Paris, France

11 tips how to take your own blog photos

19 December 2017





Hi beautiful babes ! This weekend on Instagram I asked you if you wanted to know how I shoot all my photos on my own, so here it is !
For over a year now I have been shooting strictly on my own. So photos you see on  my blog or social media are my own creation. I used to have someone helping me but life and adulthood makes it hard to find an on-call photographer. I happen to be always available for me and working for free ! Here is the equipment I use. I am not getting into details for my app or camera (+settings) but let me know if this is something you'd like to read about.


WHAT YOU NEED
• A camera with built in Wi-Fi
Mine is the Panasonic G7
• A smartphone (to use as a remote)
• A tripod
• Several batteries & SD cards



1. Check your equipment
This sounds super basic but I make this mistake at least once a month : do not forget to check your equipment before leaving the house. I left to my shooting location this Sunday without any SD cards. Why ? Because I forgot to put them back on after I was done transferring the photos on my laptop. This is such a stupid mistake that can ruin an entire day of work. Same for empty batteries. If you're lucky like me and it takes just 10 minutes to go back home you'll be annoyed more than anything but if you're on a trip or going really far to shoot, you'll be mad at yourself. Also, don't forget to charge your phone to the max before leaving because it will be your remote and camera settings control panel, so you'll need a lot of battery to keep you going for one session. 
Create a small routine of checking your camera bag before leaving. Also, once a battery is empty, charge it right away. Once it's charged, put it back into the bag. Stay organised and ready for the next shoot. You never know, it could be impromptu. 


2. Location
Depending on your photography niche, you will be searching for different kinds of locations. Travel bloggers will look for a wow factor in their backgrounds when fashion bloggers tend to focus on the outfit. In any case though, your background is key and you need to think of it before starting shooting. It has to go with the story or vibe of your photo. 
When you shoot on your own and in the streets like I do, you can go in a busy street or a quiet one for very different results. It's up to you and your comfort zone. I have done both and enjoy both, but they imply different work conditions. A busy street will keep you distracted and could mess with your auto focus. When a quiet street will give you more time and space freedom to get your shot. 





3. Shoot RAW for editing
I started doing so not so long ago and why didn't I sooner ? Anybody that is a bit interested in digital photography will tell you to shoot RAW. This format will allow you to edit more indepth and get back some lost information without having too much noise on the photo. I edit on Lightroom which is pretty much everyone's favourite and totally worth the hype. 
Any photographer will tell you that it's best to get your shot right in camera, obviously. But since you are the photographer and the model you need to be able to work on your photo once at home. Somedays you don't have time to play with your settings or you can't be bothered and it's ok. 

4. Get your settings right
It took me years to finally start shooting manual. I just couldn't get my head around Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO. One day I started watching a lot of basics tutorials, played around with my camera (having my cat as a subject) and after a while you start getting it. Of course, don't let the manual mode get in the way to a nice photo. Again, if you just can't get it right, don't have time or can't be bothered then shoot auto. But make sure to have your settings right before. You can't save everything in editing even when shooting RAW. Take a few test shots and if you are in manual mode, check everytime you move yourself or the camera. You'd be surprised how much the light can change with just a few centimetres difference. 




5. Don't be shy
I know, easier said than done. It's been years and I still feel awkward taking photos of myself in the streets. Living in Paris or travelling helped because most people thought I was just a tourist. But when you see some people you know or your neighbours, you might feel uncomfortable and it's normal. Most people won't understand why you do that and they don't have to. Do your thing, keep working and get that shot. Personally, when I'm shooting in my hometown (that is way less creative than Paris and people look at me weird when I have my tripod) I go for empty streets at quiet hours. I know I will not see anyone and have all my time to do my thing. But do not let other people' stares getting in the way of your passion. 

6. Take your time and get that shot
I said several time to take the easy way if you're in a hurry (like shooting auto) but at the end, you need to take the time to get the right shot. All you need is one good photo, but do not go home until you have it. Some days will feel like it's impossible. Maybe you don't like the way you look, you feel tired, the weather isn't good. I've had shoots when on my way to the location I was thinking "Let's just not do it today". But no. If you want to create quality content, you need to get to work. So even if you don't have a lot of time in your day, still take 5 more minutes to try and get that shot. 




7. Play with angles and your tripod
Most of the time, photos taken with a tripod look boring because people stand there and call it a day. I do that as well, don't get me wrong. But I always play with the angles and my tripod. By that I mean lowering or increasing the height to get another point of view. Turning the camera from landscape to portrait. Walking away, closer etc. You would be surprised how another angle can take your photos to the next level. How many times did I think "these photos are not so great" ready to pack and then thought "wait, if I just turn around" and there you got it, a brand new angle and a better photo. Photography has to remain fun and creativity means thinking outside the box. 

8. Move around for the camera
Since your camera is standing on a tripod, you could end up with the same boring photos. A photographer will change position, move around you to get different angles. Well same with a tripod except that you will be the one moving. Don't just stand there,walk around, jump, turn. If you are wearing a material that can create movement, play with it. I often use my hair as well to create movement and bring life into the photo. Use anything you can to look natural and comfortable  . 




9. Check your phone all the time !
Having my phone as a camera setting panel was a game changer for me. Not only I could start shooting manual (you literally can change anything settings from your phone), but you can see your poses live and the background. Is there an ugly car coming behind you ? Did the light suddenly change ? Were your eyes closed ? You can see any photo you are going to take or just took. This is why you see me holding my phone most of the time. It might look weird, but at least I control everything and most importantly : the focus. I did a photoshoot without using my phone and half the pictures were out of focus. Everything else was perfect, but the focus kept changing and I wasn't aware of that because I didn't have my phone in hand. So everytime you change position, check your phone and see if all the settings are right. Seems difficult, but that's what a photographer would do anyway. 

10. Shoot more than you need
Don't take just a couple of photos thinking "that will do". Change position, angles, sit down, walk around. Open, close your coat. Flip your hair etc. There are so many things you can do that could take your photos to the next level. Also, since you do everything on your own, it's always better to have a lot to choose from than working with content you're not proud of. 

11. Get to know your equipment between shoots
If there is a technique you want to try, or you couldn't get the lighting you wanted on the last shoot, work on that. Do not wait once you're outside on location to discover your settings. Practice makes perfect we all know that. Take pictures of your family or pets. Or even of yourself at home chilling but keep on working and do not give up. One bad photoshoot doesn't have to become a routine. Learn from your mistakes. Was it the location ? Or maybe you went at a busy hour. The lens ? You rushed it too much ? You didn't try enough poses ? Think about what you could improve and keep going. You can't succeed if you don't keep working. 


This is it for today;  I hope you guys enjoyed. Let me know what did you think about this post, if you found it helpful and if you'd like to read more about this subject. I wish you a lovely day !

6 comments

  1. This is super helpful! Don’t know how you do it! I would be so shy.

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Empty streets are the way to go and after a while you start not to care about people :)

      Delete
  2. This post is really helpful! I want to start taking outfit posts without being too shy. I guess the confidence will start to build when I get used to it :)

    aby | http://venusaby.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete

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