How to blog when you know nothing about photography…
How to Blog when You know Nothing About Photography
Is it possible to blog if you don’t know anything about photography? Here are some photography tips and ideas that I have learned while trying to do just this. I’ve also included some great resources, keep reading to the end of the post so you don’t miss them. Even if you’re not a blogger, there are some photography tips here for you!
Can I blog if I’m not a professional photographer?
First of all, I want to clarify (if it’s not completely obvious) that I am in no way a professional photographer. I have always loved taking pictures of my own kids, but have never had any professional experience. So, when I started my blog, I was slightly overwhelmed with everything. On top of trying to figure out how to blog (around my kids and full-time job), I felt like I was supposed to be a professional photographer. I needed pictures to put on my blog and didn’t know how take (quality) photographs.
Does it really matter what the pictures on my blog look like?
People are visual. The pictures on your blog do matter. Pictures help you visually tell a story on your blog. They are important, but here will be a learning curve. I wouldn’t let your lack of photography skills stop you from blogging all together. When I first started blogging, my pictures were awful. Even though they’ve improved drastically, I’m still working on it. You can always go back and replace the pictures you’ve posted.
Do I have to take all of my own pictures?
If you’re serious about blogging, I would recommend learning as much as you can about photography. If you don’t want to take your own pictures, you can always hire someone to take them for you. Of course, this isn’t usually something that most bloggers can do financially when they’re starting out.
Another option is to use stock photography. I want to get to the point where I’m taking most of the pictures on my blog, but right now about half of my pictures are stock photography and half are my own. The two pictures I have used in this post are actually from Pexels.com. Some sites offer free pictures, but most will cost. If you do use stock photography, you will need to make sure that you have permission to use the images. This is very important as you don’t want to deal with any legal issues. Do not ever take pictures off of Google or another blogger’s site without permission.
Do I need a full photography studio in order to blog?
That would definitely make things easier, but No- You don’t need a full photography studio in your home in order to blog. I would recommend looking at which room in your home offers the best light and use that room for most of your pictures.
If I had a big house I would set up an office and also leave my photography equipment up and ready. Unfortunately, I live in a smaller home and just don’t have the space for that. I usually take pictures in my kitchen because of the large windows in there. Adjust the space available to make it work for you.
I have noticed that I need to make a few changes to my kitchen in order to produce better photos. For example, I have one wall that is painted a very dark color. I noticed that the wall color affects the look of my final photos and so I am going to repaint the wall a neutral color. (It’s pretty outdated anyways 🙂 )
You can also use a white sheet (or use sheer white curtains) to soften the light coming in through the windows.
Some people even switch out some of their warm yellow light bulbs for bright white. Warm white and soft white light bulbs will produce a more yellow light. Bright white bulbs will be closer to the light outdoors. This is definitely based on personal preference and the look you want. More information on lighting here.
What equipment do I need?
- Camera– I would suggest a decent DSLR camera. Some people take pretty good pictures with their phones, but I noticed a huge difference with a nice camera. I purchased the Canon EOS Rebel Digital SLR Camera. Even though there are cameras that are much more expensive than this, it was definitely difficult to fit into my budget. I’m glad I did though. It has been a great camera to learn on. There are also quite a few packages that come with a camera bag, lenses, etc.
- Tripod– You will get much better photos if you use a tripod to keep your camera still. Buy one that fits your budget and then when you are able to financially, you can purchase a more expensive version.
- Backdrops– I wouldn’t go overboard on backdrops until you figure out what you will really use. You can always start out with a foam board or tri-fold board. You can purchase both at Amazon or craft stores. Eventually though, you will probably want to start looking into different backdrops, pallets, or other things that you can use.
- Cleaning kit– You don’t need anything big, but make sure you have the correct supplies to keep your lenses clean.
- Props- Depending on the pictures you take, you will probably need various props. First, use what you can around the house though. Or borrow props from friends. I borrow items from my mom frequently to use in my photos.
- Photoshop software– I don’t know anyone who doesn’t edit their pictures. I think it’s rare to take a picture that ends up just the perfect lighting and color that you were looking for. I use PicMonkey, and Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for mine.
- Lighting– depending on the pictures you take and the lighting in your home, you may want to buy some light umbrellas. You can purchase nice sets for hundreds to thousands of dollars, or you can start out with an inexpensive set like I did.
What I’ve learned while trying to take photos for my blog
- It’s not as easy as it looks. Don’t assume that you can just jump right in and create professional pictures the first time you use your camera. (don’t assume you can take pro pictures after 100-1,000 time using your camera). Just keep practicing and you’ll get better.
- You will need to take hundreds of pictures to find just the right photo you’re aiming for. Take pictures from several angles and distances.
- Taking a picture of something white, doesn’t mean it will really look white in your final photo. I don’t know how many times I thought I took a picture of something white or with a white background. Only to realize later that the white, is actually looks light blue, off-white, or light pink. Practice adjusting lighting, backgrounds, etc. to figure out what works best for you. Lightroom has been my best friend while trying to edit coloring. It’s also okay if it’s not absolutely perfect. (Oh, and don’t wear a bright red shirt while taking white pictures. :/ )
- Pictures don’t always look as great as they do on your camera screen as they do when you see them enlarged on your computer. I don’t know how many times I view a picture on the computer and then notice crazy things in the background that I didn’t realize were there before.
- Posing people for pictures is not as easy as it looks on TV. I’ll admit, I have no clue how to pose people for a picture. Also, most people posing for a picture don’t know what to do either. You probably want to take a class or read articles online to figure out how to do this.
- Purchasing the right camera is important, but it won’t make you a professional photographer. Even with the best equipment, you probably still need some kind of class and a lot of practice.
- Purchasing other equipment can contribute to better pictures, but you probably will need to learn how to use these too. My pictures were pretty dark and so I bought my lighting set. I figured I could just set them up and they would make my pictures bright and I wouldn’t have to edit so much. Come to find out I needed to research how to set up the lights to actually improve my photos vs. casting shadows everywhere I didn’t want them. Lighting is a big deal when taking pictures.
Stay within your budget.
While it would be nice to go out and buy everything you want to get started in photography, it’s even better to not have the stress of being in debt. Start with a camera and purchase one thing at a time as your budget allow.
Learn photography through online resources.
There are so many resources out there that you can do online. Or find a class that you can take with a friend.
Be patient with yourself.
If you’re new at photography, it will take time to learn. Just focus on improving the quality of your work instead of comparing yourself to others.
I would love it if you would share your experience with photography in the comments below. You can also check out my list of blogging resources that will be updated often or information on the blog course I used to learn to blog: Elite Blog Academy.