My Blog Photography- Your Questions Answered
Happy HumpDay guyssss! Today, once again, we’re going to talk a little about blog photography.
I am going to answer a few questions that I’ve been getting a lot over the last couple of weeks. The truth is, I probably answered some of these at some point, but I could talk photography with you guys for daaaaays.
Ever since I joined Snapchat and started posting little BTS and some sneak peeks here and there, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the process of editing my blog photos, my lighting and other equipment. I always try to answer your questions and help you in any way I can, but I thought I’d write this post, anyway.
Annnnd speaking of Snapchat…. my life can be pretty dull at times…(but it’s also kinda amazing) it evolves around makeup, this blog, my dog and food… but feel free to follow along @Paula13t.
Is it still considered a shameless plug, if it’s done on your own blog? Hmmm… I wonder..
HOW DO YOU GET YOUR PHOTOS TO LOOK BRIGHT?
This is hands-down one of the most frequently asked questions I get and I even wrote an entire post about taking bright photos for your blog. Whenever possible, I work with natural light. I setup on the floor next to a glass door and shoot from above. Sometimes I even open the door to let more light in. Because my light is only coming from one source, I use a silver reflector to bounce it off and get rid of any shadows. Using a reflector makes a HUGE difference in the way my photos turn out.
Most of the time I also use a 50mm f/1.4 lens, which is amazing for low-light photography; with aperture of f/1.4 this lens lets in eight times more light than a typical kit lens (f/5.6). Having such wide aperture allows you to use faster shutter speed and you won’t have to raise up your ISO too high, which can cause digital noise (meaning, your photos will look grainy if your ISO settings are too high). I used the “nifty-fifty” lens for a very long time, which is a very affordable yet impressive lens. This lens can make a big difference in your photos when switching from a “regular” kit lens.
To learn more about about the exposure triangle, see this post.
Using a reflector and a natural light source
HOW DO I GET RID OF YELLOW/BLUE TINT IN MY PHOTOS?
This has to do with color temperature- when you take photos, your camera measures the color temperature using white balance. Normally, I set my White Balance setting to AWB (Auto White Balance), because usually a camera is excellent at setting correct white balance for given conditions. However, when you’re shooting indoors, you might have a few different light sources coming in. When white balance picks up the color temperature as being too cool- you end up with that blueish tint in your photos; when it picks up the temperature as being too warm, you’ll left with a yellow tint. So, when you take pictures indoors, in your living room or your bedroom while the lights are on, they come out a bit yellow- that’s because your home lights give off that warm color temperature.
When you have multiple light sources (natural light coming through the window and your home lighting), your camera sort of gets mixed signals. Even though our home is a little dark, I always turn off the lights in the room where I take my pictures and only use my natural light source and a reflector. There’s also an easy way to fix your white balance when processing your pictures in Photoshop, you can find a video tutorial right here. Of course, you can also use other editing software for your blog photography and fix your white balance by adjusting the color temperature.
HOW DO YOU EDIT YOUR PHOTOS?
For my blog photography, I use Photoshop CC2015 and usually edit my photos in Camera Raw. I pretty much follow a very similar process as shown in this tutorial. I try not to do too much editing when processing swatches or makeup products like lipstick or eyeshadows. For all other photos, I usually adjust curves, highlights and shadows. I also sharpen the images and resize them.
Below you can see what a typical before/after looks like for me. With my camera, I could easily take photos that are much brighter to begin with, but because I don’t get a lot of natural light I don’t like using high ISO settings or shoot at very slow shutter speed (which lets in more light). Both can cause your photos to look grainy and blurry and we don’t want that. The reason why I love editing in Camera Raw is that I can adjust my lights, darks, shadows and highlights separately, without changing the exposure on an entire image.
WHAT CAMERA/LENS DO YOU USE?
WHAT RING LIGHT/SOFT BOXES DO YOU USE?
I always prefer natural light, but whenever I can’t use it (when I don’t have enough time during the day or when it’s dark and gloomy outside), I use my ring light and my soft boxes. The ring light that I use is no longer available, but this one is similar to mine and these are the soft boxes that I use. Both also came in handy when I was doing YouTube videos a while back- they work great with video, too.
Did I miss anything? Let me know if you have any other questions you’d like me to answer!