07.16.12

SECRET INGREDIENTS

we all want to have cool photos on our blogs, but not all of us are professional photographers which makes things difficult. what I try to do is make the best of what I have and enjoy the learning process along the way.


if I am going to shoot a still life by myself, i always try to shoot in natural light (in the morning or around 4pm – the sun is too bright in the afternoon) i’m the first one to admit that lighting is very tricky, so I stick to what I know and shoot by the window.


always over shoot. you want your post to have LOTS of different angles to avoid redundancy. get close, stand up on the table to get far away, shoot as many angles and details as you can so you have options.

the worst thing is when you spend hours on a shoot and realize you needed a couple more shots and have to set it all up again. so shoot like crazy.

there will always be little mistakes. if you are a perfectionist like me, you can handle these later in photoshop. efficiency is key as a blogger, so I always shoot it and touch it up later.

you should be willing to get messy, and spend a few hours out of your weekend in order to provide content to your readers that you are proud of! this usually means that my living room or my studio is a mess, but luckily that’s not the part you usually see in the photos. pick a spot you feel comfortable shooting in and experiment! that final shot should make it all worth it!

this post is in partnership with smartwater! smartwater, simplicity is delicious. click here to learn more.

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  • 1. Lottie Really Loves  |  July 16th, 2012 at 8:17 am

    these are really good tips and ones that i use a lot and it always makes me laugh that a lot of my photos are in the same place as the rest of my house looks like a bombsite :)

  • 2. Lottie  |  July 16th, 2012 at 8:18 am

    these are really good tips and ones that i use a lot and it always makes me laugh that a lot of my photos are in the same place as the rest of my house looks like a bombsite :)

    sorry to repeat forgot to update my links.

  • 3. Alison  |  July 16th, 2012 at 9:22 am

    I completely agree that you need to overshoot and that pictures take time especially when you aren’t a professional photographer but want your pictures to look well done. I always regret when I only get a few pics and end up wanting or needing more!

  • 4. Dana McDowell  |  July 16th, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Bree, any suggestions when sunlight is a luxury?? It’s been overcast for weeks now in Anchorage.

  • 5. Dana McDowell  |  July 16th, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Bri* durr

  • 6. susieQ  |  July 16th, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Thanks so much for the tips Bri! You are such an inspiration :)

  • 7. stephanie  |  July 16th, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Great post Bri! Thanks for sharing. You are right, natural light is the best when you don’t have all the fancy equipment of a photo studio! It also highlights the hard work it takes to publish a blog with fresh content like yours!

  • 8. Samantha Penner  |  July 16th, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Loving your tips! I try my best to shoot good photos, but admittedly I am an amateur. Thanks for sharing with us!

  • 9. Dear Demoiselle  |  July 16th, 2012 at 10:53 am

    This is a great article – I always overshoot, but I hadn’t really thought about shooting from every angle. I guess I’ll be over-overshooting then =D I also have the same problem as Dana; I live in the western part of Norway, and great natural light is mostly available in summer – and only when the sun decides to grace us with a visit…

  • 10. Juliette Gold  |  July 16th, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Wow, these tips are great! Thank you so much for posting them.
    Do you know of any good photography resources for beginners?

  • 11. Carrie @DreamGreenDIY  |  July 16th, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Fabulous tips! Thanks for sharing!!

  • 12. Cori Magee  |  July 16th, 2012 at 11:18 am

    GREAT tips, thanks!

  • 13. Anna  |  July 16th, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Love the colorful clothes hangers! I have a question, though. I overshoot too, completely. But do you keep ALL the photos you take, only the ones you use, or some selection in between? I’m worried about running out of storage space because of all the pics. Thanks!

  • 14. Sarah  |  July 16th, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Thank you for the tips. i find that I easily get frustrated when shooting, because I never knew quite what worked. I will definitely try the natural light and make sure to take more than I think necessary.

  • 15. Krystal Schlegel  |  July 16th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  • 16. Emily Reinhardt  |  July 16th, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    excellent advice! Thanks for sharing!

  • 17. Steph  |  July 16th, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    thanks for sharing xxx

  • 18. Jaclyn  |  July 16th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Great tips! I’ve learned to take so many photos in order to find the 4 or 5 I need for my post. Lately I’ve even began cooking with my camera propped closely on the counter or around my neck…being careful of stray flour and sugar of course :)

  • 19. Jessica McSweeney  |  July 16th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Shooting by the window is my saving grace! Someday I think I might invest in some lighting equipment (and by someday I mean some day very far away!), but until then natural light is my BFF! Thanks for sharing your tricks!

  • 20. Megan  |  July 16th, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Great post Bri. Lighting is SO key, I’m learning that lately! Which is hard when you are impatient like me!

  • 21. Dave  |  July 16th, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Seriously killer post; great thoughts and ideas that you make easy to execute. Nicely done.

  • 22. Barbara  |  July 17th, 2012 at 3:18 am

    Nice tips. I also like to play with position and background when I make photos for my blog. Taking nice pics always takes more time than peaople might think…

  • 23. Robin @ Red Line Vintage  |  July 17th, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Excellent advice, especially about making a mess. After I’m done with a shoot, it looks like a hurricane came through my house. And let me tell you (as if you don’t already know!) it takes a lot more time to clean up the mess than it did to make it!

  • 24. isa  |  July 17th, 2012 at 11:28 am

    wuaow! love it, thanks for the advice! you are super!

  • 25. look see  |  July 17th, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Great tips! :)

  • 26. alex  |  July 21st, 2012 at 10:00 am

    these pictures are awesome! i LOVE that table!!!!!

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    As a graphic designer I know what a good photo looks like, but when I started blogging I couldn’t necessarily take one! I have way more confidence in taking pictures now, and these are all great tips!

  • 29. Jennifer M.  |  August 8th, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Excellent tips! I love it! :)

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