I only got serious about photography in the recent years, and only when I started blogging. Never mind the fact that I took photography courses in college (view camera and regular film camera). I’m one of those people that randomly gets inspired and has creative spree days and then puts the camera down for a week while I edit and do other things. In my “off” days, I spend a lot of time learning about how the camera functions and learning more advanced tips for how to take better blogging photos.
That said, there are basics that everyone needs to have down to compose a great shot. I typically don’t work with a photographer, and I opt to take photos of myself with my remote control shutter release and my tripod. This allows me to have the creative freedom I need, but if I didn’t have the basics down, my experimental compositions wouldn’t be what they are today.
Blogger’s Tips On How to Take Good Pictures
Learn How Your Camera Functions.
I can’t stress the importance of this! We all have to start somewhere, and taking photos on the automatic setting does well for the most part, but to graduate to the next level, you need to know your basics with shutter speed, F-stop, and ISO. In the most basic of explanations: shutter speed is how quickly the shutter releases, so the slower the shutter, the blurrier the photo; F-stop is your aperture, and it controls the amount of light coming into the camera (a low F-stop = bokeh effect + more light let into your camera because the aperture is wider); ISO is the sensitivity of your camera sensor to light (so, a lower ISO= less sensitivity, aka perfect for bright, sunny days)- the lower the ISO, the lower the amount of noise in your picture. Playing around with these three components is where you will truly learn about which settings are best for which scenarios.
Learn the Importance of Light.
If you notice in the first point, everything revolves around light. Photography in its essence is the ability to harness the light that you have and ensure that as much information as possible translates into your picture as possible. Your best bet is always to take photos in natural light (and make sure to set the correct white balance, whether it’s direct sun or shade). If the light is low, learn how to maneuver light reflectors. The easiest, and cheapest, way to get a light reflector is simply covering a piece of cardboard with tinfoil and using that for the light bounce.
Consider The Context.
As much as we all want the perfect, candid shot to happen, it’s a very tough concept to master. Until you’re extremely comfortable with your camera, plan out every detail. When you’re doing a flatlay, plan out a theme ahead of time and stick to the theme. You want to create a story!
Age Old Composition Trick.
Rule of thirds. Enough said. If you’re still learning about composition, dividing your screen into thirds and placing your subject of interest in the intersecting sections will create a visually appealing shot.
Learn Your Tools.
It’s critical to get familiar with Lightroom and/or Photoshop if you’re serious about your photography. I prefer to start with general tweaks in Lightroom- such as pushing and pulling shadows/highlights and color correcting. For more intensive editing, I bring it over to Photoshop where I set up some actions for my “consistent” look. Consider what you want your consistency to be (it might be pastel-like shots or extremely high contrast) and carry the theme through your photos.
What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to taking photographs for your blog? I’d love to address any questions!
If you’re a fashion blogger also looking to step up your modeling game, I have a few posing PDF references in the Blogging Resources section. Sign up for the mailing list to receive not only Photoshop actions but also get access to posing guides and future blogging business materials.