How do I do my photography? Tutorial + tips

Every blogger wants to take beautiful, professional pictures, but how?? Taking pictures with your phone and then adding a filter to it can work, but how do you really get those bright, clean, and high quality photos?

I have come soo far with taking pictures for my blog, and, though it’s not perfect, my photography has definitely improved! I recently got a request to do a photography and hand lettering tutorial, so this post will be on how I do my photography, and a hand lettering one will be coming soon!

The camera

I have a FUJIFILM X-A3 and it has very high quality photo taking ability, and is super simple to use (which is a huge plus). It also has a touch screen which can be rotated to take high quality selfies! I did not do a bunch of research and pick out a camera, I was gifted with it, so I don’t have any opinions on what to get/what not to get. This is simply what I use! I have not figured out all of the settings on it yet though, so I’m not too helpful in that area.

You honestly can use any camera, as long as you know how to use it and it is high quality. If you don’t have a camera, you can use your phone, but it won’t be as great quality as a camera.

How to set up

Set up is pretty simple depending on what you’re photographing. As you can see in the photo below, it’s all about the angle. Doing a shot directly over this loaf of bread got me a beautiful picture as you will see if you keep reading!

my simple set up for photographing food
  • Natural lighting. This is a must for bright, pretty pictures. Make sure you have a place with soft, subtle light, not blinding sunshine. A place where there are few shadows, but abundant natural light is a perfect combination for great photos. Always make sure that you and/or your object is in front of the light source, never behind it as this creates glares and shadows.
This photo was shot over my white bed cover, in front of a window
  • Light backdrop. I like to set up on either my white desk, or in our kitchen because there are plenty of windows in it, as well as a light counter and backsplash. It is perfect for capturing clear, bright photos with few shadows or blares. Also just using a white tea towel like in the photo below works perfectly!
Direct shot over a white tea towel next to window
  • Simple objects. Depending on what you’re photographing, some extra objects and additions may be helpful in bringing the right feel to what you’re trying to capture. Keeping a minimal layout will help your picture look clean and focused on the object of it, instead of cluttered and distracted.
light wall, textured plant, and hand lettered object
  • A balanced theme/color scheme. Make sure to keep colors coordinating, and not too many bold patterns. These can take away from your photo’s object and make it look unappealing. I love mixing textures such as fabric, natural wood, and either greenery or florals together. Balanced textures and colors bring everything together and if done right, point to your object instead of take away from it.
This photo brings all elements together: natural lighting, simple objects, and a balanced+coordinating color scheme

Some of my favorite objects for enhancing my photos are tea towels, plants, stationary, and cute every day items that go well with your photo’s theme. ๐ŸŒฟ

How to take the picture

Now that you’re all set up with natural lighting, a balanced color scheme, and a light backdrop, let’s take the picture!

  • Set your camera to the setting appropriate for what you’re taking a picture of. On my camera, I can do this with a little dial, but for others, it may be different. For taking a photo of food or other objects, I like to set it to either ‘portrait’ or the ‘auto’ setting that selects the best setting for me. For nature or landscape, the ‘landscape’ setting, and so on.
  • Adjust lighting as necessary. This is also done through a dial on my camera, but again, it may be different for you. Depending on the amount of lighting that’s available to you, you may need to adjust the camera setting to a lighter or darker shade. I normally don’t find this necessary unless taking photos outside though.
  • Focus and capture! Once all your setting are properly adjusted, focus on your object by either lightly pressing down on the shutter button, tapping the screen, or zooming in/out. Then take the picture!
  • Try different angles. Zooming in or out, taking a shot directly above, capturing the texture, etc. There are so many different ways to capture your picture! Play around and take LOTS of photos. When you’re done you will go through and edit them.

Editing & Filters

After doing all that hard work and having lots and lots of beautiful photos, it’s time to edit and enhance them!

  • Only keep the best. If there are any photos that are blurry, unclear, grainy, or really just not that great, trash it. You only want the BEST for your blog, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Also make sure that you keep a variety of the best; ones with different angles, textures, and objects for a well rounded and captivating selection to use.
  • Transferring to your computer. On my Macbook, I will just plug my camera into the computer using the cord that came with it, then open Image Capture and import my photos from there. For more help or direction on how to transfer, click here.
  • Adding filters. After transferring to my computer, I’ll then either text or airdrop to my phone, then edit my photos from there. I LOVE the photo editing app called A Color Story. It has such beautiful filters, and you can also make your own. For access to all of the features and presets, you have to pay, but there are plenty of options with the free features available. You can also just use the editing features on your phoneโ€™s Photo app.
  • MAKE SURE TO Keep the natural beauty of the photo, just choose filters/features that enhance the quality and color of it.

Extra tips

Now you have your complete, beautiful, and edited pictures! Remember, practice makes progress, and the more you do this the easier and better quality it will become!

  • If taking a picture that includes your hands or fingers, make sure they look nice! It helps the quality of the picture, as well as the aesthetic of it. Long, yellow fingernails with dirt underneath holding up a pretty flower is not going to complement each other well! Painting your nails isn’t necessary, as long as they are clean and kept. If you do paint your nails though, make sure the color coordinates with your photo color scheme!
  • If you have all your photo taking equipment out and a setup, take advantage of that. Take tons of pictures for whatever your niche is, so that you can easily have them available and ready for future use!

I hope that these photography tips were super helpful for you! I can’t wait to see all of your beautiful photos on your blog/social media soon! I’d love to hear of what you thought of this post, and if you found it helpful. Be sure to let me know if you have any questions! How do you take your photos?

If you use these photography techniques for your photos, and post them on your social media platforms, comment with the link to it as I’d love to see!

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If you found this helpful and know someone else who might benefit from it, be sure to share!

10 thoughts on “How do I do my photography? Tutorial + tips

  1. Oh my word!! This is so helpful! I donโ€™t have a camera I just have an iPhone but Iโ€™m sure Iโ€™ll be able to use these tips! I cants wait for the hand lettering one! I love doing it and have always wanted to do a tutorial post but never have know how to take the pictures! Loved this!โค๏ธ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ainsley! Iโ€™m SO glad that it was helpful for you! Yes, these tips will work with your IPhone for sure! And I will definitely do hand lettering tips and such in the near future.
      If you have any suggestions for things that you would love to see on this blog, be sure to check out this form: https://hopeleilani.com/2020/03/05/100-followers-what-would-you-like-to-see-on-my-blog/ Thanks for commenting! ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My mind is absolutely blown, your photos look AMAZING! I actually thought that picture of the kitchen was a stock photo from a professional photographer until you said it was your setup! Thank you so much for sharing these tips, I’ll definitely use them and I found them super helpful! You’re an amazing blogger, keep up the incredible work! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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