How to Take Your Own Blog and Instagram Photos

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You may or may not already know this, but on average about 90% of photos of me that I use for this site and for my Instagram were taken by me! I know I've talked a little bit about how I do this before, but that was mostly about shooting indoors and I recently got a request on Instagram to talk a bit about my process. It's a lot easier than I think some people expect it to be and is the process I used to take the pictures for this post! So here goes:

  1. Know Your Equipment: I mostly shoot with my Samsung NX3000, which is a small point and shoot camera. It connects to my iPhone with an app which means I can literally see what the camera sees and take pictures from quite a distance away (which is why you might spot my phone in quite a few of my photos). It's a bit pricey, but I bought it on Black Friday, so I highly recommend waiting for a sale! I also use a crazy cheap tripod I picked up from Amazon Basics - I think it was like $6. This pairing works great for me, but if you've just got a smartphone to work with you can totally make that work too! I've definitely stacked up random items or used my car/fences/rocks to prop my phone up and take self-timer shots.
  2. Know What You Want: Before I head out to take photos, I always have at least a general idea of what I want to shoot in mind. I'm a bit persnickety about color schemes, so I always plan my outfit ahead of time and then find a place to shoot that I think will pair well with it. It's also helpful to know what kind of angles you're going to want so you can make sure to bring the right equipment with you. For these particular photos I knew I wanted a lush green background for a Spring/Summer vibe to match the casual outfit I was wearing, and that I wanted to focus on upper body shots.
  3. Location: Location can be either the hardest or the easiest part of this. I'm personally not comfortable shooting alone in crowded/well-traveled places. If you are, that's awesome - just protect your camera. If you aren't, stay open-minded when you're scouting locations. A spot may look ugly at first, but close ups and creative perspectives can really change that (think the Michael's craft store challenge that went around recently). When I'm home, I literally shoot my outdoor shots in a random gravel lot that borders both forest and some industrial stuff. It's not the prettiest spot in passing, but it offers a lot of different visuals depending on your perspective. I recommend looking for nice trees, cool or plain walls, staircases, and that sort of thing.
  4. Taking the Photos: I mentioned earlier that I use the Samsung Camera App to see what my camera is seeing, pick the focus point, and take the photos. The one thing I really want to recommend for this part is take way more photos than you think you need. I've definitely gone out before, only taken a few shots, and ended up not having any I really liked. Keep posing and switching up angles as long as you can stand so that you have plenty of photos to choose from.
  5. Embrace the Awkwardness: This process might feel awkward, silly, embarrassing, or even ridiculous in the moment. But I promise, you will get more used to it and gradually feel more comfortable with it. I honestly feel much more comfortable doing this now than working with photographers - plus I get a lot more control of how my photos turn out! Just follow basic safety precautions and you'll be fine!

Let me know if you guys would like to see more tips like this! Have a great weekend!

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