click map Twitter Instagram Pinterest Facebook

Simple Tip for Professional Photos


Let me start by saying I am by no means a photography master. But between shooting for my blog and my job I’ve picked up a few tips here and there. Any photographer will tell you that lighting is key to a good picture. Unwanted shadows can ruin a great shot. When I’m shooting objects (like my un-twistable necklaces) I like to set up shot next to a window with indirect sunlight. Natural light will always give you the best pictures BUT you don’t want direct sun. Direct sunlight will bleach out your photos and eliminate the subtle details that make things interesting. This is my basic set up:

Make shift photo studio

Indirect light isn’t as bright as direct light (yes, you can call me Captain Obvious) so very often half of your subjects will be shadowed. BUT have hope my friends! I can help you eliminate those shadows without spending a dime. All you need is something white, I use the white cardboard lid to a file box, it’s deep enough to stand up on it’s own so 9 times out of 10 I can plop it where I need it and start shooting.

Here is an example:

cardboard reflector

I took both of these pictures from the same exact place (on a tripod) with the same exact camera settings (Aperture priority, F6.3). Can you see the differences? Look again:

use cardboard reflector to improve photo quality

A. The background is darker and more in focus

B. Eliminated the strange light blob

C. Softened the shadow

D. Warmer, more realistic color

That’s a whole lotta bang for absolutely no buck isn’t it? It doesn’t matter if you’re shooting for a website, an etsy store, a garage sale listing on craigslist or even posting pictures of your dinner on facebook good lighting will make your pictures look professional. I highly encourage you to find a white paper or lid and try your hand at reflecting light onto your subject.


  1. This is a great tip. I’ve been making a serious effort to amp up the photo quality on ye ol’ blog and this has helped SO MUCH! I use a piece of dollar store foam core. Works really well. Also I have about one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon that I have the right amount of light, you should see me trying to scramble to take advantage of that time!
    PJ recently posted…Just Because I Love You (Giveaway)My Profile

  2. Great tips!! TFS!!
    Alisha recently posted…Fun Fur Boa ScarfMy Profile

  3. Great tips – so helpful!

  4. Great tip. I’ve pinned your first picture to my light box board. Thanks for the idea, now off to try it out.
    Joy@aVintageGreen recently posted…Happy Valentines DayMy Profile

  5. I have the perfect piece of white board for this, thanks! My photo skills are really lame, but they have come pretty far. Hopefully this will help 🙂
    Roxana recently posted…A New SeasonMy Profile

  6. Oh, good advice, thank you!!!
    Mary Ann recently posted…Wonderful SundayMy Profile

  7. Great tips, which I need badly – thank you!
    JoAnn @ SweetPepperRose recently posted…Twine Wrapped Light Bulbs {Pears}My Profile

  8. This is a great solution to lighting. It is cloudy here today but I will be giving this a try as soon as we have some natural light.