We all know how rubbish it is trying to take blog or Instagram photos this time of the year. The winter season is the worst time to try and shoot, with day light hours restricted and gloomy days more likely than bright ones. It can be hard to find the right time to take some pictures with the weather outside not playing ball, social events growing at this time of the year with Christmas just around the corner and also longer hours at work or school before the holiday season hits. Taking blog photos in the winter can make you fall behind and struggle to even get one decent shot, but there a few tips and tricks you can do to try make things work better and also fit with the time of the year.
Make use of daylight when you can
If you wake up one morning and it’s amazing daylight, then make good use of the lighting and bulk shoot. Remember that white fluffy clouds are your best friends, not just those bright blue sky days. White clouds work as a big soft box. By shooting on good day light days you are ensuring you are getting as much done as possible, whilst the lighting is still good and you will then not run into problems on other days when you need photos, but can’t take any because the lighting is good. Bulk shooting will save you time and efficiency. Sometimes you might have to push aside plans if you want to fit in taking photos, especially on weekends. You can spend a couple of hours taking photos, either by getting up an hour earlier or heading out in the afternoon if you spend the morning taking photos. Be proactive and get it done when you can, so you don’t run into those problems further down the blogging process. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later!
Use white backgrounds
White backgrounds help to bounce light around an object. So if you’ve set up to shoot, ensure your background is either white or have white surroundings out of the picture to bounce light onto your back drop. You can do this with either a big white sheet or white card. This will also help to make your photos look airy and bright without much effort. Also remember that white is a lot easier to achieve bright photos with than dark. This will also help in the editing stages, because you won’t have to edit out so many dark areas.
Make use of seasonal props
This time of the year opens up so many doors for what props you can use in your photos. You can get very adventurous and creative with your props enabling you to style your photos in whichever way you want to. There’s so many props you can use to turn your blog photos wintery. Leaves are a great way to bring the outdoors in and use to create a seasonal themed photo that has a natural feel to it. They’re also good for filling in gaps in photos and bringing them more to life. Pinecones, conkers and acorns are also things to include. You can also take any of your seasonal indoor decorations and add them to your photos, like scented candles, throws or blankets, pillows, ornaments, flowers etc. These can create a lovely homely and bossiness feel to photos. The same can be applied for any Christmas photos you want to take. Add some twinkly lights, baubles, tinsel, any stars etc to give your photos a magical twist. Ribbons are also a good prop to use to fill any corners or add an extra touch of something.
Use a reflector
A reflector is also a good way to make your photos appear bright and white. Reflectors help to bounce light and minimise shadows. You can either be buy a proper photographic reflector from places like Amazon or you can easily make your own from home. I made one for myself before. I got some cardboard (from a box of some sort), then I sellotaped tin foil around the card to use as the thing to bounce the light around. Then I just stood the now made reflector towards the light source, so then it bounced the light back onto my photo and it worked a treat.
Change the aperture on your camera
If you want to go into more of the technical side of things, changing the aperture on your camera can really help to make photos appear bright and white in the winter time. The smaller the f stop on your camera, the more light can enter the camera lense. So if the day is quite cloudy and you need some help from your camera, turn the f stop down to enable more natural light through your camera lense. But if the day is quite bright, you will need to turn the f stop up to prevent yourself from over exposing your photos.
Invest in a soft box
This is something I’ve really been considering lately. But soft boxes are super helpful if you do find it hard to shoot on gloomy days or have no time to shoot during the day and you’re always returning home to dark skies. A soft box is translucent cloth that is in the shape of a box and situated upon a stand. They work in the way that they use artificial lighting to create evenly distributed light. Soft boxes can give you lots of direction and control for when you are setting up your photographs and want to bring in the most light. They also help to eliminate shadows and can create natural looking photos without the natural light. They are really helpful for bloggers to use when lighting is not on their side, so can be a very worthy investment and very handy during the winter time.
Stay away from flatlay’s on bad days
Flatlay’s on dark and gloomy days are the hardest to shoot because the lighting will not be equal all around and will produce more shadows. Instead stick with shooting more side on or close up and blurring the background to still achieve a stunning photo. This way you can also use your reflector to bounce the light onto one specific area of what you’re shooting, rather than trying to make it equally distributed like on a flatly photograph.
Edit the best you can
No one expects your photos to be perfect in the winter. It’s impossible to achieve a bright and white photo completely. But obviously using the tips above can really help you get close to it. So when it comes to editing, all you need to do is edit the best that you possibly can. Some of my favourite editing apps include facetune, aviary and light room. They all are great for making photos lighter and whiter. When editing, as long as you are changing the highlights and exposure, you are already half way there to making your images appear brighter. The rest is up to you how you adjust things like shadows and contrast. It’s also important to get rid of any blue or yellow tints with the warm or cool settings. Cool is always better than warm, especially during the winter as it fits in with the theme of the season.
How do you make taking photos easier in the winter time?