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BLOG PHOTOGRAPHY

October 16, 2016

I will be the first person to say that I am not the best when it comes to blog photography, boy do I have a lot to learn when it comes to camera and editing but I thought that I would share with you the tips that I have picked up along the way and the editing software that I use. Think of this as a beginners guide to blog photography from a beginner.

THE CAMERA

So the camera that I use to take all of my blog photos is the Nikon d3100 which I got for my birthday a couple of years ago. I would definitely recommend this to someone who is looking for their first DSLR camera as it is user-friendly, compact and takes great pictures. It comes with the standard kit lens which I use whenever I take scenery shots in my travel diaries as it allows me to zoom in and out and is just basically a great standard lens to start with. You could definitely use this for your blog photography but I feel like it's best when you zoom it all the way on for product shots as the depth of field looks a lot better than it is zoomed out. For pretty much all of the pictures you see on my blog I use the 35mm lens which is so great for product photography in my opinion. This lens goes down to an aperture of 1.8 which gives you the blogger blurry backgrounds. That being said when I'm doing flatlays I tend to have the aperture at around 2.8 because you can get more of the products in focus which is obviously what you want.

TAKING THE PICTURE

I take all my pictures in my room, before I moved to France I used the Linnmon/Adils Table from IKEA for my backdrop. Now I am studying abroad in Uni and luckily I have a white desk so I use that for my photos. I normally take my pictures in the morning, I find the lighting to be the best at around 11 for me personally but it obviously just depends on what the lighting in your room is like. Sometimes I add props to my photos like magazines, plants, blankets etc to make the photo more interesting - I personally prefer using magazines especially now I can get French Vogue every month woo! That being said I also like the minimal style of just keeping a white background and focussing on the products you're shooting. 

Up until a few months ago I always had my camera on the Auto mode which works fine and is the easiest to use when you first start out as it's all done for you. But now I have had my camera for a while I took the time to read loads of articles about Aperture and Shutter Speed, now I won't attempt to explain it all but long story short I now use the manual mode. My current settings if you were wondering is an aperture of 2.8 and shutter speed of 1/200. My ISO is on 200, I usually keep it between 100 and 200 depending on the weather but going above 200 makes my photos turn out pretty grainy. I think that's about it on my settings, it's what works for me so if you are having trouble with your settings maybe put mine in and see how it works for you. Hopefully I explained it in simple enough terms but really for me it was just trial and error and tweaking my settings until I liked how my photo turned out.

EDITING

At home my dad has Photoshop on the computer so I used to use that for editing before moving abroad and I really do like that software as you can do so much with your image. My secret weapon was the Dodge tool where you can selectively lighten certain parts of your image, a lifesaver when there's a lot of shadows in your image. I also had a trial of Lightroom which I LOVED, I prefer it over Photoshop because it's a bit easier to use and it's more about editing your picture rather than completely changing it. When I got to France I was on the hunt for a free editing tool and I tried a few but the best, in my opinion, is Polarr. There is a free and a paid version, I just have the free version so I don't have access to all the features but there is enough to edit my photos the way that I want. I would say it is a great alternative to Lightroom, it has very similar capabilities and features so is a good place to start before cashing out on buying Lightroom.

As I said I am no means a professional photographer nor do I know a lot of the technical terms but I hope this post can help some of you get to grips with a DSLR camera and editing your photos.
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