With so much fashion blogs out there already we all know it’s hard to stand out. One of those things that can make or break a blog, is photography. It takes some trying out to get it right, but it’s definitely worth the invested time. I’ve been blogging for 1,5 years now and I get a lot of questions about my pictures. Time to share my 10 most important tips & tricks with you!
1. Invest in a good camera.
This might be a no-brainer, but having a good camera really makes a difference. If you want to take your blog pictures to the next level the investment definitely is worth it. The best way to start out is with a SLR camera. This doesn’t have to be super expensive. I use a 7 year old Canon 400D camera and it still does its job. I’m sure there are second hand ones available.
2. Invest in a good lens.
The kit lens that comes with the camera is usually a very cheap one, which doesn’t do any good if you wanna start shooting some kickass blog pictures. I always use a 50mm 1.8 lens for my outfit pictures. This lens is pretty inexpensive compared to others and has a very low aperture setting (that’s what the 1.8 stands for). The aperture creates the depth of field in your pictures, so your awesome outfits stand out to the background. So make sure you pick a lens with a low aperture!
3. Figure out the right camera settings.
Now that you have found the perfect camera and lens it’s time to figure out how they actually work. So here comes the boring part. There are 3 important things to keep in mind: shutter speed, aperture and ISO. As I mentioned in the previous point the aperture creates the depth of field, so it’s really important that you always keep that number as low as possible. I have mine set at 1.8, which gives a beautiful blurry background. ISO is light that comes from inside your camera and it’s always very tempting to make your ISO higher when it’s a little dark outside. I suggest that you try to use this option as little as possible, as it makes most pictures a little grainy. You can arrange your light by changing your shutter speed. The higher your shutter speed, the darker the pictures. I know this is probably a little much to take in at once, but I figured most of this out by just trying things, so I’m sure you can too!
4. Make some blogger friends.
One of the fun parts of blogging is meeting loads of new people and making new friends. You probably meet up every once in a while and when you do you can’t stop talking about blogging. And fashion. And fashion. And blogging. And since we all need to take outfit pictures, why not do it together? I know for a fact that I took my blog pictures to the next level when I started shooting with blogger friends. There’s a lot of things you can learn from each other. Trying out different angles, spotting unexpected locations, learning new poses. Anything’s possible! And if a SLR camera is too expensive for you, you could even consider sharing one with your new bff (=blogger friend forever).
5. Find a fitting location.
This one can be really tricky, but the location of your photoshoot totally makes a difference. You can wear the chicest outfit ever, but if you photograph it in your parents backyard this obviously doesn’t come across. When choosing the right location you can actually tell a story that matches your outfit. Always keep your eyes open and try to spot as many cool locations as possible. Also keep your own style in mind and go for a setting that matches the same feeling. My favorite locations include flower parks, bridges, canals and cute little streets. These things all match my cutesy style, but if you’re into minimalism you’ll probably like office buildings and parking lots.
6. Play around with lighting.
When you’ve found that one in a million location, try to find out where you’ll get the best results when it comes to lighting. A location that might seem random can look much more special in the right light. The best time of day to shoot your pictures are the so-called golden hours: a few hours before sunset or right after sunrise. The light outside will be very soft and gives a beautiful glow. If you can’t shoot at that time of day daylight can be challenging. When it’s sunny it’s best to shoot in the shades, because of the contrasts sunlight can create. Also make sure that your pictures aren’t too light, as you’ll lose a lot of detail and the pictures will be harder to edit.
7. Get familiar with Photoshop or other photo editing software.
Keep in mind that your pictures usually aren’t perfect as they are and a little editing will go a long way. Some basic options to remember are contrast, brightness and saturation. In this case it also depends on what works for your style and your appearance. My pics are always high on saturation, because of the bright colours I wear. I also add a lot of contrast. This really makes my dark hair and fair skin stand out. This is what works for me, but it’s nice to find out which editing style works for yourself. If you do shoot with a SLR, make sure to shoot in RAW so you can edit your pictures with the RAW Editor. This one has loads of options and lets you apply all your adjustments to all pictures at once.
8. Find the right angles
When taking pictures, play around with angles to find out what flatters you most. Some people like to be photographed from the ground, others from above. It really depends on which angle brings out your best side. Your angle also decides what is in the picture frame and what isn’t. Be creative with it and you’ll surprise yourself!
9. Search for inspiration.
It’s always inspiring to browse through your favorite magazine or pin away on Pinterest. You’ll find the most amazing editorial shoots or streetstyle pictures. Make a Pinterest board or scrapbook with pictures that inspire you and try to figure out what you love so much about them. What makes you think you can’t make pictures like that yourself? Obviously I’m not suggesting you’ll blatantly copy what you see, but you don’t have to reinvent the wheel either.
10. Have fun with it!
This post may sound like there are a lot of rules, but the funny thing is that there aren’t! In my case a lot of cool pictures come from just trying out something new. Don’t think about it too much and don’t be afraid to fail. There really is no failing, only learning. Of course if you have any more questions or cool tips on photography I’d love to know!