One of the questions that I get most frequently is how I get my photos to look the way they do. And to be honest, there's a very simple answer. I fully believe that anyone can be a good photographer if they do their research, and this research mostly involves learning how to shoot in manual mode.
I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself. First things first:
What camera should I buy?
If you're a beginner to photography and intend on being even slightly serious about it, you're going to want to pick up a DSLR, not your small point and shoot type. I recommend starting with a Canon Rebel. I had a Canon Rebel t5i for years before I decided to upgrade and I can fully say that it is a wonderful camera with various settings that you typically get on your most expensive DSLRs. Admittedly, I almost broke down in tears when I sold it to B&H.
Now that I have my camera, how do I use it?
Your more casual photographer will likely be photographing on entirely automatic settings. Automatic mode is when your camera picks out your ISO, shutter speed, and aperture for you. You don’t have to do anything but point and shoot. Here is where manual mode comes in. There are three things you need to know about when beginning to shoot in manual mode: ISO, shutter speed and aperture. Let me break it down for you.
Your ISO is going to effect how bright your image is. The higher the number, the brighter your image will become. Be careful though--generally you don't want raise your ISO above 800 or your image will get grainy.
Pretty self explanatory. The faster your shutter speed, the darker the image. The slower your shutter speed, the lighter the image. For example, 1/100 of a second will give you a lighter image than 1/170 of a second. If your shutter speed is too low, you will produce a blurred image. Generally speaking, you want to use a fast shutter speed to capture motion.
Your aperture effects your depth of field, meaning how much of your photo is in focus. The lower the "number" the greater the aperture. For example an aperture of 1.8 will open your lens up more than an aperture of 2.8 and as a result will give you a lighter image. Another thing to note is that an aperture of 1.8 will give you a more shallow depth of field than an aperture of 2.8. What this means is that the background of your image will be more out of focus the more you open up your lens.
Now, you're probably thinking: How am I supposed to know what to set these to?
Most cameras have a built-in lightmeter. You'll notice a "dash" moving along a scale as you move your camera into differently lit areas. If this "dash" is on the higher end, your photo is too bright. You either need to increase the value of your aperture, decrease your ISO, or increase your shutter speed. If the "dash" is on the lower end, your photo is too dark. You either need to decrease the value of your aperture, increase your ISO, or decrease your shutter speed. Keep playing around with these until the dash on your lightmeter is right in the middle.
Now that I know all this, how can I take better blog photos?
The best tip I can give you is to shoot everything in natural light. Seriously—everything will be better. I personally like to shoot with a shallow depth of field that gives you that dreamy blurred background and pulls the focus to the foreground. If you're shooting products/objects, an aperture of around 1.8-2.8 is what you're going to want to stick to, as the audience’s focus will be immediately pulled to whatever beauty product or item of clothing that you’re photographing. The rest is really up to you and your personal aesthetic. Find a style that you like and stick with it.
And that's it! As cliché as it sounds, the best thing you can do for is shoot as much as possible. I used to pick something in my house and photograph it from every angle until I found a composition that I liked.
Hope you all found this helpful! Anymore questions? Leave them down below. Until next time,