Photo Tips for Quality Content

Nowadays we share our life through photos on social media for friends, family, yourself, or even for an audience. Instagram especially is the number one platform where we would share our photos but it can be intimidating to post at the same time. In last few years, the quality of the content people post is amazing! Have you wondered how some of your favorite bloggers take and edit their photos?

I am not a professional photographer but have a lot of interest in photos and photography since I began modelling when I was 16. I love creating natural looking photos, using no filter or harsh editing. Through my experience as a model, photoshop and photography classes, I have some tips to share on how you can also achieve aesthetically pleasing photos. If your goal is to increase your likes and follows on social media, create quality content, or just to improve the look of your photos follow these tips below!

Basic photo tips – For everyday use with your cellphone (I use an iPhone)

  • Take photos in natural light. You’d aim to want to have beautiful bright photos, so use natural light, avoid heavily cloudy days and indoor lighting. A cloudy day won’t provide enough bright light, but an overcast day would still have great lighting. Indoor lighting casts a yellow/orange tinge which can be difficult to edit yourself. If you want to take photos indoors (of others or maybe a selfie), do so during daylight and face a window, which will avoid the coloured cast.
  • When shooting outdoors, avoid harsh direct sunlight. The sun is strongest around the afternoon. If you are taking a photo of someone or if you’re in front of the camera, you may have issues with being able to keep your eyes open as well as editing the lightning.  Taking photos in the morning or around 3pm will avoid the very harsh sunlight. A good alternative is to shoot in the shade during the afternoon. To avoid lightning issues, be sure to have both the subject and the camera in the shade.
  • Adjust and edit the lighting. There is no need to use filters, while Apple and Android phones have an auto adjust feature for a quick enhance, I highly recommend dipping into the photo settings and adjust yourself. I use the ‘brightness’ setting to enhance the light and ‘shadows’ to darken the shadows in the photo to create more contrast between the lights and darks. I personally avoid using ‘contrast’ compared to adjusting ‘shadows’ it creates unnatural darkness and I try to keep my photos as natural as possible.
  • Adjust the colour and warmth. Bright coloured photos always catch my eye! I aim to enhance the colour just enough to make the photo pop. I would then adjust the cast of the image to return the warmth of the photo. I’ve read a statistic before that warm photos are more appealing than a cool casted photo.
  • Edit the alignment. Another reason a photo looks aesthetically pleasing is from the photo alignment. Ensure that your straight lines are straight. When cropping a photo, you usually have the option to rotate the image by degrees. I try to focus on the background to align my photo. For example, if I have a photo at the beach facing the water, I like to ensure the ocean is a straight line across the photo.
  • Use an editing app. My favourite one is called Adobe Photoshop Express. It has all the basic lightning tools like the ones I’ve mentioned above and is free! Lightroom is another app to use that I’ve heard a lot of good feedback on, but I personally find photoshop easier to use.
  • Use pre-sets. Pre-sets are filters that you can use to maintain a theme. They can be made yourself or purchased and there’s many options available on the app store. They are perfect in painting a colour theme and a lot of bloggers use it. For me, I love the natural colours in photos and prefer not to change the colour cast. Although, I do love the look of an Instagram page themed with a filter!

Do you struggle to take photos of yourself? Here are some strategies I use!

  • Use a tripod. Perfect to use with the Bluetooth remote or photo timer.
  • Schedule a day to take many photos. Plan locations, outfit changes and ask a friend to take them for you. If you’re a blogger, this is a great way to connect with other bloggers who would also need to take some new photos. A great way to help each other out and collaborate.
  • Connect with student photographers. If you’re looking for professional photos, there are students who need subjects to shoot so this is another great way to get some great new photos! I’ve had amazing experiences with students and it’s fun to collaborate on locations, outfits and ideas. As a TFP (trade for print) rule, be sure to credit your photographer whenever you use their photo and they should do the same. This is not for business purposes and shouldn’t be used to gain free photos to benefit for yourself.

Have you used any of these photo tips? If you haven’t, give it a try! Let me know what you think in the comments!

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