Wednesday, March 27, 2013

10 Tips for Great Blog Photos

We all know it. Imagery is SO important in the blog world. (FYI, I feel like a ding dong saying "blog world"). The images on a blog can ooze sentiment and pull you heart strings or catch your attention with super bright colors. Imagery is so powerful, some blogs are ONLY photos and no text at all.

I've noticed a few people commenting on and asking about the photography on my blog. I have to admit...I take a little pride in them. But that's because photography is a passion of mine. I'm am extremely lucky to have my man help me out with my photos. However, I've also spent a lot of time teaching him about how the camera works and what angles I need. He's invested a lot of time shooting my posts for me and has gotten to be quite a good photographer!

Shooting isn't all of it though. You have to edit, and post process your photos also. (Half the magic happens here). So let's get to it then. Here are some tips for getting lovely photos for your blog, for your life etc. 

1. Invest your time: I love every aspect of photography. Shooting, editing, all of it. So, I don't mind really investing time. I spend a lot of time actually getting dressed (which I thoroughly enjoy), then we walk around until we find a spot that compliments the vibe we're trying to achieve, then we shoot and shoot and shoot. Shoot until you are 150% sure that you've covered the subject. I would say spend At least 15-20 minutes shooting a look or your subject. After we shoot, I spend a good chunk of time sitting in front of the computer choosing which photos to use and then working on them in photoshop before I post them.

2. Invest your brain cells: If you are a blogger, shooting is half the battle. It's worth really learning about photography and your camera. Look at other photographs. What do you love about them? Are they super contrasty? Are they busy? Minimal? What photographers do you love? Try to emulate things that turn you on about photography. Eventually you'll develop your own style. Some of my favorite photographers are Richard Avedon (this project particularly), Annie Leibovitz (uhnoduh), Gregory Crewdson and Yelena Yemchuk

3. Get a good camera and a good lens: The people that say "It's not the camera, it's the photographer"
are usually shooting with a Mark III (yeah, I said it). It really does make a tremendous difference to shoot with a good camera and a good lens. I used to shoot with a 40D and just recently upgraded to a Canon Mark II. I invested because I'm a photographer, but this lil' Canon Rebel is a rad camera you can get great results with if you don't wanna break the bank. I shoot with a 50mm for all of my blog posts. It's easy to get a shallow depth of field with a 50mm and it's a pretty compact lens. (Here is a reasonable one). A 24-70mm is my next investment.

4. Shoot in the morning or just before sunset: You can't go outside at any ole' time-o-day and expect a beautiful image with amazing light. You have to work around the light. (It's nature, it does what the ef it wants). The most fail proof times to shoot are in the early morning when the light isn't too harsh, and at "golden hour". Golden hour is about an hour before sunset. You can get some RADICAL lens flare at this time of day, and beautiful warm light.
5. Play with different light: If your glamourous schedule won't permit you to shoot at those times of day, play with different light. Shoot in solid shade if you want something straight forward with no harsh shadows. OR you could shoot in the sunlight and see if you can get the harsh shadows to work with you. They might add to your story. (The darkness with the only illumination of a spot light below worked well for more rock n' roll-y action).
6. Learn your way around some software: Learn how to use whatever software you are editing your photos with. I've spent HOURS AND HOURS in photoshop messing around. You don't have to spend that much time with yours, but definitely play around with it.  Mess with the contrast, the levels, the toning, the saturation...see how it effects your photographs.

7. Totally Rad Actions (RadLab) for Photoshop and Lightroom: This is a biggie and you can purchase it here. It's a bit pricey, but again, it was worth the investment for me.  It's a huge time saver if you like different textures and effects on your photos. Tons of professional photographers use these kinds of filters. You can pick and choose your filters and adjust how strongly you want them to affect your images. You can also preview the before and after of your image.
(Daawwwwwww look at my handsome dude....)

8. Contrast, Sharpen, Brighten: These are 3 easy things you can do to any photograph that will improve the quality. These three adjustments can be made in almost any photo software including iphoto. But for reals....go easy on the vignette. Over vingnette-ing an image gives it a bit of an amateur quality (in my opinion).

9. Get creative with filling the frame: Just standing in the middle of the frame can be informative, but not necessarily interesting. Try filling 1/3 or 1/2 of the frame so you get some negative space. Shoot different angles, too!  You can do this even if you are shooting by yourself with a tri-pod. Here's a photo I took of myself in the old days before Jonny started shooting:
10. Tune in to your background: The back ground of a photo can totally transform it. It should help to tell your story. It should compliment or contrast the colors your wearing and the vibe of your outfit. Think pretty floral dress in an alleyway or super graphic prints against an angular background.
Bonus: Be bold by yourself: If you are a blogger that isn't lucky enough to have a photographer, you really have to think outside of the box. Don't be too timid to go wander around and have a little photo sesh with yourself. (Cindy Sherman did it, and she is just plain badass). You don't have to be confined to your room. There's no better time to experiment than when you're by yourself. 


  1. One of my favorite parts(out of so many)about having Erin with me on the blog is that we can run around and take pictures of each other and it completely takes the weirdness out of taking pictures in public. It is so nice to have a buddy.
    Great tips!

  2. Great post! :-) I loved your tips and ideas...and the pictures you chose to go with this post.

  3. This is such an awesome post! Thanks for the tips.

  4. Fabulous tips... your a rockstar!

  5. this is AMAZING! this post is getting printed out and framed on my desk. photography is definitely a practice makes perfect situation and the amazing inspiration from blogs like yours give me the opportunity to fall more and more in love with it. your photos never cease to amaze and have me itching to grab my camera and get outside and play with light. thank you so much for sharing these tips and keep up the inspiration!


