You are probably not a professional photographer nor do you intend to be, but there’s no denying great photos can make or break your blog. How do your photographs compare to other beauty bloggers? Are they blurry, grainy and out of focus? Can your readers see the true colors of your swatches, or is the wrong lighting putting your images in the dark? Let us give you advice on how to achieve the perfect swatch!
You don’t need a professional camera to get that perfect shot! Yes, a high-end DSLR camera will give you great photos but a simple point and shoot or even your iPhone can give you great HD quality if used correctly and edited the right way. If you are looking into which camera suits you best, take a look here.
When it comes to swatches you want to make sure, you are as close as possible to the object you want to photograph, so zoom in. Your readers want to see the color and consistency, so try to stay focused. The macro setting on your camera, usually pictured as a flower, is perfect for focus and clear images. Any image under 300 pixel is pretty blend. Try to stay at least over 600 pixel.
Most point and shoot cameras with HD should have something similar to a scene selection or background defocus option. Blurring out the background, similar to the macro effect, can highlight the product or swatch and keep everything else in the distance. Within that selection, you can find options for shooting photos during night time or with backlight correction. ISO as one of the most important settings… it will help you shoot without flash in low light circumstances and reduce blur at the same time. Generally, the lower the ISO the better your photo will turn out as they can get too grainy or bright with a higher ISO. Play around with your camera and shoot photos in different settings. You will quickly realize the more useful settings and what works best for you.
Editing your photos is just as important as taking them. Make sure to crop the photos into the right size, enhance the exposure and contrast and adjust the brightness of your image. Remember, you’re not trying to alter your photograph and change the colors of your swatches… you are trying to enhance them.
Most importantly: Use the right light when taking photos of swatches! Usually, day light is best. Choose a place either outside or in front of a big window to give your product enough exposure. Avoid using the flash because your photos will be washed out and some colors might not even show up at all.
Other useful equipment include reflectors or a tripod/monopod. Placing your camera on a tripod can help with stabilization, especially if you are taking a self-portrait. Find a selection here. Light reflectors are a great solution if you are trying to find the perfect lighting with some additional help. Depending on the angle and color, they increase highlights or contrast, a softer look or more neutral whites. Find reflectors here.
Utilize props! Some bloggers prefer taking pictures of their swatches against a magazine, the original package or even over a colorful fabric. We prefer to keep things neat and clean, so we recommend a neutral background, possibly white, so the focus is only on your swatches.
Take many photos! Don’t expect your first shot to be the one! You probably will have to take at least 5-10 to get the perfect one! Once you are more experienced, it might go faster.
If you do have many photos in the end, sometimes the selection is hard. However, if you only have one product to show, don’t show it 10 times. One great photo is mostly all you need!
Additionally, if you want to be precise, you can always include the name of the product or shade in the photo! And, if there is a story to the product, show the photos in the right order!
How do you take pictures of swatches? Tell us your tips below!