Good photography will make or break your craft blog. In fact, content that incorporates relevant photos gets 94% more views that content that doesn’t. But getting good photography doesn’t have to break the bank.
Many bloggers believe they need a high-quality camera and tons of other fancy equipment to take and publish great imagery on their blog posts. But having an expensive camera and equipment doesn’t always mean you’ll take great photos.
If your budget is tight, or you just can’t bring yourself to purchase hundreds of dollars worth of photography equipment, have you ever thought about DIY-ing instead of buying? It’s really not as hard as some think—and best of all, you still get high-end imagery and only have to spend a fraction of the cost.
What You Need
Every crafter needs supplies, i.e. an X-Acto knife, yarn, glue gun, craft ruler, etc. And every craft blogger also needs the right gear to take great shots of their finished products. But unlike professional photographers, the list of what you need is a lot shorter and more cost-effective.
- Smartphone—Today’s technology is so advanced that most smartphones provide you with a more convenient, high-quality DSLR alternative. Using your fit-in-your-pocket sidekick is also the more user-friendly and budget-friendly option.
- Tripod—No matter how steady your surgeon-like hands are, they’re not as steady as a tripod. For the sharpest focus, use a small tripod or stand.
- Table—Craft table, folding table, kitchen table; whatever table you craft on, clear it off and use it to snap pictures of your latest DIY bracelet or home decor piece.
- Backdrop—A white or light grey backdrop gives your crafts a nice clean and consistent look, but a colored backdrop can also be used if it enhances, but doesn’t distract, from your craft. Also, make sure your backdrop is behind and underneath your object(s).
- Lighting—The right lighting highlights your subject and turns an ordinary craft into an extraordinary one. Shoot in a room with large windows to take advantage of natural light, or when natural light isn’t available, use a large lamp or a photography light box.
Blog Photography Tips
Once you have your craft, smartphone, the right lighting and your few other accessories, it’s time to take some pictures. But before you start snapping away, keep these few tips in mind to capture the best blogger photography.
- Turn off your flash—The flash on your phone’s camera is one of the most unflattering blog photography lighting options. Natural, soft light is best.
- Use the rule of thirds—Don’t place every craft in the center of every photo; that’s boring. Having your craft slightly to the left or right of your photo makes your photos more interesting and dynamic. Turn on your camera’s grid lines to get your craft perfectly positioned.
- Know your smartphone’s camera settings—Don’t rely on the default auto mode. Adjust your phone’s settings to set the focus, exposure, white balance and ISO to what you want.
- Get a photo editing app—You can only control so much when you take a photo. Let a photo editing app help enhance and touch up your photos as needed. Use this list to find out which app is best for you.
- Take vertical shots—If you’re throwing your DIY crafts on Pinterest, then you want to take vertical shots. These are the best for this image-sharing social platform.
Good photography is the most important part of showing off (and possibly selling) your crafts on your blog. But you don’t need to be a college photography major or have a bag full of expensive equipment to make your images look good. You can be what you are, a craft blogger, and use what you already have and are on every day, your smartphone.