So, I have a secret I've been keeping from you guys. Back in December, I decided to sell my camera because I wanted to get something that wasn't as big and expensive, plus I wanted to try out a different lens. Right after it sold, I started thinking about my photography and what I could do to challenge myself. I always get so many questions and comments on what type of camera bloggers should use and if you need to go out and buy a big fancy DSLR to take great photos. An idea finally struck me - what if I didn't have a camera and only relied on my phone for all of my blog photos? Deciding to put off purchasing a new camera, I've spent the past 2 month using only my iPhone 7 Plus for the photos here on AGO, and (I think) nobody even noticed.
This little experiment was a huge learning experience, and really tested my photography skills - I had to be extra creative to make up for any lack of quality a different camera might have had. I'm so glad I challenged myself to not use a DSLR for a couple months though because I discovered some things about blog photography that are critical, no matter what tools you are using.
Composition And Styling Are Your Best Friends
How you position everything in your shot is super important. You can take a boring photo and bring it to life just by switching up the layout and adding some appropriate props. When I was setting up my blog photos, I made sure to really put some thought into how they were arranged, and played around with different angles and props until they looked just right. I found out that I was able to get the same exact aesthetic using the camera on my phone as I did when I was using a Canon 70D, which proves that quality blog photos are all about the composition rather than which camera you use. Well, composition and one other thing...
Always Shoot With Optimal Lighting
...Lighting. This one is huge, and completely determines the overall quality of your photos. Bad lighting, and everything looks grainy, unfocused, and off-color. Great lighting, and your photos will look crisp, professional, and creamy. Almost all of my photos are shot indoors, so I always take my photos when the sun is brightest in the sky. Luckily, my apartment faces east so I'm able to take advantage of that gorgeous mid-morning sunlight. If you're unsure when to take photos for the best lighting, I always shoot for 10am-2pm, and if you're shooting outdoors, find some shade or wait for an overcast day (clouds in the sky = a nice soft "filter" for your photos).
Don't Skip Out On Editing
The last thing I learned was that you definitely want to edit your photos before publishing. Since I didn't have all of the balancing features that a DSLR provides, I made sure to edit every photo in Lightroom to help fix any white balance or clarity issues. Some of my photos would turn out a little too blue or yellow for my liking, so I would fix that by adjusting the color levels. Then I'd perfect the overall lighting by playing around with curves, and adjust the sharpness and clarity levels until the photos looked just right (these are all edits I would usually make with DSLR photos as well). The only difference that I noticed was that there was a little extra "noise" (graininess) in some of my photos as compared to ones taken with my DLSR in the past, but I was able to smooth it out in editing.
After working through this little experiment, I can definitely say that you do not need a big fancy camera to blog successfully. I know there is a bit of pressure to own an expensive DSLR if you want to be a "proper" blogger, but it really all comes down to your skills rather than your equipment. My best advice is, no matter what camera you're working with, practice like crazy until you get comfortable with composition. Start saving inspiration on Pinterest and try recreating pictures you like to see how the photographer set it up. The more that you do this, the easier it will become to put together the perfect blog photo at the drop of a hat, and soon it will be second nature!
What kind of camera are you currently working with?