Do you ever try and take a photo for your blog and it's just not happening? Yeah, it's le poo. Some days I'll take over a hundred photos and the camera is still kicking my ass. When I'm stuck like that I'll usually go back, look through some of the better photos that I've taken in the past and try to pull from them. What I've noticed from doing that is that I have 5 sure fire ways to get a good shot. Well actually, there are probably more than 5, but 5 is such a nice, round number that sounds great in a title. If I go for one of these tricks I can turn things around.

Backlight it
A technique that easily gives you that beautiful, ethereal feeling to your photos is backlighting them. You'll still want a light source in front of the setup, but if you have a strong source of light coming from behind, it'll almost make the photo look like it's glowing.

Zoom out
Are close ups being a butt munch? Grab a white poster board, lay out your products and go for the zoomed out flat lay. Taking a flat lay from afar makes everything look tidy and perfectly encapsulated. It gives a real focus to the structure of the photo and takes away from the details that aren't working for you. Faith is the queen of this technique. I would strongly recommend taking a look at her photos.

Follow a colour scheme
Having too many different colours can look messy and jumbled. It often works for me to try to focus on a specific colour scheme. I'll pull products or props that have similar colouring – monochromatic, pastel, brightly coloured – and assemble those. That way everything flows without having to try too hard.

Geometric-ify your layout
Often I'll spend ages trying to create the perfect “artfully scattered” look and it just keeps looking like a bunch of junk strewn around. Lining things up in a geometric, flowing fashion is possibly the easiest way to create a smart looking photo. It's pleasing for the eye to follow and it's super simple to create.

Add flowers
Who watched Portlandia? “Put a bird on it.” That's how I feel when I use flowers. It almost feels like cheating. They're such an easy way to beautify a photo without actually having to do any work yourself. Got a boring old product shot to do? Just throw a vase of flowers in the mix and your photo will be sufficiently spiced up.

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