Wednesday, December 8, 2021

How to Take and Tweak Good Photographs of your Balloon Designs

How many times do we create a fabulous balloon design or décor only to find that the photographs that we take do not translate into that perfect shot... I am sure that we can all relate to that! 

Photography is definitely an art, and professional photographers work hard for years to ensure that they get great results. For us, this is one of many of our roles as a balloon professional. Great photos are vital for our marketing and social media campaigns, so getting the perfect shot is very important.

Balloon Decor by Sue Bowler

Here are some simple tips:

Keep your photos simple

If you are taking iPhone photos for social media like Instagram, do not forget that most people will see your work on small mobile screens.

Paring your compositions down to a few key elements makes them easier to understand on a small screen.

Below are two photographs from the same event. The first one shows the whole room, capturing the decor and room en masse. 

Balloon Decor by Sue Bowler & Team
Photograph by Nicci Gibson

The second photograph, shows the same decor but is highlighting the 3' confetti balloons and not the rest of the room, allowing the balloons to be the star of the show. I would choose the second photo to promote my event decor on social media and my website.

Balloon Decor by Sue Bowler & Team
Photograph by Nicci Gibson

Shoot from a different angle

Shift your perspective. When we start taking photos, often our first instinct is to take them from about the same position we see them from. Unfortunately, this does not make for the most exciting photos.

To step up your game, try taking photos from outside your regular sitting or standing position. This is achieved by shooting the subject from higher or lower angles.

The image below was from a corporate Valentine's event that I decorated a few years ago. It was shot from a low angle and only captures a small section of the decor. 

Balloon Decor by Sue Bowler & Nicci Gibson
Photograph by Nicci Gibson

Capture close-up detail

Good photography is all about showing people the world and all it contains in an original and beautiful way. Shooting close up can make everyday objects look interesting, exciting and unexpected.

Look for interesting colours, textures, or patterns in your subject that might go unnoticed if viewed from afar. This close up method can also highlight exciting elements within your designs.

Balloon Design by Sue Bowler

The design above is a Christmas Gift box design idea. The customer can put a little message inside the 5" balloon that can only be popped on Christmas Day! 

To emphasis this feature, I took a close-up shot of the 5" balloons to make it clearer to my customers.

Balloon Design by Sue Bowler

Slide the exposure meter to brighten (or darken) images

When using an iPhone, if you have seen the yellow focus square, you have probably paid attention the icon right on its right-hand-side. This little icon along with the slider will help you adjust the exposure of your image.

If you need it to be darker and underexposed, simply drag your finger down on the screen. If you want it to be brighter and overexposed, then you just drag it up.

There are a number of reasons why you would want to sacrifice a perfectly exposed image for a darker or for a brighter one – it all depends on what mood you want to convey.

Keep your camera lens clean

Most smartphones spend a very significant time of their lives in the hands of their owners and that means they’re covered in fingerprints.

Very often those fingerprints are found on the place where you want them the least: your lens!

A useful habit to develop is to get used to quickly cleaning your lens before taking a photo – that can ensure there will be no smudges, dust spots or blurry areas on your image.

It may sound like a really simple tip, but this one thing alone can have the biggest impact on getting a clear photos… and most people never bother wiping their phone’s lens (they usually wipe the screen!)

Use Smartphone photography apps for professional-quality touch-ups

  • TouchRetouch (cost £1.79) - this app allows you to declutter your photos and it is so very simple to use. How many times have you taken a photograph only to notice that there is a plug socket or fire extinguisher in the shot! 

Here is a great example of how this app works! 

This was a photo that I took of a design from a class that I was teaching. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a clean backdrop and therefore you can see a plug socket on the wall, plus a door, window and a radiator! 

Balloon Design by Sue Bowler

Here is the after-shot once I had used the app working with the OBJECT REMOVAL tool! It took a matter of seconds and the result is fantastic! The plug socket has gone, as has the door, window and heater that was on the wall! 

Balloon Design by Sue Bowler

An alternative to touching up and removing elements from your photographs is to use a background removing tool, as previously mentioned. I use this feature on which is part of the PRO version. Alternatively you can use that allows you to remove the background from a photo free. Be warned, however, you can only save it at a low resolution, which is fine for social media posts but not for printing. To get a higher resolution, you need to pay for this service.

Here is a design that I removed the background using 

Balloon Design by Sue Bowler

This is the before shot of the design sitting on my dining table. This is not really the end result image that I would want to share with my customers.

Balloon Design by Sue Bowler
By removing the background it gives me so many options. When an image has it's background removed it saves the file as a PNG, this means that the background is transparent, which allows you to drop that imagine onto a new background or keep it white.


Balloon Design by Sue Bowler

To bring my design to 'life', I have dropped my Reindeer image into a stock photo that was available on CANVA. This helps to give my design perspective and scale, enabling my customers to imagine what this design would look like in their home. The Christmas Tree photo was only available with the Pro version, so you would need this version to use this particular photograph. However, there are still many free photographs available. 

There are many more apps and editing tools available, however, these are the tools that I personally use and recommend.

If you are unsure how to use CANVA, I have a number of blog posts that will help you! 

This is the tutorial that helped me greatly when learning how to use CANVA - 

"Good Design Matters for your Business" - Zoe Adams-Jones Shows You How to Create Fabulous Social Media Posts Using CANVA.

How to Create Inspiring Instagram and Facebook Posts for the Non-Designer - Part 2

Happy Ballooning!

Follow me @suebowler

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