Fashion and Blog Photography

My Fashion & Blog Photography

One of my most frequently asked questions is in regards to my blog photography. I’m not at all claiming to be an expert but if you like my photos and are looking for some advice and guidance, I’ve compiled all my FAQ’s regarding this subject below! My hope is this helps you with your photography journey!

What Camera and Lens do you use?
After doing lots and LOTS of research on what camera to use for fashion/blog photography, I decided to purchase the Canon 6D with a 50 MM lens. Prior to purchasing this camera, I had no experience with photography. Thankfully I was able to pull it out of the box and immediately start taking photos on “auto setting” very easily! The Canon 6D has tons of bells and whistles so it can be a bit intimidating but I’ve surprisingly found it pretty easy to use! I’ve used the “auto setting” for a little over a year now and recently just started exploring the manual settings (read more about this below). The auto setting has honestly done exactly what I needed it to. Just point, shoot, and viola! 

What Camera Settings do you use?
As mentioned above, I’ve been able to survive on just using the “auto setting” for a little over a year. However, I started to get frustrated with the light and clarity of my photos. Sometimes they were too dark/too bright and occasionally they came out blurry/grainy. I knew these were all things I could control on “Manual” but I’d get so overwhelmed trying to figure out the settings! If you’ve done any research on DSLR cameras, you know camera settings can be a bit confusing and overwhelming (especially if you have no photography experience).

I googled and searched endlessly for a one size fits all answer to what settings to shoot on and always ran into a road block of feeling helpless! Recently I found an easy to follow settings guide that has helped me so much! Over these past two months I’ve been able to use my camera on “Manual” and adjust the light and clarity of my photos based on each unique setting.  I’ll drop the guide below for you to reference! It’s been life changing for me!

Pro tip – Always keep your ISO as low as you can to avoid grainy photos. I always set it on 100, and adjust everything else before bumping it up. I try to shoot at a 100 ISO, 2.8 Aperture, and 1/250 Shutter Speed.

Is a DSLR Camera worth the investment?
In my personal opinion – Absolutely! This camera is pricey but if you want to take your photography to the next level and favor professional-grade photos, a DSLR camera + 50 mm lens is worth every single penny! Unlike some, I not only wanted a camera for my blog, I also wanted it for my personal life so this validated my purchasing decision. Ever since my husband and I had so many lovely photos taken at our wedding, I wanted to be able to create high quality photos of my own.

Additionally, I’ve been able to leverage my new photography talent in my brand collaborations. Yes my friends…you can pitch your photography skills to brands and highlight that you have the ability to create high quality/professional-grade photos! Let’s just say… my camera has been completely paid for from these deals. 

Pros and Cons to your Camera?
– Easy to use on “Auto Setting”
– Has wifi so you can easily sync it to a phone to view and take photos remotely
– The photo quality is incredible! 

– A bit bulky but still fits in a medium sized purse (I wouldn’t want to walk around Disney World with it in hand the entire day)
– Takes practice and time to figure out “Manual” settings

Many Bloggers suggest their iphone photos perform better than professional photos. Is this true?
This question kinda gets my wheels to turn every time!  Ya’ll….I’ve heard countless bloggers over 100K say this but that doesn’t mean what works for them, will work for me at 11k right?! You need to ask yourself a few questions…. 

1) What kind of of photos do you personally like?  
2) What is your style/what are you showcasing on your blog?

For me, I love bloggers who have an editorial style and whose photos look like they are straight out of a magazine! My style is classic, feminine, dressy and more formal/refined. In my opinion, professional photos compliment my style and aesthetic really well! Additionally, at 11k followers, it sets me apart from the sea of other mirco-influencers.

On the other hand, perhaps your style is more casual, and you favor blogger content that is more off-the-cuff and not too staged. Then maybe an iphone is all you need!

What I’m trying to say is, do what works for you! Don’t take everything you hear from your peers or idols too seriously. What may work for them, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. Go with you gut!

What photos perform best on your feed?
Ok now that I’ve just finished blabbing about what may work for others may not work for you… I still want to share this answer because I’ve received quite a few questions on this.

Surprisingly the photos of me in front of a blank white wall perform the best when it comes to clicks, saves, LTK screenshots, and purchases! I have posted so many photos with beautiful backdrops and landscapes but for some reason the simplest of backdrops seem to perform the best for me!

