Monday, 19 September 2016

Photography Tips for Bloggers

Source: Unsplash

Pictures are the new currency of the internet. Whether you measure your success in Likes, Pins or comments, a great photo gets attention, gets shared and brings audiences to you. For bloggers, especially if you’re blogging about beauty, fashion or lifestyle, photography may be even more important than your words.

For some bloggers, this is a great development and a chance to indulge in some visual story – as I did in my recent post about my day with Farfetch, a top client of mine within my photography career. For others, including new bloggers, bloggers used to point-and-shoot photography or people coming from a vlogging background, this can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be – here’s your crash course in going from a selfie-Snapchatter to super sharpshooter.

Choose The Right Camera
Cameras come in three basic flavours: point-and-shoot, mirrorless and DSLR.

A point-and-shoot offers what its name suggests: no frills, no fuss photos. Like the camera on your phone but with better lenses because the body is bigger to allow it. Though a lot of people rate the iPhone as a serious camera – and it is the most popular camera for photos on Flickr – the best photos come from having the most control over the image

To get a bit thoughtful, photography is painting with light. The control you have over the light that comes into the camera to be captured on the sensor allows for the fine-tuning to take the photo you want. And the larger the sensor, the larger your canvas for capturing those finer details and nuances.

That’s where mirrorless and DSLR cameras come in. In many ways, they’re very similar to each other: much larger sensors than point-and-shoot, faster to use with quicker autofocus, removable lenses for much better near and far shots. But there are a few key differences: a DSLR’s viewfinder is an exact view of the photo you’re going to be taking, giving you a true view right from the lens; a mirrorless camera is more like a point-and-shoot in that it uses a screen to show you what you’re snapping. As such, the mirrorless gives you slightly less precision in the moment but it is physically a lot smaller.

Which camera is best for you will depend heavily on your budget, your blog style and your overall comfort with technology. In general, look at Nikon or Canon digital cameras as solid brands with a wide range of accessories then consider having a good quality point-and-shoot camera for fast, convenient photos on-the-go and a mirrorless or DSLR camera for when you’re taking more serious or planned photos. Bloggers favour the Olympus Pen EPL7, but I personally have a Canon EOS M10 as my mirrorless camera and a Canon EOS 6D as my DSLR for professional shoots.

Add The Right Accessories
There are so many toys and gadgets you can buy to help you with your equipment. However, if you invest in the right lens for your needs, a main tripod with multiple adjustments points for more studio shots and a small flexible tripod for stability anywhere, you’ll be off to a great start.

If you have the time to dress your photos, like if you’re doing some lovely product photos, pick up a reflector kit to help you bounce the light around for perfectly lit pictures.
  
Start Painting
Whatever camera you use, you need to understand how light comes in to the camera to capture the right image:
  • The aperture size (or iris for those of a video background) is the main hole that allows light into the camera; the wider the aperture, the more light comes in and, for interesting effects, the shorter the depth of field
  • The shutter speed controls how long the light hits the sensor for. A fast shutter speed lets less light in, which makes it great for capturing motion shots but not so great for shooting at night unless you open or the aperture or adjust
  • The ISO determines how sensitive to light the sensor is and it’s where you risk letting digital noise into your image; a low ISO means less sensitivity and less noise, a high ISO can help you get shots in darker environments but you’ll start seeing that noise or grainy look in your pics.  

 Once you master these balances, you will see a great improvement in your photos whatever camera you use. To wrap up, let’s look at two interesting examples taken at a winter wedding venue in the UK.
Photo 1


This photo was taken with external light so they’ve taken this photo using a small aperture which has achieved long depth of field. You can see the day is overcast, so maybe the light wasn’t the best but, as they’re shooting a static subject, they can compensate by using a slower shutter speed to let in more light or by adjusting the ISO.
The composition is also a great use of the rule of thirds.

Photo 2


A lot less light here! Here you can see that using a fast shutter has captured the jumping in mid-air with not much motion blue, while using a wider aperture allows more light in while slightly shortening the depth of field (see the slightly blurry room behind the group).

I hope these tips help inspire you! If you have any top photo pointers for fellow bloggers, share them below!

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This post was in colab with The Orangery Maidstone and Thoughtshift
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2 comments

  1. This post is really helpful for me as i'm looking to get a camera for my blog to start using instead of using my iPhone all the time!x

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really need to learn how to take proper photos. Everything I do is with the pre-set settings on my camera!

    ReplyDelete

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