So I’m kind of OCD about photography and branding. Whether it’s fashion photos for the blog, or new product photos for When it Rains Paper, I want to capture the perfect shot. It doesn’t matter how proud I am of a new stationery design, if my photo doesn’t capture it beautifully and professionally, buyers will skip right over it. Photography can be one of the biggest hurdles when it comes to growing your business or blog. Kat and I can’t deny that the better our photography skills get, the more products we sell. All that to say…I hate photography! (Sorry Audge. Love me anyway?) My house is a complete disaster after chasing the sunlight around from window to window. Half of the photos end up out of focus. And unfortunately, the nature of my work requires me to do this ALL THE TIME. You heard it here first, photography is the first thing I’m outsourcing if Kat and I hit it big one day! While we patiently wait to be part of Oprah’s Favorite Things, I’ve managed to assemble a handful of low-budget photography accessories that have tremendously helped hone my skills. If you’re looking to become a professional, these are probably not for you. (I can’t picture Audra walking around a wedding with foam board.) But if you’re running a small business or blog, these faves might be just the thing to perfect your photos!
1 | Cannon 50mm Lens
At $115, it’s the most expensive item on my list but has honestly made the biggest difference. You can get great shots even in really low lighting with this little guy and I love being able to blur out backgrounds so that my subject really pops.
I try really really hard not to use a flash. My photos just seem to look more natural if I avoid using a flash but every now and then it’s inevitable. If I’m shooting indoors at night, I can’t function without it. Unlike the flash that comes on my camera, I can bounce this one off of a white ceiling so that it’s not so harsh on my subject. A flash also comes in handy when I’m shooting products that have glitter on them. It gives me just the amount of sparkle I need!
3 | Fotostrap
Nope, a monogrammed camera strap doesn’t help improve my skills. It just makes me look a little bit more stylish. Fine by me! I’ll take all the help I can get since I’m basically faking it until I make it anyway.
This has been one of the best $50 I’ve spent on photography gear. On a cloudy day or when the sun starts to go down, this gives me the boost of natural light I need to keep shooting. It comes with 2 tall light stands, one short light stand, 3 bulbs, and a carrying case – well worth the money for those of you doing product photography!
5 | White Foam Board
Forget science fairs, these white boards were made for amateur photographers. Not only do I use them for all of my product backgrounds, but I also use them to bounce light off of when I’m using my flash. (Thanks Kat for always holding them for me!)
Alright bloggers, small business owners, and Insta lovers, get out there and make it happen. Happy Monday friends!