Well, the last month has been a bit of a whirlwind hasn’t it? If you had told me back in February that I would be writing this post sat at home after leaving uni and having all of my exams, graduation celebrations and summer plans cancelled, unable to leave the house except for my one designated walk per day, then I probably would have laughed in your face and said something like ‘don’t be so dramatic’. And yet, here we are. The effect that COVID-19 has had upon all of our lives was entirely unprecedented, and the majority of us are still trying to settle into what has become the new norm for now and the foreseeable future.
At times like these, it’s important to focus on the things that give you the most enjoyment in life, and for many of you reading this post, somewhere on that list of endorphin-inducing things will be your blog. For me, blogging is my main hobby, my expression of creativity and my source of inspiration, in other words, it’s the main thing keeping me sane during lockdown. But with only one walk a day, that usually involves a trip to a windy, muddy country park, how on earth am I meant to shoot content? With aesthetically pleasing locations temporarily out the window, it seems like this is an impossible task, however I’m writing this post to tell you that it’s not! With a bit of improvisation, some tricky camerawork, and a whole load of trial and error, you can keep creating killer content without leaving the house. I’ve picked up some tips over the past couple of weeks that so far seem to be working for me, so I wanted to share them with any other struggling bloggers out there!
MAKE USE OF MIRRORS
This sounds like an obvious one but mirrors can become your best friend when shooting content at home. Not only do they remove the need for a photographer, but you can play around with them to get some really cool angles! You can use big full length mirrors or even little ones to achieve different types of photos, so if you don’t have a big one in your house then don’t be discouraged, with a good angle you can still get some really cool results!
USE A RING LIGHT / SHUTTER CLICKER
This is a great tip for anyone who shoots content at home, especially if it is video content or detailed images such as makeup shots. I purchased a portable ring light from Amazon a couple of weeks before everything happened as I wanted to film a video, and I am so glad that I did! My ring light was only £20 and I think it’s the perfect little tool for shooting at home. With three different light types and 10 brightness settings, its very good for selfies and videos. One of the great things about it is that it comes with a bluetooth shutter button. Now this is the essential part. By using the shutter button, you again remove the need for a photographer and are in charge of your own pics. You can use the ring light stand to set up your angles how you like it, and then click away to your heart’s content. This is perfect for those of us who are quite particular about our photos, preventing inevitable arguments with any family members who just simply don’t get your vision. The saying goes that if you want something done properly, do it yourself, and the shutter button allows you to do just that.
GET YOUR FAMILY TO HELP YOU
Having said that, although your family members might not be used to shooting blog content, they can be really helpful when it comes to getting photos that you just can’t do by yourself. My mum has always helped me to shoot content when I am at home, and of course, it takes a lot of trial and error, but we usually get there in the end. My mum has been responsible for some of my best shots over the years (albeit with quite a lot of guidance). When shooting at home, I have managed to get my whole family involved in creating makeshift ‘studios’, catching the perfect light, and switching up the angles. If you have people willing to help you, then this can really help your content in terms of variety, so it’s worth roping them in to help, I mean it’s not like they’ve got anything better to do right now is it.
FIND A PLAIN BACKGROUND
One of the most difficult things about blogging at home, and about blogging full stop, is finding a clear, fresh background for your photos. I find that my Insta looks so much better overall when I have less busy backgrounds in my photos and it just makes for a cleaner finish. If you have a room in your house that has fairly plain walls and decor, then this is the best place to take your photos. Having a minimalist backdrop can really help your content to be cohesive and aesthetically pleasing for your followers. I am lucky to have a summer house in my garden that has white walls so I am using that for a lot of photos, but any plain wall in your house will work!
USE A BIG WHITE SHEET AS A BACKDROP
Inside my home however, with my mum’s adoration for heart trinkets, mirrors and photo frames, it is extremely difficult to find a plain background to use. Light is limited in the summer house and can’t always produce good photos and so, we improvise.
Hanging up a big white sheet (or getting some willing volunteers to hold it for you) can make for an easy, simple background that allows you to shoot anywhere in your home. This gives you a clear, well-lit space to take a photo that doesn’t distract from the outfit you are wearing and keeps your feed nice and cohesive. It might not look like much, but trust in the process and the photos will come out well! With this simple trick, anyone can create a studio in their home that creates great content.
The set up:
TRACK THE LIGHTING IN YOUR HOME
This is probably one of the most important steps when it comes to creating indoor content. Without good lighting, your photos don’t come out half as well as they could do, and become difficult to edit. Catching the light is crucial to creating good photoshoots, so you need to start paying attention!
For instance, the sun shines on one side of my house in the morning, and the other in the afternoon, so rooms become good studios at different times of the day. I now know that my bedroom gets direct sunlight from about 3:30-5pm and then bright light (but not sunlight) from about 5:20-6pm. I also know that the summer house gets sunlight from about 4-5pm. Take your time to notice the specific times that that good lighting hits, because not only will it optimise your shoots, but it enables you to schedule your day if you have other things like uni work to be doing.
CREATE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CONTENT
Right now, we need to accept that we simply can’t keep taking the exact same content that we were making before. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make any content. This has allowed me to start experimenting with content, creating videos and taking more product shots than before. You can keep an Instagram account looking great by focusing on lifestyle shots as well as photos of yourself. This means creative shots of makeup, skincare, shoes, accessories, and other pretty things. You can experiment with different materials as backdrops, different flatlays and angles to get some really creative shots that keep your feed looking super pretty!
USE THE RETOUCH APP
As I said, it can be very difficult to get a plain background in the home, so if there is one photo frame or poster stopping you from taking a picture, don’t let it get in the way. For little edits like that, download the Retouch app from the app store, or the free version called Photo retouch. Apps like Snapseed will also do a similar job. With these apps, you can use the brush tool to remove objects from the back of photos relatively easily, especially when removing things from a plain wall! This will allow you to keep a fresh background, without taking your entire front room apart.
So those are my main top tips for creating content at home. It’s a learning curve for me as a content creator and I’m certainly no expert but I’m trying my best to keep my feed going! One positive of this situation is that it has really brought out my creative side and I am actually creating more content than usual! I get a lot of inspiration from Instagram so having a scroll through your feed will definitely help you to come up with some new content ideas. At times like these, it’s important to support and help each other, and I am so thankful that I have so many great bloggers to take inspiration from! I hope you are all staying safe and healthy at home, and I hope that these tips could help anyone struggling with taking photos at the moment. One of the biggest tips that I didn’t include in the list is that you have to be prepared for a lot of trial and error. Whenever you try something new it’s not always going to work straight away, and I’ve had some shoots that just didn’t work out how I wanted them to, but don’t let that dishearten you because you’ll get there eventually, you got this guys!
If you liked this post then give yourself something to read during quarantine and scroll down to subscribe to my blog via email! You can also see all of my indoor content over on my Instagram!