My Photography Tips


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! :)


more by Jamielyn »

Jamielyn Nye

Creative director and founder of I Heart Naptime. Jamielyn aspires to reach women, get their creative juices flowing, and to genuinely inspire. When she’s not creating, Jamielyn loves to chase her three little monkeys and snuggle up on the couch with her man.

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111 comments on “My Photography Tips”

  1. 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. 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. 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

  4. 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. 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. These are great tips! I love the bead board. I have used foam board as a backdrop but usually don’t think to bounce light off it. Thanks for sharing.

  7. {Smacks head} Textures! Why, why, why didn’t I think of this????

  8. Kara @ Nest Candy Reply

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

  9. Britney Gulbrandsen Reply

    Love these awesome tips! My pictures need some SERIOUS help. Thanks!

  10.! 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

  11. This is great! I’ve been using wrapping paper for my pictures lately do and it makes such a difference! I love the white board! I might have to try that! Thanks for sharing!

  12. This is awesome! Thanks for the tips!

  13. These are great tips! I definitely needed them and I’m excited to start using your tips for better pics. I love the beadboard. Thanks!
    Laurie @ Gallamore West

  14. 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. :)

  15. 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!

  16. Such helpful tips! Makes me laugh to think about cropping my daughter’s fingers out of photos when I get her to hold my backdrop boards.

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

    • 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!

  20. This so helpful! Thank you!!!!

  21. 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!

  22. 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!!

  23. Laura @ Laura's Crafty Life Reply

    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! :)

    • 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

  24. 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?

  25. Donata from DK's Craft Cafe Reply

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

  26. 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

  27. 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!

  28. 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.

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

  30. I love these tutorials! I do much the same in my photography! I would love for you to link up with Make-It-Yourself Monday at my blog, An Original Belle. Each Monday three links get featured! Thanks! I hope to see you there!

  31. You are a genius! This is just what I need – I’m in!

  32. 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

  33. Thanks for the tips. I’m new to all of this and I appreciate all the advice you’ve shared!

  34. Thanks for sharing this! I love reading about photography whenever I can for some reason!

  35. 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…

  36. What fabulous tips! I have the beadboard and wrapping paper already in my closet! :)

    Please stop by and enter my $50 Kirklands giftcard giveaway.

  37. Thanks for those great tips, I have so much to learn in this department!

  38. 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.

  39. Thank you for the great tips. I need to read your other tutorials now.

  40. 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! 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

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

  42. 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!

  43. hi jamielyn,
    I am a german mommy-blogger ( and want to start a new blog about blogging ( 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.

  44. great tips! love ur backgrounds :) Thank u for sharing xx

  45. 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.

  46. Ashley @ Dirt Stains & Paint Reply

    I somehow JUST discovered these photo tips and they are GREAT! Thank you so much for sharing!

  47. 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 !

  48. 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).


  49. 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!

  50. Love your site. Well Content. Inspired.

  51. 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

  52. Barbara Fountain Reply

    I love your site….you have heard “It’s a good thing!” Your site is even better. Look forward to each and everything you write about!

  53. Great photography tips!! Love my white foam board, but didn’t think to use it for reflecting light! Love the behind-the-scene shots, too! :)

  54. I’ve been chomping at the bits to try some table top photography so for sure i will put some of your tips to use.

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. Great Post! I loved it!

  58. 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

  59. 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!

  60. 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.

  61. Love these tips. Can’t Wait for the stores to open tomorrow!

  62. Thanks so much Jamielyn! Such a big help! More power!

  63. Thanks for the great advise. I just started my blog and will be trying out the white board and layers.

  64. This series has been so so so helpful, thank you so very much, it’s incredibly appreciated :)

  65. 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!

  66. These are some great photography tips :) I am defiantly going to try these techniques when taking photos for my blog thanks for sharing!

  67. Great ideas – the foam board idea is great – so is the wrapping paper/butcher paper as the bottom layer. Thanks!

  68. Thank you for the wonderful tips about photography. I bought Canon 7d last month. I would like to know what do you think about the Canon 7d? I still need help and tips and where i should learning photography?? please advise me.

  69. GREAT tips. I am getting into food photography and I have an IG account for recipes and these are gorgeous advices. I also have my little homemade tricks to make a photo seem more professional e.g my BF has a Superman poster and it has an amazing grey back that I use to make country style pics, also have a big white, bright plate that makes amazing white background and bounces back the light. It’s funny to see others how they resolve to make good quality pics without any studio set up :D

  70. Thank you! These were just some of the tips I was looking for as I begin the adventure of blogging! The layering tip especially is perfect! Now to get my camera out.

  71. Great post , thanks for sharing

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