Blog Photography | My setup, props, tips & tricks

For me, photography is one of the most important aspects of my blog. The perfect photo can pull a post together, draw in readers and just generally give your blog a whole new aesthetic. For ages now I have been so unhappy with my photos and in general my whole blog aesthetic, it's just not how I've wanted it to look for a long time so this year after getting back my blogging mojo, I decided I wanted to up my photo game. Seriously, looking back at my instagram and posts from last year makes me cringe like hell. Now by all means, I am no photography expert, I did Graphic Design at university which had elements of it but most of what I've learnt has been through other blogs, Google and practice practice practice. I'd also like to add that you don't need a good expensive camera or any of the things I'm going to mention in this post to make your blog "better", at the end of the day it's all personal preference and what works for one person might not work for another. But if you are looking for any tips and inspiration, then by all means, carry on reading.

The camera I use is a Nikon D3200 with a standard 18-55mm kit lens. It was a present for my 21st birthday party and has worked wonderfully for me for the past couple of years. For a flatlay I'll have this set at 18-24mm. For close up shots I can go anywhere up to the total 55mm, it's really a matter of trial and error. Up until recently I was using this camera on completely auto settings, which basically means the camera decides on the shutter speed (how quickly the photo is taken) and aperture (the opening in the lens) however I have found that I can get a lot better shots that I'm happier with by going totally manual. The first thing I did was up my ISO (the camera's sensitivity to light), I tend to stick around 400-800 max as the higher you go, the more noise is added to the photograph. As I resize my images to go on my blog to no bigger than 2000px, it's not the end of the world if there's a little noise in them. Even less so on mobile. Just something to bare in mind if you're having images at a larger resolution. I keep my shutter speed quick, around 1/250 and the aperture high F3.5 (the lower the f number the higher the aperture or bigger the opening and more sensitivity to light, weird I know). A high aperture also allows those dreamy photos with the blurred backgrounds you might see a lot of bloggers posting, basically it places all the focus on the part of the photo you want. These settings are what work best for me but by all means, play around with it, take a photo on a lower ISO and then up it and take another one to see the difference. Fiddle around with it until you have the perfect settings for you. Just to add, I currently don't use any artificial lighting.

My current setup is pretty basic and this is really totally up to you. Firsly, location is important. As I'm sure you've heard a million times before, natural light is an essential. Try and find a place that has the most daylight, this might even be outside if needs be. I personally photograph on the floor in front of our balcony windows anytime around noon as this is when the lighting is at its best, though the Winter months make it increasingly difficult. My go to backdrop (like a million other bloggers out there) is marble print. Not only does it look very pretty, it's also practical. The marble effect helps combat any pesky shadows quite nicely and doesn't show up marks as badly as my plain white board used to. I made mine by simply sticking some marble vinyl off Amazon to some plain foamboard. I then use an additional piece of foamboard at the side of the photo to bounce off any light and to keep it bright, this also acts as a white "wall" for any shots taken from a different angle. Generally white backdrops help keep your photos looking light and airy, perfect for flatlays. And once you have your perfect lighting, take your photos in bulk. Take advantage, I can take up to 300 photos a day just to whittle down to 5. I've also been much preferring taking photos on portrait style this year, especially as the first image in a post as this is what Bloglovin will pull through and they appear much larger in the feed. Generally I just find them more eye catching and you can fit so much more into the image. 

In terms of props, you can really use just about anything around the house. Makeup products, books, homeware, flowers, jewellery, absolutely anything. Over the last year of blogging I've slowly been growing my little "prop box" to include a multitude of different things that can switch up just about any flatlay or product photo. My personal favourite bits and pieces to add are craft things from stores like Hobbycraft and Paperchase. They're relatively cheap and make all the difference to a picture. And you can use them over and over again. I love to pick up new things depending on the season and use them time after time again. I have quite the collection of ribbons and sequins growing now. Here's a few of my current favourites from a recent haul. The copper flakes are particularly gorgeous sprinkled over any sort of flatlay and fairylights help to add an extra touch. Things like ribbon, flowers and fabric help add depth and texture. There is no such thing as the perfect flatlay, just have fun with it. Keep messing around and moving things until you're happy with it, it's all completely personal preference and once you have a style that works for you, run with it. Mix up your colours, angles, whatever. It's your blog and your photography, do what you like!


