Posted by & filed under Photography, Tips and Techniques, Tutorial.

Hello my friends! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Today I’m going to share a few tips that I have learned in the past year to wrap up the Photography series. I look at some of my first blog posts and cringe at my pictures. Sometimes I’m tempted to delete them… but I remember those posts are what brought me where I am today. While I’m no where near a professional photographer I think my photos have improved ten fold over the past year.

If you missed the Photography series you can start here:

  1. Basics to Photography
  2. Aperture Photography
  3. Learn about your ISO setting
  4. Shutter Speed Photography
  5. The Exposure Triangle
  6. Photo Composition
  7. Capturing the every day moments
  8. 10 Photography tips to help you edit your pictures
  9. Some more  Photography tips
  10. My Photography Tips

Okay let’s get started…

See this picture below? This is the kind of picture you will see throughout my posts the first year of blogging. Sad I know. This picture is taken late at night with the flash. eeekk! It’s also very small as well. BIG pictures are more inviting. I now size mine at 650 pixels. You can re-size your images using Picassa or Photobucket.

Now this is how I would take it today…
Pin It

See how much more inviting this version looks? That picture is much more likely to get pinned. The thing I never realized was how important pictures really are. I would spend hours and hours on a project and then snap the picture in 30 seconds late at night. After investing so much time into a project, I realized that I really need to spend more time into styling my pictures. That could possibly be THE most important time you spend on your project. It is worth it to WAIT until the morning to take a picture. ;) Keep in mind I’m still FAR from perfect… but I am learning and striving to take better pictures.

One of the things I have learned is to add layers and texture. I usually use wrapping paper as my base. See my nifty set up below. Professional right?! ;) A roll of white butcher paper is usually my go to.

SO once you have your whole set up outside or by a window (this is key to great pictures) take tons of different angles of the shot. Don’t just tale one picture. Also, get down on the same level for a few. One time I was found by the UPS man lying down taking a picture of a smoothie on the porch. He was probably thinking what the?! lol!

I also love to take a picture from a side or angled view. It gives a whole different perspective. Think about taking your pictures from a 90 degree angle, a 45 degree angle and straight on.

You can see in this pic I used my  Canon 50mm f/1.8 Lens to really focus in on what I’m capturing.  However, if you don’t have a DSLR… no worries! You can still achieve great pictures by using natural light and the portrait mode.

Here’s another picture (of the best chocolate chip cookies) taken on wrapping paper. Scrapbook paper works great  too.

Another great CHEAP thing I use in pictures is white foam board. You can notice in this homemade granola picture I used the foam board behind the yogurt parfait I was photographing. It not only served as a great backdrop, but it also helped to bounce the light back ,creating a more even glow over the picture.

I also love using bead board as a back drop. For example, here with lace flowers.

I also used the bead board with my Halloween desserts /chocolate dipped ice cream cones. mmm…

One last thing I wanted to mention is incorporating pieces from your recipe into your final picture. For example with this cinnamon chip banana bread I spread the chinnamon chips onto the place mat. If you made a button card you could spread some buttons, or display a jar of buttons. Textures and layers make a great photo! I {heart} bakers twine.

Again I’m not a professional, but these are just a few things that have worked for me. I really hope that you have enjoyed this series and learned something new.

Come back tomorrow to see what’s in my camera bag and for a SUPER fun giveaway! :)


Jamielyn Nye is the owner and managing editor of I Heart Nap Time. She aspires to reach women, get their creative juices flowing, and to genuinely inspire. Her unique projects have been featured on many popular websites, including: BHG, Martha Stewart, Fox, ABC, People, Parents and more. When she’s not creating . . . Jamielyn loves to chase her two little monkeys and snuggle up on the couch with her man.

Join in!

102 Responses to “My Photography Tips”

  1. Donna

    White foam board is my friend when I set up my shots. My house is surrounded by trees so great indoor lighting makes it difficult to photograph indoors. The white foam board helps me bounce window light. I had not thought to use wrapping paper as a base. A super great tip! I will be on the look out for some! I especially like the brown paper you used. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Anne

    There are so many things I never considered when I began blogging! I always thought of myself as a good photographer, but indoor shots are difficult in my new, dark little home!! Thank you for this series. I am really enjoying your tips and tricks.

    Have a great week!

  3. Lolly Jane

    Great tips, Jamielyn! I am giggling that your “behind the scenes” shots look like mine… baking supplies, toys, etc. ;)
    What a fun series! Kelli got her DSLR camera this week and I told her to stalk your site for tips! Thanks gf! xoxo

    • Jamielyn

      haha! I know! I should post more “behind the scenes.” You would die! Thanks for commenting! So fun to see you girls the other night! xoxo

  4. laxsupermom

    Great tips! Better photos are definitely something I need to work on. I’m usually so excited to take the finally finished pic that I settle for cr@ppy evening pics. I’m definitely waiting til the next day from now on. Love the tips about the wrapping paper and foam board, too. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Paige @ Healthy Hits the Spot

    Great post! Now, for us food bloggers who have to photograph dinner at night, do you have any suggestions? That would be so awesome! If you already have a post on this, forgive me, I am a new follower, and I would love to see that post! Thank you :)

  6. Kara @ Nest Candy

    These are great tips. They are also easy to follow. Some tutorials for lighting get too complicated for me. Thanks for the great ideas!

