Blog Photography : 3 Tips to Improve Your Photos

One of the things I don’t talk about much in terms of blogging advice is photography.  As much as I love it, I know that I’m far from being an expert in that particular field, and that’s before you add in all the editing that comes with professional blog photography.
But in the years since I’ve started carrying a camera around, and in the years since then when I started blogging, I’ve learned a few things to help me get by.  So, my tips today might not help you become a famous wedding photographer, but they will help you in terms of blog photography.
Blog Photography

Unsplash

Carry Your Camera Everywhere

Seriously.  This is something I’m constantly having to remind myself to do, but whether you’re spending the day in the city with some friends, going on an amazing vacation, or just taking your dog for a walk – you should bring your camera with you.  I think it must be an unwritten law of the universe that fantastic photo opportunities present themselves when you don’t have a camera available.  My solution? Make sure you always have your camera, and the results will show in your blog photography!

 

Take A LOT of Photos

I guarantee this will probably drive your friends nuts (it certainly makes my friends a bit crazy), but it just makes sense that if you take five photos you won’t have as many chances for a good one as if you take 100 photos.  A lot of photo opportunities may not present themselves again, so if you don’t get the shot now, you’re never going to.  It’s just easier to take way too many photos now, than to get home and realize they’re all out of focus, off center, or shot in the wrong setting.

 

Use PicMonkey

I mentioned that editing is NOT my forte when it comes to photography.  It’s my goal to have to do next to nothing to a photograph to make it look the way I want it to (refer to number two, wherein I take about 1,000 photos until one of them is perfect).  I haven’t used Photoshop since high-school, so it’s basically all Greek to me (much like HTML, now that I mention it).

One editing program I can use though is PicMonkey, and lucky for all of us it doesn’t come with the same hefty price tag as Photoshop.  If all you’re worried about is simple blog photography for your lifestyle blog, PicMonkey is perfect to change color, add text, resize, crop, and some other really helpful things!

Keep Stock Photos Handy

If I’ve learned nothing else about blog photography, it’s that every post should have at least one pin-worthy photo in it.  And if you want to avoid stealing someone else’s work – even unintentionally – it’s important to have a plan.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve started working on keeping a folder on my desktop of my blog photography.  Any photos I take, I edit to the correct size and then save in this folder so that when I need a post photo, I can check here first.  And if that fails, I keep a list of good sites for free stock photos, like Unsplash.

 

And now that we’re on the subject of blogging and photography, I’d like to not so gracefully introduce you to a lovely giveaway! Jana of Life Could Be a Dream, along with myself and some other lovely bloggers, have been loving these  Epiphanie camera bags, and would love to give you all the chance to win one in this great giveaway!

Blog Photography
The Fine Print:
The giveaway will run from 12:00 am EST on September 25th until 11:59 pm EST on October 1st. Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Entries will be verified, so please don’t be a stinker about your entries. Just be honest. The winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize before a new winner is selected. Lastly, good luck! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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A(nother) Day at the Farmers’ Market

This past weekend, I ventured down to the Farmers’ Market for what’s only the third time since I realized it even existed.  I love going, but I’m always too lazy to get up early enough to make it before everything’s gone.  

I’m so glad I did go this week though, because I came home with delicious pumpkin bread and raspberries, and a gorgeous bouquet of flowers with my favorite – sunflowers!

Farmers' Market PhotographyFarmers' Market PhotographyFarmers' Market Photography
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Down by the Bay

It may have taken a couple years, but I finally made it back to the beach a few weeks ago.  My parents and I stayed in a condo right on the bay, where our deck overlooked the sunsets at night and we could walk a block to the beach.  It was absolutely stunning!


I may have gone overboard with these photos, but let’s be real : I love beach photography, especially sunsets over the bay!






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On Disconnecting and Just Being

Last night, I left my phone at home and locked the door behind me.  I walked down streets I’d somehow never noticed in my four years living in this town, with nothing but my camera in hand and music in my ears.

And it felt amazing.  I don’t know if it was the walk on a gorgeous summer night cut by the slightest breeze, the weight of my camera in my hand, or being disconnected from Twitter and E-mail and phone calls or texts.  Maybe it was all of it, but the tears I cried walking past my freshman year dorm, and the scratch on my side from wrapping myself around a tree to get the perfect shot…it felt perfect.

