Photo quality can “make” or “break” a lifestyle blog because lifestyle blogging is as much about telling a story as it is about showing it! This is why learning how to take best quality lifestyle blog photos had been a task that I could not disregard if I wanted to ever succeed as a blogger!…Recently a few people have been asking me who takes my blog photos. And this is how I respond: …My tripod does! Hmm… oh, and my remote control! 🙂 OK, well, jokes aside, but all my blog photos are taken by ME alone, because I simply don’t have the means to hire a photographer! (And my family members are’t available to help most of the time).
When I say that, people always wonder how in the world do I end up having quality images on my blog! (Referring especially to the photos where I am in the frame)!
Answering all their questions made me think that I now can offer a few useful tips to anyone interested in blogging or photography! So here we go: a Lifestyle Photography Guide with all my best photography tips in one place!
HOW TO TAKE BEST QUALITY LIFESTYLE BLOG PHOTOS
1. YOUR GEAR IS JUST A TOOL
We’re living in the age when everyone can take photos as long as they own a camera-equipped cellphone!
Also, while a cell phones’ camera isn’t as capable and sharp as an actual camera (trust me, I’ve done a really extensive research on that!), there’re a lot of mobile photographers that produce GREAT photos with with their good-old iPhone5!
So, if a cellphone camera is all you got for now – I say – it’s a great place to start because taking best quality lifestyle photos isn’t just about your equipment! It’s (first and foremost!) about your skills!
Nevertheless, a great DSLR will certainly enable you to bring your photography craft to a whole new level! But that is ONLY if you’re willing to learn all about how to actually use it!
If you find this post useful, I’ll be going into more detail about my photography equipment in another post (just to keep this post from being too long & overwhelming!). But in short, here’s what I currently use: Canon EOS 6D Mark II, Canon EF 50 mm Lens, Tamron SP 24-70mm Lens for Canon, MeFOTO Tripod, and this Remote Control.
2. LEARNING PHOTOGRAPHY BASICS WILL TAKE YOU TO THE NEXT LEVEL!
Once again – yes, better equipment will give you better results, but only if you KNOW your tools and your craft!
The reason why I’m saying this is because I could see how my own photos have been dramatically improving as I was honing on my photography skills!
You can learn photography from both books (I loved this and this books) or by taking classes! I always prefer taking a class over a book: after all, photography is a visual art! Also, since I currently don’t have the ability to take classes in person (I do have to stay around to be with my kids most of my time!), I found a few great online photography courses to learn from!
My favorite online classes are from the CreativeLive! Not only they have classes on hundreds of different photography topics (general photography classes for beginners and advanced, photo editing, etc). They are reasonably priced and all their teachers are all pro (and some of the celebrity) photographers!
3. STYLING MATTERS!
You can’t make good cookies without proper ingredients! If your flour is stale – your cookies will be, too!
That is also true when it comes to taking your photos: if what you’re taking the photos of doesn’t look good to begin with, you will most likely end up with the not-so-good photos!
From years of taking lifestyle photos I’ve learned this all too well: making what’s being photographed look amazing is probably even more important than what you’re taking those photos with.
So, for instance, it you’re taking food photos it’s important to put that food on a pretty plate and decorate it a bit with some extras such as sprinkles, frosting or chocolate chips!
The same principle is also true for the style & lifestyle photos: you have to always pay close attention to how your clothing, accessories and surroundings look!
It’s imperative to make sure that your clothing sits will on you and it isn’t wrinkled! And unless your background will be completely blurred, as unimportant as the background may seem – the look of your background can make or break your entire photo!
4. PLANNING IS IMPERATIVE!
Planning is a CRUCIAL part of making a photoshoot successful!
While this tip isn’t as obvious as learning to use your camera, trust me – it comes from pain: you can’t disregard the planning!
I can’t tell you enough about how awful it feels when you’ve done so much work to prepare for and style your photoshoot and hours of trying to actually shoot it, but end up with photos that you can’t even use!
Here are the things to plan for:
- Whether it’s food, lifestyle, an outfit or a flat-lay, you have to plan the making and the styling of that food or putting that outfit together much in advance to the actual photo session!
- Planning the location. This goes more for the outdoor photoshoots, but you may have to do some planning for when you’re shooting at home, too. The questions you need to ask yourself here are: will I be able to actually take the photos at the location I’m shooting at? For instance, no matter how great your Farmer’s Market may look as your photoshoot location, how easy it would be to take photos in this crowded place? Another question is about the time of the day you’re going to shoot, because if you’ve been learning your photography fundamentals, you know about the importance of your lighting! The third question you must ask yourself is whether the location you chose will actually look good when it’s photographed. (Because although these blossoming trees look lovely when you see them growing on a street, the construction equipment and signs or trashcans on that street can ruin the whole look of your photos!)
- Planning your equipment. Because it’s not just about having your camera with you! It’s also about making sure that your camera is charged. That you have enough space on the disk to record your photos, too. It’s also making sure that you’re taking the right lenses and not forgetting the remote control for the case when you’re going to take your own photos!
- Always have a back-up plan! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prepared everything for a photoshoot to only come out and see that this usually quiet street where I was going to take my photos is now filled with a huge crowd! Or that a coffee shop I was going to take the photos at is closed! My best tip here is: find a few spots in your neighbourhood that you can always rely on that make a decent background for your photos! So that if the place you were planning to take your photos at is unavailable, at least you won’t come back home with nothing!
5. EDITING YOUR PHOTOS
If what you’re taking the photos of are your “cake ingredients”, editing your photos is similar to decorating a cake!
While you need great ingredients to make a good cake, making that cake look even better is what editing is all about!
Also, if you are taking your own fashion or beauty photos – editing them is probably the only thing that can make them look really good – as good as if they were taken by a pro photographer!
Here’s why: when you take your own photos – you can’t always see what the camera is taking the photos of! For instance, the lighting can change a bit, or some passer-by’s may appear in the frame and you won’t even be aware of them as you’re standing in front of the camera clicking with the remote control!
Just as with your photography equipment, editing doesn’t have to mean that you have to only use paid apps like Photoshop or Lightroom (you can start editing for free with the Photos program if you own a Mac or use a free mobile app). At the same time of course using professional editing apps will give you your best results!
I always start editing my photos in Lightroom and tweak a thing or two or add graphic elements (such as text) in Photoshop!
Once again, I don’t want to make this post super-long! So if you’d like to learn more about my editing process, I will be writing more about it in another post, breaking down all my editing tips, workflow and secrets for you!
Whether you’re a blogger or a lifestyle photographer, or just someone who’d like to take better everyday photos, I hope that you found my photography tips helpful and that you’re walking off from this post knowing that you can too take your very best lifestyle blog photos! …Even if you don’t have anyone helping you! …And even without pricey equipment! 🙂