Before I get started, I should probably introduce myself! My name is Jessica Bulloss and my husband and I are the not-so-brains behind Bulloss Photography. We live in Blacksburg, VA with our two crazy adopted pups, and when we are not working on photo things, we can often be caught at one of our many favorite restaurants in our small town!
I was so excited when Sterling invited me to her blog (this blog!) because I had something very special in mind to share! I often hear small business owners asking how they can have quality photos of their day to day business work without the help of a photographer. I would never undermine the ability of a photographer (cough, cough they are actually super important, hire me, cough cough), but I want to tell you a little secret. It is totally possible to have well lit, consistent photos of the day-to-day without top shelf equipment! Mind blown, right?!
Here are my 7 tips for taking great photos with a smart phone:
1. FIND A WINDOW. This one is in all caps because it is that important. Finding a window with indirect light coming through is probably the best thing you can do for any of your images! The light is soft and even, especially if taken during the same time everyday.
2. Use the daylight. You may have already gathered this from the “window” tip but daylight is important when considering the overall coloring of your images. Our phone might be labeled “smart” but I promise you that it’s not great at adjusting for the different colors that indoor lighting can give off. If you have ever taken photos under a lamp or other indoor lighting, you may have noticed a strange hue to your images that just can’t be fixed. Maybe I’m biased, but daylight conquer all others!
3. Pick a white or neutral background. I have a white table in my home that works perfectly for this, but something as simple as a neutral cloth, wood flooring, or whiteboard would work great as well! Having a simple background for your images not only keeps from distracting from the subject of your photo but also helps build consistency from image to image.
4. Be consistent. This is huge not only for the photo you are taking right now but for your overall online presence. Using pops of color specific to your branding will help make the photos belong to you and your brand. Lauren of Elle and Company wrote on this important topic this week and it’s a great post if you are looking for more on this topic!!
5. Don’t be afraid to shoot straight down or use unique angles. You may look like a fool while standing on a chair in your living room, but the final product is worth it. Plus, your dog already thinks you’re crazy ;)
6. Take the photo at 90 degrees from the light. For those of you who hated geometry, that means the light is coming in from the left or right when taking pictures. This helps create dimension in your images by adding soft highlights and shadows. While this is not the most important element of taking a great picture, it helps add that extra pop!
7. Download Vsco cam. For those of you who already know about this, I’m sure you are letting out a big “duh” right now, but the rest of you will be super excited to learn about this editing app! It’s presets are way better than what Instagram has to offer and has better algorithms for adjusting exposure and temperature.
Final disclaimer: Sorry but I had to add this in! Even if you are able to take decent photos of your day-to-day without the help of a photographer, you should totally invest in a photographer friend when the funds are there! They can expand how you are able to show off your day to day and provide a more complete story of you and your business. Plus they have a few more tricks up their sleeve! ;)
I hope you enjoyed these quick tips! Feel free to share your own!