August 30, 2013 § 8 Comments
Lately I've been getting more questions about how I do my outfit photos and any tips that I have, so I thought I'd share what I've learned so far today! About 99% of my outfit photos were taken by me, with just my camera, tripod and remote. A few times I've had my brother or my mom snap photos for me, but I actually tend to prefer to do it myself. I'm a huge perfectionist, and even though I definitely don't always do them perfect, I'd still rather be able to blame myself for them not being quite right.
I certainly don't consider myself any sort of expert on the matter, I'm still learning a ton, but I have definitely picked up on a few important things over the years!
GET TO KNOW YOUR GEAR
I don't think you have to spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy camera to get really nice photos. On the same note, I think even if you do spend a ton of money on really good equiptment, but don't learn to use it properly, then you're wasting your money. With the internet these days you can probably find a dozen in-depth tutorials on whatever camera you have – it's awesome, and everyone should take advantage of it! If you haven't already, I suggest spending some time reading up on your camera and getting aquinted with things like ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Then spend a whole afternoon just playing with all the settings and taking a ton of photos.
I use a Nikon D5100 (prior to May'12 my camera was a Nikon D70s) and I almost exclusively use a Nikkor AF-S 50mm 1:1.4 Lens for all of my outfit photos.
TAKE YOUR TIME
Whenever I'm in a rush and try to take photos I almost always regret it and usually end up just trashing the photos anyway. Especially if you're not doing it everyday it can be a little akward and takes more time to get relaxed infront of the camera. Take your time and take tons of photos. We live in the digital era where you don't need to worry about running out of film or spending money to develop all of it, you can shoot as many as you want and trash the ones that aren't great when you get home. So relax and don't forget to try different angles, and even change your location if it's just not working!
I usually spend 20 minutes doing my photos and take 50-75 photos for each outfit. It's often that I also have to change locations because the first one I picked just isn't working for some reason – I don't let it bother me, I just relax and find a new interesting spot!
FIND YOUR GROOVE
Everyone has their own preference for doing their outfit photos. There are remotes available for most cameras, and almost all also have a few different timer settings. Before you buy a remote you can try out how you like the timer setting and see how it feels to you, just know that you may have to use a prop to focus your camera before you set the timer so you're properly in focus. Finding what works for you is important, so spend some time figuring it out!
I love my camera remote. Most of my skirts and dresses have pockets in them so it's pretty easy for me to hide it once I set it.
SETTING THE SCENE
Most of us who take our own outfit photos feel a little shy about doing it right there in public for passersby to see. Not only is it awkward to constantly be asked why you're taking photos of yourself and whether you want them to just take a photo for you, but it's really hard to relax when you feel like people might be watching you. So keep your eyes out for quiet local spots you can take your photos without being oogled at. As for where to take them, it's great to find a space with a little going on, but won't be over-powering. Personally, I'm not usually a fan on having cars in the background, their reflectors and chrome-y bits tend to be distracting. Wherever you take them, just be conscious of what will be behind you. Also, try to change things up and not take photos in the exact same spot all the time.
I've gone through phases where I used the same spot constantly, but now I try to find new interesting spots to change things up at. I also cannot take photos with other people around. I'm very conscious and totally feel "the eyes" on me, which does not make for relaxed looking photos!
Hope these little things help those of you who are maybe new to the self-portrait world, or who are still struggling. I know my personal struggle is still with lighting, I tend to err on the safe side and shoot in shadier places to avoid having to fight with the lighting too much, but I definitely plan to start working on that:)
PS. Click any of the images to see the original outfit post's they're from!
July 1, 2013 § 1 Comment
This weekend I was lucky enough to be the photo stylist / second shooter for an adorable wedding. I beat the other photographer to the reception so I walked around with my camera and took some shots. My favorite weddings are always the ones that think of all the details, and really show the couples personalities, and this is officially one of my favorite weddings I've ever been to (even counting the super-expensive ones I did when I was working for a wedding planner). There's a lot of cute weddings these days, but this one wasn't just cute, you could tell everything was 100% personal to the bride and groom. It was "country rockabilly" and the reception was in the couple's backyard right by their horse's pasture, their friends all rode in their classic cars, and for the thank-you gifts there was a table set up with Jersey fresh produce and plants you could choose from. They also had some really smart details, like setting out all-natural bug spray on each table – a definite need for an outdoor summer wedding!
The details are always my favorite:) What are some favorite weddings details you've seen?
June 1, 2013 § 3 Comments
I've loved baking and cooking since I was little. My mom always made chocolate chip cookies from scratch, so those were one of the first things I ever learned to make. When I was a teenager I got really into photography. Almost every weekend I was begging my sisters or parents to take me to a local band's show just so I could snap some photos. Even though my first blog was mostly about food, my love for photography and food never really crossed like I think I had hoped would happen naturally.
I do love sharing the occasional recipe on here when I come across something really good, but recently I was going through some of my old recipes and was really unhappy with the photos I had posted with most of them. I don't expect myself to be some amazing food stylist and photographer, but I've really just been plain old lazy about my food photos – sometimes just rushing myself through them even when I didn't have to.
One of my little goals this year is to really push myself with photography, and one of the things I already had in mind when making that goal was to really focus on improving my food photos. I love looking at food blogs with great photography, and even though this isn't a food blog, when I do share recipes I love I want to be able to convey to everyone how great it really is.
I was experimenting with making a little cocktail last night and the house was pretty quiet so I decided it was time for me to really spend some time experimenting with a little styling and photography on it. Of course, the cocktail actually didn't come out so well (much too strong, perhaps I'll tweak and maybe share a recipe when I work it out) but I feel like I really did learn a lot from spending a good half hour doing nothing but taking photos of it. For one of the first times I really brought in some "props", tried several different spots to play with lighting, and experimented with different angles. I took over 100 photos and the farther I got into looking at the photos, the better they really were (the ones up top are from the very end of my shooting). Now I'm really wandering why I never took this time before, why I've been so darn lazy!
I am certainly no Joy the Baker (and probably never will be), but I now realize how I need to do this more – slow down, think about things, experiment, and not afraid to try something new or different. Practice makes perfect – with everything, so why not dive in and have some fun?
Anyone else out there playing with food photography? Or really exploring any new area of photography!