Hellooo dearest photo lovers! I am a nerd at heart but will try my best not to get too technical with this post. If you’re learning or just wanting to spruce pictures for your blog, read below for some of my insights!
1. Get a great camera – this is V I T A L. You need to find a camera that fits your needs and budget that will result in producing captivating images. It will be MAJOR if it shoots in RAW (more on this later). There are lot of great cameras that take amazing pictures. I only recommend GoPro as a second camera or if you are shooting action photos.
2. Find YOUR own angle. Sometimes this can be a challenge but the fun part is you get to practice ’til you master that edge. If you google the Eiffel tower, you can see it from every single angle in Paris. What will make yours look different? Maybe try not to take it where thousands of tourists conglomerate. Try going back a few blocks, maybe go on a rooftop and take a picture of the city with the Eiffel tower on the background, etc…The more you snap, the more you’ll be closer to finding an angle that you’re happy with and want to share with others. Remember, pictures for your blog should embody the way you see the world through the lens. Apparently, mine is the Asian squat 😂🙈
3. Find the perfect light. I make everything sound so easy right? 😉 Sunlight sometimes is not your best friend. Direct sunlight makes thing looks harsh. When you have a very sunny day, everything looks washed out and faces under direct sunlight creates harsh contrast and deep shadows. Seek shadows or wait until the golden hour (around sunset or sunrise). Don’t wait too long or you’ll find yourself snapping in the dark. Unless you are shooting city lights or a specific setting, you will most likely need some kind of light. Some people think cloudy days are the worst to shoot but in reality it’s so much better. For very sunny days, get a polarizing filter for your lens. This will make a huge difference.
4. Be discreet – not everybody likes someone in their personal space taking pictures. When landing images of people and/or their animal companions, ask for permission or get creative with your creeper skills! My camera, the Fuji X100S, is dead silent. 99% of the time, people have no idea I’m taking pictures of them – and those always end up being the best shots. Word to the wise – keep a moderate distance and try not to use a giant lens.
5. Get creative – Anyone can say that but how does it actually happen? I admit I tend to fail in this department. I get excited with the monuments and scenery and forget to take you guys on the journey with me through the lens. It’s like showing you the destination without sharing the journey. And how does that saying go? It’s the journey and not the destination that matters? – POINT TAKEN. Images can speak for themselves but are much more meaningful when you can truly showcase the story behind it all.
Show us how you got there, who is there with you, what surrounds you, what catches your eyes, where are you, show us your face, your back, your hand, show us all of you! Show us all the fun you are having!
Here is a post on how to take pictures of yourself while traveling solo that I found pretty good. She did a great job explaining her tips.
6. Editing – Editing your pictures makes All.The.Difference. Many articles and posts I have read rarely mention this. I don’t know why since it’s so important! Let’s get technical, shall we?
When you shoot in RAW (an uncompressed file with the image’s information) it’s easier to edit. Meaning, when you are editing, it makes a world of difference. Picture too dark? With Raw files, you can recover all those details that were lost from lack of light.
When you shoot in JPEG (a compressed file), a lot of details get lost. In this case, when an image is too dark and you lighten it, you may not recover the details and/or you will get a very noisy picture.
If you want to start shooting pictures for your blog in RAW because you want to take your pictures to the next level, you will need to edit them on a computer. I use Lightroom. I edit until the colors are right and apply a VSCO filter that looks natural. If you don’t want to pay for those filters, you can edit the pictures on your phone with the VSCO app.
Update April 18th, 2017:
You can now edit raw photos using the following apps
- Lightroom Mobile
Let’s say your camera doesn’t shoot RAW or you just shoot in a standard format like JPEG and call it a day – guess what? that’s ok! You are shooting pictures for your blog – do as you wish. I was doing this for a very long time and got away with it just fine. You just need to be more attentive when you are taking pictures to not be overexposed (too bright) or underexposed (too dark).
There’s a plethora of editing software and tools through apps. I do a combination of both. Keep in mind that when you are editing on your phone, you can only edit JPEG.
This is what I mainly use:
- Lightroom on my computer
- VSCO Filters for Lightroom
- Snapseed on iPhone
- VSCO on iPhone
- PicTapGo on iPhone
- There is also Photoshop Fix for iPhone
(These are great tool to edit your photos and they are free to download)
Check out these VSCO editing styles to get that perfect Instagram theme for your feed. After you have finished editing your pictures on Snapseed or on the computer, apply VSCO filters for that upgraded look. Why can’t I edit my pictures on VSCO? Well you could, but the results won’t be the best.
Excited? Overwhelmed? Sounds like a lot of work but once you get yourself organized with style, preferences and tools, you’ll enjoy taking pictures for your blog much more than before! Running a blog is a lot of work and if you want to stand out, you will need to put the time and effort into creating something outstanding.
If you want to improve your photography skills, watch youtube videos, follow your favorite Instagrammer or blogger and get familiar with how they achieve their style. Read photography blogs, bloggers’ tips – there is a lot of information out there. Take advantage of it. Also, very important: learn how to use your camera. If you have a camera that lets you shoot in MANUAL, do so! learn to control it. If you have a popular camera, watch youtube videos about it.
That covers my essentials on how to take amazing pictures for your blog. If you have already mastered these steps, don’t fret, more in-depth posts will be coming soon. If you have questions or need help on the tech side, feel free to leave a comment below.