It is no secret that photography is one of my favorite parts of blogging. As a visual person, I love composing a picture, experimenting with my camera settings, and playing with the editing to create a photo that illustrates my words in some way or another. That being said, I will walk you through my blog photography process. Keep in mind that I am not a professional photographer, I am simply sharing my process and what I’ve learned along the way.
My Blog Photography Process
Coming up with ideas.
Before I grab my camera, I try to come up with blog photo ideas – to make the process easier, I actually have a private board on Pinterest with tons of images for those days when inspiration lacks. I start by thinking how I want to compose my pictures, where to photograph, and which props I want to use.
The camera equipment.
I use the body of a Canon 700D and a 50mm Canon lens to take pretty much all my blog photos. It was an investment I made about a year ago and couldn’t be happier with it. The 700D is a popular choice among bloggers and it’s perfect if you’re looking for a DSLR that is good value for money.
I also own a tripod and a cheap remote control that I bought on Ebay. Although I don’t use any of these very often, they’re very handy when I want to include pictures of myself/my hands in the shot.
It’s important to keep in mind that an expensive camera will create amazing pictures. There are a lot of things involved in getting the right shot, from the camera to the editing to your photography style. Having the same camera or editing software as your favorite blogger will not guarantee you will get the same photos as her – been there, done that. But I suppose that is by trying to replicate other people’ style that you develop your own. Just keep practicing.
When & where?
As I work full-time and am not at home before 7 pm, I always miss the good lighting. Saturdays are for going out with the fam or friends so on Sundays I like to stay in and work on my blog.
When Sunday rolls around, I like to wait until around 1 pm to start photographing. The sun only starts peeking through my bedroom window in the afternoon so I feel like in the first hours in the morning, photos can have a blue undertone. To avoid that, I like to wait until after lunch so that I can catch the perfect time for me: a couple of hours before the sun starts shining through the window.
As for the location, most of my pictures are taken on a white surface, whether that is furniture or a wood board – that my dad and I built – under my bedroom window. I don’t own – or even want, to be honest – any lighting equipment because I really enjoy the effect natural lighting gives to my photos.
Time to shoot.
I always shoot in manual mode to take full advantage of my camera settings. It’s quite overwhelming at first but once you get the hang of it, you will not want to go back. The aperture is usually around 2 for a dreamy shallow depth of field, and I then play with the ISO or shutter speed to make my photo darker or lighter. I also make sure to shoot in RAW so that I have more control when editing the picture.
More often than not, the composition I had in mind doesn’t work out so I always take a bunch of pictures with different setups and angles until I’m happy with the result. Sometimes I just have to come to terms that it will never be perfect. Actually, better done than perfect, right?
And then magic happens.
Editing is probably my favorite part of the blog photography process! While I always try to get the “perfect” shot in my camera, I love enhancing my pictures with some editing – one of my favorite things to do is actually putting the original and the edited picture side by side to see how much better it looks – little pleasures in life ahah!
Lately, I’ve been using a preset on Lightroom to edit my photos. Although it takes some time to get used to all the settings, I find that it makes the editing process a lot easier. For a cheaper – and free – version, I love VSCO app on my phone. That’s what I used for a long time and still go back to it once in a while. With VSCO app, I import my pictures to my phone, then do the editing, and export back to my laptop – it looks like a charm!
As I said, I used a Lightroom preset for my last blog photos – if you have never heard about presets, it’s like filters – and am pretty happy with how they turned out. After adding the preset, all I do is play a bit with exposure and temperature.
One more step.
After editing, I always “save for the web” with the size that I want and with the name of my blog post for SEO purposes. After that, I upload my pictures to WordPress and add in an alt tag. An alt tag is what shows in the description when you’re pinning an image straight from a blog. Both of these help with SEO so it’s important you do it.
Practice makes perfect. I know, that’s a big cliché but so true. Play around with your camera, explore its settings and different ways to edit your photos. That is how you will learn, develop your skills, and discover our own blog photography style.
What does your blog photography process look like?