Throughout January we will be running our 31 Day Blog Challenge: 31 days to clean up, grow and improve your blog. What better time than the start of a new year to get things sorted and ready to go for a brand new year of blogging?
We'll be sharing 31 tips, ideas, and strategies for you to get things in order and make blogging easier. This is Day 22.
Last week we urged you to take a second look at your blog and your photos. Did you see a pattern?
It can be so easy, especially when we're in a hurry to get a post up, to stick with what we know and what's been tried and true for us.
We hear a lot about developing our own photography style but, don't confuse style with... well... being in a rut. Being in a rut happens when you don't challenge yourself or try anything new.
Photography has trends - just like fashion, television shows and the like. For a long time it was high key (over exposed) light, airy images. And then, just like that, we all went dark and moody. (bur recently, light and bright is creeping back in!)
For a while we all shot food at a bit of an angle. And then the trend went to shooting directly overhead.
Landscape oriented photos dominated for ages. And then Pinterest boomed and we all started shooting in portrait - and started leaving empty space for text!
Understanding photography trends is important if you're trying to land photography work. You need to know what art directors and editors are looking for. But we have a little more room for experimentation on our own blogs.
The Photography Basics You Need To Get Right Every Time
There's a few basics you need to get right with every photo:
- if you're a food blog, you've got to make sure the food is in focus
- make sure your scene is well lit
- if you're shooting with indoor light, adjust your camera's white balance to tungsten or fluorescent
- avoid your on camera flash at all costs - off camera flash is fine if you know how to use it
- make sure the scene is properly exposed
Now You've Got That Down, Mix It Up
If you've got the basics down, give yourself some time to experiment
Photograph at a Different Angle
This is the easiest way to mix it up. If you always shoot overhead, try shooting at an angle or straight on. Or vice versa. If you haven't done this before, it will take some experimentation and practice.
Take The Camera Off of Auto (or Whatever Mode It's Stuck On)
If you are shooting in auto and never take your camera off of that, for heaven's sakes... live a little! Flip that dial to Aperture or Manual or something different. You won't break anything and you don't have to pay for film or developing prints. If you don't like it, delete it and try again. This should not be a scary thing! You're not bungee jumping off a bridge.
And, if you always shoot in Aperture mode, shift to manual for a bit. Try something new. If you don't understand what these mean, we have a post that can help explain.
Move Your Light Source
Most of us have a great window in our house where we photograph our dishes. And 9 times out of 10, the light from that window comes from the side of the image. Try having it come from the back. Or move it to the other side. Backlit images can be striking, especially with food. We had Elaina help us out with understanding natural lighting for home and Sean help us with using natural light in restaurants.
Swap Out Your Usual Setup
Change the scenery. If you always shoot with dark backgrounds and surfaces, lighten up. Or if you're always light and bright, go dark and moody. Ditch the rustic look for something ultra modern. Or, if you're sleek and full of chrome (actually, chrome is a nightmare for photography!), go with an antique look. Get a few new props or dig something out of your mom's kitchen.
Go Short. Or Long.
Try doing some macro shots of your food. Get in close and tight. Or, conversely, go long with a telephoto lens. Swapping those two up can change your depth of field to something really interesting. Switching them up can also take the exact same setup and make it look completely different through the magic of focal lengths and lens distortion.
Check Out Print Magazines
They may seem old school to some but, print magazines usually have beautiful art directions and often still set the food photography trends. Check out Martha Stewart Living (often way ahead of the curve), Bon Apetit, or Saveur. And if you have a Chapters or Indigo near you, check out their magazine section for some of the international magazines - they often have different art direction.
We've given you some suggestions here. But we have even more ideas for inspiration from professional food photographer Jackie Connelly to help you further. Now get out your camera and do something different today!