Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Blogging Tools : Making The Most Of What You've Got


I feel like the age old saying, 'it's not what you've got, it's how you use it' should be taken into consideration when it comes to blogging. 

While aiming for bigger, better equipment/products/backdrops isn't necessarily a bad thing - it's easy to get carried away with it all and forget that actually, there are a lot of simple things you can use & still achieve a great, if not sometimes; better outcome. 

So I thought I would share with you some of my most used, cheap & cheerful blogging 'tools.' I'm still in this learning process and experimenting with what works best for me, but perhaps these will give a little inspiration to anyone that needs it. 

Sunlight : it's free, it's out there and you've likely got a window where some comes in (I'd hope)! Of course it takes a little bit of experimenting and timing for when the sun comes round & which light looks best, but I always have naturally lit photos. I can't afford (both in space and money) to buy studio lighting but you can get some very pretty effects just by waiting for a nice, sunny day. We actually have UV filters on our windows too, so everything is a lot darker inside than it is out, so I like to open the door/window and place my products by it. Simple. 

Bedding : again, you probably bought it ages ago - so consider this another backdrop freebie. If you have nice, fancy bed sheets, even better! Our bed is always creased, but I refuse to iron something that is a) so big & b) so pointless. Sorry!

Windowsill : we only have one useable windowsill - it's chipped, mouldy (thanks to badly installed windows), off-white and small. However, any picture that has a white-ish background has been carefully arranged to hide all of the above & I actually quite like the effect. Experiment with what you've got! Failing that...

Plain, white paper : we've all probably got some laying around. It's cheap & accessible. I don't tend to go for the crisp, perfectly displayed photography look because that's just not me - although there are some blogs that do it brilliantly - but if I need a bit of a bigger area to work on, simply lay some sheets out, et voila; a perfectly white backdrop. 

Personal props : as above, I love to see a bit of personality in posts. That 'lived in, being used' look is what I try achieve and so even if it's just a pretty jewellery stand or your favourite book - include it! See what you can create with your favourite things.

Remote (£4.99) : okay, so this does cost money - but it doesn't have to be a fortune. If you have a DSLR a remote comes in especially handy if you ever take outfit pictures, want both hands in the frame or simply want to get a picture of everyone in a group. It's inexpensive but something I use so often, I had to include it. 

Tripod (£7.79) : again, a little bit of money but worth the investment if you find yourself in situations where you think 'I could really use a tripod right now'. There are some ways & means of balancing your camera on stacked books, magazine or anything with a flat surface, but sometimes a tripod is necessary & this one from amazon is a little creaky but does the job perfectly fine for what I need. 

Kit lens : the topic of 'do I need a DSLR for blogging?' - (hell no) is not one I'm going to get into now, but if you've just bought one or you're lusting after different lenses; my advice is - get to grips with your kit lens. Some of the best pictures (in my opinion) that I've taken in the past have been on my kit lens (18-55mm) which you can see here, if you wish - in fact my entire 'spain' category was taken with it, as that's when I got my camera! I now use a 35mm most days, but you just can't beat a good standard lens. 

Blogging can be very intimidating at times and I do often look at my Bloglovin' feed with a sense that everything is of such wonderful editorial quality; surely I cannot compete with that. But then I remind myself that this isn't a competition; this is my interpretation of what I want my piece of the internet to be - and that's absolutely fine. 

So I will continue to use my chipped windowsill & my crumpled up bedsheets and hope that you don't mind too much, because I'm making the best of my situation and that's all anyone can ever ask.

What are your thoughts on this?
What's your favourite cheap blogging tool?
xo

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21 comments

  1. Lovely post! I refuse to iron my bed sheets too, life's just too short! I use natural light too, such great tips! x

    SophiesMakeupBlog

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    1. Haha, it certainly is! Surely they always end up crumpled up again anyway?! Xx

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  2. really enjoyed reading this, I've recently bought myself a new camera and it came with the 18-55mm lens. I always seem to add notebooks into my background, they don't cost much and I've got loads laying around! :)
    http://www.peachynotes.co.uk

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    1. Thanks Jessica :) Yes notebooks are super handy little things! Xx

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  3. Great post! I do a lot of the same! I would like a fancy camera but I use my iPhone, they also sell iPhone tripods and remotes! I got mine for about $5 each! :) Although a camera is on my wishlist!

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    1. Oo yes, I have an iPhone tripod too! Comes in handy on occasion :) xx

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  4. some great tips... never used the sheets - that's a good one.

    Valentina
    Valentina Duracinsky Blog

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  5. nice post ! i'll think of using bed sheets [i do iron them, is that weird?] and plain paper :) best luck with blogging! cheers!
    http://carollcia.blogspot.be/

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    1. Haha, no definitely not weird! I'm just lazy :) xx

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  6. For me I really like my camera's remote - and I've found some that were pretty inexpensive. The one I use for my Nikon was about five dollars. But rather than individual pictures a plain white poster board is excellent if you're looking to shoot some photos against a white background!

    x
    beauty, style, life || bespectacled

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    1. Thanks Kat! :) I haven't come across any poster board yet but I know other bloggers use it and highly recommend, so I'll keep my eyes peeled! xx

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  7. I just started using white poster board as a background and it looks so much better than I thought it would! And it's cheap too :)

    Every Day In Grace

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  8. Nothing better than a $1 piece of white foam board! my window is super gross for similar reasons so it doesn't work well
    Allison from www.mercuteify.com

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  9. Lovely post and cheap too! I forget about bed sheets and tried carpet for a while. My photographs are definitely something letting me down. Time to put on the fancy bed sheets!

    Average Adventures

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  10. You're absolutely right. I take photos with my iPhone on every good surface I find with natural light and while they could be better I can't say they're terrible. I'm getting better for sure but you don't always have to go for fancy things to make something work!

    gyudynotesofbeauty.blogspot.com

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  11. Great post! I'm constantly on the lookout for more things to improve my photos, but uh, since the money tree died, I have been trying to find more basic ways to take photos. This helps a lot!

    xx

    Shree
    PorcelainShree | A Charming Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

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