Creatives & Bloggers Beginner Guide to Using a DSLR for Blog Photos

Last week I talked all about why you should learn to take your own photos, so this week we’re ready to dive into how to actually start using a DSLR for your blog photos.

When you first start using a DSLR for your blog it can be really confusing.  There are so many things to consider for creating your own styled stock photos for your blog.

I have talked about what to do with your stock photos once you already have them.  Now we’re breaking down the step-by-step guide to using a DSLR for your blog photos.

 

Beginner Bloggers Guide to Using a DSLR for Blog Photos

Beginner Bloggers Guide to Using a DSLR

When I was first learning to use my DSLR I searched every where for info about how to use my camera.  I would have loved a beginner guide to using a DSLR!!!

I found some old textbooks from a film course I taken in college.  I was able to use that to get real basic info figured out from these books.

Later I started reading all kinds of blogs and watching all the videos I could about photography, but I really just wanted it to be in ONE place!  So here it is for you ;)

 

USE LIGHT

Light is the number one thing in photography.  I mean figure out this one thing and you’ve pretty much got photos in the bag.  

Really once you find good light you’re in the clear.  Being able to correctly use the light and get the correct exposure is the biggest thing you can do to improve your blog photography skills.  

Types of Light

Are you looking for the light and bright photography or dark and moody photography?  The type of light you use can also help to define your style.

Also are you using natural light to take photos or are you going to master lighting.  If you’re starting out I strongly suggest you don’t invest in lighting equipment yet.  You can take really amazing photos learning how to use natural light.  

You need to decide what your photos will look like.  If you need help figuring out what style photos you want to create I completely got you covered!  I have a FREE 5 day email course that will walk you through knowing your style and creating your style.  How you use light will create the style you love for your brand and blog.

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Know Exposure

Exposure is the combination of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed that gives you the correct light for your photo.  People call it the exposure triangle.  ISO affects the grain in the photo.  Aperture is how we get the creamy dreamy backgrounds.  While Shutter speed affects movement in a photo.  You can play with each of these parts of the exposure triangle to get the kinds of photos you want!

Know Your Camera

If you want to be able to take amazing photos then you’ll definitely want to know how to use your camera.  I know this is very cliche advice, but seriously read your camera manual.  

When you read your camera manual you will know how to make your camera do exactly what you want.   Take the guesswork out of using your camera.  You also learn about all the other great things it can do that you might use later ;)

You need to know how your camera works in order to just take photos.  Take the time to figure out how your camera functions so you’re not lost doing the basic things like snaping a photo on a timer.

Trust me!  I even follow my own advice.  I recently got an old Canon AE-1 film camera to play with.  I hadn’t shot film since college, but I realized right away I needed to learn how my camera worked.

I found the manual online and just played with being able to adjust settings so I knew how everything functioned before I even put a roll of film in.  Once I got the film in the camera I was ready to go, and I didn’t waste any film.

Learn to Shoot in Manual (AUTO VS MANUAL)

When given the option auto vs manual I would choose to shoot in manual every time.  You get far more control over your image.  Manual mode is when you pick the right settings to get a photo that is well lit (or has the right exposure ;).

You get to decide what the image looks like.  This gives you the power to create images that speak to your style.  

Learning to shoot in Manual allows you to decide the style of the image.  You can play with the aperture and shutter speed to get more creative styles out of your images.

The Camera isn’t Always Right

Here’s just one more vote for learning to shoot in Manual Mode.  The Camera isn’t always right!  Sometimes when the camera is in auto the sensors can get confused by the information coming into it.  

A mostly light background or a mostly dark background will often make the camera think you need to adjust settings more drastically than actually need to.  In these situations the camera might decide to make the photo much lighter or darker than you intended.  IF you learn to shoot in Manual you can fix this problem ;)  So choose to shoot in manual.  

Edit Your Photos for Real

Learning to edit your photos the way you want is one of the keys to getting photos that represent your blog.  Later in this blog series we will talk about the best editing tool, but for now know that learning to edit your photos will only enhance your final product.

There are different styles and moods that you can evoke with the way you edit your photos.  One of the ways to truly build your brand is to edit consistently.

RAW vs JPEG

Snapping photos in RAW or JPEG can be a really heated debate in photog world.  I’m just going to share why I save in RAW.

I shoot images in RAW in camera because that way when I make a mistake it doesn’t cause too much distortion to the image if I decide to go in and fix it with major changes.  

