Photography Tips For an Amateur

Monday, 9 February 2015

photography tips for a beginner, blog photography tips

Hello Beauties! One of my most asked questions on twitter, in email or in the comments of my blog posts, is what camera do I use or questions about my photography set up. So today, I thought I would answer this in a blog post for any of you wondering. Before I really get in to todays post, I just want to say that I'm no photographer, I've never had any photography training or been to any classes, I don't even know any photographers to ask about all of this kind of stuff. Before I started blogging back in March 2013 I didn't even know what a DSLR camera was. So these are really just tips that anyone can use, and they're not necessarily things you need an expensive camera to do. 

Firstly, I'll start off by talking about my camera and lenses, etc as this is my most asked question. Since December 2013 I have been using the Canon 650D with the standard kit lens to take all of my photographs. This camera was a Christmas present from my parents and I will be forever grateful for it. I know how expensive they are, so they aren't an option for everyone but my camera is one of my favourite possessions, and there is a clear difference in my photography before and after I started using this camera. One day I'd love to get some more lenses for my camera to help me achieve a more blurred background and to help with close ups, but they are quite expensive and something I just cannot afford right now, especially when the kit lens does an excellent job for what I need it to. 

Another thing I regularly get asked about is how I make my photos so light, especially with all of the dreary winter weather we've been having. I don't have any fancy lighting, or any lighting for that matter, I just use natural daylight to take my photos. I wish I had some soft box lights, but again, these are just an expense I cannot afford right now. I achieve the bright look in my photos using two methods. Firstly, I use my camera in the 'AV' setting, which allows me to adjust the exposure and brightness, allowing me to get that really bright look in all of my photos and it also gives me the blurred background which I like. Secondly, I also adjust my photos after I've uploaded them to my computer using iPhoto, Picmonkey or iPiccy all of which are free photo editing tools. These let me up the exposure and highlights of the photo and also adjust the sharpness so I don't lose any clarity when editing them. I'm sure you've all heard of these apps, but they're all super easy to use and they also allow you to add text or arrows, etc to your photos which I find useful when swatting a lot of products in one photos. 

Another point to make here is that I take my photos away from the window. I know a lot of people like to take their photos in front of windows or on a windowsill and it works perfectly for them, however I just find that with my set up, I don't like the way the photos turn out when I do that. I find that when I take photos of products in front of my window, there's always this glare on the products, especially if the products are in glass bottles. I also find that it messes with the light in my photos and actually makes them darker. Instead I pick a spot on the floor which isn't directly in front of the window, but still gets the light from the window, and take them there. That way, I've still got the natural light which I need, but there's no glare of direct sunlight on my products. 

I also get asked frequently what I use for the backgrounds of my photos. I like to keep my backgrounds simple and light. My camera doesn't deal well with dark products and backgrounds, and I find that a simple background helps the product to stand out and be the main focus of the photo. I don't have any fancy light boxes or anything like that, instead I usually just use the back of a white faux fur coat which I spread out on the floor. In the past, I've also used my bed which has white covers if I need a larger area to take photos, the top of my white Ikea Alex draws and when I didn't have light furniture, I just draped a white bed sheet over the top of my chest of draws and voila - a clean, white background. As for props and accessories, for the most part I like to keep them simple. If I'm using my faux fur coat, which is most of the time now, I don't use anything in favour of letting the product speak for itself. But on the odd occasion where I feel the photo needs dressing up a bit, I like to use scented candles (clearly you can't tell there scented in the photo, but I also like my room to smell nice!), my acrylic storage or pretty perfume bottles. I'm sure that everyone has some little trinkets lying around their house which would make cute backgrounds, it's just a matter of arranging them so they don't take over the photo. Also, I love my white rose fairly lights in backgrounds as they look pretty and don't stand out. I have a set from Next (£25) but these are broken and won't turn on, so I also have a set from Primark (£6) which are a brilliant option if you're only going to use them for backgrounds as they're so cheap. 

I think these are all of the main questions I get asked about my photography set up, however if you have more questions which you'd like answered, please leave them in the comments below or email me at and I will be happy to answer them for you. I know this was a long post (well done for getting to the end!) but I wanted to include everything and give detailed answers - I hope you found them useful! 

Lots of Love,

Becky x x


  1. haha, I take most of my blog photographs on the floor too! Seems to work out quite well...!
    Beth x

  2. These are great tips! That camera would be a dream, but my Sony lens I have now is an upgrade from my iPhone! Thanks for sharing

    Kim .. Lazy day tutorial??

  3. Great tips. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I'm dying for a decent camera haha, luckily my parents have a pretty good one they don't mind me using. I like the idea of using a white faux fur coat though!

  5. Good light is by far the most important thing, well for me at least. I do need to stop using my iPhone though!

    Annabel ♥
    Mascara & Maltesers

  6. Great tips I find that my window sill doesn't work well either it's just too bright...and kinda dirty hahaha I DO WASH IT it just doesn't seem pretty and bright white :( xxx

    Blonde Of Carbs

  7. These are great tips! I find that when I take pictures near the window they don't turn out that well either!

  8. Thanks for sharing Becky! I also use a plain white poster board as my background if my usual set up isn't working for me. :)

    xx Alyson
    The Beauty Vanity

  9. Ohh thank you for sharing these tips with all of us~ ^ u ^
    You always have such beautiful photos! ^ v ^

  10. Loved reading this i havent used the AV option on my Canon so will def be experimenting with that! I have. 50mm lens for the blurred background no idea how to work it yet x

  11. Thank you for sharing these tips with us. I definitely have to use the AV option more often and I should experiment more with my camera in general :)

  12. Photography is such a learning curve for me, I've started using my other half's Canon 700d and every time I use it I wonder whether I'm doing it right!! xx

    Ramblings of a Beauty Bird | Beauty Blog

  13. Great post Becky! Hopefully after reading this I can improve on my blog photography.


Thank you for taking the time to comment, I would love to hear from you! However, if you are looking for a more instant answer please feel free to tweet me your questions @RDerbyshire93.

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