  7. Michelle @ Teagans Travels

    This.is.amazing! I have been struggling with pics for my blog and can’t tell you how much I appreciate this post! I am going back to review all your photography lessons! Would love it if you’d link this up on my Destination: Inspiration linky party going on now at Teagan’s Travels.


    Have you ever done a series on blog design and layout? I am fairly new to the scene, trying to grow mine and am sure I need to make changes but I can’t afford professional design at this point.

    Thanks, Michelle

    • Jamielyn

      Thanks Michelle! I have not done a series on blog design, but will definitely consider it. :) Have a good weekend!

  8. Sharon {Grumpy, Sleepy, and Bashful}

    LOVE this post, it is full of such terrific, simple ideas (had to tweet it and stumble it! :))

    My pictures are a huge achilles heel to my blog, I feel. I need to get better, and work on it all the time. Thank you so much for sharing in such an informative way! I love the early/later version of your thank you cards at the beginning.

    Look forward to exploring more of your photography posts. :)

  9. Laura

    Thanks for the great tips! Do you remember where you found the small white foam board that bends like that? I have only seen the poster-sized flat ones. Just curious….Thanks!

  10. Carolyn

    Great tips, thanks.
    I never considered layering.
    My main problem is I have very poor lighting in the house, even during the day :(

    • Jamielyn

      I have horrible lighting too. I find the morning is the best time, right by the window. Or else I move to the patio. :)

  11. Jodi

    Thank you so much for this post. I haven’t seen this blogging tip, and it’s super helpful. I really feel like I can move forward now with better pictures. My husband is good a photography, but it’s really all new to me, so I’m flying by the seat of my pants. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I found this.

  12. The Hedonist

    These are fantastic tips. I’ve been told I have fantastic content, but my pics are pretty amateurish. I’d love to take a photog class, but there’s no way I could fit it in… Thanks for posting these!

    • Jamielyn

      So glad these helped a little! Pictures definitely make a big difference. There’s so many great resources online too. Hope you have a good weekend!

  13. Erin

    Love these photo tips! I just started blogging and find these tips very helpful:) I will be using them in the future and coming back for reference many times probably!

  14. Kari

    Thank you so very much for this great tutorial! I have been blogging for 1.5 years now and am always trying to achieve better pictures for the blog. I will totally use these tips and will cite you in the future for these great tips!!

    • Jamielyn

      Thank you Kari! Pictures are definitely what make a great blog even better. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  15. Laura @ Laura's Crafty Life

    Thank you for the tips. I already used a white board underneath my photos, but didn’t think of using it behind the photos near a window. It is really windy where I live and it would be really nice to not have to take everything outside. I still have a crappy point and shoot camera, a DSLR is on my wishlist. But for now, any little bit helps! :)

    • Jamielyn

      Definitely every little bit helps. You can definitely still get great pictures on a point and shoot. Just use all the natural light you can get. Hope you have a great weekend! xo

  16. Cheryl

    Great series and good tips.
    I do have one question for you though. In the banana bread photo. It looks like you took the picture above the banana bread. Did you have it on the floor in front of a window on the placemat?

    • Jamielyn

      Hey Cheryl! For that picture I actually took it out on my patio! And yes it was on a place mat I found at Target. :)

  17. Donata from DK's Craft Cafe

    This is really helpful, Jamielyn.
    Thank you very much!

  18. Home is Where my Heart is

    Jamielyn, this post is exactly what I needed. My blog photos are still at the “before” stage. I will use these tips from now on, so thank you for sharing. I’ve also pinned this post! :) Cath

  19. Debbie {visual eye candy}

    I just found you via craft-o-maniac linky party! I love this series I think I’ll have to take some time and read every post! What great tips I would’ve never thought to use white foam board as a backdrop but it looks amazing. I’m also your newest follower!

  20. Beth @ Free Stylin'

    I think this is THE MOST informative post I have ever read about picture styling. I swear I pinned just about every tip. Thank you SO much for writing this. I get seriously disappointed at the way my pics turn out sometimes, and I couldn’t figure out what others were doing differently. Thank you thank you thank you. Like seriously. If we were friends in real life, I’d be dropping off a case of diet coke on your porch.

  21. jennifer

    Great tips! I love your blog and I think your pictures are great. Gotta check out that chocolate chip cookie recipe.

