Jan 15, 2013

HOW TO: THE 7 BASICS OF BLOG PHOTOGRAPHY



yesterday i asked all of my lovely readers on my facebook page  what topic they would want me to post on the blog next. so most of you decided on number 2, which was "how to: the basics of blog photography". for me, having good photos on my blog, has always been criteria number one. of course i am lucky to be working as a photographer, so most of it comes naturally. knowing how hard it is to make the right choices when buying a camera etc., i thought of sharing some of my knowledge with me. so here it goes, the ULTIMATE photo guide:

1. THE CAMERA


"What SLR should I buy?" I get asked this question a LOT. But the question should rather be "What lens should I buy? Let me tell you one thing: INVEST IN A GOOD LENS, the body really isn't that important. Most people spend a lot of money on a SLR and end up using the regular lens that comes with it (mostly 18-55 mm) which is the crappiest piece of crap. When it comes to SLR's there are full-format and croped cameras. Without going into detail too much, those terms explain the sensor that's in the camera. Full-format cameras are not what you are gonna need if you take photos for your blog, a camera with a crop sensor is fine. Just remember, when buying a lens, that is ment to be fit on a full-format SLR, that the image frame is going to be cropped on a crop-camera. So using my 50mm lens on my old SLR, the Canon EOS 550D which was a crop-camera, created a frame that wasn't exactly 50mm, but a little more. Anyway, I am using a Canon EOS 5D Mark , which is a highly professional camera. For you any SLR from Canon or Nikon are perfect.


2. THE LENS

As I mentioned before: the lens is important SUPER IMPORTANT. For a blog photographer  a lens with a big aperture is what you want to get. The aperture defines your depth of field / focus which basically gives you the opportunity to have parts in the photo that are in focus and some not. With your standard lens, that comes with the camera, the aperture is mostly 5.6 and with better lenses you can get apertures way below. The lower the number, the bigger the aperture. The wide aperture allows you to have this nice blurry background in outfit photos. The lens I use is a 50 mm lens with a max. aperture of 1,4.

Using an aperture of 5,6:

Using an aperture of 1,4:


3. LIGHT


As the term "photography" means "drawing with light" you might expect what comes next: light is VERY important. I highly recommend shooting photos in natural light opposed to indoor flash photos. Of course, if you are indoors and you have little light, you can pick a higher exposure (which is the time your aperture opens and closes), but the longer the exposure, the higher the risk of having a blurry, shaky picture. Also you can raise the ISO to take photos with short exposure in bad light situations, but be aware of the fact that your picture will be a little "noisy" (image noise is visual distortion in a photograph).


Shooting a photo right by a natural light source like a window:



4. STOP USING THE AUTO-MODE


People buy SLR's and end up using the auto mode all the time. That's NOT what you buy an SLR for. You buy it for the thousands of options you have and YES you should take advantage of that. Ever seen that "TV", "AV" or "M" sign? I am not going into detail what all these options do, because you can easily google it, but let me tell you: get to know them and try out different settings. Also for the color temperature, which is defined through the button "WB" or "white balance" lets you control a lot and avoid unreal color casts. Rather than always using the "auto white balance" try to set it to the environment you are in. When you are outside in the sun, try to set it to the "daylight" setting and see the difference!


You can read a lot more on all the technical features of a camera on this website.


5. PHOTO EDITING


People always ask me about Photoshop and what to do with it. Let me tell you: it takes a long time to understand Photoshop. Rather than investing a lot of money and being frustrated with the complicated functions, just try to use online editing softwares. Putting into google "online photo editing" will give you a lot of options. But: do not over-edit your photos! Less is more, really! Stop with all those sparkles, super-vintage effects and blablabla. It just makes your photos cheesy and if you are not a professional in the field, the photos won't look professional. Just try a little change in saturation, contrast and voila! the photo is much better.


Here some suggestions: PIXLR, iPiccy and PicMonkey (used to be free, not it costs a little). Sometimes I also like to use this Polaroid software (but don't overdo it! too much is too much!).


6. THE PERFECT OUTFIT POST


Okay, let's get to the important stuff: the outfit photo. I used to take one hundred photos and then pick a few, but actually, there's just five shots you need to do: a vertical full body, a horizontal from the waist, a detail shot, a shoe shot and a full shot from far away. Of course not everyone has a personal photographer or willed boyfriend, neither do I! So just ask a friend or other bloggers to take your photos.


The full vertical body shot:


The horizontal from the waist shot:

The detail shot:


The shoe shot:


The shot from far away:



7. OUTFIT PHOTOS AT HOME


Unfortunately most of us don't live in the caribbean so there are actually seasons like winter that make outdoor outfit post a little hard. Unless you are a human with superpowers, that can survive hours in the cold maybe also wearing high heels, there's a solution I often use: home photos. There are three things you need: a tripod, a remote and a good space. I own a very cheap tripod, I think I paid 16€ for it. As a remote I use this one and I always take photos in front of a white wall or a space that is illuminated by a lot of daylight. Make sure not to take photos against the daylight. It will give you black silhouettes and bad shadows.


