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Blog Photography Tips & Tricks





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.

EDITING

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!


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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 - 




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33 comments:

  1. This was so helpful - thanks Kristin! I've been practicing taking the camera out of auto mode, but it's nerve-wracking! I'd never considered that portrait shots are better to use than landscape, although it totally makes sense :)

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  2. Jennifer Susil GriffinOctober 14, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Good tips Kristin! We got a new Canon a few months ago and I'm still trying to get comfortable with the settings. Never tried the histogram, I'll have to check that out!

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  3. Fabulous pictures and wonderful tips and advise. I would love for you to link up to Inspire Me this afternoon. Party goes live at 2:30 PT. www.astrollthrulife.net Hope to see you there. Hugs, Marty

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  4. Great tips! I have the same camera and must admit I am still a little scared of manual mode. Your photos are always beautiful...especially that last one...of course with a model that adorable it seems easy! Taking the ShootFlyShoot tutorial has been on my to do list for a while now.

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  5. KimberlyDuranHughesOctober 14, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    Thank you so much for these. Thanks for sharing your rather crummy early pics (I look at my own on my blog in the early days and CRINGE but that's the beauty of practice!) I've downloaded the Actions and I've already started to have a play and wow, does it help when my images just don't have great light (pretty common this time of year in England unfortunately) so thanks so much for the recommendation! Oh and I've asked for a better tripod for Christmas already but I'm now on the hunt for a fabulous camera bag too :) Wonderfully helpful post!! xxx

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  6. Laura Stutzman House EnvyOctober 14, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    OK I am saving this post and going to make it my nightly studying! I needed this! Thanks so much for all the great tips. It does make so much a difference!!
    Laura

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  7. Perfect post timing, Kristin! I've been eyeing a DSLR for a while now and think I'm finally ready to pull the trigger. Definitely pinning your post for when that time comes!

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  8. Did your camera come with a lens besides the 50mm you purchased? My camera came with a 18-55mm lens. What's the difference between this and the 50mm? Hope that makes sense!

    hammerandheels.blogspot.com

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  9. It did come with the 18-55mm lens. The 50mm is a lens that does not zoom therefore has a shorter range. It provides crisper images & allows you to get more of the blurry effect if desired. It's also great for portraits. I do a lot of my photography with this lens.

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  10. wow this is so helpful. I have a great digital camera that my parents got me for christmas, and really no clue how to use it yet of course. I havent even gotten into photoshop yet, because that in itself scares me, but someday soon I will.... great tips. thanks!


    www.thecasualclassic.com

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  11. Julia @cuckoo4designOctober 14, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    This rocks. Thank you so much for sharing the actions. I have been looking for some and will check them out for sure. I always shoot vertical which drives my husband nuts but I just like it better that way and the pinning point is spot on.

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  12. Your post is so timely. It is my birthday today and I just got the Cannon T3i. Just need to learn how to use it! I am new to blogging and am realizing how important the photography is. Thanks for the tips. The photos on your blog are amazing.
    jennifer @decoratingdelirium.com

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  13. Great tips!


    I really need to buy a nice camera and had no idea where to start. When I'm ready to take the plunge I'm going to come back to this post for sure! I usually rely on hiring a photographer to shoot all of my finished projects but it would be great to be able to do that myself.

    What a difference the new camera makes vs the old! WOW!

    ....and congrats on your nomination!

    http://reuschinteriordesign.blogspot.com

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  14. How did you attach this to the wall?

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  15. I love that camera bag! So cute. :)

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  16. Thanks for this helpful post! I've been camera shopping for a few weeks and any help is appreciated. And can we talk about your daughter's eyelashes!? Oh my jealous!

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  17. These are awesome tips Kristen and that camera bag is FAB!! I need one so bad. Im always nervous when I take my camera places because I have to just toss it in my purse. Im a Nikon girl but I love my 50mm lens. When I first got my camera I got the body and this lens and opted to shy away from the kit. I shot exclusively with the 50mm lens for almost a year. I just recently got the more basic lens, but learning to shoot with the 50mm in Manual mode was super helpful in learning how to use my dslr. I love your photos. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  18. I have that Theit bag and love it so! Even though I have lenses that are 5 times the price of my 50mm, I find myself gravitating towards that little lens. Awesome post!

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  19. Very helpful post! I definitely need a camera! This post has been pinned! I am hoping to make this my Christmas gift. By the way what tripod are you using?

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  20. cassie {hi sugarplum}October 17, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Your pics are always super stunning...thanks for sharing your tips!

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  21. Beautiful cornice board. How did you mount you board? Thank you!

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  22. Thank you Marsha! It actually just rests on a 1x2 that is drilled into the wall. That way it's easy to pull down & dust.

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  23. The quality of your blogs and conjointly the articles and price appreciating.http://plus.google.com/112458942571457568265/posts

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  24. This is really helpful! Thanks for the insight!

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  25. blog photography is a bit different and it's an important aspect to reach readers/customers. And some secrets shared here will use for bloggers to reach their customer easily. Photo Editing

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  26. Have you been able to practice a bit with your speedlite? I would love to hear any tips you've picked up.

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  27. These pictures are simply stunning! Amazing what we can capture with our iphones, isn't it?
    If you're interested, (http://shannonspointofview.com/nature-photography) I have a little giveaway on my blog right now..

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  28. Very much well written and well organized tips and tricks collection. Appreciating job.

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  29. Just wanted to say thanks so much for the information and tips (and the awesome BAG!!!)! I also linked back to you in my blog post!

    http://abcberry.blogspot.com/2014/06/my-blog-photography-wishlist.html

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  30. Hi Kristin, how did you create the pattern for the edges of your cornice? I think its just perfect for the kitchen project I have next on my list and I'd love to recreate it!

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  31. I just looked for inspirations I liked & tried to duplicate it in my own project. This is a classic shape that I have used multiple times since as well. I used a ruler & a bowl to get the shape I wanted.

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  32. Thanks for the response! I just wasn't sure what size dimensions to use for the cornice template.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I always love feedback on what my lovely readers { like you } are thinking. Feel free to ask any questions or you can always email me at thehuntedinterior@gmail.com

K