While I'm mostly behind the camera in the photos that you'll find around here, I'm also very involved in the the creative direction of any of our outfit, home, or beauty photoshoots. Today I'm sharing a few photography tips for how to get better photos for your blog using my favorite photo editing apps and filters.
I'm not a professional photographer, but I've always had a passion for it and a willingness to learn. It's so interesting to think back about how much my photo style has changed over the five years that I've been blogging. So, I wanted to share some helpful photography and photo editing tips for your outfit photos for your blog or Instagram.
How to take good outfit photos:
One of the first photography tips I learned when I started blogging and taking outfit photos was to always shoot in natural light, in shaded area. This usually means shooting early in morning or late evening, when the sunlight is less harsh. However, more recently, I've been experimenting with shooting in direct sunlight. I really enjoyed the fresh, moody vibe it adds to my outfit photos and I have a lot of fun exploring the different ways to edit with the added element of shadows. It's super fun to play around with, you should definitely give it a try if you haven't yet!
How to easily edit photos for your blog:
I always use Adobe Lightroom to edit photos on my computer. The copy and paste function makes it super easy to apply your edit to a large group of photos.
Since VSCO has always been one of my favorite photo editing apps on my iPhone, it only made sense to try some of their pre-set filters for Lightroom. When editing a photo using a filter pack, I usually first find the exact filter I like best by testing it on one of my photos and then tweak it a little to my personal liking from there. The adjustments I make are usually exposure, shadows (I love deep shadows right now), noise reduction, and grain. A lot of the Lightroom filters add grain to your photo, but I advise to bring them down just a bit or completely removing any grain.
Sometimes I edit my photos and sometimes my photographer does, but if you ever have questions about a specific photo, just email it to me and I can try to help identify which filter we used. The photos in this post were edited by me using a filter from the Lightroom VSCO Film 06 filter pack, which you can purchase here.
How to edit photos for your Instagram:
I usually use a combination of the iPhone's built in photo-editor (to find it, just click "Edit" in the upper right hand corner of any photo), as well as Snapseed and VSCO. I'll usually start with the iPhone photo editor and adjust exposure (I usually take it down a bit), contrast (up), and shadows (down). Then, I'll open the photo in Snapseed, where I use the Details function to increase the structure and sharpening. Next, I'll choose a filter from VSCO. My current favorite filters are A4, A6, or M5. But, I love warmth. Other goods ones, that have a cooler, more muted temperature, include C4, J2 and S2. It's important to note that I adjust the level of the filter being applied to the photo as well, usually to around 7-9. This leaves the photo looking more natural to me. Lately, I've been also adding 1-2 levels of grain to my photos to give them a "film" vibe. So retro!
Lastly, I like to use the Details and Smoothing functions in the app Facetune. These functions are perfect for "cleaning up" my iPhone photos and making them appear more polished and professional. For example, I used details to sharpen the water bubbles in this underwater photo. Just a little will go a long way!
How to keep your photo edits consistent?
Consistency is definitely key when it comes to developing a brand, building familiarity with your audience and creating an aesthetically pleasing website (or, Instagram feed). I used to be very strict about using the same filter for every photo, so that's the short of it. The long of it is that, as I've progressed, treating every photo as an individual is best. I think you'll find as well, the same filter might not work for every photo. Not to worry though, I think you'll also be surprised to find out that you're still able to keep a consistent look and feel to your photos while doing so. The differences will be based on factors such as lighting, temperature, shadows, etc., and, as you really begin to establish your own personal photo style and aesthetic, it gets easier every time!
I'm always trying new things when it comes to editing photos for The Fashionably Broke, so I'll be sure to share if I discover anything new or ground-breaking to share! But, as always, you can always ask me anything if you have questions along the way. :)
All photos thanks to Julien.