Keep reading to learn 5 ways to take blog photographs without a DSLR camera. Level up your photography game using these tricks. No need to buy a fancy camera.
You should know I started blogging a long time ago because I needed a place to write down my thoughts. After having no idea of what I was doing, I focused myself on fashion. It has always helped me a lot to gain confidence.
But how to photograph me without getting crazy?
How to use a camera manual mode? ( I read proper bloggers should know how to – and I thought of myself as a true blogger)
How did I start with photography?
Precisely 4 years ago, the world of photography was a total mystery to me. But I was fascinated. Starting from film photography (my first camera was a Yashica FRI) to learning how to use my digital camera ( I bought a used Canon 5D Mark II with some voucher from the shop where I worked).
Basically, I knew nothing and I learned the old way: with passion and dedication. And most importantly with everything I already had: a point and shoot camera I used for video (Canon S110), my phone and NO experience at all.
But I learned. A lot. So now I am here to say:
You don’t need experience to level up your blog photography game.
You don’t need a fancy and expensive camera to have great pictures.
But you need to know your camera settings, be passionate, willing to experiment and be ready to make A LOT of mistakes. All of these would be so helpful and will teach you something.
Keep reading to learn 5 ways to improve your photography game without having a DSLR camera of +1k $. Level up your blog photography game using at best what you already have. Let me show you how.
How to Take Blogging Photographs without a DSLR
Until you decide it is time to save some money for a nice camera to use for your job and your blog, I got you covered. You really don’t need to invest in a big fancy DSLR if you don’t know how to use it for now, use instead your phone or your small compact camera. This is what I did and this is how I learned.
1. Make Mistakes
The first mandatory rule is to properly use your camera. Even a small compact camera has so many options you have no idea of – at least I didn’t! You usually don’t have lenses to switch on your compact camera so everything is up to you. Be smart.
After some time I learned that my tiny Canon S110 had all the options to go on manual mode. So I set up my ISO, my aperture at f/2 (the lowest I could get on this camera in order to have a blurry background and it worked like magic) and the shutter speed accordingly.
Actually my best suggestion is to leave this to the camera, once you have set up ISO and aperture, let the camera decide. This will save you a lot of time. And it is an option every camera has nowadays. Of course for analogue cameras, you will have to manually do everything, but learning the old way is actually the best.
So remember: Av, Aperture Priority = YOU choose the aperture (i.e. f/1.4) and the camera chooses the shutter speed. Tv is the over way around, is Shutter Priority (shows also as S in some cameras) where YOU decide the shutter speed (i.e. 1/125) to use while the camera sets the aperture.
2. Use Natural Lighting
Natural light. Yes, everybody keeps repeating this and it does help. I tried myself and I ended up writing how to have brighter photos in winter (or in any season). It’s the same light you give to flowers, not the direct one but the one you have from outside. So much better than neon lights.
It makes pictures have the right amount of whites, brightness and nice colours without spending hours on Photoshop! My evergreen suggestion (and the one of many photographers like me) is to use to light coming from a window. Find the perfect location in your house simply by taking some test photos with your phone.
In this image, for instance, I was next to a window on a very dull grey autumn day. Yet the colours and brightness are perfect.
3. Flash is not an enemy!
Do use your flash! I don’t get why bloggers or photographers hate flash so much but it is very handy sometimes. Especially when you have to take pictures inside a room try this: camera, flash activated, white wall, no artificial light close by and kabum! Greatest photo-booth pictures ever!
The flash was perfect in this situation because the light was very yellow and very weak – we were in the hall of a big house – so without knowing, the flash worked perfectly!
Taken with the Canon S110
4. Blurry Images
Even if you can’t change lenses in your small compact cameras (in most of them at least) you still can have that beautiful blurry depth of field bloggers aim to get. I adore it!
How? Simply look for your manual focus called MF (usually near the macro option) or similar to what you do with your phone: focus on the image in the foreground while having something visible in the background.
Option two, if the camera allows, use the tiniest f number possible: from f/1.2 to f/2.8. This range already makes you a blurry background with a very focused foreground object.
5. Use your Automatic Shutter Release
You are by yourself, no fellow blogger or friend around to help you take the photographs, so what? Are you thinking of giving up? Don’t. Last week I had to take pictures of me in this dress and I managed to do it by myself with no tripod and no help.
Simply select the automatic shutter release, place your camera, and then wait for the 3 pictures to be taken. Or more than 3, if you are lucky some cameras also do 10 shoots at the time.
I had a lot of fun in doing this but it is slightly complicated. You have to run to the camera every 10 seconds but when in need this is a great way to save money and stick to the deadlines. (You may want to consider investing in a tripod and a camera remote).
To be honest, this is just for the worst-case scenario, because you first have to go around looking for natural spots to put your camera, wait to see if it catches the good light and if you are in focus. It is a lot of work but it is possible.
PRO Automatic Shutter Release
- improve confidence
- no one around
- take your time
CONS Automatic Shutter Release
- takes more time
These 5 tricks are very useful when you start out photography or when you are out of ideas. I had to invent myself when I had no proper gear or experience but this has brought me to master blog photography in flatlays and in fashion shootings.
I also learned that preparation is incredibly important, knowing in advance where to go to have a photoshoot is life. Getting lost is always nice but when you work in this you start to value time more than ever! That’s why I already gave you tips on how to shoot with a professional mindset in order to save time.
Now it is time you tell me what are you curious about blog photography or photography in general? I would love to give you fantastic tips and tricks.
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