Whoa. That last week went by like a whirlwind. I’m getting busier and things are getting more challenging for me now that Krista has started on solids and is getting to be more active. She’ll be crawling in no time, I can see! I’ve been more active at gatherings and teaching stints lately, hence, the pause on the blog. Every time I try to complete a blog post, there’s the baby to care for, a work project to finish, a meal to prepare — aaaaah!!! I’ve had to turn down so many invitations to be at this blogger gathering or that special event for moms. Mind you, these are events that I would happily join (as in, I like the brands, the people organizing, etc.). (So you can imagine how many other invitations I turn down that aren’t up my alley. I know, a lot!)
But last July 18, I made time for a special event with Fuji Film Philippines. This was because it was a blissful gathering of people I invited: blog coaching clients, fellow Make it Blissful contributors and collaborators, and friends. What made things even better was that Fuji let my guests try the lovely X-A2 lifestyle camera, while I talked about blogging and photography.
I shared five tips that afternoon on how blogging and photography could be a winning combination.
(OK, the baby woke up after I’d written the second paragraph here — I’ll be back later to finish up!)
OK, I’m back. Before anything, I should tell you that the photos I’m using of the event were by my friend and collaborator, Audrey of Cheerful Journey. (Thanks, Auds!) Here are some photos of the session and our lovely venue, J’s Cuppacakes in SM Jazz. (Isn’t it dainty?)
So I’ll jump right into those tips, OK? I used the Fuji X-A2 mirrorless camera for the shots below. It’s one of the handiest cams I’ve ever used, and I’m so tempted to buy one, haha! But for now, I’m giving it a spin, thanks to Fuji!
1. Use a natural light source.
There is no better light source for your photos than natural light. It just makes all the colors and features of a photo more clear and crisp. At home, we don’t have many windows, but I still manage to take photos using natural light, like the photo of this product from philosophy. It helps to have a surface for taking your photos, too, like in my case, a plain white tabletop, a.k.a, my dining room table.
On some occasions, I also go out on our apartment balcony and take photos there. I usually do this in the afternoon, when the sun is on the other side of our building, and the light is diffused. Here’s my Elin succulent taken at 4PM. See how it looks so much clearer?
2. Brand your photos.
What does this mean? Well, it’s straightforward: Let your photos express your blog’s brand. If you are a mommy blogger, then take well-lit shots of your life as a mom, from the situations you capture to the products you use. If you are a travel blogger, create a shot list of essential photos you need to take for the blog, e.g. establishing shots (wide, overview shots of a setting or location); details; culture; man-on-the-street, and so on. Consistency in your photos will help strengthen your overall brand as a blogger.
3.For product photos: Tell a story.
As a blogger, I receive lots of products. These are mostly given to me with no expectation of a feature or review, but if I do like a product, I will do a simple feature on it, most of the time on Instagram these days (though I did revive my “Blissful Finds” feature recently). When featuring products — something that all bloggers do, at some point — it’s a good practice to involve readers in a story about the product, through a contextual photo.
Take this favorite pot of mine from Craftsmith:
I sometimes see bloggers take photos of the products they receive still in its packaging. Others take the products out of the packaging and snap a photo of it. I prefer (and advise) that products be styled as they would be used in your home or wherever. This makes for more professional looking photos, such as the one above. I didn’t just showcase the pot, but I showed you how I use it in my home. (I use it to keep ribbons and my tailoring shears.)
4. Take more shots than you need.
I remember the days when I only had 36 shots in my SLR. (Yes, that’s because I learned photography in 1993!!!) I would think twice or thrice before taking a shot, because I knew I wouldn’t have the luxury of another roll of film all the time. These days, with cameras and SD cards and mahoosive storage options, we have more to work with, which means more opportunities to take the perfect shot. When shooting your subjects, take as many photos as you can on a particular setting, then experiment on others. Trust me, it’s better if you have more shots to edit (and delete!) than too few to work with.
This tip is especially useful if you are taking photos of children and babies. Since my kids refuse to keep still, I keep on taking and taking shots until I chance upon a few gems that are good enough for printing (like the one above of Vito and this one below of Krista).
5. Complement your blog with social media postings of your photos.
The photos on your blog should ideally not be the same photos you post on, say, your Instagram feed. Try as much as you can to use different pictures for each platform, so that you can give your audience a variety of photos and storylines. Your blog should ideally have the best photos, especially if you are featuring a gathering or event, or doing a comprehensive feature like a step-by-step tutorial, a recipe post, or a product feature.
On your Facebook channel, for example: Use a photo from the set you’ve featured on a blog post to “tease” your readers to click onto the blog to see the rest of the set (and of course, read the blog post featuring that photo). On Instagram, take photos in another context, say, as a behind the scenes aspect of the blog post, e.g. your workspace, a flatlay of products you’re featuring, a snippet of a gathering or event you attended.
I hope you enjoyed these tips — it’s like you were there at the Fuji Film event, haha! Maybe I should hold another one, yes? If so, would you attend? What else would you like to learn about blogging and photography? Tell me about it in the comments, would ya? Check out the hashtag #MakeitBlissfulwithFujiFilmPH to see other photos of that afternoon, uploaded to Instagram. You can also read the blog posts of those who attended, here: Audrey’s Post | Maricel’s Post