Beauty Blogging Photography For Beginners
I think that taking photos for my blog, is both the most fun and the most annoying part of blogging. I love it when I get a great shot, but I hate the effort I have to go to achieving it. I studied photography whilst at university so you would think I would be good at it, but great photos require effort, and I’m lazy.
Anyway enough about my lack of personal get-up-and-go and on with the photography tips.
I have a Canon Eos 400D which is actually my husbands but he doesn’t have a clue how to use it when not on auto mode, so I have adopted it. Luckily he is one of those men who has to buy the whole kit when he gets into something, so I have also commandeered a tripod, spare lens, UV filter and remote control. I tend to shoot using the standard lens as the other one is so heavy it is hard to work with. The larger lens is great for work at a distance say 4 meters or more, it is also better at shooting a wide angle, so if I wanted a shot of a room I would use the big boy.
The tripod is great for shots where the light is poor as it allows me to shoot using a longer shutter speed and not worry about blurring. Obviously I can also use this for OOTD posts too (if I ever get up the courage to do one!)
I also have an iPhone 4S which I love to use to take pictures on. I use this for the majority of selfies as I can see what I am taking as I do it, which is obviously a massive advantage over the SLR. I tend to use it without the flash where possible as it tends to take odd coloured photos with it. I like the immediacy of the iPhone and the fact I can take a shot whenever/wherever, but what it gains in connivence it definitely lacks in adaptability.
No 1 Tip – Learn How to Use Your Camera
Read the manual or search online if like me you can never find it when needed. It makes such a difference learning to turn the dial past M.
As a basic guide to using an SLR, this cheat sheet by Miguel Yatco can’t be beaten. Print off a copy and pop it in your camera bag.
Taking Product Photos
I have seen people use all sorts of backgrounds to good effect, however the only rule is that it must not clash with the product you are photographing. I tend to use either a mirror or a plain white board (aka as spare shelf not needed in wardrobe) You need to be pretty careful using the mirror that you don’t accidentally photograph yourself or anything else inappropriate.
I like to add other items to my photos as it gives them context, candles can imply relaxation and pampering, magazines can be used to denote high fashion, flowers (my personal favourite) just look cute. Have a look around your home, I bet you can find some appropriate props to stop your picture being just another white background shot.
Now this is where all my problems are. I am lucky to have a large bay window in a south facing room which lets in lots of natural light, which is the sort we are after. However because the source of the light (the window) is only on one side of my product/face/whatever, I need to use another light source to fill the light or you just get a very heavily shadowed shot. I usually shoot standing with the light behind me, facing the bed.
I use either this cobbled-together foil binder or this tall lamp. You just use the binder to reflect the light from the window back onto the product, by pointing it back at the subject. The tall lamp is good but as it is artificial light it makes the product/person looks warmer when photographed.
Post Production (digital touching up)
Currently I use iPhoto for basic editing and then PicMonkey which is a web-based photo editor that produces great results without having to get into vectors/layers and curves (not really sure what I’m doing there.) Nearly all of my photos have had only minor touch ups in post production because of my woeful skills in this area. This is one of the things I am just learning and so hopefully you should see an improvement over the next few weeks.
Thats about it, I don’t really know much about photography and I’m learning all the time, but I thought I would write this so that some beginner bloggers will be spared the endless messing around I had when I first started.
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