3 Must Haves for Excellent DIY Photography

When I first started my business I had experience with photography, so I thought, why not just make some styled photos to enhance my brand. Seems easy enough.

Boy was I wrong. While I had 2 years of experience with an award-winning wedding photography studio, styled product photography was not the walk in the park I had envisioned.

If you've had the same rude awakening–you thought DIY photography would be easy but you find out this is a lot harder than it looks –then I would love to share 3 tips that I've learned the hard way when it comes to taking your own styled photos.

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1. Direction

I remember when I first started, I would say, "OK, I have time to take some styled photos," without a direction for the shoot, without props that made sense together and I would end up with a waste of time and some not-very-good photos. 

When you're doing your own styled photos, it's SO much easier if you have a direction for your shoot. Or a theme as I like to call it.

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self-care theme

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artsy theme

Maybe you want to a feminine theme with a marble background and roses (like the photo I have in the blog cover), or maybe you want to do a beach theme or a work theme with a desktop and a keyboard.

Whenever you plan a shoot, I recommend knowing what you want to end up with – knowing your direction will save you so much time.

 

2. Skills in Editing

While I think it's vital to know how to work your nice camera if you have one, a major component of a great photo is the editing. 

If you know how to edit, it will take you leaps and bounds further than if you have no-editing know how.

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BEFORE

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AFTER

I used to rely on my editing skills WAY too much in the beginning.

I have a background in wedding photography so editing was my strong skill. While I was no good at how to take product photos, I WAS very good at editing so I would use those skills to save bad photos. 

Thankfully, my product-taking skills have caught up to my editing. As you grow in your technical abilities with your gear, learn how to edit so your photos can look legit. (Wanna know my exact tools for editing? Stick around til the end.)

I will say, that Photoshop isn't the only tool I use. 

 

3. Great Lighting 

Lighting is one of those things that can make or break a photo.

If you're trying to get a light, bright flat lay, it's important to find the most well-lit room in your home, preferably with access to a window. Bring your props and background right up to the window to get the most light possible and use a reflector to reflect all the natural light.

I could write a post just about lighting, which is why I created an Intro to DSLR Product Photography Course. I go over all the details for what you need to create professional, great-looking styled photos. I share my best tools and resources and I would love to share it with you.

Get notified in the upcoming weeks when it releases!

Are you happy with your photo skills or would you like to learn more?

If you want to learn more, what's the most pressing topic you want to learn about?