Taking pictures can be a frustrating process. It seems like there are so many factors that you have to be a professional to get it just right! Fortunately, technology has made it easy for just about anyone to take a great picture. I have learned a few simple tricks to making your everyday photos look better, even if you’re just using a phone!
1. Natural Lighting – Make sure you have some source of natural light coming in where you are photographing. Be sure to face yourself or the product towards the light and not face your camera towards the light. Keep your yellow tinted lights off (lamps, wall lights, overhead lights) because this can affect the natural coloring in your pictures.
2. Ring Light – Using a ring light has become pretty popular with taking photos and videos, and with good reason! Ring lights can brighten up the area without altering the natural coloring. It gives a great balance of light and paired with natural light it can create some great results for pictures!
3. Background – The best background to have is something uncluttered and neutral. Use a blank wall, a sheet, or a backdrop to create a neutral background for your photos. If you’re taking photos of your child who won’t sit still in front of a wall or backdrop, clear everything out of the way in the room that you are in to eliminate distractions in the background. I like to clear any blankets and pillows off of our couch and place my daughter in front of it. It creates a neutral background with minimal distractions. Don’t forget your natural light too!
1. Shade – Taking pictures outside works best early in the morning or late at night, very close to sunrise and sunset. This works best because you won’t have to fight against the sun. You will find plenty of shade to have everything (or everyone) in the same lighting. Because of this, overcast days the absolute best for taking outdoor photos!
2. Sunlight – If you are taking pictures while the sun is high in the sky then you might find yourself getting a little frustrated. Similar to facing yourself towards natural lighting indoors, face yourself towards the sun to eliminate shadows on your face. You’ll also find less shadows in the background. Don’t stand in splotchy light (typically under a tree). You’ll get patches of shadow and light across your face that will be very hard to work with.
3. Background – It can be really easy to find a backdrop while outside. Nature is beautiful and is the best backdrop! Find a nice patch of grass to sit in, trees to stand in front of, a field of flowers, shrubs and bushes, or even something like a colorful wall or brick wall.
If your camera or phone has a portrait mode setting, use it! If you’re finding dead plants in the background of your pictures, this mode will blur it to be a neutral background and put a sharp focus on the person or product. The same goes for indoors! If you have to use something like a couch for a background, portrait mode will make it look good. A background blurring app can also work in place of portrait mode.
Adobe Lightroom is a user friendly photo editing app that is free on mobile devices. I highly recommend using it to adjust the lighting in your pictures. You can also find presets to use on Etsy and from your favorite bloggers. These presets make it very easy to click one button and have the whole lighting adjusted. You can find simple tutorials on how to use the Lightroom mobile app on YouTube.