helps the picture to pop and the camera balances the colours of the food better!
    www.lovedbylaura.com

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  2. So useful. I will retweet via Twitter!

    Mrsinlondon.co.uk

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  3. LOVE this post!! Thank you so much for these tips. I have no imagination when it comes to taking pics for my blog, but you have given me so many ideas. Thank you!! xx

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  4. These are some really good tips! I'm useless at photography and have only just started trying to put pictures in all of my posts. I find it difficult to do though if you write general lifestyle and there are no pictures for the topic, but I feel like I might start trying to take artsy photos outdoors to use as a generic lifestyle photo.

    I think I will have to steal the idea of using different fabrics and flowers though as those photos did seem to stand out just that little bit more. Plus it means all my flower hair accessories can have a dual purpose!

    Lauren :) x
    http://mylavendertintedworld.blogspot.co.uk

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  5. Love these tips Carolin :) I use them all too, especially the white board / space it's perfect for reflection like you've mentioned and it's good to sort of use props such as flowers or even props like candles / perfumes too !!!

    Serene xoxox

    http://www.imserenel.wordpress.com

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  6. You're welcome sweetie I think props individualise a backdrop :) xoxo

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  7. These are great tips! I've often wondered how to get better pictures without splashing out, I never thought about the different ways of reflecting light with white! I love the branch lights you have, I might have to invest in some!

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  8. The whiteboard is for SURE a must. It helps that you can get it at the dollar tree, too. Great post! (Found you via twitter)


    -Anastasia Ivy || http://www.ivyoverjoyed.com

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  9. Great post!
    I'm not a great fan of white backgrounds, I like some colour in my pictures, but it's difficult to be creative all the time. So I like your tip with the scarf! :)

    x
    Joy
    Burnorbuythatbook.com

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  10. I usually use plants and a old looking table!

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  11. Or some cup of tea, as I usually take photos of books :)

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  12. Thanks I needed this!! Love some inspo xox

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  13. Great tips! I struggle with photos. Never been comfortable having my pic taken and now it seems the reverse is true also! Lol

    Bex x

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  14. Thanks so much for these tips, I have been struggling in this dark season and live in a dark house so my pictures don't come out great! It just so happens that my husband has just completed our kitchen and has a spare white IKEA cupboard door. HURRAH! Love K x

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  15. Thanks! These are really helpful tips :) this got me really excited for getting a little box of blog photography things together to jazz up my blog. x

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  16. The white board is such a great idea! I never thought of that. Given that I've never had a white piece of furniture, I think this is would make a great addition to my photography kit as sometimes I feel like the wooden backgrounds are a bit distracting.

    Personally, my favorite "prop" is Penny. She just takes every picture to the next level.

    Hope you've enjoyed your weekend Gorgeous!!

    xoxo
    Jessica

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  17. Love this post! Very helpful :) I definitely agree with all your tips. I tend to photograph now using natural sun light but whenever I need to do night shots, with flash or external light, I use tracing paper, as it defuses the light and looks more natural. But I think good lighting, a descent camera and a simple background (without too many items) are essential for a good photo. I love the one you took of the book, by the way. :) xx

    Renata | Speaking Beauty UK

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  18. All of these tips are very helpful. I completely agree with the white board for clean surface photos and I also love to position flowers and such in the background to provide something interesting to a blog post. Also, what programme do you use to place writing over photos (as seen in the last photo of this post)? :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice

    x

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  19. thanks for these tips these are so useful especially using white cardboard and wallpaper - would have never of thought of it!

    Thanks for sharing xxx

    Yas

    www.yasbeyou.com

    Xx

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  20. Hi Laura - I am just starting out and found this post on bloglovin' and it's so useful. When I was toying with the idea of starting a blog I was worried I would have to spend loads of money to be able to make attractive looking pics, but following you're advice I've had a rummage around the home and found some great stuff I can work with - thanks for the advice :) xxxx

    http://harrietvictoria.com

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  21. Excellent tips. I need to get some white board and fairy lights.

    www.lookwhatigot.co.uk

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  22. Great tips. It does really make all the difference when you create a bit of a setting for tour photos. :)

    Samio
    www.samio.co.uk

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  23. Really useful - thank you. I'm trying to improve my photography at the moment as it makes such a difference to a blog post, doesn't it?

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  24. I liked this post! I'm going to go buy myself some flowers now :) Haha

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  25. Thanks Caz these are awesome tips! I like the inexpensive white cardboard idea.

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  26. these tip would really help me improve my pics too thanks for sharing with us
    glamorous-guilt.blogspot.com

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