In 2007, Elsie Larson launched A Beautiful Mess, a wildly popular fashion/food/DIY Blog based in Missouri. After growing a massive following with her sister Emma Chapman, in 2013 they released A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book: 95 Inspiring Ideas for Photographing Your Friends, Your World, and Yourself.
Although this book isn’t new, it’s a must read for my fashion/food/photography bloggers because it’s not your typical photography 101 book. As DIY and lifestyle bloggers, their focus isn’t so much on the technical aspects of photography but moreso on the images you can create. You don’t have to have the best camera in the world to take amazing photos. With a little planning, creativity, a few fun props and great lighting, you can use this book to help you get better with your photography, whether for personal scrapbooks or your blog.
They do include some traditional photography tips, but what I loved the most about the book are the tips on props, setting up your own backdrops at home, and other projects you can do with the photos you take. As a blogger, you sometimes can’t (or don’t need to) invest in a full out home + travel studio kit. It’s not that you should take shortcuts, but original content is king, and for most, you’re constantly switching things out for photos. Having cost effective ways to remain creative will push you to step outside of your box.
If you learn nothing else from this book:
- get a tripod
- learn your angles
- invest in foamboard, lightweight fabric, paper + crafting supplies
- have fun experimenting with lights + shadows
The book is an extension of their blog (seriously, it’s almost content overload. There’s so much good stuff on there!), and definitely worth adding to your resource collection. They have a second book coming out in August that focuses more on home decor + design and I cannot wait to have it!
Have you read A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book?