  22. Kelley Wilson

    These are great tips, I am always saying that looks a lot better in person than in the pic I took! I got anew camera for xmas and it actually has a food scene on it! Can’t wait to try your tips and see if my pics look better

  23. liliana

    Well, you make it look so easy! I think I’ve tryed everything and my photos still look bad. I the I’m the problem. Thanks for the tips. I’ll try one more time…

  24. Amber

    These are great hints! I just linked up on my blogs FB page and I’m following you! Thanks so much for the hints. I know how to take action photos its the still photograph the stumps me.

  25. Sarah

    When I first started blogging I searched everywhere for tips on how to photograph my crafts and crocheted items. I finally had to e-mail a fellow crocheter to ask what she used for a backdrop: school bulletin board paper with a barn wood design – Genius! http://www.schoolsupplystore.com/Fadeless-Designs-48-x-50-Boxed-Barn-Wood-P94163.aspx. And so are all your tips. I love the idea of foam core as a wall. This is going to change my life, LOL! Thank You! – Sarah @ Repeat Crafter Me

  26. Kelly

    Thanks you for the tips. My first pictures were horrible. I’m getting better but they still need lots of improvement.

  27. Not Just A Mommy!

    I just had to thank you and let you know how awesome this info was! Went to Michael’s and found a mini trifold foam core presentation board. I my new wooden cutting board and wowzers! I may have to walk with my foam core if it means my photos come out like this! http://twitpic.com/9bpub7

  28. Bee

    hi jamielyn,
    I am a german mommy-blogger (www.emmabee.de) and want to start a new blog about blogging (www.ladiestalkbusiness.wordpress.com) soon… It’s supposed to be a network for female bloggers where they can find out about what makes their blog better, more interesting, with better pictures, more readers,…… the categories are fotos, texting, idea- & project-organizing… I love your post about photography… Would you mind if I write a little post about it & maybe use one of your pictures… I would post the link to your site in the article so that everyone can be directed to your site… that would be awesome!
    thank you very much.

  29. TeeW

    I found your blog via pinterest (your pictures MUST be working). Thanks for the great tips! I can’t wait to try them out and get to see the results.

  30. Candy

    Amazing tips Jamielyn
    I’ve been following you for a little while and I read over your articles whenever I get a break from my baby. I’m new to the world of photography and I’ve started since I had my son five months ago. Since photographers are sooo expensive I thought I can do my baby’s pictures myself. So, I got a Canon Rebel T2 and Im self-training myself with wonderful and easy language articles like yours. I also read that you have used photoshop elements 7 and it worked faboulous for you. Well, as a mother’s gift I got PE10 and I think I need a little bit of help . Do you have any recomendations on how to use PE 10 or if you have any tutorials I can read over? Thank you !

  31. Shalini

    Hi! I’ve just started my second tumblr blog on DIY and recipes, mainly. I just wanted to tell you, I share a lot of your stuff on that blog. You’re incredibly creative, your website is the only one that I visit EVERY afternoon (with a tub of ice cream).


  32. Jess @ Spool and Spoon

    Thank you so much for all of these wonderful tips! As a newbie blogger, I’m just getting the hang of how important it is to showcase your hard work to attract the masses and this post just made a ton of difference. You = incredible!

  33. Malia

    I found your site via pinterest because I re-pinned the Neapolitan Cupcake post and made them last night. So glad that pin brought me to your lovely site! This is only the second post I have clicked on but loved it so far too! I also love photography and my fave lens is my 50mm 1.8 but I have a really big wish list :). I am impressed at what you have done with that lens. Thank you for sharing your talents. I look forward to checking back in again (hopefully during “nap time”). aloha, malia

  34. Tiffany

    Thanks for the great post and tips. I came across your post thru interest. Love your blog. I think this post will help me photograph for my blog even better.

  35. Elizabeth

    Thanks for the tips! Surely my black tabletop is going to get boring as a background soon, so I’m going to keep my eye out for some on-sale table mats and wrapping paper to spice things up.

  36. Tatiana

    Thank you for this simple to do, but amazing tips! I definitely needed them and now my photos will be much much better! xo Tati

  37. Tara

    Excellent tips. I always do really well with portraits and outdoor shots but little objects and food?! What’s great is that I have about 10 lbs. of scrapbook paper sitting right in front of me and foam board is so inexpensive. So simple, yet so important. THANK YOU!

  38. Angela

    Great tips. It’s nice to find a site that explains things is easy to understand laymen’s terms. I will be visiting the blog often.

  39. Mandi @ DIYCraftPhotography

    Your layering tip is GENIUS! It totally opened my eyes and revolutionized my food photography. This comment is like, a year+ late, but I just wanted to say thanks and let you know that I featured you in DIYCraftPhotography’s list of the best “craft photography” resources on the web. I hope others are finding it as helpful as I did. Stay awesome!