A question I get asked quite frequently by friends and fellow bloggers is what camera I use to take my Instagram and blog pictures, and how I style my photos, so I’ve been wanting to put this post together for a while.
Before I started up The Raven Rose I began researching cameras as I wanted to make sure I had really strong imagery to accompany my blog posts. I quickly realised I wasn’t in a position to spend the kind of money you need to for a good camera or tonnes of props and backdrops, so I started coming up with ideas to get around this issue.
I’m no expert of course, but I hope the below photography tips can be of use to anyone looking to set up a blog on a budget.
Problem 1 – I can’t justify buying a professional camera, but I’m not sure my phone will do the job.
A lot of people are surprised to hear that all of the images on my blog and Instagram are taken on an iPhone 6S and an iPhone 8 – I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to create so far using just my phone. Although the iPhone does a lot of the work for you, there are other tips and tricks you can employ to take your images to the next level.
I’ve tried a number of photo editing apps, but always come back to the editing section on Instagram. I never use filters, and instead use the editing section to adjust brightness and contrast. A little playing around can take a picture from dark to sharp and bright in under a minute.
Before you spend a huge chunk of money on a new camera, see what you can do with your phone first. There’s plenty of tutorials online to help you make the most out of the apps at your disposal.
Problem 2 – I want to achieve professional-looking flatlays but don’t have a nice table/backdrop at home.
This was one of the main issues I had. I live in a one bed city centre apartment, with a very small dining table, so the perfect surface for flatlays wasn’t readily available.
I decided I wanted a natural wooden table top to take pictures on to ensure I had consistency across my images, but table tops are expensive and heavy! Then one day I was in Wilkinsons getting the essentials (Pick ‘n’ Mix), when I happened to stroll past the wallpaper section.
There was a roll of white/grey washed wood-effect wallpaper for just £10 and I knew it would be perfect straight away. So there you have it – the ‘table’ that appears on my blog is actually the wallpaper! I opted for the Fresco Wallpaper Wood Panel Neutral (available in store or online here), but there’s loads of other styles to choose from – take a look on the website or get yourself out to some home improvements stores.
I got the one Fresco roll back in September and it’s still going strong now. I use the same patch until it becomes stained or creased, cut it off, recycle it, and then use a fresh piece. I set up my flatlays in front of the door to our balcony, which gets loads of natural light, and then all I need is my iPhone and a steady hand!