We’re back today with the second installment of this summer’s “5 Tips” series! And I’m thrilled to present to you Janet from Shabbyfufu. She honestly has some of the best photography in the blogging business (and is regularly featured in print magazines, as well). As you know if you’ve ready my photography series, beautiful images are a passion of mine… So I can’t wait to share her wisdom with you today!
Hi everyone! My name is Janet and I’m so thrilled to be hosting today on Rachel’s blog, which is definitely one of my favorites. You may have seen me here before as part of our weekly blog series Home Style Saturdays. As a veteran blogger of ten years now and a former art teacher and designer of many things I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade along the way when it comes to photography. Today I’m sharing some favorites that I use on my own blog Shabbyfufu and I would love to have you follow along with me there. I’m also (Shabbyfufu) on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest so let’s connect.
1. Compose your shot.
When you are setting up to photograph a room or a vignette, the first step would be to compose and style your shot. If it’s a room in your home think of how the room will look in the eye of the camera first and train your brain to think of creating open spaces (negative space) and not too much clutter in the way. Your handbag, the dog bowl and all of those computer wires will detract from a great shot, so clear out what you can and style with something in front of those objects that can’t be moved. Take your smart phone and snap a photo or two to study your styling and see what needs to be moved.
2. Use your tripod.
Your tripod is going to be your best friend when it comes to digital photography and you’ll generally find that you won’t need external lighting in most situations. Once you have a few test shots from your smart phone, set up your tripod where you feel you’ll get the best room (or vignette) shot. Don’t forget that your tripod has legs, so try moving them up and down for various angle studies without moving it around. I prefer to use a zoom lens for most of my blog photography to seamlessly shoot from the same spot, focusing and recomposing as I go along. You’ll get much sharper images and be able to shoot to let in the most light possible without camera shake with tripod use.
3. Look for light.
Over the years I’ve developed a signature style of light and bright photos. Not every day is a sunny one, even though I live in Florida and I’m always chasing the light! Study the light in your home…when does the light look favorable for each room? If shooting outdoors as many bloggers love to do when weather permits, dawn and dusk will give you that golden glow that is amazing.
4. Get out of auto.
I can’t stress this one enough as someone who learned photography back in the day when we used film. With DSLR cameras, we really need to be smarter than our camera and learn how to manipulate the light coming in. Auto simply does not capture great light and once you have composure of your shots down it’s time to break away and learn your manual mode. There are several great books (I love THIS ONE – affiliate) and lots of tutorials and I recommend taking a local workshop in person if available. Learn how your camera can work for you!
5. Don’t forget post processing.
Post processing is your digital darkroom and can take your photos to the next level, even for the beginner. I highly recommend and use Adobe Lightroom, but if you want to avoid that learning curve there are some on-line editing programs that are pretty powerful. I recommend Pic Monkey (affiliate) and you can also use it for creating collages and more.