Photography is a critical aspect of blogging. Great writing is an essential part, as well. But excellent images are what will draw readers to your site and keep them browsing.
It can be difficult to take high-quality images for a variety of reasons. Lack of equipment, poor lighting, or just general inexperience make it hard to capture photographs that bring blogs to life. I'm here to tell you that you CAN learn to take a great photo (though I'll save those tips for another article). And you CAN take excellent photos without a ton of expensive equipment.
For awhile, I was taking photos for my blog and online store using a homemade light box. Make a homemade light box is fairly simple. For instructions, click here. For some reason, though, my house is very poorly lit, and no matter how well I tried to light my photography area, I never managed the effect I was looking for.
After making a bit of money back from my blog (check out some of what has worked for me here), I decided to invest in a light box. After doing a lot of research, here's what I discovered:
1) Light boxes can be expensive. (But they don't have to be.)
2) Light boxes are often poorly made.
3) Light boxes often come with a number of handy accessories, many of which you might or might not need. So evaluate costs accordingly.
In the end, I decided to purchase a light box, and I did a lot of careful research to determine which to purchase. The choices were a bit overwhelming, I'll admit.
I ultimately went with the Havox Photo Studio. It is essentially a cube with various openings through which you can take photos. The outside of the box is black, and the inside is silver.
You set the light box up yourself by connecting a framework of posts and covering them with the black fabric. My Photo Studio came with a few backdrop options, including white, black, blue, and yellow. The lights themselves are LED and hook in to the light box at the back.
Taking photos is truly a snap with a light box like this. Every single shot I take comes out 100 times better than if I had attempted to take the photo in natural light. I've been quite pleased so far.
The only drawbacks I've encountered with the Havox so far are:
1) The lights are very sensitive and jerking the power supply around can make them short on and off. For this reason, I don't leave my light box plugged in when it's not in use.
2) The LED lights are VERY bright and can hurt your eyes. Be cautioned!
3) Depending on what you are photographing, you may need to clean the light box backdrop after each use. Anything that can leave behind crumbs, dust, or glitter might make your white backdrop look a bit of a mess once you're done photographing. Just wipe the backdrop with a damp paper towel after each use to avoid this.
Overall, I'd recommend the purchase of a light box to anyone who spends a lot of time blogging or taking product photos. Mine only cost about $50, and I feel like it was a worthwhile investment for the high-quality photos it allows.
Do you have a light box? What do you think of it? Drop your comments below!