Let’s face it we all make mistakes sometimes and you don’t you want to have the ability to make it better.  Saving in RAW rather than JPEG is just more forgiving.

Once it’s time to share my images with the world, and I’ve edited them just the way I want, then I save in JPEG.  To read more about how I save it read this.  (I was making a mistake that was ruining images for online).

Practice, Tweak, & Repeat

So once you have your camera the only way it’s going to improve is if you take the time to practice.  Figure out what type of light makes your heart sing.  Figure out what settings work best for your style.  Pay attention to how your images come out because once you figure out taking photos you’ll want to perfect composition.  There’s always more to learn so just keep taking action.

 


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Lacuna Artist Lofts Chicago Wedding | Kristin & Phil

I had the privilege to help document a beautiful Lacuna Artist Lofts Chicago Wedding.  It was an absolutely beautiful day complete with sunshine and fluffy clouds.

I always have a wonderful time when I get to shoot a wedding with the amazing Jenna Marie and this wedding was no different.  I was left in awe from the unique orange cake, the lush floral bouquets, and the beautiful floral adorned bridal hair!

Enjoy!

xo,

Nikole Marie

Lacuna Artist Lofts Chicago Wedding

 

Lacuna Artist Loft Chicago Wedding

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5 Reasons Why Creatives & Bloggers Should Learn to Take Photos

Photos and images are used everywhere.  We use them on social media and on our websites.  This is exactly why creative business owners and bloggers should learn to take photos that show off their brand.  

5 Reasons Why Bloggers & Creatives Should Learn to Take Photos

You can use your phone when you have really good light, but if you want to learn to take consistently awesome photos you need to use your DSLR!

5 Reasons To Learn To Take Photos

  1. Build a strong brand
  2. Create a professional look
  3. Have brand consistent photos
  4. Attract more ideal clients
  5. Improve your social media posts
  6. Have blog posts graphics that reflect your brand

Build Stronger Brands

Your brand is exactly how people relate to your business.  We’re always working to build that know, like, and trust factor, so people will want what you sell!  

The more you show who you are in beautiful photos the more others are able to identify what  draws them to you.  There’s also the added benefit that when you learn to take photos you will have great imagery to put on your social media accounts, and your website ;)

The stronger your imagery the more you’re building a better brand.  You can learn to take photos, or you can use stock images.  I made my stock photos  for people who wanted gorgeous photos for their brand!  

Give Your Blog A Professional Look

Of course you don’t want your business to look like we’re just flying by the seat of our pants.  When your images are all over the place with style then it starts to break down the strength of your brand.  If you’re taking beautiful branded photos you’ll help build up your brand.

When you have a consistent style like dark and moody and all your images have that style then people know what they’re getting.  Your business looks more professional because you’re not switching all the time and it looks put together.  Who doesn’t want that?!  Learning to take and choose photos will help enhance all of those things!

It’s so important to have strong photos that fit your business.  Just remember building your brand comes from not only the things you say and your logo, it also comes from the images you present consistently.

You’re showing the world what your brand is every day with the things you say, the photos you post, and the videos you show!  Learn to take photos that strengthen your brand with my 5 day FREE email course!

Professional Looking Brands

Lets face it when you learn to take photos for your business you make it possible to have a more consistent and professional business!  

When you post photos on social media that are dark and moody one day, light and airy the next day, monochromatic for a few days, and then super colorful the next week people are not sure what to expect from you.  It gets confusing and looks like you don’t actually have a brand style.

It is so much more powerful to have a consistent style that you know how to take.  These ladies really know to use their images to help enhance their brand:

byRegina Regina’s graphic for her website are always very consistent and she keeps to her brand.  One of the ways she accomplishes this through the photos she choses to use.  They all have similar style and colors.  

byRegina Photo Blog Post Graphics

Think Creative Collective

What I love about the photos from the ladies behind Think Creative Collective is they use consistent styled photos.  Each of their blog post graphics and instagram graphics have the same flatlay style.  I also love that they stay true to their brand colors with the backgrounds and objects they use.

Think Creative Collective Photo Blog Post Graphics

 

Paper and Oats

Paper and Oats does an amazing job of making graphics with photos.  Again images stay on brand with the way light and color are used.  

Paper and Oats Photo Blog Posts Graphics

 

Nikole Marie

My own site nikolemarie.com has a consistent look for posts that are business and blog related, and I also have the same graphic style no matter what type of posts are blogged.  Here are three example post graphics from my site.  The biz posts have a similar look and feel while the weddings posts have a different style the post graphics are still similar.