Sometimes, I think, it’s important to remember where we came from.  That as wonderful as technology is, it wasn’t always a part of our world – and sometimes, maybe even often, it’s important to put that aside and just be.  Whether it be taking a long bath with a book and some music, going for a walk, or just sitting in the sunshine – we need time away from the television, the computer, and other people.  We need time to just be alone, and ourselves, and fully but not-entirely alert to everything surviving around us.

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Two Little Piggies Went to Market

Saturday morning, Roommate and I ventured out to the local farmers’ market for some veggies, fruit, and hopefully flowers.  I came home with zucchini blossoms (apparently you can fry them or stuff them – anybody have suggestions?), 50 or so new photos, and the realization that I’ve been ruined for supermarket blueberries.  $2.50 a pack, organic, and absolutely delicious.

Going to the farmers’ market feels like such a distinctly summer activity, and I think it probably goes without saying that I’ll be going back plenty more before the end of the season (if only to refresh my stock of blueberries).

What about you?  Have you ever been to a farmers’ market?

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The Golden Hour

Last night was one of those gorgeous nights.  The kind that makes me want to go off into the middle of the woods somewhere and just wander.

Or at least, to the trail by my parents’ house that I spent so much of my time at in high-school.

After the storm ended – the rain stopped falling and the thunder quieted to a distant rumble – the air surrounding my little town turned almost golden, and there was a softness that I’ve been looking for all week.

The golden hour, which I realize is not elusive, but somehow I couldn’t catch it for even a moment this week.




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Friday Favorites

// I’ve been waiting for this hilarious tampon commercial my entire life (or maybe just since the summer camp commercial).  Did anyone even know that Moon Parties were a real thing?

// Okay.  Maybe this one’s not a favorite.  I just can’t believe that our country still allows things like this to happen.  How is it 2014 and we’re still discriminating based on who somebody loves?

// This incredible video of a woman performing Beyonce’s If I Were a Boy as a monologue.

It’s completely amazing to hear her music as spoken word, and let’s be real – it just made me love Beyonce even more to hear her lyrics spoken like this.  
This article talks more about the performances, and also has two other videos: Mine, and Irreplaceable.
// The editorial calendar I’ve finally gotten around to making.  I’ve got my blog posts planned through the next three weeks….now I just need to write the posts
// This crazy-relatable post from East &.  If you’re a blogger, than you definitely know what she means by 1, 5, 6, and 14.  Amiright?
// My new office job.  Let’s be real – I love the desk life. 
// Speaking of which, can someone by me these outfits.  Like, all of them?
// This awesome new blog series from Where the Heart Is.  Have I mentioned how much I love The Beatles?
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Anxiety-Busting Tips from the Cat

Hey there blogland!  My name’s Sherlock, and I’m here today for mom while she’s off panicking about some silly interview.

I promised to fill in today while she tries on five different suits and talks to the mirror about company history. At first, I had no idea what I was going to talk about – I mean, this is my blog debut!  But mom’s anxiety got me thinking about all the things we freak out about. I mean, being a house cat isn’t nearly as stress free as I make it look!  It’s not easy being me.

So today, I want to share my secrets with you on how to stop that anxiety in its tracks so that you can look as calm, cool, and collected as I do.

1 // Make sure you have a window (or five) to stare out of in every room. Watching the birds and stuff flying around can be really calming if you think about all the delicious ways you could eat them!

2 // Find a good hiding place to get away from whatever’s stressing you out. I like to hide under the chair in the living room.  Mom can’t find me under there, and then she’ll panic and give me lots of treats to figure out where I am.  It’s a win-win!

3 // Take naps. Lots of them! You might think naps are for kids, but I’m a whole year old and I still sleep all the time! There’s always time for a nap.

4 // Always have plenty of toys to play with!  And make sure they’re all over the house, so no matter what room you’re in, there’s something to play with at your immediate disposal.

5 // When in doubt, use your imagination!  If for some reason there isn’t a toy in the room you want to play in, make it up.  For instance, Mom’s always telling me that earplugs aren’t for playing, but I have a blast with them!  I’ve even figured out where she keeps them, and sometimes I get the drawer open and find them when she’s not looking.

So that’s all I’ve got, guys.  Do you have any anxiety-busting tips I didn’t think of?

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