The final stage for any photo is editing and this is where it really comes to life for me. There's loads of places and apps you can use to edit your pictures for free but I personally prefer to use Adobe Photoshop. Studying Design at uni and doing the same for work, it's a pretty important piece of software for me and the things you can do are endless. In general I try not to do too much to my photos other than brighten them up and correct any colours. If you're shooting makeup the last thing you want to do is alter any colours so that they no longer look like they should but sometimes, especially when shooting in poor lighting, the colours can need fixing, either cooling down or warming up. I tend to stick to altering curves, levels and brightness while not overdoing it so that you lose any definition in the image. If you would like an in depth editing post with printscreens and before/afters then do let me know in the comments!

I hope at least some of this was helpful to you! What are your favourite blog photography tips?


  1. Lovely post! Your photos always come out lovely so it's nice to read your process :) I should really invest in a 'prop box' as it gets so messy taking photos! xx

    Cally |

  2. Your photos are amazing! I've recently started playing about with a lot more props such as ribbon and I'm loving how my photos are turning out! Great post too!
    Zara xx

  3. I am in LOVE with the photos! Definitely going to start playing around with some new props to up my photography game :)

  4. Great tips especially for new bloggers like myself. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Really helpful! I always have a hard time finding props for my photos. I tend to get bored using the same things over and over again. Thanks for sharing, love X

    | |

  6. Your photos are gorgeous! I need to invest in more props.. my set up can be a little plain sometimes. x


  7. I love posts like this, they're so helpful! I'm still working on my photos, they're not to the point where I'm complete satisfied with them but they've definitely improved! Tips are always welcome in my book!

    xx Dany | The Queens Empire

  8. I've only just discovered your blog but I'm absolutely in love with your photos! The copper flakes are so pretty, didn't even know you can buy such things :) x

    Mummy's Beauty Corner

  9. I really want to have a marble background so thanks for recommending that vinyl!
    Aleeha xXx

  10. I'm also working on a little prop box! It'll be so nice to have a selection of bits to rummage through whenever I need inspiration xx

    Frances Kayleigh | Beauty Fashion Lifestyle

  11. Such a brilliant post, I've started to collect items to go into a box so that I can get it out everytime I'm going to take photos. I love using sequins and the fake flower heads they are create to use. I love adding highlights to my photos, makes them look so much brighter, it's a life saver!
    Charlotte / Charlotte's Picks

  12. The most beautiful flatlay ever! Lovely post, I have far too many blog props at the moment, I don't know where to store them all! xo

    Love, Catherine

  13. Your pictures are all stunning. I need to take these tips on board because photography is what my blog is lacking.

    Lauren x

  14. Such a beautiful flatlay and some gorgeous tips! Thank you for sharing :)
    Ambar x | Her Little Loves

  15. Thank you for the tips. I want to improve my photography this year. Funny thing I just gor a couple weeks ago the foam boards and contact paper. I wan to learn how to set up my camera for flat lays !!!
    The Color Palette

  16. Ooh thank you for the prop suggestions! I feel like I always end up using the same props, creating similar images so I'd like to switch things up :)

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

  17. Such great tips! I also struggle at the moment with lighting! It's just not practical this time of year. Hopefully the weather will pick up soon :)

    Alexis xoxo |

    Instagram: @lexxianne

    Twitter: @AlexisAnneBlog

  18. Great tips! Definitely have to look into getting some props from Hobbycraft, have a huge one near my house lool x

  19. Your pictures are beautiful I really to need to go on the hunt for some props! xx

    Zoe Mountford x

  20. Thanks for sharing, your photos are always beautiful. Fantastic editing xxx

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

  21. OO, your mini review of your camera has helped me, I'm currently on the lookout for a DSLR camera, your photos are swaying me!

    Lee |

  22. Really helpful post, thanks for sharing!!

    Grace x

  23. Your photo's are stunning! I love Hobbycraft, I also love The Range they have some cute props.

    EmmysBeautyCave | Blog Header Designs | Instagram

  24. Great tips - thanks for sharing! I really want to improve my photography skills x

  25. I always try and take photos in bulk as well because you never know but can have around 5 days of horrific lighting in which you can't do anything with it! I need to pick up a couple more props for my photography like ribbon etc as I think I'm running out of ideas and there are only so many times you can use a pink/white throw without your photos looking all identical! xx

  26. Awesome post! I really need to invest in more props and lighting for my shots. I feel like without props the items you're trying to focus on just get lost in the photo and lack excitement! I'm definitely going to check out the props you've listed! xo

    McKenzie |