Nikole Marie Blog Posts Graphics

 

Notice with each of these small businesses the images they use adds to their overall brand!  It makes everything look more cohesive and put together!  Isn’t this what we all want from our own website photos?  

This is exactly why I created my stock shop so that people can have consistent brand photos!

Brand Consistent Photos

Having brand consistent photos will only help enhance your brand and images.  I touched on this above, but it’s super important so let’s dive a bit further.  

You want all of your images to look cohesive.  It doesn’t mean they need to be exactly the same, but the style should be similar so that people know it’s you.  

We all want photos that show the best side of our business, and feel right.  Stock photos are a great way to create consistency in your photos.  The other way is to learn to do it yourself so you can share it confidently!

You can’t go wrong with having photos that consistently look and feel like your business.  Consistency is sexy.  We all want to know what we’re going to get.  When you show up consistently in the same way every time people know exactly what they’re getting.  Yes you can get this with fantastic stock photos, but you can do this too!

Attract More People

Another important reason photos and graphics help draw people in is a great photo creates interest.  I’m sure you see this when you’re scrolling through instagram and you have to stop to look at someone’s feed because of one photo that drew you in.  Fantastically curated photos make people stop and take notice.  

When you use good photography it makes people pay attention to your work.  Pictures catch people’s eye.  Make sure you’re taking great photos or using stock photos with style :)

Improve Your Social Media Posts

I think one of the best reasons to learn to take great photos is to improve the images you share on social media.  I mean tell me the truth is it a struggle to find images for social media?  

Do you spend a ton of time looking for photos that fit your style?  

Ugh I feel you.  I really do.  

Having a ton of gorgeous images you can use is really helpful.  When you take the time to make photos that fit your brand then you’ll have the awesome brand collateral of images to set your blog and social media on point.

Having a ton of great photos will help you be more consistent.  When you’re not looking for photos to take it will be so much easier to batch.  This will save you all the minutes!

The key is having a stash of photos you can turn to and use.  The two easiest way to do it? Either learn to do it yourself or use awesome styled stock photos!

Blog Photos That Are So You

The last benefit to knowing your way around your camera is that you know your brand the best, so you can create photos that fit your brand!

Photos that look awesome, and also have the feel you want is where it’s at.  

When you’re taking photos for your own blog and business it’s going to have the look and feel you want.  

You get to set the tone and look for your images.  You can choose the style and it won’t just be generic photos.  It will have the look that appeals most to you.


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Ultimate Guide to Blog Photos with a DSLR for Bloggers and Creative Business Owners

I’m so excited to share this blog mini series.  I hope this Ultimate Guide to Blog Photos With a DSLR helps enhance your photo skills and helps your business and blog along the way.

The Ultimate Guide to Blog Photos with a DSLR

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BLOG PHOTOS WITH A DSLR  FOR BLOGGERS AND CREATIVE BUSINESS OWNERS

MY PHOTO STORY

I absolutely love photography.  I believe great photos only enhance your business.  

I’ve always been the kind of person who loved documenting my life.  I went every where with my point and shoot camera, and then transitioned to a big girl film SLR camera in college.  

Spending time developing film and photos felt like magic to me.

I became interested in photography as career when I was planning my wedding, but I didn’t start with my first DSLR until I had my kids.  Then I felt the strongest desire to document our world with photos in an authentic and beautiful way.  

Once I had my camera I knew I wanted to be able to do for work.  I photographed family and friends.  I realized documenting couples love for me was one of the most magical things I could do.  So I started my Photography business.

BRANDED BLOG PHOTOS

I found in my wedding photography career I love styling photos.  So I created my Palm Dreams Stock Photo.  There are so many reasons why I created it but ultimately it comes down to great photos only help your business.  

I’m hoping this series for will help you take on brand photos with DSLR.  Brand photos can help with so many parts of your business.

HOW THE GUIDE TO BLOG PHOTOS WITH A DSLR WILL HELP

I’ve already talked on the blog about what to do once you have stock photos.  This guide leads you step by step through everything you need to know for setting your blog up with awesome photos.  The series takes you through why using a DSLR will help you right through taking photos, editing them, and saving your images.  

You will have all the details you need to get your blog photo game on point.  Make sure to check in every week for the next post in the series

  1. 5 Reasons Creatives and Bloggers Need to Learn Take Photos
  2. Creatives & Bloggers Guide to Using a DSLR for Blog Photos

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