How I Take Photos

  • Posted on: 7 November 2015
  • By: jessica

The last few months I have worked diligently to improve my photography for my blog and Instagram account. I am, by no means, an expert. I am as amateur as they come. But, I have learned a lot of things. I figured I should share them with you.

What My Photos Used to Look Like

What My Photos Look Like Now

Before beginning to stage a photo, I follow these guidelines:

1. Be True to Yourself

I learned this in an instagram course created by Me and Orla. This is absolutely the number one rule I follow. In any creative outlet, it can be easy to attempt to mimic the styles or stories of those you admire. In this attempt, you may lose yourself. You are the most important aspect in your creative work. Your work is always at its strongest when it reflects your beliefs, personality, and story. No one else's story is like yours. Share your story! Which brings me to my second guideline.

2. Tell a Story

Because you have an amazing and unique story, you most certainly should share it! We each have a past, a daily life, and hopes for the future. When capturing photos, you are actually capturing moments. Sometimes, the story comes to me before I begin snapping shots. But many times, I capture the photo and then the story comes alive in my mind. It is key to be honest about these moments or stories that you are capturing. What feelings does the photo you just took evoke when you see it? What memories does it bring? What dreams can you see coming true?

3. Neutral (White) Space is Your Friend

Simple as that. The human eye finds objects more appealing when they are offset. Using large amounts of neutral space always makes photos more interesting.

Here is a photo of a roasted chicken I took

Here is the same staging, but using neutral space for most of the photo

See the difference?

4. Edit

I fought this for a long time. In an effort to be "real" I refused to take the time to learn about editing. I had to make a decision to give the best quality work that I could to my readers. And as much as it bothered me at first, that means editing. Looking back, I cannot imagine not editing my photos now! I use VSCO about 90% of the time and photoshop about 10%. I usually make about 3 adjustments, but they make all the difference in the world!

Sidenote: Editing does not mean butchering your photos to the point that none of the original colors are visible and it looks like a cartoon. For the most part working with exposure settings, temperature settings (I always make my photos 1 notch cooler), and playing around with filters (never use a filter full strength) will give you the desired result.

Before Editing

After Editing

The small changes made a big impact in the mood of the photo. 

Also, if you are imagining my photos being taken in some glamorous, perfect place, think again! Here is a real, unedited, orange light, tan wall, 90's blinds reality check for you! Here is where I take my photos. 

I hope my guidelines have been helpful for you all! Thanks for reading.

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Comments

Your photos look amazing! Great tips!

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