Upgrade Your Photography Game

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Taking snaps of anything and errythang is one of my fave hobbies. Which is lucky seeing as it pretty much takes up my entire life, hullo all time basic-blogger-instagram-snapchat lass. 

I am no profesh photographer, I just really love capturing little snippets of life, food (mostly food) and people. Having photos to look back on has always been something that I have cherished, one of the many reasons I am so fond of this little plot of internet.

When it comes to blogging, decent photography is the one. Nicely shot, crisp and beautiful images make the world of difference. A few (very kind) folks have asked me for tips so thought I’d round up a few nuggets of shutterbug wisdom to share with you!

Before I start, don’t worry about what camera you use. Ain’t gon’ lie, some of my fave photos have come from my phone camera, of course a jazzy new snapper would be amaze (how U doooin’ Olympus PEN) but I just don’t have the pennies, so we gotta make do. Enjoy!

1.

LIGHTING

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Having aaall the natural daylight flooding in is the dream when taking snaps. It gives your images beautiful clarity, highlighting the natural colours and just generally sits much nicer on any blog / Insta grid.

For foodie photos especially, I push my kitchen table right over to my window to get as much light in as possible. The kitchen looks h e c t i c when I am getting my shots, but it is so worth it. Find all the places around your house with the most light, grab ya tables / chairs / ironing boards and whatever props you need to soak all the light into your images.

If you are shooting on out and about, try to find that light that doesn’t bleach ya out (peak midday sunlight) or create odd shadows (grim over cast grey days). My favourite kinda outdoor light is golden hour, that small window of time where the light is that soft burnt orange, making you feel *a bit* like a goddess.

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When it comes to selfies (usually only for Instagram purposes) I stand in front of my curtain, if someone strolled on into my room at this moment, they would think that I have gone mad (I have) but the lighting is so SO good.

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lol, what is my life?

2.

EXPERIMENT WITH BACKGROUNDS

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This goes hand in hand with lighting. Having a corker of a background really helps compliment the light and object you are shooting. You also have more freedom to be experimental with your colours, this can also be a great and cheap way to stick to your colour theme if you have one!

I like to use wrapping paper as backgrounds, there are always so many lovely options that can slot right into what kinda thing you want to shoot. I would recommend nipping over to Kikki.K (all time fave) or Paperchase and grab a few different options.

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You will probs also see a plain white tea towel in a lot of my shots, it helps create consistency and is a really quick way of making a brighter, clearer image. It was only a couple of squid from Saino’s, I would definitely recommend!

I know of others who buy an array of different backgrounds from hardware stores. I haven’t actually got round to this yet, one of these weekends! These usually give the impression that all bloggers have marble work surfaces, it is all an illusion (but a pretty one so it’s ok).

3.

TAKE YOUR TIME

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There is no need to rush blog snaps, or any snaps for that matter! I used to rush them either because I felt bad for hungry people waiting at the dinner table, or was feeling impatient, then not have the outcome I wanted, by that time the dee-lish food is long gone, or the moment has passed.

I have learnt over time that it is much better to stop, relax and make sure you get all the images just the way you would like. Adjusting and re-shooting as you go along, nothing is perfect first time, don’t let people rush you either (I know this far too well especially restaurants) you will thank yourself later!

4.

BE CONFIDENT

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This one is much easier said than done, I still massively struggle with it!

One of the many joys of blogging is having to get decent images of yourself which ain’t selfies. This is where the #InstagramHusband comes out to play.

It is quite hilarious really, for example the below picture. We strolled up and down the beach finding a spot I was happy with, I am pretty sure he was almost dying with embarrassment taking pictures of me in ma bikini. Try your best to not worry of what others think. They probably ain’t even batted an eyelid, but even if they did – who currrs?

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It is funny chatting to fellow bloggers about this exact situation, sorry naaat sorry!

My snaps are usually taken by Matt, bloggy friends and my brother Oscar. Who FYI is the bomb.com, you should check him out.

5.

S’ALL ABOUT LOCATION

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Location is such a game changer but does require some effort and planning (especially when it looks so casual in your pictures) oh haiii I’m just chillin’ here in the parc with my Starbs, or the classic lurk around lush houses in Notting Hill, bloggers lavvv it.

It is pretty fun planning shots, I love getting mi creative juices flowing and feeling proud of a blog post. Considering a location that will compliment your blog makes such a huge difference. It doesn’t have to be all fancy pants, sometimes I just stroll around Tooting with my bro and take pictures in front of walls. Yup, sounds crazy but looks pretty decent and always looks great on the ole blawg.

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What are your top photography tips, I wanna hear ’em!

