Photography is a huge part of the blogging world. Everyone loves beautiful photos on a blog, whether it’s a blog about fashion, beauty, travel, food or all about blogging. The niche really doesn’t matter; everybody loves pretty photos.
It’s extremely important when you’re trying to start growing a successful blog to focus on your brand and its visual representation. Photography is not the only component of that, but it is a large one. That’s why today I’m going to go over exactly how to start off with blog photography when you’re a beginner, whether you want to go all in with a DSLR, or even if you’re just planning to use your iPhone.
So, what do you need to know to start taking amazing photos for your blog ASAP? In my experience, there are three main components of photography that you should understand before you start: camera and lenses, exposure, and composition. These three areas can apply to any skill level, or camera. They just need to be adjusted to each individual. Let’s get into it.
Camera & Lenses
The first decision to make when you’re jumping into blog photography is what camera you are going to use. There are three main options: your phone, a point and shoot camera, or a DSLR. There are certainly pros and cons to all three of these areas, but I have two major recommendations.
On a budget? Keep using your phone. iPhones can actually take fairly high quality photos, and there is really no reason to buy a mid-range point and shoot when you could be saving up for a DSLR.
Ready to commit? Buy a nice DSLR camera. My personal preference is the Canon T3i, since it’s not the newest model you can get it for a reasonable price, and it has a lot of useful features, like a flip-out-screen!
In terms of lenses, if you’re using an iPhone, of course a lens isn’t necessary. If you’re going all in with the DSLR, I would suggest checking out the Canon 50mm lens. It’s definitely a great deal, as it’s one of the cheapest lenses on the market. Plus, it provides that beautiful shallow depth of field that we all aim for in photos.
Exposure is the photography word for lighting or brightness. Photography entirely relies on a camera’s lens detecting light. So it’s essential to learn the basics of lighting so you can make sure that your photos are high quality, crisp, and well focused.
There are three main components of exposure (wow, I’m loving these groups of three today), they are aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Here’s a quick break down of what all of these mean:
Aperture is how wide the camera’s lens is open. Ultimately, this will determine how much light is let into the camera. It also determines the focal length, or depth of field.
Shutter speed is pretty self explanatory. It’s how long the shutter of the camera’s lens is open for. This will determine how much light is let into the camera, but also whether the photo is blurry or crisp if there is movement in the photo.
ISO is a bit more confusing – it refers to the camera’s sensitivity to light. So, while the other two components of exposure determine how much light, the ISO determines how strong the camera perceives that light to be.
The third major part of understanding photography for beginners is composition. Composition is how the subjects in your photo are laid out, or where they are in the frame of the photo. The main technique that many photographers use to create a well composed photo is the rule of thirds.
The rule of thirds is a strategy for positioning subjects in the photo. It relies on an imagined (or real, depending on your camera’s settings) grid, which splits the frame into nine sections. There are two lines running horizontally, and two lines running vertically. The technique ensures that the subject of your photo appears at the intersection of two of those lines. It might seem a bit random, but this strategy has been proven to be pleasing to the human eye. Plus, it also helps you to make sure that whatever your subject is isn’t in the centre of the frame, which can look a bit awkward or amateur.
If you want to master blog photography with only your smartphone, head over to my free email course, Blog Photography on a Budget. It will make your flat lay dreams come true!