“Dare to be different” – Amanda Foreman, Historian
Being different is what it is all about. Let’s face it, the difference in your approach is what is going to get you noticed. We’re talking about being authentic, being fresh…being YOU.
Blogging is about pushing boundaries. It is a sphere dominated by millennials and enthusiasts so it’s worth taking the risk to go beyond that – be grown up, classy and most importantly credible. It is also worth noting the importance of bloggers within the community – what bloggers are blogging about is what the conversation is about, or even better, what it’s going to be about!
-this is one for the companies or businesses out there who want to further their reach too
Reading or scrolling through blogs (even if they are visual) should feel like a conversation. Visuals are always essential to convey your message in its totality. Your audience does not necessarily want to, or have the time to read every single word on the page – sometimes they will, but sometimes they will skim and sometimes they will simply want to see.
– Give them something to fix their eyes upon
– Grab their attention
– Show them what you’re about
Apart from knowing and selecting your preferred platform you then need to look into how you are conveying your message through design. You need to engage your target audience in a way that results in a conversation so to speak – you want some sort of interaction, a spark happening. This is why it is good to know what appeals to the eye, or rather how to reach the 5 senses successfully.
Create a story for your audience – give them something they are not expecting
Go for imperfections – people, including you, are not perfect. It’s good to be wrong and mess up once in awhile, your audience will have something to relate to. This means showing them the process and not simply the final product
Don’t be afraid of the dark – what are we on about? Well nighttime can arguably be one of the most beautiful times to take photos, yet it can also be the most tricky. With the following tips you will be able to capture those perfect shots during a candlelit dinner, a dimly lit restaurant or set the scene with soft warm lighting without a second thought. Sometimes the flash at night just makes everything look shiny and washed out and the shot fall short of representing the idyllic scene you have created. So what should you do?
Whatever kind of blog you are curating, whether fashion, beauty, music, books, food, travel, photography…name your fancy…these are the photography tips to keep in mind.
Even if your camera is your mobile’s that is!
When it comes to your camera familiarize yourself with it. Get to know the terms such as ‘shutter speed’, ‘f-stop’, ‘exposure’, ‘depth of field’ – all are integral to the process of creating great and amazing photos.
We recommend experimenting and tinkering about – simply have fun with the whole process. It’s what it’s about after all.
How to create…
– where to shoot
– how to set the background
– how to style
Sometimes something as simple as colour and personality, the feel of a place/time will be enough to click in your mind and create a connection with certain props or lighting.
These tips go for photographing for any type of blog, well it goes for taking the best photos in any situation. I love food so I’m going to be using food as the example, but I find the analogy is apt in many ways.
So here it goes…
Your context – to shoot
The world is your stage. Sometimes more thought goes into preparing your stage. What makes things simpler is making sure you have everything you need on your countertops – if not improvise. The best shots happen in the most random of moments.
So get your props at the ready and see how you’re going to handle your food, your products, your books…everything that you want your audience to see.
How to keep things looking beautiful and rich – background
Your background is as important as the focal point. Whatever is in the background is either going to add or take away from your main objects – you have to choose what you want your background to do for you.
This is why it is important to consider the entire stage for the scene to be set. Use a canvas that compliments the food (or whatever your item is).
A dark background lends a dramatic edge while windows give softness and depth.
We’re going to get a bit technical now. Think about exposure & ISO (International Standards Organization).
– Use an app that allows you to adjust the exposure and ISO. Try ‘ProCamera’ as it allows you to control exposure (the amount of light taken in by the camera) and the ISO (the camera’s light sensitivity). The higher the ISO the more grain you will get in the image, and the longer the exposure the blurrier it will be. You can also find an app that overlays images – like ‘Cortex Cam’ which takes multiple shots and then combines them.
choose what you want to blur out and what to focus on
– Hold as still as possible. Rest your phone or camera to give you more stable footing.
– Use one light source. Whatever it might be, so think quick – it might even be someone’s mobile flashlight. Having one source will help with odd shadows and colour.
– Look for alternative light sources – this does not include candles (as these tend to flicker, but if you want to use them be sure to be carrying some foil you can use as a bounce board). Look out for a steady flow of light – street lights, phone flashlights, refrigerator lights…
– When in doubt, or all else has failed, turn to black and white…it’s a simple classic.
black and white adds character to certain shots that is just not there when in colour…it’s good to experiment with different shades including sepia
Using Live Composite & Long Exposure
For Live Comp
Think fireworks as a steady example. Utilise intervals of 1 second or lower and wait for the slow moment to take the second shot – like this you will just get the burst and not the smudged trickling lines.
If you’re into taking shots of the night sky, your astrophotography may benefit from some Live Comp. Include a little bit of artificial light to create a point of interest. Live Comp prevents highlights from being completely overexposed.
Using Live Comp during the day along with a Neutral density filter and a tripod will help you create a painterly effect of the clouds.
In an urban setting shoot buildings low and shoot high for your shots to be super!
In a more rural backdrop try to capture a solitary car or bike coming round a bend or going over a bridge.
For Long Exposure
Use this to achieve a “milky” effect using a long shutter exposure. Also, try different filters.
The cherry on the cake – styling
You have to learn how to dish it out. Learning how to plate!
Think about things like placement – off centre, make use of negative space; framing – what’s in focus and what’s out of focus; design – do something different!
– Use natural light
– Shoot on a cloudy day, the clouds act as a natural diffuser creating a soft light
– Practise and compare
– Find your focus, your aperture settings and depth of field will have a big impact on the mood you set with your photography
– Choose a vantage point – shoot from various angles (overhead, eyelevel, up close and from afar)
We just wanted to end with this: be responsible for your content. You need to be authentic with your audience. Create a blog or take some shots with no makeup if you’re a beauty blogger – the glamorous Huda Kattan says “I actually think it’s a good thing for people to see you without makeup. It’s important to remind people that we all are simple people.” Or how about showing the mess in the kitchen if you’re a food blogger and the blunders whilst on the road as a travel blogger…you get it…
Good luck with your blogging and come back for more tips soon!
“It takes guts to push your heroes and stake out new territory in whatever field you’re in. Don’t mistake that courage for arrogance” – Ottessa Moshfegh, Author