If you want to start a blog, get professional with Instagram or simply spice up your feed a little bit: pictures are they key. Appealing pictures that reflect who you are and what you are all about will catch people’s attention and will keep them wanting to see more. Since I always get so many questions about how I take and edit my pictures, I thought I would dedicate this blog post to the topic.
Who takes my pictures?
So before you we even get started with talking about equipment or editing you have to find someone to take the picture for you. Oftentimes, this will be the hardest step. Most of my pictures are taken by my sister Julia, who has an excellent eye for good shots, because she herself is an Instagram & Blog “consumer”. If you don’t have a sibling or a friend to take pictures for you- don’t worry!
If Julia isn’t available or doesn’t feel like taking pictures (again haha) I oftentimes give my camera to my mom. To be fair: it is hard to get your parents to take nice pictures, but with the following tips you will even get them to take “Instagram-able” shots:
- Show them what you want. Print out inspiration pictures of Instagram shots/ images that you like so that they know what exactly it is that you are looking after.
- Tell them what crop the picture should be. Do you want a full length shot? A portrait? Or a mid-length shot from just above the knees? Telling them how much you want to be visible on the picture will make a huge difference, since it will keep them from taking shots from the most random angles and accidently cutting off your head.
- Be patient and thankful. It will take some time for them to get used to the whole picture taking thing, but they will get there eventually. Always be super nice and grateful after they have taken pictures, because that way they are more likely to invest time into a photo session with you again.
Oh and the above tips also work very well for the boyfriends, that are not yet used to the whole Instagram/Blog game.
From time to time I also work together with photographers who email me or who I contact, which then shoot with me. I love doing this, because it saves me a lot of picture processing and editing time. However, it is essential that the photographer understands your “picture style”, because otherwise the pictures might look a little out of place in your Instagram feed/blog context.
These pictures for example where shot by Kyle (check out his Instagram here) in Cape Town, who is a super nice guy, reads my blog and whose photography style fits really well with the vibe of my pictures.
What camera do I use?
I started off taking pictures with a Canon 450D DSLR camera. However, the Canon was very heavy and didn’t have a film function, so since I travel a lot and wanted to film more Youtube videos I decided to switch to the Sony Alpha 6000 mirrorless camera (here). It was so worth it, because it is way easier to carry around and still takes amazing pictures.
I am truly not a photography specialist, but something that I have learnt from blogging is that most of your picture quality comes from the right camera lens. Since I was looking to achieve a nice blurred background I also bought myself a 50 mm lens with fixed focal length (this one). I can always tell the difference when I switch from the standard lens that came with the camera to the 50mm lens, because they quality is just way better and you can achieve a much stronger background blur.
I like using the Sony for Blogposts, however I also use my Iphone 6 for a lot of my Instagram pictures. Sometimes with the light and picture setup the images just turn out better on the Iphone. Also, people don’t always want to see “perfect” camera images on your Instagram feed. I have found that cool mirror picture oftentimes get way more likes than a set up modelling shot.
How do I edit my pictures?
Now that you have got the perfect shot, the only thing that is missing is a good edit. Editing your pictures helps to give them a personal touch. For my Instagram pictures I swear on the following Apps: YouCam Perfect, Afterlight, Snapseed and VSCO. With VSCO I recommend downloading additional filters, which are free or relatively cheap, because that way you have a bigger choice and are more likely to find a filter that matches your style.
For editing my blog images I have purchased the editing software lightroom (here) which is a lot easier to grasp than photoshop. I continuously keep watching Youtube Tutorials to improve my editing skills. For most of my pictures I simply retouch pimples, change the exposure and just generally play around with the settings a little bit. I don’t put to much time into editing pictures on lightroom, since I try to make the picture look good in the first place so that not a lot of editing is necessary.
So this is it: all of my picure & editing tips. When I started blogging I would have loved for someone to give me these insights to help me out a little bit. I hope you find them helpful and if you have any more questions please feel free to ask them in the comments! x
Outfit post with all the details to this look is here