When Photography is Boring

I recently got the good news that 2 of my works were selected for inclusion in a Still Life exhibition. One of those works was a photograph of frozen blueberries I initially created to be a stock photo so I was going for a very different approach when I photographed it.

Blueberry XI (2020, Photography)

Minimizing the background and making the food look as appealing as possible was my main goal. If I had my own photography studio and an expensive camera it might have been easier, but I had to use what I had. So white paper, a giant white plate, and using my crowded balcony to make the most of the sunlight would have to do.

I used lots of natural light and tried to enhance that natural light by using a white backdrop (large sheets of white paper and a blank white canvas). I placing the berries in a clear glass bowl atop a white plate, and surrounded the whole berry dish with the white paper to reflect light back onto the berries. My camera was my phone.

My final images came out looking better than I expected. Not quite as “stock photo-y” as I’d hoped but the frozen berries looked especially appealing.

If you’re trying to photograph something without professional equipment or studio, here’s a few tips:

· Use natural light — natural sunlight is best for photos. Photograph your subject outside if possible, or close to a window that gets a lot of direct sunlight. If photographing indoors, pull up any blinds on the window to avoid shadow lines on the subject.

· Use a white backdrop — surround your subject with white — behind, below, and on either side of the subject. A white cloth draped over something works best as a backdrop; place your subject on top of the white cloth. Prop white paper up on either side to reflect the light back onto your subject.

· Remove all other color from your background — besides your white background and your subject, no other color should be visible in your photo.

Shop my photography prints on Etsy, Pixels.com, and Artsy.net.



I am a historian, writer, and artist with a penchant for humor and an appetite for story.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Ashley Iz

I am a historian, writer, and artist with a penchant for humor and an appetite for story.