Essential Photography Tips For Your Blog Or Etsy Shop

Today I'm sharing some photography tips (and a little of "what's in my bag") that I've learned over what seems like a lifetime of taking photos! Just a little background.

photography tips for bloggers and etsy shop owners from a pro
I'm old enough to have shot with film prior to digital cameras. In pursuit of my art degree at college I took a couple of classes and since my roomate was a photography major our bathroom was also a darkroom where I learned a bit of that process (and the scent is something not to forget:~}}

I've been selling products on~line since the late 90's, so I've taken thousands of photos and learned a lot by trial and error. I "shudder" to look at some of the old stuff, hah!

Photography Tips For Achieving Gorgeous Still Life Photography & Products

Photography Tips For Your Blog Or Etsy Shop
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  • Capturing What You Want
It's a process and there is a learning curve, but if you put the time in to practice and then practice some more (and more again) you'll begin to see the results quickly. Just do it...rinse and repeat over and over! 

Let's start indoors.

Photography Tips For Your Blog Or Etsy Shop

  • Location For Light
I'm a natural light photographer by preference and the first thing that I generally do when shooting products, styling a room or shooting for a magazine piece is to look for a great source of light. However, even if you shoot indoors next to a window the weather may not cooperate and you may have to play with your camera settings to adjust for that. Try to learn to shoot in manual! On DSLR cameras automatic photos just look so flat and to look good on the internet you will likely have to heavily edit and lighten them up. There are many great guides to learn to shoot manually,YouTube videos, and CreativeLive with FREE on~line classes (and paid courses) that are fantastic!

A couple of books that helped me tremendously are these...especially when it comes to learning about all important light in photography:

  • Tripod
how to set up your camera to shoot tethered

A good tripod can really be your friend when shooting indoors. I shoot with a full frame camera and my tripod is pretty heavy duty, but you may not need that so shop around for what suits your needs and budget. When shooting indoors you may need a longer exposure, so a tripod is definitely something that you'll want to have for clear and crisp shots.
  • Setting Up Shots
how to style a photograph

Once I have my location set for the shoot (preferably by a window!) I'll take a few test shots. Sometimes I'll use my smart phone and take a few shots to see how things  look, but I prefer to set things up in "live view" mode. That allows you to see live what you'll be taking a photo of. If something needs to be moved it's helpful and can save time in shooting photo after photo only to notice that your cat's tail is in the shot! If you have someone helping you with the styling, live view is a great tool and allows you to be a big time director. 
  • Tethering
styling a photoshoot with photography tips

Admittedly I don't always take the time to shoot tethered, but if I'm shooting for publication or print I find it so helpful. You will need to have your laptop close by and connecting cables to use between the camera and the computer. Shooting tethered I capture my images directly into Adobe Lightroom and can view each image as it comes in and then adjustment in Adobe PhotoshopYou can also use PicMonkey, which has less of a learning curve and has a free version.

how to photograph flowers ranunculus

  • Tack Sharp Images
To obtain the sharpest images possible use either a remote control device (very inexpensive) or if you do shoot with Lightroom use the shutter button shown on your computer as it's own remote. This will help to avoid camera shake and image blur. If your lens has the option of turning off image stabilization you'll want to do that as well when using a tripod...

Some Camera and Lens Recommendations...

When I first made the move from film cameras to point and shoot and then to my first DSLR, I used a Canon Rebel. Both of my daughters have the Canon Rebel and LOVE them and they are budget friendly and a great crop body camera for learning and easy on the budget! 
I've progressed over the years to several camera bodies and Canon has great resale value. I now shoot with a Canon 5D MKIII, which is a full frame, but a less expensive full frame camera that gives great results is the Canon 6D.

I have several lenses in my bag for various purposes, and if you are just starting out a great all around lens would be  a 50mm and they can be quite affordable (less than $100) and versatile. My own favorite "go to" lens is a zoom for shooting both indoors and out and is the Canon 24-105mm F/4 L, and I've used it for years and it's what I generally use for the blog. Workhorse!

Practice and Read Don't be afraid to learn new techniques and reading books on photography is a great way to understand the process.  Mistakes help you learn and once you start you won't want to stop!

If you enjoyed this post, here are a couple of other photography articles:

This post has some affiliate links meaning that should you make a purchase I receive a small commission and you pay nothing extra.