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When you first start your blog, you are just so excited to get the thing rolling that stock photos on sites like Canva seem like the easiest way to go about it.
They are cheap, if not free, and you don’t have to worry about the technical stuff of a DSLR camera or figuring out what photo will work best with your post.
While there is nothing wrong with that (I use canva for every photo and graphic on my posts!), it’s good to start getting in the habit of taking your own photos. They look a lot nicer and “real”, they require you to get creative and, lastly but most importantly, they are YOURS.
First, you might want to invest in a DSLR camera. DSLR = Digital Single-Lens Reflex. DSLR’s are cool because they allow you to be in full command of the camera. You get to adjust the shutter speed, the ISO – basically any setting you want to get the perfect picture and style you want.
If that sounds intimidating – and trust me, that is how I felt at first, too – you can always start in Auto mode and work your way to figuring out the basics later on. I did this for the longest time until I decided I wanted to play with it one day, and now I will never get out of manual mode!
I use the Canon Rebel t3i. It’s not too expensive, and you can switch out the lens, which is really all that matters in a camera. Of course there are better cameras out there, and if you want to invest a lot into one, then by all means, do it!
If you want to start taking your own photos, but don’t want to shill out the money for a DSLR camera, start with using your phone! I know so many people who started using their phones to take pictures, edit and even use to video themselves for vlogs!
It doesn’t have to be the greatest camera or the most expensive lens. In fact, you might be surprised at how creative you can get with a phone or a cheap digital camera. You want to stand out, so jump out of your little box and go for it!
I am not a fashion blogger, so I don’t have to worry about taking full length pictures of myself. A lot of people are, and sometimes they are their only source. I have found that a lot of people use tripods, as a solution to that problem. You can even get tripods for your phone!
Of course, being fashion isn’t the only niche that needs a tripod. Think about your needs and why one might work best for you.
If you are on the side of needing one, a remote might also be helpful. Of course, there is the self-timer. But rushing to get in the perfect pose, making sure no hair is in your face and also not wanting to smile for 10 seconds until you know FOR SURE the timer went off can all be distractions and might looked strained.
I see so many cool backdrops in people’s photos – I wish I had more of those where I live! Location is so important when taking pictures. You don’t want it to be too noisy in the background.
If you live in an area with scenic views, graffiti walls or other awesome location staples, utilize them! People love photos, and they especially love when the photos can take them places they have never been before!
If you post more products that don’t need fancy backgrounds, try out flatlays or taking pictures from above or any other cool angles that will capture your audience’s eye!
On top of this, make sure you are taking advantage of your lighting. I once heard it is best to take photos in natural lighting. This goes for indoor and outdoor photos. I have always gone by this rule ever since!
When I am indoors, I always open my blinds just a little while the sun is going down (I take most of my photos after I get off from my day job) and I make sure to take the photo with the sun on my product, NOT against it. That will create shadows or even make your product difficult to see.
The best times of day are when the sun is setting or when it is overcast outside. That way, the sun’s harsh light doesn’t completely wash out photos. It’s a softer, lighter look and it makes photos look great!
Most of the time, not a lot of editing goes into my photos. I truly enjoy looking at those who do crazy edits, but I just don’t think that is for me. “Less is more” if you will.
I usually increase the brightness and the contrast on my photos. I like the “whiter” look, so I also decrease saturation. If I use my phone to take the photos, I make my image sharper. Usually that is unnecessary with my Canon photos, even if I use the stock lens!
I have done editing in the past with Photoshop and Lightroom. Both are great programs that differ in certain areas, so it’s best for the photographer to decide which one works for their needs the most! The best part is, if you are a student or have a student email linked to your amazon account, you can get the programs for a pretty sweet deal!
As you see, it isn’t all that hard to start taking your photos. Start with the basics – TAKING the actual photo, and move up from there, little by little. You will eventually find your style and what works best for you!
If you have any other tips in getting started with taking your own photos, let me know!