Home photos:






That's it! For some of you this might have been nothing new, for some a hit in the face. But no worries, take your time, watch youtube tutorials, read blogs and just get to know your camera. Good thing takes while, so take your time and don't stress about being a pro-photographer within one night!

28 comments:

  1. Der Post ist wirklich super! Den werde ich mir auf jeden Fall abspeichern und öfter lesen. Besonders die Outfitfototipps finde ich super :)

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  2. Der Post ist der Hammer!!! Hab ich sehr gerne gelesen !

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  3. great post,this would have been useful to read before buying my 85mm 1.8 !!

    Helena

    www.laflordelys.com

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  4. But why? Thats an extremely good lens!!

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  5. Thank you Maddie for this helpful & fantastic post! It's so nice of you to share your knowledge with us! Hope to see some more posts like this one =)

    xoxo
    Nissy

    PS: can't wait to see the video & get-to-know-you-better posts ;)

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  6. Love it!
    A new lens is definitely the next thing I'm going to invest in. Having this in mind I will have far less trouble when deciding which one to take, so thank you! I was always keen on taking outfit pictures, but I never showed any of them on my blog, because I wasn't satisfied with the way they turned out, concerning depht and the framing (I fear that my bf just doesn't have the same idea of a good shot than I have, but I think changing my lens will be a good beginning, after giving him your post to read of course) ;) btw, I love your video and your new hair color :)

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  7. Anonymous15/1/13

    Super Post! vielen dank, für die vielen tollen tipps und tricks!

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  8. Toller Post! Man merkt, dass du dir Mühe gegeben hast. Danke für die Tipps ;)

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  9. super post! danke dir :) war wirklich hilfreich, ergo ein neues objektiv muss her, viell. is meine sony alpha 300 doch nicht so ein mist...


    www.violetfleur.com

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  10. Danke für die Tipps, besonders die letzten beiden sind hilfreich. :D Welche Kameraeinstellung benutzt du (z.B. im horizontal-from-the-waist-shot) für den extrem unscharfen Hintergrund? Ich habe auch eine Canon, vllt. hilft mir das...

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    Replies
    1. "extrem unscharfer Hintergrund"=etwas längere Brennweite und offene Blende.

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    2. "extrem unscharfer Hintergrund"=etwas längere Brennweite und offene Blende.

      Delete
  11. Aaah sehr cooler Post!! Ich tüfftle schon so lange welche 'Fernbedienung' ich kaufen soll und war ein bisschen überfordert von den ganzen Optionen! Danke für die Tipps!! :D

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  12. Toller Post!

    Zu Punkt 4: RTFM! Die Leute schauen sich zu wenig an, was die ganzen Knöpfe und Menüpunkte eigentlich machen. Ich habe Fotoworkshops gehalten, da wussten die Leute nicht mal, wie man die Verschlusszeit einstellt. Einen Workshop besuchen ist auch kein Fehler. Learning-by-doing und wen über die Schulter blicken lassen.

    Sony Alpha 300 Mist? Keinesfalls, eine ausgezeichnete Kamera!

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  13. wirklich toller post :)

    die bilder vor der weißen wand gefallen mir am besten! sehr schön!

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  14. LOOOOOVED the post!! :)
    very inspiring and useful to me thank you!

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  15. Anonymous16/1/13

    wow ! that's one of my super favourite posts EVER !!!
    thank you so much for the advice ! i'm not a blogger or a photographer but it's so good to know how to take a really good pics ! BIG thank for spending a lot of time and energy (i suppose) to prepare it for us ! you really are the BEST !
    xx, Ula

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  16. merci. das hilf indeed.

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  17. Oh, vielen Dank!! Das sind wirklich sehr tolle Tipps dabei!

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  18. Das ist ein wunderbarer Post! Endlich mal eine Bloggerin, die ein bisschen von ihrem Business preis gibt! Bisher hatte ich nicht gross Bock, den Modebloggerinnen nachzueifern, weil ich eh keine Chance habe. Aber so... hat es mich gerade motiviert, mich doch mal an das Thema Photographie zu wagen! Danke! :)

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  19. Excellent post! Good pics make a blog I think, because it draws people in to actually read what the pics are about.

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  20. Echt ein toller Beitrag ... will mir schon seit Wochen ein neues Objektiv kaufen und werde das glaub ich demnächst mal durchziehen ;) ...
    cheers

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  21. Anonymous17/1/13

    Welchen Selbstauslöser benützt du denn eigentlich?

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  22. Anonymous1/3/13

    Thanks for your tips! Lovely post!!!

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  23. Super Post! Ich würde mich freuen, wenn du noch mehr "Tutorials" zu diesem Thema anbieten würdest. Und: wie kriegst du diesen tollen Effekt bei deinen Bildern hin?

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  24. wow this was pretty helpful :)

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  25. seriously needed this!
    thanks.
    xx

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