I am not a photographer, but I do play one on the blog. I am not professionally trained, but I have had numerous shots published over the past year or so… I may not know all of the correct terminology, but here are some of the tips & tricks I have learned over the past year & a half of actually paying attention to my photography.
I come from the school of thought that if it works for you it’s right. There will be plenty of books, courses that will tell you that it has to be done this way! But I look at photography like a new learning experience every time I get behind the lens. I use to be afraid to be behind the lens… but now it is one of my favorite places & I try to soak up as much knowledge as I can. So since you all have been asking (for quite sometime) I thought I would finally share some of my secrets. What’s in my Camera Bag?
I use a Canon Rebel T3 which is basically your intro to DSLR Camera. I purchased it off of Craigslist for a really good price & have nothing but love for my Canon. I grew up around Nikons and have a fondness for them too… the Canon was just the right deal at the right time. The standard lens is great but when I really want a nice detail shot I’ll pull out my 50mm lens. And y’all know I love a good detail shot. For the $$ this little lens is some serious bang for your buck.
Most lenses get pretty pricey, but at around $120 this lens does the job! I will mention that the housing is plastic, so I am extra careful with it as my first lens jammed up a week after I got it. Luckily my warranty covered it & now I know to be a little more delicate with it. Yall know I am a sucker for those detail shots, to a fault sometimes… but I adore my Macros Lens. In my opinion it’s a must!
Another must for anyone shooting interiors is a Tripod! This little contraption changed my life. The tripod allows your camera to sit still & take in all of the light that it needs to get “the” shot. While technically not in my camera bag… it’s always close.
Proof that I have not always taken a decent picture. This is on the blog & is one of my top posts EVER & the photography is horrid… plus I’d like to think my styling has gotten better lol.
My other must is a camera bag. I went without one for a long time, but as soon as I made the switch I was no longer nervous about toting my camera around. It doesn’t hurt that my camera bag is fabulous. I love my Theit Bossi Bag & highly recommend it if you are in the market for a camera bag that doesn’t look anything like a camera bag!
My newest addition to the arsenal is my external flash. I am really learning to like this thing… but you have to play with it. It can really blow out an image, or if you rely to heavily on it as your light source your image can get noisy (grainy). I’ll add some more tips on this once I play some more…
MANUAL VS. AUTO
Manual all the way. It did take some getting used to, but once I made the switch there was no turning back. I made my first real dive into manual mode after taking ShootFlyShoot’s online course. DO IT! I don’t learn well from reading instructions, I need visual tools. These fellas know their stuff.
I’m not going to go into the technical aspects of ISO & Apertures, but what I will share is a trick my brother taught me… If you are shooting & trying to get the optimal light if you turn on your camera’s digital display & look for this… (it’s called a Histogram)
You will see that as you either move the camera around or change any of your settings the graph will move around. Most often than not, your ideal light is going to be when the bars are in the center. This has helped me a lot. Especially in dark room shots or details.
I edit all of my photos in Photoshop Elements… and my secret weapon is that I will use actions to lighten & darken my image. Some people use Lightroom, iPhoto, PicMonkey… I have just always been a Photoshop girl, so that’s what I use. Specifically I use the MulletGod Actions & love them. These can be used in regular Photoshop & Elements.
I also take a lot of vertical shots… Mostly because I think they show up better on the blog. But they also Pin better & if a publication is looking to use your image most often they will want a portrait shot.
My best advice is to play. And look at it as play… you’ll have more fun & learn more in the process. Also, take tons of pictures! That is the beauty of digital. You don’t have to print them all so take as many as you want to get options. While I am much more comfortable taking interior shots as most decorative accessories aren’t running around, I am playing much more with trying to capture my favorite little model. So much harder for me, but every once and a while I’ll catch her!
also… in other news, I have been nominated as one of the top 25 Interior Design Blogs by Lamps Plus! You can vote via their Facebook Page every day through November 15th. I am up against some pretty amazing competition but would love your vote!!! And by voting you too are entered to win a $500 Lamps Plus Gift Card. Who wouldn’t want that?! I also have a link on my sidebar to easily navigate to their page each day.
x o –