While I’d definitely say it’s easier to have someone else help you take blog photos (blog boyfriends, you know who you are), sometimes that isn’t an option. I’ve started dabbling in taking my photos myself recently (and people can’t even tell!), because I like being able to drop everything and get to business on my own timeline. Seriously, sometimes you’ve got an idea you’re just bursting to photograph or a sponsored post you’ve gotta get up ASAP, and no help in sight.
Don’t fret y’all!! I decided to put together my top tips to help you start shooting solo, so you guys can get out there and start making magic all by yourself!
So you want to take blog photos?
1. GET THE GEAR:
• Tripod: Honestly, any sturdy tripod should do the trick. You don’t have to invest in something that costs $100, you just don’t want it dropping your camera. Last thing you want is to break a lens, or worse, breaking the mirror inside your dSLR! I use something like this, but these seem really cool for traveling.
• Remote: I’ve said it before, but getting a camera remote was a game changer for me. A simple one from amazon should work fine, just double check it’s compatible with your camera model!
• Camera + Lens: I use a Nikon d3300 and a 50mm lens for all the pictures you see posted on my blog. (If you’re in the market for a new camera set up, I’d suggest looking around holiday sales!) The body of the camera itself isn’t super important starting out, it’s really the lens, and even then you can make it work if you’re shooting in decent light!
• Wireless mobility adapter: I just recently discovered that there is an app you can use in place of a camera remote which actually shows you what your photos will look like on your phone before you take the picture! Some cameras have a built in adapter so you only need to download the app, but some don’t (mine doesn’t). This handy little device helps!
That said, you don’t really need any sort of crazy gear for blogging, you just need to worry about understanding what you’re working with the best you can.
2. KNOW YOUR CAMERA:
There’s really three basics you need to understand when working with your camera: ISO, shutter speed, and aperture.
• ISO: This controls your camera’s sensitivity to light. It’s measured so that the lower the number, the less light sensitive, and as the number increases, so does the sensitivity. The trade off is, when you increase that number, you also increase the amount of grain that will show up on your photos. If you’re shooting in bright light like I usually do, you’ll want to keep your ISO set low at around 100, so you get crisp, clean photos. If you’re shooting at dusk, night, or indoors, you’d shoot at a higher ISO so that you’re getting more light into your camera and can still shoot with decent shutter speeds.
• Shutter Speed: This is the length of time a camera shutter is kept open to expose the camera sensor to light. The shutter speed is measured in fractions of a second (when kept under a second), so 1/125 means 125th of a second! The slower it is, the more light is being allowed in; the faster, less light. If you’re taking a photo and it’s way too dark, you’ll wanna slow down the speed so you can let more light in and brighten things! I usually start with my shutter speed up around 1000 and then adjust.
• Aperture: This affects not only what is in focus, but also how large the opening on your lens is set to, and therefore how much light is getting into your camera. Your aperture is measured in f-stops, where the smaller the number (like f1.8), the more light is being allowed into the camera. When you adjust (and make the number larger, up to f22), you shrink that opening, letting less light in. I like to keep my aperture set around f2.2, so that most of me is in focus (but the background isn’t!) on my outfit posts. Anything lower is good for just the detail shots, and anything way too high won’t give you that creamy background blur!
If you’re able to get a fairly decent understanding of these functions, your photos will improve immensely, because they’ll look sharper and more professional.
3. LEARN YOUR POSES:
Pinterest is an absolute wealth of information for all things fashion! Seriously, go to the search bar and just type in “fashion poses” if you’re struggling with ideas.Pinterest is probably the best for this, because you can search so many different types of style poses, from editorial, to street style, to laid back muses. Once you’ve found what you’re looking for, you can even create a board with all your faves for inspiration to come back to later!
If you’ve got some bloggers that you’re particularly fond of, it doesn’t hurt to look to them as well! For example, I’m a huge fan of Chiara, Naomi, and also what Jessica Lowndes has been sharing lately. Now that you’ve got all your ideas gathered, practice!!
I’m all for body confidence, but no one wants to intentionally put out a super unflattering picture. Learn how to work your angles, and what’s best for you.
4. BE CONFIDENT:
I know it’s not easy the first time you go out in public armed with your camera, a tripod, and your remote, but hold your head high! People might be curious what you’re doing, but it’s none of their business; you’re totally not obligated to entertain any questions from strangers. Heck, tell ’em you’re working on a photography class project if you want!
The last few times I’ve been out taking photos (especially the ones you see in this post), strangers actually cheered me on! I live in the city so I’m generally shooting in heavily trafficked areas, and I had at least a dozen people compliment me, honk, or even ask about my blog in such a positive way that I wish I’d had business cards to hand out.
Either way, you’re out there creating something and doing it all by yourself, so don’t let anyone make you feel crappy about it. You’re a boss, making moves for your own business; lift your head and strike a pose!You're a boss, making moves for your own business. Lift your head and strike that pose!Click To Tweet
And most important of all:
5. HAVE FUN!
I know it’s easy to lose yourself in the technical parts of blogging, but make sure you’re having fun with it! Do some shimmies! Make funny faces! Laugh at yourself! You don’t need to be stiff and serious (unless the shoot calls for it), so get out there and have a blast!