I was planning on doing another fashion post for today but have come down with the mother of all colds and look absolutely dreadful! Instead I took some photos for Lily which inspired me to write a post on photography instead.
I am by no means a professional photographer (I studied it at A-Level but that was about 10 years ago – ugh, that makes me feel so old!) I’m learning more and more about my camera everyday and thought I would go through some tips and tricks for anyone who’s unsure about what their camera can do. If you have a blog then I’m sure your visual content is just as important to you as the written content – if not you’re definitely missing a trick. With the rise of platforms such as Instagram things are becoming more and more visual and we bloggers/influencers need to up our game to stand out from the competition. Some of my favourite bloggers, Amanda Shadforth of Oracle Fox and Zanita of Zanita Studio, are getting things so right and I feel like it’s about time that we start to experiment a bit more, after all we’re creatives right?
First off, you really don’t need to spend loads of money on a camera, if you have the cash then sure, go for it, but if not you can still get some pretty decent digital cameras for around £50. Or, set yourself apart from the crowd and go old school by buying a film camera – I purchased my Olympus Trip 35mm film camera on eBay, admittedly it’s not practical if you post everyday because you will be forever waiting for the film to be developed, but it can be great to mix up your style every once in a while – just check out Lizzie’s film posts on her blog Shot From The Street. I’m completely obsessed with Lomography which has a huge range of film cameras, accessories and films so definitely check out their site if you’re interested in starting your film journey.
The most important thing is learning how to use your camera properly. I am one of those people who literally never reads the instruction booklet, I’m guessing a lot of you are too? I’m more of a fiddle/trial and error kind of girl. Having said that it is definitely worth putting that unread booklet somewhere safe incase one day you do actually want to refer to it to find out what all those different settings on your camera are actually for.
Auto is great when you first start out – it does all the work for you, all you have to do is point and shoot – but there are certain times where it might not cut it. If you’re shooting a moving object then sport mode will be much better to capture the movement. Getting up close to an object? Make sure you select the close-up setting (on my camera it’s a flower symbol). Taking a picture of a person? Select the portrait setting. If you’re shooting landscapes outside then you will want to use the landscape setting. It sounds common sense but using the right setting on your camera really will make such a difference to the quality of your images. If you’re already feeling pretty confident with your camera then you may want to use the manual setting which will give you complete control over the shutter speed and aperture.
Shutter speed – noun – the nominal time for which a shutter is open at a given setting.
Aperture – noun – a space through which light passes in an optical or photographic instrument, especially the variable opening by which light enters a camera.
Depth of Field – noun – the distance between the nearest and the furthest objects giving a focused image.
Photography Do’s & Dont’s
Do make sure your subject is in focus – hold the button down gently until it focuses on the object and then shoot.
Don’t use the built-in flash unless necessary, it’s best to shoot where there’s natural lighting.
Do move around to try to get the best, most flattering angle of your subject – if that means getting right down on the ground then that’s fine, go for it.
Do learn as much about your camera as possible, it will enable you to be so much more creative with your images like the double and triple exposures you’ve seen in this post. No photoshop required.
Do scout some cool locations for your shoots.
Do think about the composition of your shot and check what you are shooting in your viewfinder.
My camera kit
There’s so much more that I could write but I realise it’s already quite a long post so if you would like to know about certain settings in more detail let me know! If you have any photography questions leave a comment below or feel free to drop me an email.