Blogging and photography go hand-in-hand. Its a tough world out there now for bloggers because your blog’s success relies heavily on not only the content you produce, but also the photos you take. There are some very successful bloggers/social media influencers out there, who have professional photographers take their photos. This post contains affiliate links. Particularly the fashion/lifestyle bloggers. As a new blogger, and a do-it-yourself type, I have taught myself to be my own faux-tographer. I literally don’t know much about camera settings, which I intend to learn more about here soon. I do know that I like a blurred background, and subject in focus, so I bought his lens. It’s a cheaper brand than the Cannon lens, which is probably a bit better, but when you’re a blogger on a budget, you get what you can! Using this lens, I learned to keep my camera in the Aperture priority (AVF) mode, which enables it to focus better. I talk more about this in my Instagram book, Irresistible Instagram, which is half off to anyone that follows me on Instagram. Just follow me and send me a DM. You can get the book at $8.99 rather than $17.99. The price is going up in July, so make sure you jump on that if you are looking to really improve your Instagram feed and connect with brands! I was able to connect and work with brands for both paid and complimentary product as a very small account.
Update: I am above 50k pageviews and made my first $1,000!!!
How to Be You’re Own Blog Photographer:
Invest in a Tri-pod:
This is the most important part. You need a way to capture the photo with out having to stack your phone on something. What I LOVE about the Cannon Rebel T6 and the Tripod I have is the Cannon Camera Connect app. What this app does, is it allows me to remote-shoot from my phone. I connect to the wifi on the camera, then enable remote shooting by going to the app on my phone. The best part is that I can SEE what I am shooting. I can see what the focus looks like, where the camera is focusing, If I am center, if there are distractions and more. It’s really a key-aspect to how I can take photos of myself. I hate not seeing what was captured, so this enables me to be behind the camera and in the photo AT THE SAME TIME! I highly recommend investing in a good camera and tripod if you can, in order to take your blog to the next level. It’s a game-changer. (I’ve got lots more tips in my book if you want more!).
If you don’t have the funds to invest in your blog quite yet, get a tripod for your phone and a timer app. The linked tripod is a universal one, and there are a lot more to chose from, so I have a few below you can look at. This one comes with a wireless remote, which means you don’t need a timer, you can shoot when you’re ready. For me, being a mom-blogger, I like to see what I’ve got and be in control of when I capture a moment.
The other day, my phone wasn’t charging, so I brought my camera and tripod to the beach, but I wasn’t able to use my app. I had to set my camera up on the tripod, then set it for about 4 seconds before shooting. That way I could push the button, and run into the water. I set it on continuous shooting, so it would capture about 5 shots, then stop. I did this a few times, and I got some fun photos of our beach day, but it wasn’t as smooth as the app option. If you are a mom-blogger, dealing with kids and cameras on your own can be a lot. I advise something to help make the process more fun and easy!
Something you should know, I started out by buying a used camera from a guy on Craigslist. I shopped and shopped, and I found someone selling a Canon Rebel (older version) for a third of the price with the stock lenses and camera bag. I probably got lucky that it wasn’t broken, so rather than suggest you do the same, I didn’t realize that Amazon offers refurbished cameras for sale. That’s a great way to go for new bloggers because you can start with a smaller budget, still get a great camera, and many of them have warranties if something were to go wrong.
Learn To Edit Your Photos:
I am not perfect with my edits, but because I don’t have my camera settings down yet, then need some editing. I use the free Adobe Lightroom app to edit mine on my phone. Snapseed and VSCOCAM are also really good ones. I talk a lot about editing photos, and give you my fool-proof editing process in my book, in addition to more before-and-after photos. I also have a great post that goes over my editing process with a before and after photo, Make Any Picture Professional & Pretty for Instagram.
You can click on that link, and open it up in a new tab, so you can refer to that post, while still reading this one. I want you to go over those tips, and make sure you have an app to edit with on your phone. My photos are sometimes very grey, or dull, but I edit them back to life!
Go To The Right Places:
Part of being a photographer is knowing where to take photos. Knowing where there is good lighting, great back-drops and fun scenes. Train yourself to look for this. I wrote another post on places that are great locations for Instagram photos. These places are also genuinely great for blog-photography. You want to have a great background, or all your hard work taking photos of yourself go to waste. Make sure there are no distractions like a lot of people, clutter or harsh colors and business. This will take away from your focal point. Chose places with soft lighting, wide, open landscape, symmetry and natural beauty. Remember to take photos when the lighting is soft in the morning or evening if you can. Check out this post for more specifics on the right places to go for the best photos: Best Places to Take Instagram Shots
Becoming your own photographer does take some work, and some investment, but if you are really serious about blogging and Instagram, it’s worth it. I am just finally making hundreds of dollars a month now that I’ve gotten more serious about my photos and blogging. I talk about working with a brand as a small account in my book, and I give you my exact email pitch to charge them for Instagram posts if that is something you are interested in. I’ve got lots more free tips and tricks for photos and Instagram tips here, or you can take a look at my book to see if it’s a right fit for you!
Also, I didn’t actually start making money and building traffic until I invested in just a few eBooks by other bloggers. I really believe in investing what you can in the beginning. Learning from bloggers who are where you want to be is priceless. If you are interested in building your traffic, you need to read this post. I go over the two books that honestly transformed my blog. Literally boosted my traffic thousands in a couple months. My Massive Traffic Boost: 6k to 40k Page views in Two Months
There are some blog articles out there that will tell you you don’t need traffic to make money. That’s true, but the more traffic you have, the more money you make. If you are working hard to make money on your blog, you might really like this post: How I Turned $17.99 Into Over $300 With One Blog Post