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Good photography can make a huge difference to your blog and how it is considered by others. Very few successful bloggers have poor photography skills; In fact, most of the bloggers earning a living from their blogs have a considerable degree of photography skill; some as you will have seen are incredible.
Photography is a passion of mine and I can’t imagine many things I love doing more than snapping away capturing our memories. As a blogger my need for photography has grown and grown. I now have to take pictures for our personal family related posts, for my Instagram feed
and for my product reviews and brand work.
My photography is an area of blogging that I am increasingly being complimented on. This year I have even received nominations in the photography based categories of the blog awards and my images are being regularly featured in photography round-ups and within Instagram communities.
Therefore, having recently shared my blogger’s photography kit
, I thought I would share my top blog photography tips (if you don’t have a blog they will be just as usual for you).
Don’t beat yourself up if you feel your photos aren’t as good as blogger X. That blogger may have stacks more experience under their belt than you. Just focus on developing your skills and learn more about what makes a great picture. We are always hyper critical of ourselves, so just relax and start practicing.
I use a Canon EOS 100D Digital SLR Camera.
It is a reasonably cheap DSLR costing around £450 with the basic lens kit (18-55mm). It’s cheaper now though! I bought it from John Lewis who price match which maybe useful to know. I think it is important to go into the shop to hold the camera and see how it feels. I adore the look of Amy’s big Canon camera, but in reality having held it, I would struggle to have it round my neck on a day out (it’s too heavy for me and my bad back!). So holding your potential new camera certainly gives you information you wouldn’t get by eye.
I do sometimes take pictures on my iPhone
6 and there is nothing wrong with that at all. I just feel the images I take with my DSLR will be better quality and I enjoy using it more.
This is an iPhone shot – sometimes the magic just happens.
I have three lens for my DSLR. The first is the one that I bought with the camera and that is the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Zoom Lens. This is an every day all round lens. I also have a Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II Lens this is a fixed length lens, which means you can’t zoom. You have to zoom with your feet, so it is my preferred option when I am in the park with Baby and close by her. This is the lens which is great for helping you create those popular blurry backgrounds. The last lens I bought was a Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III Lens and it cost around £90. I felt I needed more zoom power, if we were at the zoo for example.
You can learn so much from your peers and from other bloggers/photographers. Look critically at the images you like and think about why you like them; which aspects can you take into your own photography.
Manual mode gives you more control over the image you produce and in a way turns the camera helpfulness off! If you have set the ISO incorrectly, the camera isn’t going to chip in and rectify the situation for you, you will just get a picture that is over or under exposed. Although there is no doubt that if you are passionate about photography then you will probably want to nail manual along the line. However, if you want to capture special memories, especially of children (who are lively!) then I think shooting in sports mode can be a blessing. I do this a lot, mainly as I don’t want to miss the moment because I am too busy adjusting my camera to counter-act the big cloud that has just drifted over us, for example. For me there would be few things worse than seeing a potential perfect image go to waste. If you are shooting older or more reliable children, then you will have more time to adjust and manual will be easier.
There is no doubt that the more you practice, the quicker these adjustments will be, but don’t beat yourself up for not shooting 100% manual just yet.
I don’t want to miss this ones crazy joy!
In most cases pictures look better without flash. So you will need to find where the light is in your house. My house is like a cave, but I do know that Baby’s bedroom is the only place that has a drop of natural light during the day. Where possible take indoor pictures during the day, even if you have to take a batch at the weekend when you have more time.
If your room looks too dark increase your ISO on your camera (if shooting in manual). I also have this Lighting Softbox Studio,
which helps me to get lighter blogs and crafting videos/images. In fact most of our food or product images as shot on our front lawn, much to the amusement of our neighbours.
Whatever you’re photographing, a change of angle can sometimes make all the difference. The best advice given to me was from my wonderful friend Em over at Snowing Indoors. Em has always instilled in me the need to get down to their level when photographing children. A picture at their level, or even looking up at them, is so much more dynamic than usual adults perspective. Obviously if you are completely above the child, the shot can still be wonderful. Just play with the angles and see what works. I can often be found running around backwards like a crazy person as this way I can some wonderful shots of Baby.
Photography Backdrops & Props
The backdrops and props you use will depend on the look you wish to achieve with you photos. If you have a lush old wooden kitchen table or some cool kitchen floor tiles, they might become your go-to backdrop. Alas, I have neither of these things so I have to rely on other products. I have white foam board from hobby craft which comes in useful if ever I need clean white. I also have paper backdrop, which is a mock light wooden floor, which I used it for this shot.
Think outside the box and create your own little prop cupboard; a pretty duvet cover or table cloth, some wrapping paper, a tea towel, a chopping board, tea tray. The possibilities are endless and when you have gathered together a range of props, you will be able to experiment with what works best for you and what you enjoy using more.
Your camera doesn’t care if your house is a mess and it will only record what you tell it to. So clear the area around your shot, so you can shoot different angles and ensure they are all clutter free, but what is going on 2 foot away is no-one else business!
Seriously, the most important thing I did to improve the look and feel of my photos was to use Adobe Lightroom. I was happily plodding away using PicMonkey and didn’t think I needed another way to edit my photos, but since signing up to Lightroom, my photos have improved vastly and I haven’t regretted the £8 per month I spend for even a millisecond.
Lightroom can help you do so much, much more than I can write about here. But believe me it is worth every penny. The best thing for me its that it allows me to create a custom filter for all my photos, which can be adjusted if necessary. This filter can be applied to all other selected photos in the click of a button. So timesaving.
I always feel as if I have dropped magic on my picture when I have edited it in Lightroom; I really think it makes all the difference.
The other equipment I use is really focused on tripods, for my DSLR and iPhone and you can see which I use on this post. I have just ordered a Canon Gx7 for vlogging so I will let you know how that goes soon.
I hope these tips have given you something to think about and that they help you to improve your photography. Do you have any photography tips?
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