A GUIDE TO BLOG PHOTOGRAPHY
Hello All! After receiving a few requests from readers, I decided to do a post to share what I've learned about blog photography, specifically outfit post photography. Now, I could go in depth about shutter speed or aperture but I think it's super confusing and we don't focus on those things when we take pictures.
First off, I have the most talented little brother. He takes my outfit pictures and he is really good. He has a great eye and can spot a great location. He has started photographing events and family photos. If you are in the Greensboro area and need a photographer for anything, shoot me an email!
Let's start shall we?
I know this is something that so many bloggers seem to harp on, but a great camera is an excellent investment. I received my Canon EOS Rebel T3 as a gift for Christmas in 2012. I did not want a DSLR camera just for my blog. I actually love taking pictures of everything. However, I can't deny how much of a difference it makes in my outfit pictures. For bloggers purchasing their first DSLR, I would recommend the Canon EOS Rebel T3. It is great for beginners. You can also search various sites for refurbished cameras. This will help cut costs on your purchase. Here are some other great cameras for beginners:
This is a continuation of the last section. The Canon I purchased comes with a 18-55mm lens included. My bf however, convinced me that the 55-250mm lens would be a great addition. It ended up being cheaper because it was a part of a bundle deal Best Buy was running. Now, lenses can run you just as much, if not more, than the camera itself. If you have a little extra money to spare and there is a bundle available (there almost always is), you should purchase an additional lens. Normally the 55-250mm lens is around $300. With the bundle it was nearly half that price! The difference between the two lenses really makes it worth the money. The larger the mm, the farther the lens can shoot. Larger lenses also allow you to capture more detail in your pictures. This is ideal for jewelry and food pictures. It also helps make my outfit pictures more crisp and a lot less blurry.
Take a look at the pictures below. The one on the left was shot with the 18-55mm. On the right is the 55-250mm lens:
Location, Location, Location
Another important consideration when taking your outfit pics is your location. I'm constantly on the lookout for great locations with interesting or beautiful scenery. Your location should elevate your outfit post. I generally love the industrial look of the downtown area of the city I'm in. Also think about themes. If you are wearing something with a floral pattern, why not take pics around flowers or a garden? Also, if you are wearing something with a graphic print, the background of your pictures should play that up. (a door or window with a geometric pattern, perhaps?) Try to find new and interesting places whenever you can. You don't want to get stuck in a rut.
Lighting is very important. You would be surprised how much lighting can affect your picture. There are two things I focus on when it comes to lighting, (1) time of day and (2) color of the background. The best time to take photos outside is during dusk. The natural light during this time looks almost like candlelight on your skin. It is flattering on everyone's skin. Also, this goes without saying, do not use flash. Natural light is your friend.
The color of the background can determine how the light is reflected in your pictures. One of my favorite places to shoot my outfit pictures is in an alley in my hometown. One of the alley walls is painted white. The white wall reflects the light so well. Another great place you can try for optimal lighting is a building with a large amount of reflective windows. A lot of high rises and office buildings provide these windows.
Take a look at the pictures below. The top picture was taken in my favorite location. The bottom picture was taken in front of a building with reflective windows.
In The Details
So you have your camera and you are ready to shoot your pictures. Now, you need to make sure you get some great pictures! My rule of thumb is that you should have at least one full body picture. Your readers want to see a clear picture of your entire outfit. Also show any other angles you need so that you can get the complete picture of your outfit. Most importantly, you need to make sure you get some great pictures of the details. Show a close up of your jewelry, shoes, pattern in your clothes, etc. This is where a great lens comes in.
Take a look at the pictures below. They are some of my favorite snaps of my outfit details:
The last step before uploading your pictures to your blog will be editing. I purchased Photoshop Elements 11 recently to create collages as well as edit my pictures. I try not to edit my pictures too much. With a good camera, you really won't need to. I usually change the filter used on my pictures. I may opt for a more vintage feel or black and white. Elements is very reasonably priced considering all you can do with it. If you do not feel like paying for a picture editing program, you can use free services. My personal favorite is Photobucket.
When editing remember:
- Use contrast sparingly.
- Be careful not to distort your pictures with too much resizing.
- Make sure your pictures in one post are uniform. The same clothing shouldn't look different color-wise in every picture.
- Don't brighten your photos too much. You don't want to hurt your readers eyes.
- Only blur small areas that need it, not large areas or your entire picture.
And that completes my blog photography tips. If you have any questions shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!