Even before Julia Boggio‘s session on Advanced Blogging Photography had started there was a great buzz in the room. It was definitely the session I had been looking forward to the most and the room was full of lots of other excited bloggers wanting to know more about improving their blog photography.
Julia started by talking about the misconceptions that great cameras take great photos; they don’t, its the photographer that does that. She described a photographer as someone who paints with light and explained that it is actually light that makes a great photo and is what makes images interesting. She demonstrated with a variety of images exactly how light can be used for different looks and effects. First there is ‘key’ light which is the main and strongest light upon your subject. There is ‘fill’ light which is what lifts shadows and can be created by bouncing ambient light from a reflective surface. And finally there is ‘hair’ light which is an accent or back light which separates a subject from its surrounds and gives an image depth.
Anyone who has even a passing interest in photography will know that photography is generally most attractive in natural sunlight. And Julia explained how sunlight can be used as a key light or hair light depending on positioning and suggested that when photographing people in natural light that it’s a good idea to get them to move their face around to make sure you avoid shadows. She gave the simple tip of taking a piece of white paper outside using it to gage where the best light is; which is something I’ve tried out since and have found really useful just to bring my attention back to thinking about the best light and best angle for my photo. With a predominantly mummy blogger audience, she faced questions about photographing children and suggested the best way is to move them towards a good light and then just let them play. But she did suggest that if you want to learn how to use light and how to use your camera, then it’s probably best to practise with still life which doesn’t have the added element of moving around and getting bored easily.
It was clear that a lot of preparations and time had gone into putting her session together, as Julia gave detailed examples of how she used, bounced, manipulated, added and excluded light from a variety of photo set ups. From showing how she made a simple lighting box or tent to photograph some garlic; to a demonstration on how excluding light and using compact mirrors and carrier bags as diffusers can create a still life full of texture; to showing how the position of light in portraiture can completely change the final look. The whole talk was crammed full of examples of how to use everyday items like lamps, white cushions and a black dress to play with the light and create different looks.
Oh and demonstrating her opening point perfectly, every single image that she had taken and shown us had been taken on her iPhone. I think it would be fair to say that this left everyone feeling pretty impressed and also confident that it really isn’t the kit when it comes to great blog images, but what you do with it that counts.
All About Lucy Roberts- Dear Beautiful Boy:
I am mummy to a beautiful boy and have another beautiful little bundle on the way. I also get to share my home with two perfect pussy cats and a rather handsome hubby…. so one pretty lucky lady really. I love the colour white, my camera, my iPad, sunshine, hydrangeas, cuddles, candles, words, my family and my life. I started blogging at Dear Beautiful Boy as a sort of time capsule for my boy; somewhere to collect photographs and memories to look back on in years to come. But it has become so much more than that. It’s a record of our lives, our adventures and our experiences. It’s a diary of my feelings about life and the wonder that is being a mother. It’s a love letter to my beautiful family. You can find me on Twitter and Facebook.