Photography & Vlogging tips from BlogCamp

Flea welcoming the bloggers
Flea welcoming the bloggers

On Saturday I attended BlogCamp, the blogging conference organised and hosted by the Tots100 blogging network. It was a great day with plenty of socialising with other bloggers, and some great tips shared by the guest speakers. I concentrated on the photography and vlogging sessions during the day, and thought I would share my favourite tips from each. 


I attended two photography sessions, both hosted by Phil Tragen. The first was for portraiture and headshots, and the other for product photography – which is perfect for bloggers. My favourite tips from these sessions were:

  • Consider what you are trying to show with a portrait or headshot – what is the intended purpose?
  • Try to build a rapport with your subject so they relax
  • Lean your subject against a wall/similar – they immediately relax more
  • For headshots shoot the head and shoulders, against a clean background – visually simple & factual
  • Avoid distracting backgrounds in portraits 
  • Stand your subject at a slight angle, with their head facing the camera
  • When photographing children, try to capture candid moments. Get down to their level, or down to ground level and look up past what they are doing/playing with.
  • Use a cheap disc reflector to bounce light onto your subject
  • For product photography consider the angle something is designed to be looked at from – i.e. cars at eye level
  • Use an extension tube if you can’t afford a macro lens
  • Convert a desk light to a photography light source using “ctb” gel which makes it look like daylight
  • When photographing something dark, try to lighten the contrast behind it, perhaps a wooden surface

Photography with Phil Tragen


The speaker for the Vlogging session was Sian (aka Helpful Mum) from You’re not from round here – she was fab and had loads of great info and tips for us. Her presentation was really helpful and I will definitely be making some improvements to my videos and YouTube channel after BlogCamp.

  • Make sure you have clear & consistent branding over your channel – and use a welcome video
  • Thumbnails are VERY important! Make sure it includes what the video is about & has a happy face
  • Check out the YouTube Creator Academy to get to know the ins and outs of YouTube
  • The first 48 hours are crucial – make sure you get your videos seen in the first two days & they will rank higher in search results from then on
  • Make sure your keywords are in your video title, keywords, and description
  • Check your video sound levels before uploading
  • Don’t use annoying transitions – keep it simple
  • Make sure you have good lighting – you can get halogen spotlights from DIY stores
  • Try to relax and remember to breathe otherwise you will talk too fast
  • Pretend you are talking to your best friend while looking directly into the camera
  • Add an endslate or card to the end of your video to guide viewers onto what you want them to watch next
  • Organise your channel into sections
  • Be prepared for hurtful comments and criticism – YouTube is home to brutal commenters

Sian - HelpfulMum

So there you have it – my favourite tips from BlogCamp Birmingham 2015. It was a great day, so well done to the Tots100 team!

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