Day 8: 7 Tips To Make Your Blog Photos Look Better (EDITED) - 25 Days To A Better Beauty and Fashion Blog Challenge #SBBC / by Erin Baynham

This post is part of the Scandalous Beauty 25 Days To A Better Beauty And Fashion Blog Challenge! For even more tips, be sure to check out Erin's Guide to Better Beauty Blogging. Here's the part that makes most fashion and beauty blogs stand out: your images. I'm no photographer by a long shot. I do love looking at super crisp, clean images, so I decided to step my photo game up. Again, I'm no photgrapher, and I'm not trying to play photographer!  I bought a Canon DSLR last year, and it's the love of my life. However, the Iphone 4 that I bought a few months ago gives me really great HD pictures too. My Point & Shoot worked really well too. Use whatever you have, and try some of these simple tips. For more in-depth advice, search some photography blogs and definitely google your questions!

1. Make images big enough so we can see them! Any images under 300 px is pretty bland. Think about it. You want to show your  readers and image, and really get a grasp for the product without using the product. I would say that 500px is a really good width. I make mine at least 600.

2. Edit your photos. There is some basic editing that can be done that can make your images look 5x better. Play around with contrast, exposure, brightness, etc. I almost always auto-color and auto-tone my pictures in photoshop. If you're looking for a great free editor, try Picnik. They even have a premium service for $25 a year that has touch-up features as well as a slew of other options. Still cheaper than Photoshop, which I use on my Desktop Computer.

Picnik Photo Editor

3. Use natural light. Not only is it the cheapest light, it's the best light. I've bought bulbs that are supposed to mimic daylight. I take 95% of my pictures in my dining room with the large sunny windows or outside. I know that this can be really hard for some of us who get home and it's dark outside. The weekends are my prime photo time.

Example of an Image in Direct Sunlight-Scandalous Beauty Blog Challenge

Example of an Image in Not in Direct Sunlight-Scandalous Beauty Blog Challenge

Both of these images haven't been cropped, color corrected or anything else. While I love the 'bite' that's in the direct light picture, it's so much light! There are shadows and it's a bit uneven. But the colors have lots of definition, and it looks great! The picture below it, when color corrected, becomes brighter, and looks more natural.

To see the final edits of these images, here's the post on Wet 'N Wild Vanity Palette.

4. Turn the flash off. Never use it. The image just looks bad. Follow tip #3.

Example of an Image with the Flash On-Scandalous Beauty Blog ChallengeCan you see how washed out and yellow this looks? Flash just really makes things boring. I know that sometimes you just have to do it, and your readers won't hate you for it! All I'm saying is images look better....much better...without it.

Example of an Image with the Flash Off-Scandalous Beauty Blog ChallengeNo flash, out of direct sunlight. Even light.

5. Use props. Some people take pictures of products beside magazines, over fabric, beside cell phones. It gives the pictures personality. I prefer to shoot on white fabric.

6. If you don't use props, try using a super clean white background. When shooting products, outfits, etc. keep the emphasis on the color, texture and quality of what you are shooting. For the most professional look, use a light box for shooting products. You can find some for sale, as well as DIY via search engine.

7. Try and try again. I take 15 pictures to get one good one. I experiment with natural and artificial light, props, fabrics, positions.

Assignment: Do your images need a little pick me up? If so, play around with your camera and try out a few of these tips.