Think Outside The Box
You don’t have to own $10k in top-tier camera equipment to take engaging, relevant photos for your blog. You don’t need a professional array of lenses and set pieces in order to increase your own personal traffic. You do, however, have to be creative. Sometimes you can find solutions without any budget whatever, sometimes you’ll want to use solutions like crowdsourcing.
Such tactics can be easier to consider than to implement. And a crowd-sourced solution requires careful management. With that in mind, following are a few ideas you can follow through on at home to help get you started in terms of photographic creativity.
1. Light Bending
Do you have a snow globe handy? How about a bit of glass from the bottom of a chandelier? Do you have a clear plastic cup? How about a transparent wine glass? You could even use something as simple as the cardboard tube which remains after you’ve used up the paper towels that used to be wrapped around it—this forces perspective and can act as a focusing agent. Take a picture of your face through a tube and you look like the moon!
The point is, there are all kinds of items that are just lying around your house which you can use to augment the way a camera lens “ingests” light. Mirrors are also downright useful here, and you can use large white sheets of paper to “bounce” light softly into a space without washing an object in brilliance that’s greater than your needs.
The key to good photography is capturing images that are interesting to look at, not dotting your “i’s” and crossing your “t’s” so film nerds pat you on the back. Especially starting out, you’re not trying to impress technical professionals; you’re just trying to use your images as a means of enhancing content.
Have you ever seen a picture where the background is blurred, but there’s something in the foreground that is crystal clear? This is called “depth of field”, and it has to do with the way in which a lens is adjusted.
DSLR cameras are excellent for depth-of-field shots, but most smartphones don’t have such a feature. The iPhone 7 does, and there are apps which can simulate this effect. Whether synthetic or authentic, depth of field looks very professional. To give your blog and other content enhanced effectiveness, this is a pretty recommendable tactic.
3. Backdrops And Texture
The texture of a scene can do a lot to communicate subconsciously to the viewer. For example, consider a sandy beach as opposed to the mud of an inland lake. The texture of the mud, as opposed to that of the sand, can be communicated in a picture. This is especially true with food. Properly textured plastic and wax fruit looks very real.
Have props available you can use like this; and re-use them. For example, if you’re doing a Halloween shoot, you don’t need all new candy every year you write that feature piece. You can buy in bulk and use the same trifles for subsequent use years down the line.
Texture is also something which can be used in the background of a picture to give it a bit more “weight”, if you will. Consider a wood wall, wallpaper, cement, and brick. Each has a different texture—but you don’t need to have the actual materials in order to simulate as much, and finding surrogate solutions can save time and money.
Sometimes a simple backdrop makes all the difference in the world; Denny Manufacturing provides photo equipment, backdrops, and even photo “flooring” solutions. Granted, this could represent a minor cost, but it may be just what you need to give your pictures the gravity they need!
Capture Photos Like A Professional On A Tight Budget
If you wanted to, you could theoretically shoot a feature-length movie on nothing more than a smartphone. Granted, this isn’t likely a very good idea, but you get the point: you have tools available to you.
Just because top-tier photo equipment is expensive doesn’t mean you can’t get the same result at a fraction of the cost. So be creative. Try things. Sometimes being limited in materials forces you to think outside the box in ways you wouldn’t otherwise.