Put Your Best Blogging Foot Forward with Fabulous Photos

My homemade photo box with all of my equipment.  This includes a box lined with tracing paper, a tripod and clamp light.

If you follow or read any blogs out there on the interwebs, one of the first things that capture attention are the photos.  Great photos are what stop me as I scroll through Pinterest.  Want someone to take a second look at your work?  Feature a great photograph.  While a professional camera does make a difference, good lighting is also a photographer's best friend.  With a few items, you can create professional lighting for your blog and social media outlets.

Build your photo kit with 4 key tools.
  1. Photo app or a great camera.  I don't have the later, but I do use a photo app that works well.
  2. Photo lightbox or photo lighting to take great photos of products that you might be featuring.
  3. Tripod
A professional camera can be expensive.  This is on my wishlist, but I had more pressing expenses for my blog this year.  For now, I use my phone and ProShot.  This app will shoot both photos and videos.  You can also shoot RAW photos that will require a little more editing.  Basically, this app has many more features and tools to get the best lighting and exposure using the camera on your phone.  

One day, I do hope to graduate from my camera phone.  The camera that I am considering is Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera .  This camera comes with a full accessories pack and is at a competitive price with excellent reviews.  Even if you aren't going to buy now, start looking around for cameras and doing your research.  Keep an eye out for sales and deals on a camera that will meet your specific needs.

This year, I made a simple photo box for my products and projects that I feature on my blog.  Since I was doing a fair amount of sewing, I wanted to really feature these products professionally.  I used a copy paper box, Tracing Paper Rolland Woods Clamp Lamp Light .

Setting up to take photographs for an upcoming project.

Cut into your box on the top bottom and two sides.  Measure your rectangle that you will cut along with top and sides leaving approximately 2 inches edge all the way around.  You a cutting windows into the box on three sides.

Next, tape tracing paper over the rectangles you cut.  Tape the tracing paper on the interior of the box.  This will keep the sides of the box from being exposed.

Now, you will create a backdrop for your photos.  Measure the width of your box.  Trim a piece of white or black posterboard to the width of the box.  Place the posterboard into the back of the box by pressing into the top and working down.  Do not crease the bottom as you work down.  You will want to leave this curved.  The backdrop can extend out of the front of the box.  This will create a back and bottom for your photos.
Clamp the light onto the top of the box to shine in and create good lighting that is not too harsh and filtered by the tracing paper.

The clamp light provides just the right lighting for my projects.

Use your photo box to take photos by using the lighting from the clamp light and maybe other lamps as needed for a DIY photo studio.  You can buy these photo box setups, but I was able to make mine for less than $20.  And it wasn't hard to make.

Finally, I recommend a tripod for taking photos.  I have a bendable tripod that I use with my photo box.  It holds my phone steady for taking photos.  I can reposition for closeup shots that feature details for my blog.  This tripod even came with a handy clicker so that you can set up and click shots using a blue tooth remote.  Phone tripod

This tripod works well and has a blue tooth clicker that allows you to control your camera from a distance.

Once you have captured the images you plan to use, you will need to edit your photos.  Adobe Illustrator is a flexible tool for working with photographs.  I use this program to create my Pinterest pins and more.  I also use this tool for creating invitations on my Etsy shop.  Plus, once you have it, you can create all kinds of free printables for your site or even your own Christmas cards.  Adobe Lightroom is another tool for editing photos exclusively.  I do less photo editing and much more content creation with photos.  Therefore Illustrator works for my blogging needs.

Photographing my content has been the most daunting part of having a blog.  I haven't always done a great job.  But, I'm trying to improve my game.  How do you photograph your content?  If you are looking for new ways to photograph, consider some of these options.  My tripod, lightbox, and app cost less than $40.  These tools have really paid off and provided much better photographs for my blog.

Here is an example of a photo taken in my lightbox for a recent blog post on granola that I made.
When you make your lightbox, you might be to experiment with different box sizes.  You will need enough room to place the items into the space you have created.  This is also why I think making a photo box is better than purchasing something already made.  You can customize your photo box to the exact size that you need.

How do you photograph your blog content?  If you are just starting a blog, this could be a game changer.  Be sure to pin this post to your Pinterest board so you can come back and use these instructions to create your own photo box.  I'd love to hear how this works out for you.  Feel free to comment or contact me with questions.  Happy blogging!

This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.