Winter is a challenging time for bloggers. The days are shorter and the light is very limited which makes taking blog photos a hard task. Today I’m sharing my best tips on how to take bright and crisp photos when the Winter weather is not in our favor.
How To Create Brighter Blog Photos This Winter
It all starts with lighting
The first thing to keep in mind when shooting your blog photos is lighting. As you can see below, I always shoot in front of a big window so that lots of natural light comes in. You can invest in fancy lighting equipment but I feel like natural light enhances any photo and works just fine for me.
And I know it sounds weird but bright, cloudy days are great for photography because they produce a beautiful natural light. Yes, they actually work in your favor. On the contrary, sunny days create harsh shadows and give a yellowish tone to your images, so try to avoid shooting when the sun is shining through your window.
Something you can do is to check the weather app frequently. If you know there is going to be a brighter day in that week, schedule some time to photograph in bulk to guarantee you have images for the next blog posts.
Another tip is to avoid shadows. For instance, when taking a photo, don’t block the light. Your setup should be in the middle of you and the window. You can also move bigger items to the side of the photo so it doesn’t create a shadow over your image. It’s all about experimenting and seeing what works better for you.
Take a peek into the behind-the-scenes of my blog photography setup:
Choose your background wisely
Your background and surroundings are also important here. Go for lighter materials and colors, as white cardboards, cream blankets, white bed linen, etc. that will reflect light and, therefore, create a brighter picture.
I don’t have beautiful white wooden floors and most of my furniture is brown. Because I wanted to create bright images with lots of white, I DIYed a wooden board and bought a white cardboard, which have been life saviors when it comes to blog photography.
Play with the settings of your camera
When I’m taking my blog photos, I always try to create the “perfect” picture before editing.
If you have a DSLR, play with the settings of the manual mode, such as shutter speed and ISO. Shutter speed is the amount of time the camera is exposed to light. A lower shutter speed (1/100) means more light entering the lenses, therefore produces a brighter image. ISO measures how sensitive the camera is to that light. A lower ISO (100) number means less light entering the camera while a higher ISO (200) means more light, therefore you get a brighter image.
To start, try to up your ISO to 200 (don’t go higher than 400, otherwise, it will add grain to your image) and the shutter speed to 1/100. If you’re not happy, keep trying different settings. But, please, don’t overexpose your photo. You can always make it brighter while editing.
I already wrote a blog post on how to make the most of the manual mode of your DSLR, so make sure go over there for a more in-depth explanation.
You might want to invest in a tripod and remote control when shooting with higher settings to avoid shaking and ruining your photos. When I can’t be bothered to put my camera on a tripod, I suck my breath while pressing the button to avoid shaking.
The final touch
While I try to create the best photo on camera, I always do some editing. Right now, I edit my photos in Lightroom but I previously used VSCO on my photo and it worked just fine.
I didn’t have to do much to this photo while editing. The weather actually wasn’t too bad on the day I shoot these pictures and the camera settings I’ve talked about before helped a lot. But I still wanted to give it a little boost and for that, I upped the exposure a bit and decreased the shadows. You can do all of this in VSCO, as well.
In any editing software, you can brighten your photo by upping the exposure. Once again, don’t go overboard. In Photoshop or Lightroom, you can also play with Curves, which controls the shadows, highlights, darks and lights of your photo.
Here’s another example of what editing can do for a dark photo. This was taken in the bathroom, so that’s why the really bad lighting. To brighten it up, I upped the exposure and temperature.
It all comes down to practice and lots of trial & error. After a while, you will figure out what works best for you and your photography style.
Do you have any extra tips on how to create a bright blog photo during Winter?