Blogging Tips | How to take good photos without a DSLR

Disclaimer - I don't think my photos are that great and definitely trying to improve on them. But I was having a chat with the girls over on twitter when I came to conclusion that there isn't enough help for people who want to take good photos but don't necessarily have the equipment or DSLR Camera. I definitely think my photos could be better but I've picked up a few tips along the way which have really improved the quality of my photos.

I have a Nikon Bridge camera - a  Nikon Coolpix L340 (here) to be precise. Which I really like and find it simple to use and has some settings that really help improve the picture quality. I hear lots of bloggers say that you don't need a fancy camera to take good pictures and some people are probably thinking 'well why do you all have one'. But I think it's natural to want to grow and improve. When I started blogging I used my iPhone and at the time this was fine for my abilities and knowledge. I also know some people that take amazing photos on their iPhones! So today I wanted to share some tips on how to take good photos without a DSLR...

1. Good Lighting.

Lighting makes all the difference to photos. If you have good natural light the pictures instantly look better. Dull, dark photos make it difficult to see the products. The best place to take photos is by a window or wherever the natural light is coming from. The time of day can be important too. Photos that are taken early in the morning may have a blue, cool cast to them. I just tend to avoid taking pictures at this time, but you can warm up or cool the overall tone of pictures when editing them. we all know that weather can be un cooperative too, especially in the UK! So my sister kindly brought me a soft box for christmas (here)  and this really made my life easier. It's not as good as natural light but it means I can take pictures when I want, regardless of the weather. Also when natural lighting is sparse I always avoid the flash on my camera and my phone. It just makes my pictures look rubbish - I'm not too sure why but it just does.

2. Using a phone.

When I first started blogging I used my iPhone 6. But my top tip with this is to focus the camera. This instantly adds light to the products you want to take photos off.

3. Experiment.

Experiment with settings that you might have on a phone or current camera. On my camera you can up the exposure settings. Which 9 times out of 10 I do, it makes the picture a lot brighter. But be careful with exposure settings because this can make photos look washed out. My camera also has ISO settings but I don't tend to use this because it makes my pictures look grainy, almost blury - I think this is down to the actual quality of the camera though. So just play around with the settings, see what works best.

Experiment with different set ups too - finding where the best lighting is. And also with different backgrounds. Having a bright background will make products stand out, particularly with White and marble. Although a marble background is not essential.

4. Editing.

I think if you want to take decent photos without a flashy camera editing is so important. You adjust most things to make the photo look a little better. I use Pic Monkey to edit all my photos. It has a whole range of options to adjust and alter the photo. I tend to use Curves which basically alters the overall tone of the photo. You can really brighten the whole photo with Curves. I tend to up the contrast a bit too. This makes whatever is in the picture stand out a bit. And finally I tend to sharpen it to around 10, I don't like to sharpen the picture too much or it appears grainy.

I have a very limited knowledge on photography and cameras but I've picked up a few tips along the way and I see a huge difference in the quality of my photos from when I started blogging. So I hope some of you found this helpful.

What are your tips for taking great photos?

Until next time...

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