One of the most common questions I get asked (and thank you for noticing by the way) is how my photos have evolved from mere flatlays to lifestyle- driven. I’d be quick to admit that it took me several trial and errors, camera purchases (collectively through the years) until I cracked the code with my iPhone X. Convenient, handy, professional-looking at the very least. Yes, majority of the photos you see now, either here on the blog or Instagram were all taken using my phone, and refinements here and there with a program I will share below (more photos taken by moi while at the beach here).
Now if you have a significant other who will patiently take your photos and follow you around like a paparazzi, I say lucky you! My husband has excellent photography skills and eye for detail but taking photos beyond 5 clicks is a chore for him, haha! Either I don’t like my angle or you wait for his artistic mood to set in. Girl got no time for that because reality is, and I know you can relate if you’re a blogger, I take crazy amount of photos (50 conservatively) and only 3-5 make it to the blog.
Lighting is key. As with conventional cameras, good photos start with the right lighting. I like taking photos outdoors when it’s not too sunny or there’s a good shade yet still bright enough to capture the subject being photographed (photos above were taken, believe it or not, near the post office, on a weekend). Indoors, it helps to invest on ring light or for a more natural touch, face the window, granting it isn’t gloomy outside (photos below were taken with ring light).
Tripod and remote control are your best buddies. I own one long tripod (least used), two short ones, and one with bendable legs. Why too many you ask. The long one I use at home for filming or for photos that require different angle; the small one when I’m out and about because it’s easy to set up and tote around; the bendable if there’s no stable surface such as wrapping around a branch, if that makes sense. As for remote control, either use your phone’s default timer or buy a bluetooth remote that’s compatible with your phone. Read: stay tuned for a blog post on how to take your own photos with Canon G7x (my fave vlogging camera at the moment)
Practice the art of taking your own photos. Know your best angle and learn how to creatively conceal your remote control. If you will buy the same remote control I have, it’s tiny and easy to hide. In all my photos, you will see my right or left hand either hidden behind or that I am holding a bag. My point is, opt for daily routines to make your photos look realistic and not overly rehearsed.
Edit like a pro with your phone. Read: no photoshop involved. My most used apps are Snapseed (free) and VSCO (paid version). I use Snapseed to adjust white balance and VSCO for Instagram uniformed feed. Here are some before and afters.
Left is before, Right is with VSCO filter (not majorly different but you can spot a warm brown feel to it).
Now here’s what it looks from original photo to Snapseed to my default VSCO
Choose a location where there are minimal to zero people or interference. Unless you are going for street vibe or bar scene, I say move away from the crowd so you can set up your tripod and be able to take nice photos. That’s why I really like my mini tripod because it fits my bag and it’s so easy to take it out when opportunity arises.
I hope you found my tips helpful and practical. By the way, along with this blog post is a video (vlog style) where I shared other tips and tricks on blogging and vlogging. I also talked about staying motivated fitness-wise, addressed criticisms, and lastly, just a snippet of moi hula hooping!
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