Photo: Olya Kobruseva

Photography and web content creation go alongside. Whether you are a beauty blogger, an Instagram fashionista, or like posting your makeup looks on Facebook, you are going to take selfies and product photographs. Even Youtube bloggers tend to accompany their videos with an eye-catching thumbnail. 

However, when it comes to taking pictures for the blog, every blogger has their own preferences and budgets. But we are not going to go into the equipment details today. Contrary, I'm going to share with you a few little secrets that will help you take and edit better pictures for your beauty blog. Hence, you will learn how to get the maximum results from the photography equipment you already have at your disposal.

It is important to understand that most of the pictures you take with your phone or digital camera are not always ready to be published. They can turn out too dark or blurry, be distorted by the camera lens, or include unnecessary information that should be cropped. To make your blog's pictures appealing to the reader's eye, you'll need a bit of preparation, good lightning, and very basic photo editing skills. These are the three main pillars that are going to improve the visual part of your blog. 

Photo: Ron Lach

How to Prepare Products for Blog Photography?

The main subject of beauty bloggers' attention is makeup and skincare products, together with various beauty tools. Product packaging tends to collect dust, fingerprints, and residue, which doesn't make them too appealing for the camera. Try to clean your products beforehand, as it will take a lot of time and effort to edit the dust out of the picture.  If you are a fashion or lifestyle blogger and take pictures of your outfits, don't forget to iron the clothes before the photo session.

Another thing to consider before starting shooting blog pictures is the background. Even the littlest imperfections, the background mess, or scratches on the surface will be visible in the picture. Nevertheless, you can use the background to your advantage. Various colors, patterns, and textures may add a nice touch to your blog's photography. For instance, I have a few faux fur rugs, and a few plain, but colorful paper backgrounds that I like to lay cosmetics on.


How to Use Lighting for Your Blog's Pictures?

I believe everyone knows and understands the importance of lighting in photography. It is probably the most crucial aspect that ensures the quality, brightness, and even the character of the picture you are going to take for your blog. There are two ways to illuminate products or yourself for the camera: natural daylight or artificial indoor lights.

Natural light is best suited for selfies and outfit photography. On a bright, sunny day, open up your window, the door of the balcony, or go outside of the house. Pick a suitable location that is well-lit, but is not under direct sunlight. It may make your photography too harsh or overexposed (unless it is the effect you are going for.) If you want to take photos of the skincare or makeup products, you can visit the nearest park and flat lay your cosmetics on the grass, snow, or fallen leaves in the autumn. Flatlay pictures made on the sand look fantastic and suit the summer vibe. 

If the weather outside is cloudy, or don't have the opportunity or time to go opt for studio light. LED light bulbs and stands aren't expensive these days., but even the simplest table light with a bright, natural light bulb will serve the purpose. Well-lit photos are less grainy, they are clearer, and faster to edit.


How to Edit Pictures for a Blog with Software?

Whether you prefer taking pictures with a camera, or your cell phone, there are lots of different photo editing software you can use to process your images. If you are new to photo editing it might take you some time to get used to the photo editing process. 

Probably the most popular photo editing program for professional use is Adobe Photoshop. This graphic editing program was created in 1988 and since then Photoshop has become an absolute standard in the industry. The official program is rather expensive and demands some serious editing skills, but is what I use at the moment.

If Adobe Photoshop sounds too challenging for you, other programs will help you to edit your pictures. You can even get some of them for free. For example, Gimp is one of the best free soft for editing, you can download the Gimp image manipulation program here. Canva is another popular photo editing tool, which you can use to create collages, logos, and graphics for your blog. Canva, just like the Gimp, is absolutely free and works in the browser.


A Step-by-Step Process of Picture Editing for Blog:

  • Start by Cropping, & Rotating the Picture

When editing an image for your blog post start with cropping and rotating your pictures. Correctly cropped and rotated images can create a whole new impression for your image. You may also need to adjust the angle of the subject (Transform Tool in Photoshop).

  • Next Goes the White Balance & Saturation

After you are done with cropping and sizing, proceed to the next step. Use a special option to brighten up your picture, and fix the white balance. I like to brighten up shadows and dark parts of the picture in Camera Raw Filter in Photoshop (Filters - Camera Raw Filters), as well as Levels (Adjustments - Levels). You can also adjust the white balance via the Camera Raw Filter tool.


  • The Clean-up Process

This may be the most time-consuming and the most relaxing step in photo editing. Cleaning up small imperfections, black dots, and specks makes the close-up picture look neat and more aesthetic. It demands some concentration and your full attention on the picture. For this step, I use both Clone and Healing Brush Tool in Photoshop.

  • Optional | Sharpen Up the Image

To make the final look of your picture extra crisp you can use a Smart Sharpen or Unsharp Mask tools. However, it is important to be light-handed with this tool, as it might make your image unrealistically sharp.


  • Optional | Place your Blog's Logo or Watermark

Watermark is a way of protecting your ownership. But I see fewer and fewer bloggers who add their blog's logo or special watermarks on the pictures they take for their blogs. To create a basic watermark, use a Text Tool in a photo editing program of your choice. You can simply write your name, your blog's name, and URL, or place your logo instead of the text.

  • Reduce the Size of the Picture

Don't forget to resize pictures for your blog. Making images on your blog smaller will help your website to load faster, improving your SEO score. The final sizing depends on the platform you use. For Blogger it is around 600 px-750 px wide, for WordPress 1200 x 630 px, Instagram square pictures 1080 px by 1080 px, and for Pinterest 735 x 1102 px.


  • Color Correction & Creative Filters

Color correction and a creative approach with filters can take your blog's pictures to the next level. It is a way of demonstrating the personality, and mood of your blog through the visual aspect. On the other hand, it may distort the true shades of the product you are talking about. Try keeping the colors of makeup products untouched by the colorful filters.

Popular Photo Editing Apps 

You don't have to use computer software to have beautifully editing pictures for your blog. Mobile phone apps work just as good, and sometimes even better than professional programs. They feature a wide range of in-build tools and let you crop, resize, improve the quality of the image and even create collages. Some of the most popular photo editing apps are VSCO, Snapseed, and Prism, which work for both Android and iOS.

Lots of love,
Liz