My Photography Process

As another one of the Twenty Swans’ 3 year specials, I am including my current process for taking photos as my draft got long enough that I thought I should separate it from the main process post. Again, this is with a focus on beauty blogging.

I’m not gonna lie – my camera does so much of the work it’s insane but there are options less bank-breaking to explore! In particular, a light box for £20 can do SO MUCH.


My approach to writing posts and taking photos is very ‘grab-n-go’. As in, as soon as I notice the sun is out, I grab a shiny new product or whatever I need photos of, and I grab an item of clothing to use as the background, and I go.

My entire setup is on top of my bed, or my parents’ bed as the lighting in their room is usually better! I prop a pillow up or an A3 board I have lying around and cover the pillow in my chosen scarf or another clothing item.

The photos below are from previous posts (apart from one which is from a review that never went up, and another which is from an upcoming post) and all have an item from my wardrobe (or mom’s…) as the backdrop. I also think it adds the ‘at home blogger’ kind of touch without being overly put-together.

 

Some pointers:

  • pick interesting textures like faux fur coats, knits, satins or lace.
  • make sure it doesn’t make the photo too busy or clash with the product. This means you have to be careful with bold leopard print or overly flowery patterns.
  • It also goes without saying that you should avoid using anything with major pilling unless your background is going to be very blurred.

If my product can stand well upright, I would prefer to take a picture of it that way instead of on a flat lay. It also avoids the problem of having to find blu-tack to stop bottles rolling around and such, and for me, this also solves the problem of having my own shadow cast on my flat-lay photos all the time.)

 

I also like to use an object with a flat top as a display podium of sorts for my items. I stick it under the bit of clothing I’m also using as a backdrop, or I find something else that matches. What I use depends on the product. I have grabbed money tins, flat glasses cases and pots of body butter stacked up for this purpose.

Be aware of the colours you use for your background. On my DSLR the colours can change how the image registers, as well as the level of sunlight. Whilst I used a gorgeous white dress for a time, I found that it sometimes washed out the colours of the product a little. I can’t say if this will be helpful for you as I am still experimenting but so far that’s what I’ve noticed.

 

That said, sometimes white works super well and that dress remains a fail-safe if I ever need it.


So… that’s my current photography process. It’s changed a lot in the last year and I have been experimenting more since getting my new camera but all the things I learnt, I think can still apply to photography with my phone.

[I then went and attempted to recreate a shoot for an upcoming Lipsticks in Rotation post using my phone camera, and failed massively… ]
Here are some old photos from the blog in 2016 and even 2015 when I first started adding skin care to the blog, just so we can all compare them to the (even if I do say so myself) amazing shots above. The best photos were taken just inches from my window because that’s how hard it was to get nice lighting…

I think back then I was using either the family iPad or my current Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. Probably more of the family iPad.

 

Anyhow I hope that you learned something, however small, when reading this. Even if you didn’t, perhaps it was fun to read and look at my old photography!

Until next time,

X

4 thoughts on “My Photography Process

  1. prettypollybeauty January 19, 2018 / 11:29 am

    I can relate to this post so much! I too am a ‘grab and go’ kinda girl, actually surprised I don’t do myself damage the way I rush to get to a sunny spot before it disappears! It’s fun to look back at old product shot, as I really reminds you of the time when it all began, and how far you’ve come since then. Fab post lovely, loving forward to seeing more of your content x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Swanna January 19, 2018 / 1:47 pm

      Thank you so much! It’s true, you have to be really flexible with the sunlight in this darker season. Nice to know I’m not the only Grab ‘n’ Go photographer X

      Like

  2. BeautyandtheCat | Angela & Renee January 25, 2018 / 2:10 pm

    Really helpful tips. I’m always struggling to find a clean tabletop where I can stand up products but never thought to just try a tin with cloth draped over. -Angela

    Liked by 1 person

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