I also think it’s because the white space stands out when it shows up on the explore or hashtag pages. (See below screenshot) Lesson to learn here: Sometimes the simplest backdrops are the best! Don’t overthink them! But don’t over use them either.

Who takes your photos?
My husband, Shawn. He is very patient with me 🙂 Let’s just say it takes 100 photo to get one good one! He’s not a photographer and I’m not a model, so it takes a few tries to get the shot! I do all my photoshoot prep (brainstorming places to shoot etc.) prior to getting Shawn involved! We never just drive somewhere and start taking photos aimlessly. I try to be respectful of his time by scouting out a location, deciding on the angle to shoot at, so I only need 5 min of his time to press the shoot button. Occasionally I’ll even set up my tripod so I can 100% control what is captured in the photo to avoid him from accidentally moving the camera angle and cutting off my feet or the landscape in the background (Type-A personality over here!)  My advice – find someone you are comfortable with and can rely on to take your photos!

Where do you take your photos?
I’m a pretty shy person so thankfully I’ve found spaces around our home and neighborhood to take photos. This makes planning for shoots simple because I can get ready: change outfits, do hair, makeup, and accessorize very easily in the convenience of my own home! Occasionally we will drive to a specific location to take a special photo if a new backdrop is needed but I try to keep most my photos within a five min drive from our home. 

When we travel and I know I want a few photos in that location, I’ll look up hashtags and the hotel we are staying at to pull inspiration. Typically photographer and blogger photos will pop up and give me good ideas on where to shoot!

What presets do you use/ Are they worth the investment?
I use Jilly Presets by Jillian Harris. I LOVE them! If you follow @Jillian.Harris then you already know her feed is dreamy! I’m a huge fan of light, bright and airy photos so her presets are perfect for my desired aesthetic. So in my opinion, they are worth every single penny!
The one thing to note with presets is, you can’t just take any photo and expect for it too look amazing when a preset is applied. The unedited/raw photo still needs be good quality prior to the preset being applied and you also have to consider the backdrops and colors you typically shoot with. Ex: you can’t take a indoor, dark lit photo wearing black and expect to your photo to look “light, bright and airy”. 

A few tips I’ve learned with presets: 1) I almost always adjust the brightness lower or higher depending on the photo and 2) I almost always adjust the colors (saturation, vibrancy, and hue) because it’s very important to me that the colors in my outfit accurately represent how they really are in-person! These are easily available to adjust in the “Light” and “Color” tab in Lightroom.

General Photography Tips:
– Shoot in shaded spots with natural light (cloudy or overcast days are the best!)
– White space is your friend! Especially if you’re trying to feature a product (such as clothing) If there’s too much going on in the background, it can be so distracting!
– Shoot at different angles! Don’t just stand in front of a flat wall and shoot straight on. Explore shooting diagonally, see what looks best in your lens!
– If you want to appear taller, always lower the camera angle so it is looking upward at you! You may need your photographer friend to bend their knees a bit 🙂
– Try to shoot with depth behind you (it’ll give more bokeh/background blurring). Do this by walking a few feet in front of whatever you want your background to be. 

Any other tools you use to edit photos?
FaceTune: I use this to remove any photo bombs or blemishes. For example, perhaps a hair is out of place or there’s a huge stain on the sofa you’re sitting on, you can edit these blemishes out using the “Healing” tool. Occasionally I use their “Paint” tool to saturate a specific color in my photo. For example, say you want your lipstick to be more saturated, you can do so with this tool and app!  

Snapseed: I use this tool to expand the width and height of my photos when needed. I do this with their “Expand” tool. I also use their “Frame” tool for my website. I like to add a white frame around my photos for styling purposes.

How do you plan your feed/content?
I use the app UNUM. It provides you with a blank Instagram grid so you can upload your photos and preview what they will look like all together. I try my best to have at least 2 weeks worth of photos on hand at all times! I’m such a planner! This helps me stay consistent, and never go long periods without posting. I literally panic a little if I have no photos in the hopper and ready to go! I also like to have a batch of photos in hand so I can keep an eye out for sales and promote products when they go on sale!

Ok that’s it my friends! I hope that was helpful! Feel free to drop more questions below or DM me on my instagram @fivefootfeminine!

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