photography

5 Ways to take excellent photos for your DofE portfolio

If you are taking Duke of Edinburgh Skills course, you will need to take some photos for your DofE portfolio. When you complete your award, you will have a portfolio of evidence from all of the sections - and our course will give you many opportunities to take stunning shots.

You don’t need any expensive equipment to do this, although if you have a camera, you will often get better resolution photos. So here are a few tips to help you get the best results;

  • Bath bombs are VERY photogenic, especially the dual colour ones or any with additions such as floral buds or glitter. Try taking photos of them from an angleto where they look the smoothest.

  • Soaps tend not to look as exciting, but if you have made more than one bar, you can stack them on top of each other. The soap with embeds can look good if you stand them on end or photograph from above.

  • Scrubs and steamers are possibly the least exciting of all the products. For best results, concentrate your photography on the making phase.

Whatever you do, take lots of photos each week and then you will have some stunning shots to choose from. In terms of improving the shots, here are five easy ways to get great results.

  1. Angles - don’t always go for the obvious angle. Whilst bath bombs are spherical, you can stack them, or turn them so that the saturn ring (around the middle) isn’t horizontal. Stack soaps or steamers at odd angles.

Simply stacking a couple of bars of soap, gives a much better photo than if you lay them flat

Simply stacking a couple of bars of soap, gives a much better photo than if you lay them flat

2. Action shots rock! The best thing about bath bombs, is when they hit the water. We often video ours, to show to customers at fairs/markets - but you will need photos for your portfolio. If you want to get a good photo of your bath bombs activating, use a sink and place the bomb in it gently (alwyas make sure the taps have stopped running and the water is still). Take the photos from directly above - and take a succession of them. You never know how the bath bomb is going to react or what patterns it’s going to make.

This is a pink & blue bath bomb which has been in the water for about a minute. The shot was taken from directly above the water

This is a pink & blue bath bomb which has been in the water for about a minute. The shot was taken from directly above the water

3. Fill the frame! This is really simple. Avoid having lots of space around your products. You can take a shot with space around your products, but use an editing tool to crop it - removing unwanted empty space always improves a photo!

This photo was a tray on a table - it looks much better without the table!

This photo was a tray on a table - it looks much better without the table!

4. Lighting - always try to take photos during the day, in a well lit area. Near to a window is perfect! The more natural light you can use, the better your photo will be. Avoid taking shots in a poorly lit area and using the flash. It will light up your products but cast shadows.

This shot is dark & a flash was used so you can see shadows

This shot is dark & a flash was used so you can see shadows

This shot was taken in front of a window during the day - you can see the difference such a simple step makes

This shot was taken in front of a window during the day - you can see the difference such a simple step makes

5. Not every photo has to be of the finished product! To add variety, take photos as you go. Sometimes it is as important to document the process as well as the end result. Well taken pictures of ingredients being measured out, mixed in bowls, or photos of pans with melting oils - they all have potential to look great!

This is just a simple bath bomb, resting in the mixing bowl. it’s being tapped with a spoon to release the bomb - but it demonstrates the method used to good effect.

This is just a simple bath bomb, resting in the mixing bowl. it’s being tapped with a spoon to release the bomb - but it demonstrates the method used to good effect.

Don’t forget - we love to feature photos on our social media feeds - so if you are happy for us to feature yours you can either tag us, give us a mention or just simply email a copy to us. If you have good video footage of your bath bombs in action, we sometimes use these as promotional posts to demonstrate what can be learnt on our course. Again - get in touch if you are happy for us to feature you. We don’t put names on the posts, but if you are happy for us to do so, we will!

Happy clicking :)