Whenever I speak to people about my blog, I usually get complimented on the photos. It’s no secret that great photos are important in the world of web content, and I might have a slight edge. I’ve got experience in product photography and all the equipment necessary – but that doesn’t mean you need it all to get great photos. Keep reading for some of my tips and for a breakdown of how I shoot.
So, what do I use? I’ve got a Nikon D7000 DSLR camera and I tend to use either a 35mm 1.8 fixed lens that has a wide aperture that’s very useful for shallow depth of field, or a very fancy (and expensive) Nikon 17-55mm 2.8 zoom lens which I like for shooting wider scene or myself in videos like my November Favourites. I’ve had this camera for over 4 years now and it’s still going strong, there’s no need to buy the most expensive camera out there or to change it very frequently. My advice: get a good lens and a camera body that will be a little more advanced than you are if you’re starting out; so that you can grow with it. A mid range camera with a great lens can produce amazing images, also the more “Pro” the camera the heavier it will be and I hate lugging my ‘tank’ around (which is why I use a small Fuji X10 when I travel). For lighting I’m a real cheater, I use semi-pro Elinchrom D-Light strobe lights – which no-one really needs unless they work in photos or are really invested in photography. A good lamp or window can do the job just fine.
My top tips for shooting (no matter your camera!)
- Go Manual: understand how to use the manual settings on your camera, feel comfortable adjusting the aperture and speed, play around until you like the shot.
- Take a lot of photos: For each picture I upload I took at least 5 others, try to move around to get a different perspective – it’s digital not film so there’s no harm in taking a lot of pictures.
- Be Aware of the Light: light is the number one friend to a photographer, don’t position your body to block it and figure out what time of day gets the best natural light in the room your shooting in – if there’s no light or you don’t have aids (flashes) then…
- Open Up and Adjust: Open your aperture as much as you can, lower your speed as much as you can and place your camera on a steady surface. To lower the risk of you moving the camera while you click your shutter button, place it on timer too. After you’ve taken you shots give them a slight edit in a program to lighten them up. A little grain never hurt anyone!
- Have Fun: getting the perfect shot isn’t just about technicalities and planning, it’s about having fun and experimenting. So do exactly that!
My Shooting Set Up (white backgrounds)
This is a capture of the chaos that I have when I shoot from above, I try to have all my posts planned out so that I can get thru several rounds once I’ve set it all up. As you can see the main light source is directed at my (white) ceiling so it’ll bounce off it and won’t cause any harsh glare. the black arrows show the light directions.There’s also light from my window for some extra brightness.Next to the wall I’ve placed a “bounce” in my case it’s a professional reflector but you can use white paper as well.