  6. Great post! Thanks for posting these tips. I will def keep them in mind for future posts :)


  7. Oke I have to say it, that last comment about Cindy have me! Isn't she amazing! I love making photos, and in winter I have become a bit lazy, and this is a good reminder to switch it up and concentrate again on composition and light. Great post girl, bookmark!

  8. Great post! I nominated you for a Liebster Award! Check it out here:


  9. Actually you need practice for everything to be good :) Love your tips!

    - Laura

  10. This is exactly what I needed!!! I always wondered how to improve my crappy photos, thank you so much for this post, seriously!!! ^_^

  11. I already knew most of these tips (gosh can I say that because I really love photography as well :p so it's not too braggy?) Anyway I'm so jealous you have a Canon Mark 2!! I still have my Canon 450D but we're going to upgrade, now the sales guy convinced us we should wait for the 70D to come out (Canon still hasn't announced it) but I don't know, would we be better to save more and buy a Mark 3?
    Love the tips about light! We should really get out earlier or later :D
    Maya Archistas

    1. Damn girl! Mark 3s are pricey!! Honestly, if you're not a professional photographer, I would save oodles and go with a Mark 2 (then with all that extra dough, throw down on a badass lens!). HOWEVER, if you have money to burn, by aaalll means, go with the Mark 3.
      So true! The light makes all the difference.

    2. Well we actually don't have all that money haha that's why I'm debating on wheter to save and invest good or go for something a 'bit less' instead. We're with two so that makes it half as much luckily but still, I'll debate on it a bit more and meanwhile save :D

  12. DAMN girl! GREAT post! You spent a lot of time on shows. You gotta submit to IFB!


  13. Really great and informative post! This is so helpful.

  14. thank you thank you thank you thank you

    thank you



  15. So good it deserves a second comment.

    This post is such good advice, and gives me confidence. Need to work on so many of these aspects, but it's convinced me that

    1. I need to buy a 50mm lens. Now. ASAP. like, tonight.
    2. I need to get Lightroom.

    So essentially, I'll be poorer, but look so fantastically much better

    Thanks to you ;)

  16. Awesome tips, I will be sure to think about these next time I go out and shoot!

  17. These are some brilliant tips. A very very informative article. I am just about to purchase a camera so I found this all the more helpful. I do not have any favorite photographers as such, but you have pointed it out and now i am thinking I will use some grey cells.

    thank you so much for writing this and sharing with your community Ashley. All of us must be thanking you :)

    Swati @ The Creative Bent

  18. Nifty tips, getting some good lighting is always a pain, particularly here where it seems there is always an overcast!

    Have a super easter! :)

    ▲_▲ HYENA

  19. I really need to play with my camera a bit more, I still don't use it properly!

    Maria xxx

  20. I agree- photos are EVERYTHING on a blog- and you have some amazing photos! Thanks for sharing all your advice!! XOXO!

  21. Amazing tips! :D

    xx MJ

  22. Nice post! Love the first dress!

  23. Thanks for these tips. You really go beyond the basic stuff that most photo-tip posts give, and I appreciate it a lot. Also you've got me thinking again about how I should get those Totally Rad Actions.

  24. amazing post ! your photographs really are gorgeous ! the example photographs were very helpful too !
    and it's true that the camera lens does make a big difference ! i used to just have a regular digital camera and switched to a pentax and its amazingly incredible difference ! people started complimenting me on my pictures, made me feel like a professional photographer hehe , but not i can improve even more by using the tips from your post ! i have to admit, it'll be a little hard for me to go and have a photosesh bymyself but ill definitely try (:

    xoxo Rei

  25. I saw your post at IFB!

    Good work!


  26. Wow. I saw your post on IFB and thought it would probably be just another photography tips post but it is definently NOT. I would love to get the Mark lll but it is way to expensive for me right now so I'm going to get the EOS 60d and hopefully that will be good for now and after i save up enough i can get the mark lll. I have been obsessed with photography for a long time and I never new that to get the best light you should shoot right before sunset and in the mornings. About how many photos do you think you take untill your 150% sure you have gotten the perfect shot? like 25? 200? Thanks for this posted it was very helpful!

    Miranda -

  27. Wow. I saw your post on IFB and thought it would probably be just another photography tips post but it is definently NOT. I would love to get the Mark lll but it is way to expensive for me right now so I'm going to get the EOS 60d and hopefully that will be good for now and after i save up enough i can get the mark lll. I have been obsessed with photography for a long time and I never new that to get the best light you should shoot right before sunset and in the mornings. About how many photos do you think you take untill your 150% sure you have gotten the perfect shot? like 25? 200? Thanks for this posted it was very helpful!

    Miranda -

    1. Hey Miranda,
      For each outfit we probably shoot anywhere from 75-1oo photos. I'm so glad you found the post useful. I tried not to say all the stuff everyone else says in these things.

  28. Thanks for all the tips today! Very helpful advice. Visiting via IFB!! Yeah!

  29. Great tips!!! Will definitely take into consideration!

    just followed :)
    xox, Cheri

  30. Such great tips! You always have the best images. Yipppeeee!
    nothing but a pigeon

  31. I just recently found you via IFB and these tips are really great and extremely useful. Thank you very much for taking the time to write this post and share your knowledge, its very thoughtful! And I've learned a quite a bit of stuff :)

  32. great post & amazing tips!! congrats on the IFB feature!!

    Corinne xo


Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to spill your guts! However, please keep those guts nice and constructive.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...