You can have a fancy camera and spend a ton of money on different lenses but if you get down to the nitty gritty of it… that's not going to give you wonderful pictures. After being in front of a camera for blog photos for over a year now I've learned a couple ways to accomplish more interesting photos. I've also taken photos for blog friends on their cameras and learned some tips for being behind the camera and shooting (however, none of these have to do with aperture haha). I have 5 of my top tips and would LOVE to hear what yours are as well!
I'm no professional let's get that very straight :) I wouldn't be anywhere without all of my friends who have taken time out of their lives to take photos for me and help me learn (Emily in particular - your eye and superior gift of photography are incredible)! I would never have been able to make my blog a beautiful place without all of you so thank you!
1. Timing // This is everything. I've played around with morning and afternoon for photos - a lot of the time due to busy schedules. The time of day can determine the type of light: sunrise provides warm colors with long shadows, morning will give you a neutral light with good visibility, midday will give you dark shadows and can cast strange shadows, afternoon is similar to the morning but with warmer colors, sunset (aka the "golden hour") provides the best diffused light and can give some great silhouette shots.
3. Color // Every blog has an aesthetic. Perhaps it's cool and clean, saturated and vibrant, or soft and light. Photo tools can help you achieve that look specifically but setting up what color you see in the background can change everything. You want your background to contrast with your outfit enough so that you don't blend in but also support the feel you're going for! Bloggers are known for always scoping out the best colored walls or the cutest streets (I, however, am not one of them. Oh well!). Even if you took a picture in the best lighting possible you may still need to adjust the photo slightly so that the coloring is correct. This is always the case with blacks, dark colors and whites, you want to make sure they're crisp and clean - getting rid of any yellow or blue tones can be fixed with an easy slide of color correcting.
4. Movement // Walking, sitting down, lifting your arm, going down steps, etc. Doing anything besides just standing there and looking pretty will automatically give you enticing photos! If you feel awkward standing and posing while smiling different directions ("why are all these people staring at me") try walking forward slowly and looking at the ground, pushing your hair back as you step, then grabbing your arm as you look forward. It will begin to feel more natural because you will relax! I tend to feel really awkward with my hands so I try to keep them moving and doing something otherwise they're in some weird position looking uncomfortable. Holding a purse, touching a piece of jewelry, grabbing the hem of my sweater, adjusting my sunglasses… these are all ways I create simple movement to vary my poses.
5. Composition // This is where the "thirds rule" comes in to play. You want your subject to be centered, left justified, or right justified. If I don't like the way a photo is set up I'll normally crop it down. Creating movement across your photos is the easiest way to make scrolling down a blog post entertaining - it keeps the readers eyes moving and inspecting the photos. Composition also means making sure no ugly signs, awkward cars, or unsightly objects are in the photo. You may have to change your standing location (photographer and/or subject) to arrange yourself for the most ideal shot!
What other photo shoot tips do you have? Is there a blogger whose photos you always admire? How do you pose and get yourself to relax?