Pictures are everything. Especially if you own a blog, a business or an Instagram. They’re one of the key things that represent your brand and your overall niche.
That is why it’s so important to pay attention to how you’re capturing or editing your photos, because your viewers are remembering everything from your style, your life, your hobbies and anything else that you love or do, from your pictures. So if you don’t make it pleasing or recognizable for your audience, you could possibly lose traffic and even a direction in your entire site or page.
So that’s why today I will be covering all the things that you can do to your blog and Instagram photos, that actually helped my photos look a lot more professional and original. I will be covering everything from what camera gear you should use, the time of day and setup you should take your photos in, what software/app you should use to make them stand out more, and even a few of the settings and filters you should use within that particular software/app, to really enhance your pictures to another level.
So without further ado, let’s get into this!
Camera’s you should invest in
Smartphones can only do you so long, until you’re going to have to take things more seriously. That’s why it’s great to invest in a DSLR, that’s user-friendly, affordable and can most of all upgrade your photo quality.
So the top and most trusted camera’s to achieve all of those things, are the Nikon D3300, the Nikon D3400, the Canon EOS Rebel T6, and the Sony a58. These are normally the top camera’s I hear a lot of geeks rave about, that are normally the most affordable and budget friendly compared to the newer camera’s that out now.
These are the camera’s you should check into and invest in, to really get your moneys worth. And I’m not just saying that just to sound like a smarty pants. These camera’s are literally ranked as one of the top and best camera’s for beginners if you look this up. No joke.
Matter a fact, I even own one of them, which is the Nikon D3300, which I use all the time because it’s truly amazing! Even its standard lens kit that it comes with is still really good, and can produce some really high quality pictures that you’ve guys seen in my past blog post.
So from my personal experience, I of course would recommend to buy the Nikon D3300, since I think it does really good in focus, depth and quality.
And since it’s an older model, you can get it anywhere from $300-$400, depending if you get it used or new at Amazon. Which isn’t that bad considering that most newer (and crappier) cameras can get up in the $1,000’s which is double than what the Nikon D3300 is going for.
How to find and get the best lighting
So once you have found the best camera for your site or for your Instagram page, you have to make sure you have good lighting for your photos too.
And the best way to get that, is through natural lighting. Natural lighting will of course glow up your photos naturally, and will cause a very authentic, bright look to your pictures, without having to use a studio light, a lamp or turning your camera’s brightness to the max.
You just have to take your photo behind the sun, or in front of the window with the camera facing the room, and your pictures will turn out flawless. The sun will shine behind the lens, and onto the subject, and give a gorgeous, radiant glow to the entire shot, and make it look so-so good!
The afternoon sun around 2:00pm is your perfect source for your photos, while harsh lamp lighting or over-exposed photos is the worst for brightening your photos, since it will make them look super washed-out and grainy. The only thing you need to be careful with about natural lighting, is of course backlight, which is when the subject goes in the same direction of the sun and gets shadowy.
But as long as the sun is behind your camera (outdoors or indoors) then you’re good to go! Just find that perfect spot near the window or outside, and you will instantly see a huge quality difference in your photos.
Different set-ups to use for your blog/social media
So using set-ups can be a bit tricky, because you have to work with what you have or have access to.
And if your room or neighborhood isn’t very glammed up (like in my case) it can be hard to take blog or Instagram worthy photos of you or your subject, if nothing looks interesting.
So one of the things that I do for my photos, is to use small spaced flatlays; meaning that they’re quite up close to the subject, so you don’t see the rest of my room but just an item and a few decorative objects. Or, for my ootd post, I will typically go outside near a park or to a school, and take pictures of different areas of that particular park or school, since I normally don’t like showing my entire apartment on my blog or social media like that.
So even if you’re like me, and don’t have a Tumblr bedroom or live near Insta-worthy walls to show off to the internet, think outside the box, and try different ways to spice up your photos even when you don’t have a lot to work with.
Try buying or re-arranging small props for your flatlays like plants, magazines, notebooks or like really pretty furry rugs, that can easily roll over your desk or floor when you’re about to take a flatlay. You can also try walking around your city or town, and finding cool places to do a photoshoot, that you think will look good with the outfit you’re taking pictures in as well.
You technically don’t have to take pictures or be somewhere super glamorous, you just have to go somewhere nearby that still looks good in photos, that will still get the job done.
People like seeing pictures in different layouts or in different backgrounds, so I think it’s really important to mix things up and show your audience different set-ups, even if you’re limited in resources. Get creative, and make your space or where you live work for you!
Different angles to shoot in
Another important thing, is to use different camera angles instead of shooting everything from eye level. Try shooting upwards, downwards or in a side angle and really test out different positions when taking pictures.
I just feel like a photo is more captivating when it’s slightly slanted or positioned in a non-typical way, to give it more dimension.
You can also get really funky, and try using different methods to get different shots, by standing on a ladder to get a higher shot, putting the camera on the ground/floor, or buying a drone and taking really wide landscape photos if you really want to get extra with it.
Of course you don’t have to if you don’t want to, but it would give your photos that extra oomph that will make your pictures stand apart from any other regular shot.
Best editing software/app for your photos
Ok, so onto the last and final step that I think really takes your photos to another level, and that’s of course editing!
This step is probably my most important step of getting a great photo, because you can literally take a just ok looking photo, and make it look surreal!
And Photoshop, and Adobe Lightroom will help you do just that, since they offer the perfect amount of settings and effects to achieve the perfect photo. And yes…I know, I named Photoshop, which is known to be one the hardest software’s to use, but that’s only because it can do quite a bit of effects and settings that can do wonders to any picture you use it with.
For example, I can blend in colored backgrounds to plain ones, and turn them like pink or purple (which you guys might have seen on my Instagram). I can add layers to my photos and put like two images in one. I can change around the shadows in the photo and make them light or dark, as well as a lot of other things I could go on and on about.
So Photoshop is definitely something you should check into, if you really want to edit the crap out of your photos, and change them to your personal aesthetic.
And of course as I mentioned in my October favorites Adobe Lightroom app, also takes your photos one step further too. Which is why when I’m done editing them in Photoshop, I transfer them to my phone and tweak them a bit more in Adobe Lightroom, by adding a few effects.
Which is mainly just a bit of saturation, some highlight, and then a lot of the setting called “quality”, and then that fast, I will see a major difference.
So if you really want to see some drastic changes in your pictures, editing them in Photoshop and then Adobe Lightroom should be your go-to.
Ok. *Sigh* I guess that wraps up this super long post! I hope I covered all the essentials of enhancing your photos for your blog, business or social media and hopefully gave you some new insights on what you should buy or try out, to take your images to another level. Let me know in the comments down below what you do to your photos to really enhance them, because I would love to hear all of you guys tricks and tips too.
Have a wonderful day!