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 make 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 set when I'm shooting. If you haven't got any of these by hand then 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 LEDHutHut 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 has 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 wallpaper, fabrics or scarfs. As long as the surface is smooth you'll be fine. Cole&Son are my favourite wallpaper brand, but I haven't got £100 to spend 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 wallpaper 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 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 emphasises 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 on 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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