Photography: DIY Photoshoot Tips

Get a professional result for nowhere near the price with these hacks.

My preferred backdrop is a white sheet – simple and effective! (Image: Becca Smith)

1. You don’t need to spend $100 on a quilt with tassels

Yes, they are beautiful and the quality is unbeatable… but when it comes to setting up your photoshoot, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars! You can find macrame tassels at any $2 shop or Kmart, you can also use sheets or blankets… even scarves. The best part about taking a photograph, is you can hide imperfections you don’t like.

This textured blanket is a basic $30 quilt cover from Kmart. (Image: Becca Smith)

2. Have you got the Adobe Lightroom app yet?

Adobe Lightroom includes tips from creators and some of the best features for editing. (Images: Adobe Lightroom)

I cannot rate this app enough! It has settings and features that allow you to change and alter almost every level of your picture: contrast, detail, colour, light… but that’s not the best part. When you have Lightroom installed, you can actually purchase Preset Filters online from stores on Etsy and the likes. And some of the filters you can purchase are AMAZING. Just see for yourself…

Only available on iPhone.

3. Natural light is unbeatable!

This one speaks for itself. A sunny, beautiful day beats a shadowy, grey one. In saying that, a beautiful, natural light from a window is always better than a orange, hospital-like glow you get from ceiling lights or a flash. Aim for natural and the more natural your light is, the better!

This photo was also edited using Lightroom and a purchased preset. (Image: Becca Smith)

4. A wooden chair + a white sheet…

Simplicity at its best! And simplicity always seems to work best, too. Try to cut the noise out of your picture, especially in the background. You want to keep the focus on whoever or whatever your shooting, so having a clear background and minimal noise will accentuate that.

More is less. (Image: Becca Smith)

5. Surprise!

Like all of my tips and ideas, this may not be for everyone but I love a natural, unplanned looking photo. I am always trying to get my daughter to giggle or just talk about something while I am trying to take photos of her because she has a habit of either posing (I secretly love her crazy poses… but sometimes, I need just one nice photo) standing up straight with her arms stiff by her side and smiling blankly like she’s playing a game of musical statues. I love getting a snap of her laughing or a sneaky side shot of her where she doesn’t realise I’m watching her and she just looks so natural and beautiful…. I am getting carried away but my point is natural photos are the best photos. Try telling a few jokes before you hit the button.

My daughter, Anna, mid-laugh. (Image: Becca Smith)

6. Overediting is real

Less is more 9 out of 10 times. This is relevant to editing, too. Don’t over do it. It’s so easy to get carried away and sometimes, you can edit a photo too much. I find this seems to happen a lot with sharpening and structuring. Keep it to a minimum, so don’t lose the beauty of the original colour.

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