1. Get outside! And preferably the hour before sundown.
And here are some outside at sundown in comparison.
If you do shoot at sundown, it’s best to orient your body and face *towards* the sun – that way you get some cool shadows, but your garment is shown off to its best. One fun thing is to look up to the sun if you have sunglasses on – it gives a really nice effect. If you can’t shoot when the sun is low in the sky, then it’s best to get out of direct light – go to somewhere where there’s diffused light or stand in the shade.
2. Take lots and lots and lots of pictures
Occasionally a friend will say to me “oh I’m so jealous you always look nice in your photos!” Actually, no, I look nice in 1 out of the 150 photos I took! On average, myself and my blogger friends take anywhere between 100 – 250 photos for a post… Crazy, right? But it actually doesn’t take very long (maybe 10 – 20 minutes), and if you keep on moving a little bit for each one, you’ll find some gems in among them. This is definitely tricky if you have an impatient person/child/spouse taking the photos, but if you have a little more breathing space, just tell them to continuously shoot. Alternatively, try using a tripod and put your camera on timer or use a remote – I’ve managed to get some great shots using that approach, although you still need to take a lot!
When it comes to editing your mountain of shots, if you use a Mac, you can go into iPhoto and “flag” (top left hand corner) the ones you like, then go to the Flagged folder and you can make your choices from the best ones – this speeds things up considerably!
5. It’s all about the angles, baby!
Angles look fantastic. Often you have to stand or position yourself in a way that feels entirely unnatural and perhaps even looks bizarre in reality. But these poses typically look great in photos. Angle one of your legs, put your hand on your head, lean on a fence… Even if you want to do a “stand upright, face the front” pose, it’s great to put all your weight into one leg and tilt one hip up as much as you can.
It’s a matter of personal preference, but looking away from the camera can also make your photos look more professional. On the flip side, it’s less personal, so each to their own!
I don’t do very much editing, but when I do I use iPhoto – their retouching tool is great for getting rid of pimples or weird creases – or PicMonkey.com, which allows you to put filters on your photos (a little like Instagram), or put labels and text over them.
|Original photo – Photo with “Urbane” filter on PicMonkey – Photo with “Intrepid” filter on PicMonkey|
You can take great photos on an iPhone or basic camera equipment. However, I can’t deny that when I upgraded my camera kit a few months ago, the quality of my photos suddenly jumped. I’m far from a professional photographer, but if there’s one thing I know, it’s to spend your money on a great quality lens and use a basic camera body. I have a Canon EOS Rebel (fairly basic amateur model), but invested in a 50mm 1.4 fixed lens (which means you can’t zoom) which consistently gives incredible quality images. One major ability of this lens is to make the background go very blurry (known formally as “bokeh”), which makes the subject in focus stand out, and generally makes the photo look ace – I also ramp this up on my camera by using the “CA” setting, which allows me to choose to have maximum blur in the background, which you can see this clearly in my recent swimsuit photos. These lenses are pricey and you definitely don’t *need* them, but they do make a difference if you’re willing to spend.
I hope that those are helpful, but I’m far from an expert! What do you recommend for great blog photos? Do you have any tips?