One question that I get asked on a weekly basis is: “who takes your photos?” Believe it or not, the answer is: ME! I’m a one woman show here and I’ve figured out how to do it without any help. If you aren’t a blogger but would love some tips on what you need to capture family moments then this post is also for you! Here are the tips, tricks and equipment you need to take your own photos like a pro:
Take Your Own Blog Photos
So in the beginning, I will admit, my husband did take photos for me. I would find the location, set it all up, adjust the camera settings and advise him to start pushing the shutter button. It was great to have his help but it was really limiting to rely on him to take photos. We are busy on the weekends like most families, and he didn’t want to spend time taking photos of me. I get it! But when you are trying to create visual content for blog posts and Instagram, you NEED pictures!
I use a Canon Rebel t3i camera. It’s a great camera for photographers and bloggers because the screen can swivel around to face the front. This way if you are standing in front of the camera, or taking a selfie, you can position yourself accurately in the screen. It’s an expensive piece but if you want good photos, you need a good camera. I call it an investment. These cameras also need a memory card to store your photos. If you want to be able to also record video like I do for my YouTube channel, then you need a high speed card.
Another problem is that during the winter, Calgary has limited daylight. By the time I waited for my husband to come home from work to take photos, it was just too dark outside. I was feeling really frustrated and it was causing arguments. I was passionate about doing this and this bump in the road was getting in my way. I should also mention here that I didn’t want to pay to hire a photographer either. I know many bloggers do this but I wanted to keep costs low and I think I take pretty decent photos as it is. Being a part-time stay-at-home-mom and a part-time working mom, I don’t have time to meet up with photographers during the week.
I’m not a quitter, I’m a doer. So I bought a tripod. It was so liberating to not need help anymore! I could whip out during my days off with the kids in the car and spend a few minutes getting photos. To do this, I would focus the camera, set the countdown timer and then jump into frame within the ten second countdown. It was working pretty well but I began to notice that the initial focus was the background focal point and I was turning up slightly blurry.
So then I bought a remote. Finally, this has been the winning combination! This simple little $15 cost has been the answer to clear, focused photos! I use the remote to eliminate the timer, therefore I can be present and in focus when the photo is taken. The only challenge is that you need to hide the remote so it’s not visible in your photos. Props or hand position can easily help with this.
What you need:
I always shoot outside because you can’t beat natural light. A cloudy day or a shadowed spot out of direct sunlight is best as you photos will have the right amount of light without casting weird shadows on your face. I always light my photos really bright so I shoot with a slow shudder speed (usually 1/60) and a higher ISO which controls how sensitive the image sensor is to light. I typically don’t ever use a flash either because of the fact that is also casts funny shadows and makes your photos look unprofessional.
For more tips on how to take your own family photos, see my previous post here!