Behind the Blog: Photo Edition
There's a lot of work that goes into blogging. If you missed my first Behind the Blog, view here.
Today I'm talking all about the process to get that one 4x4 photo you see scrolling through Instagram. For me, it typically takes hours to get that one photo. Sometimes, I see something and decide to take a photo, but it always goes through editing, etc. before I upload it. Most photos are taken during a specific photoshoot. I will do 1-2 photo shoot days a month where I cram in 5+ looks and different settings into one day. This helps me balance this blog and my full-time job.
Photographers vs. You
Many bloggers work with photographers. I have one I work with and I love her! But most times, Jake will take my photos. When you’re starting out, and if you don’t have a photography background or nice camera (like me when I started!) I recommend working with a photographer. They’ll know the angles, editing styles and quality you need to help you start on the right foot. Once you get more comfortable in front of the camera, I recommend trying to teach yourself photography, or at least the basics. Photography is one of the most important things in terms of blogging and Instagram, and it’s so much fun to learn.
Camera vs. iPhone
For the first year or so of this blog I only worked with an iPhone. Luckily, Jake has depth effect on his iPhone. After a few months of taking this thing seriously, I went out and bought my very first professional camera. I love it and it’s been so fun to learn how to work it. I want to encourage everyone that you can have high quality photos just from an iPhone, and you shouldn’t be discouraged or feel like you have to go spend a ton on a nice camera. With that, I personally love the different perspectives you can get when working with a camera and the quality of my photos now. It’s all about personal perspective and editing styles.
Theme, setting, clothing, props, etc.
For every look, I try and craft a story with it. I don’t just want a photo of an outfit. I want it to tell a story- this outfit is the one that I threw on to go pick up Starbucks on a Saturday morning and I’m wearing a sweater because there’s a nice, crisp chill in the air. I want you to get all of that out of on photo. Therefore, I carefully plan my shoots. I hand select the backgrounds, the outfits that work with that setting and then I think of any props I need. Sometimes the props feel silly but they can really make a difference for the photos. Sometimes I’m inspired by a setting or colorful wall I pass and will plan a shoot around that and other times I have a specific idea in my head that I have to go out and find the perfect background and outfit to match.
I typically take anywhere from 50-100 photos of one outfit and end up liking only 5-20 of them. I'm not kidding. This variety lets me test lighting, backgrounds, angles, poses, faces, etc. As I have more practice I’ve been able to take about 25-50 photos and like 5-10 of them since I’m learning my favorite facials and angles but it all depends on the day.
There are so many ways to edit a photo. I used VSCO, which I loved, but lately I’ve been using Lightroom and I purchased Aspyn Ovard’s presets. Using presets are super easy - you just copy it onto a photo. Sometimes I have to do a little adjusting, but overall it’s very simple. When I was using VSCO I had to start from scratch with every photo. I loved it, but it took forever to edit one set of photos. The other thing to consider when editing is consistency. It makes such a difference in your feed when everything is edited in the same way, with the same presets or filters. Look at the difference in the below feeds:
I looooveee the app preview! It syncs your current feed with photos you add so you can place new photos and plan out when to post them so everything looks cohesive on your feed. It has been one of the best apps I’ve used!
As you can see, each photo I post has an extensive background and history. I very very rarely post a photo within 5 minutes of taking it. But I love it. I love the photo process - I’m a content creator so creating this content is why I do what I do. Any other questions on photos and editing? There are so many classes and helpful resources. I learned a lot from Jaci Marie and Skillshare - I highly recommend those two to start with.