Tuesday, September 5, 2017

#THEMOMBLOGCOLLECTIVE // Tips for Better Photography

Welcome to the third installment of The Mom Blog Collective: Tips for Better Photography.  If you're new here, here's the scoop: Every other week, our group of amazing and inspiring mamas will answer the same set of questions about blogging, Instagram, photography, collaborations, sponsored posts, balancing it all with motherhood, and more. We each have different perspectives and different opinions, so this is a fun way to learn from one another. We hope you'll join along! Check out the hashtag #themomblogcollective to see everyone on Instagram!

I get asked questions about photography all the time on Instagram.  While I am nowhere near a professional, I do love photography and have had so much fun learning how to use my camera and take better photos of my kiddos.  I'm usually winging it, but my photos have come a long way.  Poor Sloan's baby photos are all taken on an old iPhone.  And then of course I added horrible filters and frames on Instagram, that's what all the cool moms were doing in 2013 ;).

If you're looking for basic photography tips and tricks, I already posted lots about that in this post (I give five simple tips for taking better photos of your kids).  I take photos on my iPhone (I have the iPhone 7) and my DSLR camera.  I have a Nikon d5500 and think it's a great starter camera.  I love the 18-55mm lens that came with the camera and also sometimes use a 35mm f/1.8 lens.  I love the 35mm lens-it takes great photos (especially indoors), but it's a fixed lens (it cannot zoom in or out) so it can be hard to use when I'm taking photos of moving objects (like crazy toddlers!).  More often than not, I use the 18-55mm lens that came with my camera.

I love taking photos and feel really confident using my camera.  I have so much fun following the girls around and trying to capture them just the way they are.  I think that as you learn more about photography and how to use your camera, you figure out what your style is.  I love light and bright photos.  I'm really drawn to anything white (so white walls and white bed sheets make their way into my feed a lot!) and love really crisp images.  I also love following my kids around and capturing them just being themselves.  I don't have a lot of posed or cheesy smile photos on my feed-not because that isn't adorable, it just isn't my style.  Try different things and practice with your camera, you'll find your own style!

My confidence waivers when it comes to editing photos.  If I take the photo with my dslr, I usually do some simple editing in iPhoto on my MacBook.  I always straighten and brighten my photo.  I am dyyyyying to learn how to use Lightroom and maybe even photoshop someday, but haven't taken the plunge just yet.  For my iPhone photos, I really love editing them in the Instagram app.  I can brighten, straighten, and bump up the contrast (I do not use any Instagram filters though).  There are a few apps I like to play around with for editing, but nothing I use religiously.  VSCO and Filmborn have some great filters and editing tools.  If the photo is a bit grainy, I use an app called Noise Master that softens the graininess.  I also use an app called Retouch to remove random objects from photos.

I took this photo on my iPhone.  In the Instagram app I straightened the photo, brightened it, upped the contrast a little, and then bumped up the warmth a smidge.  P's face was a tiny bit grainy so I used the Noise Master app to fix that!

When you have a public Instagram account and you're trying to build your following, having a cohesive feed is important.  You only have a few seconds to draw someone in when they click on your profile so you want your feed to accurately reflect your style and be appealing to the eye.  Having a cohesive feed is probably what I struggle with most when it comes to Instagram.  I like posting pretty pictures, pictures that are special to me-I don't usually think about if the photo will "fit" in well in my feed.  I basically just try and stick to what I like-light and bright photos.  This usually leaves my feed looking pretty cohesive.  Although I randomly throw in a moody or black and white photo because I love the photo so much!

My biggest advice would be to find what you love, how you want your images to look and run with it!  Have fun and capture moments that you never want to forget.  Make sure you check out my photography tips and tricks post, I think that is really helpful if you're new to photography or just want to take better photos of your kids.  I hope this answered all of your questions!  If you have any specific questions, please leave a comment below and I will be sure to get back to you!




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