Killer Blog Photography: 3 Great Tips For Lighting

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Let me start by saying that I know nothing about studio lighting. When I worked as a photo stylist, I would set up the pretty pictures and sit idly by, filing my nails and smacking my gum as the photographers worked their magic.

Still, I can tell a beautifully lit photo from a poorly lit photo, and lighting just always needs to be good if you’re a blogger. We all know that your post will get many more eyeballs on it if you have a lovely image to highlight your words. If you’re blogging a tutorial, it’s doubly important to have clear, well-lit photos so people can freaking see what you’re showing them how to do, already.

I ALWAYS use natural light in my photos. I don’t have a ton of tips, but these three I use religiously.

Tips for taking awesome blog photos

1. Shoot in daylight. Always. Nothing ever, ever, ever looks as good as photos shot in daylight. Professional photographers who have been in the business for decades struggle with making fake lighting look natural, so we bloggers don’t stand a chance.

Do you see in the photo below, how the little pumpkin next to the light looks gorgeous and beautiful and lovely, while the pathetic little pumpkin in the shadow is moping?

Using natural light in photography #photography #bloggingtips

2. Use a bounce card. A bounce card is an industry term for “white piece of foam core.” As its name suggests, the bounce card bounces incoming light back into whatever you are shooting, so the object looks more evenly lit and brighter. If you’re going for dark and moody, you can ditch the bounce card or play around with how its angled to bounce daylight onto a certain area of whatever you are shooting.

using a bounce card in natural light photography - #photography #blogging

You can buy white foam core at any drugstore, craft store, etc. I use the trifold pieces that you buy your kids to make presentations with. I use these and also make my own by taping together 2 pieces of foam core boards like these: Pack of 10 11×14 White Foam Core. It’s good to have some different sizes of these lying around for different shots.

3. Don’t shoot on direct sunlight, and don’t use a flash. You’re doomed with either of these. The light is way too harsh in direct sunlight, and you just don’t get the soft, lovely nuances that you do by shooting in indirect light (inside next to a window, or sometimes outside in the shade or in an overcast day.)

example of flash photo

I have opened the flash on my camera once and that was to to take the horrendous photo you see below. Flash blasts everything interesting out of the photo and will make you stomp your foot in disgust. I know there are some people out there who insist you can tweak the flash and do all sorts of crazy light-bouncing tricks to make the flash look a little better on your subject, but this is far beyond my scope of lighting.

Bonus tip: Play with the white balance setting on your camera. This is something I am still struggling with (getting nice crisp white whites), and you can see in the example below how vastly different 2 different white balance settings look.

white balance comparison photograph #photography #blogging

Craving more photo tips to make your blog the best in the world? Peruse these posts from other Rockin’ Art Moms, and get shooting…

Part 1: Composition Meri Cherry
Part 2: Backdrops Mama Miss
Part 3: Styling Willow Day
Part 4: Lighting Tiny Rotten Peanuts
Part 5: Photo Editing Babble Dabble Do
Part 6: Typography Tips Art Bar Blog

3 simple lighting tips to make your blog photos MUCH better

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6 Comments

  1. 09/24/2014 / 6:56 am

    We just moved, and our new house is turned to face north/south instead of east/west. I’m not sure I’m ever going to figure out the lighting. I’m taking terrible, TERRIBLE pictures. I feel like a new blogger again – yuck!

    • 09/24/2014 / 7:33 pm

      Ya know, I switch between an East-facing window and a South-facing window when I shoot. What if you tracked the windows you DO have available and see what times of day you have the best lighting coming in? Are you using a DSLR? I also find that the type of lens I use (35 mm vs. 50 mm) affects the light settings in my camera, too. It’s all so crazy.

  2. 09/24/2014 / 8:41 pm

    What great tips Jeanette!! Thank you!!

  3. 09/25/2014 / 9:16 am

    I need to get me some foam board. I take pretty much all of my photos outside as my little house has terrible light. Boo. I have never really messed with white balance, might have to be next on my ‘learning how to use my darn camera properly’ list.
    I am off to look at the other posts too, you clever lot, thanks for putting this series together!

  4. 09/27/2014 / 3:51 pm

    You so smart.
    Your blog, by the way, is KILLER.
    Every time I come here, I am like….”wow, and we are friends. I am friends with a famous person”.
    Don’t forget me when you make your first million.
    Unless you already have.
    Then never mind.

    • 09/28/2014 / 3:38 pm

      I am so famous, right? You nerd. But you’re so sweet to write that, and I feel like giving you a big awkward hug right now, but instead I’ll go imagine I’ve made my first million. MMMMMmmmmmmmilllllllion.

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