Ix

As always, feel free to come and say ‘ello over on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin and Snapchat (immymay)

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  • I’ve always thought your selfies against the curtain were against bedsheets! I love seeing a little insight into how people get their blog and instagram pics. I need to go out and getting a few background things for instagram – some wrapping paper would be fab.
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

    • Haha! It’s all an illusion! Does work a treat though. Yes me too, I love a few tips. Wrapping paper is so good, I don’t do much beauty but I can imagine it would work really well for that with swatches etc. Thank you for stopping by! Immy x

  • Aww thanks for the tips :) nice and prompt after I bugged you for them ahaha. My main problem is that the people I spend all my time with don’t see blog photography as a worthwhile thing and they all rush me and refuse to take pics of me for the blog (SO ANNOYING. I need new friends. Ok it’s mainly my boyfriend who is wonderful in every other way except this.)
    The colours in your photos always look so beautiful and sharp, mine always look a bit meh. Haha :) what do you use to edit? xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua : Food | Travel | Italy

    • My pleasure Lucy! :) oh I KNOW I have the same struggle, I didn’t want to mention this too much in the blog post as I think he does try and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings! He does get really frustrated and impatient when I want to spend a bit longer taking the right shots, for instance most of the above haha. I am still trying to find a way round this, it can be so annoying and awkward! However, as he has started to get a bit more used to taking the photos he is feeling more relaxed. If you are ever in London and need some shots, feel free to hit me up – I will be more than happy to take your pictures! I just use the editing software already on my MacBook Pro – basic I know! On my phone for Instagram shots I use Snapseed, I have just discovered it and it is bloomin amazing! Immy x

  • Ellen Warner

    Thank you for the tips. I’m fairly new to the blogging life so I need all the help I can get. You look stunning in your photos! xo

    https://57-days.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/22-reasons-to-thank-my-friends.html

    • Oooh thank you Ellen! Welcome to the world of blogging, you will be bladdy awesome! Will check out your blog :) thank you for the love, it made my day! Immy x

  • Oh my gosh i thought those were stock images! Incredible- I’ll definitely be taking your advice! x

    Claudia // Lipstick Theory // Lifestyle Blog

    • Haha! Hmmmmm maybe i should start selling em’! Ah thank you so much Claudia :) hopefully they will help! Immy x

  • Your photography is great! These are definitely tips worth listening to :)

    Sophie – eselle x

    • Ah thank you so much Sophie, that means a lot :) I hope they help a gal out – although your photography is beaut aready! Immy x

      http://www.immymay.com

  • Terri
  • LOVE. THIS. POST.
    And LOL to hashtag instagram husband.
    Seriously though, why have I never thought of using wrapping paper, you’re a bloody genius. I’m constantly despairing at my lack of white surfaces…wrapping paper. Why did I not think of this.
    Life = changed.
    Betty x

    The Betty Stamp

    • Whyyyy thank you Betty! I know haha, he lavs it >:) I know, I didn’t think of it for ages until I was in IKEA and saw a huge roll of white paper, so handy and disposable! Glad to be of service! Immy x

  • This is so hilarious because it is all true!!!!! hahahaha I love it. We’ve all been there, quite a few times before ;)

    Megan
    Denton & Lou

    • Literally! Just makes me lol. But we are all in the same boat! teehee Immy x

  • The first picture is just..you know..breathtaking and you extremely beautiful!

    Hugs from Alexandra ~ Impavid Blog

    • Ahhh that is so lovely! :) I knoooow, the doughnuts are just summin’ else, I could eat them all right now! Thank you for stopping by! Immy x

  • Amazing pictures sweet!!
    a life of a charlotte
    x

    • Thank you Charlotte! :) Immy x

  • The Sunday Mode

    Loved reading this and I agree with everything you said. Lighting especially is such a game changer!

    http://www.thesundaymode.com

    • Thank you so much Julia :) It definitely is, the weather has been so rubbish and grey in London recently, blog snaps have definitely suffered haha! Immy x

  • Hayley Rubery

    I loveeeeee this post girl! Lighting is always SO important – you look so darn beautiful (and happy!) in all the snaps too!

    Hayley xo
    http://www.frockmeimfamous.com

  • Emily Denise

    These are awesome shots and tips! I love your writing style, too – You kept me laughing throughout the entire post! Also what you said about the food shots at restaurants is so true! I love to shoot still life but my images turn out so much better when I have time to create the perfect composition at home instead of trying to rush because people are ready to eat, the waiter is checking in, or people are staring at me taking 5,000 photos of my dinner, etc. Haha #BloggerLife is no joke, am I right?!

    Emily | Epicurean Emily

    • Aaaah what a lovely comment Emily :) Truuuuuuuuuuust me, it is such a tough one haha! The worst is when I actually stand up in a restaurant to take the perf #flatlay kinda shot LOL, I look like a complete weirdo but the shots always come out well so it is worth it, even if my boyf is crying with embarrassment teehee. Immy x