This is going to be the first in a series of blog posts where I’ll take you behind the scenes of my blog photography process. Beginning with styling a beautiful flatlay, to taking the perfect shot and editing it, as well as camera equipment and helpful tricks.
I’ve been wanting to write a post about blog photography for the longest time, and I often get asked on my Instagram how I create beautifully light and airy images. I put off writing about it as I knew I had so much information and lots of ideas to give, that it would never fit into one concise, easy to read article. So I decided to split each section up into different posts, even though they’ve taken me forever to write, #dedication! I hope you’re excited to read them!
First up with blog photography is of course creating the photo, and you can’t create a pretty picture without styling it into one to begin with! So here are my tips on how to style a picture perfect image and my favourite props to do so.
I switch up between lots of different fabrics in my photos, and some things you can find in your own wardrobe! I have a beautiful white lace skirt that the pretty hemline has made it’s way into my photos far too many times, but I find that it just adds a lovely detailed prettiness to the shot. Of course you don’t have to use clothing, although it is useful when you find something already in your wardrobe!
You can find pieces of fabric quite easily online and any fabric I’ve purchased has been relatively cheap from eBay! Like the classic white fluffy fabric that I used in this post here, as well as silky fabric which not only adds a luxe look to the photo, but reflects the lights in such a beautiful way which you can see here. I also have a roll of light pink tulle which looks so dreamy and soft when it’s blurred into the background, and I use it a lot for my cake photography like this. It also looks lovely to display products over the top of like I did here, which gives a pretty delicate feel to the image!
There’s something about a ribbon that just adds such a silky, pretty and luxurious effect to the overall look of an image. It’s not until you tie a gift with a ribbon that it looks extra special is it? That’s how I see it when ribbons are added into photos, and the way the light catches the satin when it’s twirled around can look so pretty. In this post for example if I removed the ribbons from the photos, they would still work but it just wouldn’t look quite as special! I also like using them to tie bows around products like I have done here which I adore the effect of. Some of my ribbons I have kept from gifts and packages, some I already had, and some I purchased from eBay.
Using confetti is a really good way to add a little bit of extra magic to a picture, or to fill in any spaces. Often I’ve taken photos that I’ve felt were just missing something, and as soon as I go in with a few sprinkles of silver stars it just livens the photos up and makes them feel complete! I have a variety of different colours in silver, gold, rose gold and iridescent depending on which suits the photo best! But the silver stars are my favourite which I used in this post.
Of course it’s not just limited to stars as you can find so many different shapes, like glittery butterflies, hearts and unicorns, which can be found super easily again on eBay, and are pretty affordable too. I also have these pretty little satin bows that I used in this post, which adds a touch of girliness. If you ever receive any in a parcel then save them! I once received a beautiful PR package that was filled with lots of little dried rosebuds, that I’ve kept in case they ever work well in a photo, you never know haha!
I find when taking a flatlay, if you fill the corners of the photo it can help it to look more full and complete. Books are perfect for this as you can see I’ve done here and here, or I’ve used one as the main part of the image like I did here. It can also be nice if the image in the book ties in with the subject of the photo, like I did in my New Year’s Eve post, where I used a bottle of Moët alongside a champagne illustration from the Megan Hess Paris book, which matched with the celebratory theme. My favourite books to use are Kate Spade All In Good Taste, the Kikki K Dreams Journal, Sali Hughes Pretty Honest and Megan Hess Paris Through A Fashion Eye which is filled with the most gorgeous luxe illustrations.
Calendars can also make for a really great blog prop, especially for seasonal content to signify the time of year, like January for New Year, February for Valentine’s Day etc. Last year I had a lovely one from Rifle Paper that I used here, this year I have an even prettier one from Fox & Fallow, that I used in this post, which has a cute foiled quote on each month and each page is a different shade of pink, it’s so dreamy!
When I first started taking photos for my blog, I used to think that I was only allowed to feature the products that I was writing about and nothing else. But as long as you make sure the main products are the focus of the photo, then there’s nothing wrong with adding other items to dress the image up a little. Beauty products with particularly pretty packaging can transform a picture! The Jouer Blush Bouquet cheek duo has the most gorgeous pink and gold floral design, and the YSL Touche Eclat Blur Perfector adds a touch of luxe pink prettiness. The packaging on the Paul & Joe makeup items are so cute and decorative like this cheek compact and this vintage lipstick case. You can see how I’ve styled this photo by dressing it up a little with other products.
Pretty pouches, makeup brushes and makeup bags also look perfect in a beauty photo, I particularly love my SLMissGlam Princess Vibes makeup bag which I used in my 2017 Beauty Favourites post, and I styled my ABH Soft Glam review with makeup brushes. I also have a vintage style hand held mirror that has featured occasionally in my photos, like in this post, and can look even prettier with a ribbon tied around the handle. I also love using my Paul & Joe Compact Mirror which has the loveliest vintage style design.
Candles & Trinkets Dishes
Another pretty accessory is of course the trinket dish, of which I own far too many, oops! I have some really cute ones from Miss Etoile, as well as Kikki K, and Zoella Lifestyle. Ring holders can also give the same effect like this cute little cat ring holder I got from Oliver Bonas. When it comes to candles, basically any from Diptyque have me heart eyed, but the Diptyque Roses is my favourite! The Ted Baker Bergamot & Cassis candle also looks lovely and comes in a really pretty pink jar (see how I styled it in my Disney Marie post). I also adore my Pretty & Witty candle from Kate Spade which has a milkshake pink and white striped design.
Now it goes without saying that flowers can look gorgeous in photos, and I often find they add an extra special touch to my images when I use them. I generally use real flowers when I’ve bought a fresh bouquet for the house, but artificial ones can look just as pretty too. I’ve used real ones here, artificial ones here, and a combination of both here. Don’t forget that you can also scatter the petals to give a soft floral effect!
I also couldn’t write a section about flowers and not mention the everlasting roses which have taken Instagram by storm recently, and rightly so as they are just dreamy! I was kindly gifted a mini rose box from My Flower Room that I couldn’t resist but to feature a fair few times (like in this post) and I just think they add such a luxe and feminine effect.