After my Instagram Photography post went down so well I thought I would today post about my blog photography. I'm of course no pro when it comes to photography and I don't claim to be an expert; everything I know about my camera and photography (and I don't know everything) I have learnt myself through online research, reading and just general trial and error. I thought I would share some of my tips and strategies that I've learnt/acquired along the way and what I've found works for me, hopefully you may find them of some help...
Obviously photography is such a vast area to cover and is all about personal style and preference so today I'm going to start with the basics of blog photography then build from there, you can expect to see the other instalments over on my blog! I've tried to make these tips suitable for both beginners and more advanced learners. I think photography is something you are always developing... maybe even literally, ha!
KNOW YOUR CAMERA
First and foremost regardless of whether you're a blogger or not if you're using a camera it's important to understand its functioning. Personally I've always had an interest in cameras and photography from being small; I grew up with my dad who used to be a professional photographer in his younger years; he was always snapping away with cameras, Polaroids and even video cameras so I've always been surrounded by them.
I've owned basic point and shoots throughout my teens but for my 16th birthday I got my first Nikon SLR, I thought somehow having an SLR would make me an instant professional photographer; oh how wrong I was! When i turned it on I was bombarded with modes, aperture, shutter speed, light metering etc. etc. This all was complete gobbledygook to me. I spent so many years in auto mode because I was too scared to attempt to try and adjust settings and use different modes manually; of course I did try shooting on manual many times but every time the photo would be grainy, out of focus, over exposed, under exposed and just generally not of very good quality but I had no idea where I was going wrong nor where to start.
The only way to fix this matter was research; I can not stress this enough, always make sure your using your camera to its full potential. Whether you own an iPhone, a basic point and shoot, a bridge camera or an SLR it is so so important to know your camera inside out; read the manual and re-read, watch reviews, read posts on it, all the information you can get on it; read it!
Once you've tackled that your ready to take on anything!
The next important factor to consider is lighting. You will soon find when shooting with your camera what works best; natural light is your best friend, Although not to be confused with direct sunlight, that can be a difficult one. Every camera of course will work differently depending on its settings but with every single camera I have used natural light is always the best.
I own artificial lights for when I film videos for my YouTube channel but most of the time I rely on my bedroom window for my blog photography; I find it's the best for tone, true colour and detail. If you have difficulty with shadowing etc. too it can also sometimes be best to actually go outside to get your photos.
This one is definitely optional, you may find your photos are just fine on their own, but if you do fancy a little bit of tweaking there are so many editing apps and programmes available these days. It can often be intimidating for a beginner. For iPhone photos generally I tend to stick to 'Afterlight' or 'VSCO', once again I talk about the benefits of these applications in depth in a previous post, click here to read. But for my blog photography I tend to use Adobe Lightroom, the only reason I choose Lightroom as my most used photography tool is that I personally find it so easy to use and I am very familiar with it as I used it when I was at Uni. I don't have a clue what I'm doing on photoshop or any other desktop editing programmes, LR has everything I need in one place and also allows you to keep a library of thousands of photos (a little tip too, Lightroom is quite pricey but some cameras often come with a bundle package where they include a Lightroom disk. Worth checking out if your planning to buy a new camera)
In terms of what I actually do when I edit a photo, if I'm honest I try to keep editing to a VERY bare minimum; there's nothing I hate more than an over processed photo, I usually focus on adjusting the 'curves' of the photo, I tend to up the lights curve and sometimes pull down the darks curve for more of a contrast, aside from that my general editing routine usually includes blurring out any marks or dust in the photo, I also tend to stick to a white background with my photography and shoot a lot of my photos on foam board and that's pretty much it!
FIND YOUR STYLE
I think find is definitely the word to focus on here; you will find it. Once you've been shooting and exploring for a while you will start to notice what you like in a photograph; for me it's minimalism. Finding style inspiration is key too, I use Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr to do this!
I think an overall message to take from this post is to have fun with your camera; don't stress too much, just enjoy it, you will get where you want to be eventually! :)
Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed this post! For the next instalment I will be going into my blog photography set up and a more in depth exploration as to how I take my photos so stay tuned and in the meantime keep up with my Instagram for daily pictures.