Some of the most common questions I get asked are usually around my photos – how I edit them, what filters I use, which apps or software I use, how I get great lighting, etc. Now while I am in NO way a professional, I thought it could be fun to share a few of the tips + tricks I use to get a consistent look & feel with my photos. Read on below for the process that works best for me – and if you ARE a professional, please don’t roll your eyes!
- The equipment: While I do work with a photographer for the majority of my style posts, I also use my own personal DSLR for lifestyle shots or when I’m having another blogger or #FashionablyBae snapping my outfits. This was by far the best investment I made for Fashionably Lo and although it cost me more than I would probably ever spend on any one thing (outside of my laptop!), it was sooooo worth it. I use a NIKON D610 and switch out between a 50mm and 85mm lens. Both lenses are great for portrait shots (aka outfits and headshots) but the 85 gives you a closer crop and a little more bokeh (that blurred look in the background). I’m playing around with getting a 35mm lens and have rented one a few times for trips and photo shoots. If you have any other recs for good lenses, please drop them below!
- Photo Editing for the Newbies + Pros: For the first couple of years, I used PIXLR Express or Picmonkey to edit my blog photos. Both platforms are free, photo editing websites and allow you some of the great basics like editing your exposure, contrast, shadows, clarity, saturation and more. I made the switch to Lightroom a little over a year ago and haven’t looked back since. I pay $9.99/month for Adobe’s Photography Suite and you get access to Lightroom and Photoshop which are both super helpful for bloggers. Lightroom was a little tricky to master at first and I’m still learning so much but I love that I now have a dedicated workflow. You can batch resize and name your photos before exporting and then upload to your blog post. So. Easy.
- Keeping Things Consistent: I tend to give all pf my photos a pretty similar look & feel. Slightly desaturated, crsip + clear, a little muted and sometimes play up the darker undertones. I do this for several reasons. One, it’s easier to have a dedicated look that I can go to when editing so I don’t have to think too much about what I want. I use this general look to set how much desaturation I use, how much I bump up the clarity and exposure, how mush I bump down the shadows, etc. I also think that having a consistent look adds more value to your overall brand. I preach on and on to our clients about having a branded instagram feed and your blog is no different. Sure, sometimes I shoot with a photographer that prefers to edit and has a different style but I try to ensure the majority of my pics could all stand together and feel cohesive.
- When In Doubt, Use a Filter or Preset: Sometimes it can be hard or even just straight up annoying to go through each photo and edit the one thousand different elements. Regardless of whether you’re using your phone or computer software…it can get to be too much. I have a few Lightroom presets that I like to keep in heavy rotation. You can download them for free, purchase them or create your own in Lightroom which is what I did. I still have to play around with certain editing depending on the lighting or the photo’s colors but it helps to eliminate a few basic steps when you add a preset. The same goes for a VSCOcam or PIC TAP GO filter. There are a few I just LOVE (HB 2 in VSCO cam is my jam) and usually use them at about half of their strength so the photo doesn’t look too edited. One thing I do NOT edit in any of my photos are flaws or smoothing out my skin. I won’t bash the girls that do, it’s just not my thing and I honestly don’t get the point. Nothing wrong with a little realness #amiright.
- Setting Up for the Best Shot: Bloggers love a good styled photo. And to be honest, creating beautiful lifestyle photos has become one of my favorite pieces of content for Fashionably Lo. You know what I’m talking about – the marble background, the well placed sunglasses + coffee mug ratio, the random uncapped lipstick. It’s silly when you think about it but it looks REALLY good and I love it. I tend to lean towards more neutrals in my general decor and clothing so the majority of my photos usually look consistent because of it. I also am a huge fan of a good natural light situation so I’ve learned to place the subject of my photo in from of a window or outside under shade or overcast for the perfect shot.
I am learning more and more everyday through other blogger friends, my photographer, late night Google searching and more so my BIGGEST tip is to never stop researching and trying new things. It’s amazing how far I’ve come since my first year of blogging and I can’t wait to see where I can take my photo skills over the next few months.