I have upped my photography game recently. For the longest time my Insta feed was solely iPhone photos but I decided to face the DSLR demons and learn more about my fancy camera and how to take better photos. You can see great examples of my improved photography on these posts: Pineapple Pot and DIY Velvet Pumpkins. Thanks to an awesome group called Rising Tide Society and their monthly events called Tuesday’s Together I’ve met some awesome women who have helped educate me about my camera and photography. I love the group’s motto:
Educating and Empowering Creatives to thrive in the spirit of Community Over Competition.
This is part of the reason I wanted to share this post! I’m having so much fun and I’ve gotten tons of questions about how I’m improving my pictures. If you want to know how to take better photos, here are a few of the tools I use for my blog and Instagram photos:
1.DSLR Camera: Having a good camera is the first step to good photos (obvious huh?). Understandably this is your biggest investment. This would make a great Christmas present! I have the Canon Rebel XSI (it’s actually Eric’s camera!) and I love it. It has a digital display on the back and works great as a point and shoot. For the longest time I took photos on full auto and they came out great!
2. Eyefi SD Card: This card is one of the coolest things I’ve ever found. I use this memory card so when I take pictures on the fancy camera, I can get them immediately on my iPhone! No wi-fi or cables required! I can be at an event and upload great photos straight from my camera to my phone and put them on Instagram – no computer required!
3. 50 mm f 1.8 lens: This little guy was the game changer for me! When I compared my photos to those from bloggers I admire, the thing that stood out to me were the photos with the blurred background. I loved how the photos look when the subject is in focus and the background is a bit blurred so you can focus more on what they are trying to show you. This lens, called the “nifty fifty”, has an f-stop low enough to get the blurred look I’d seen in so many gorgeous photos. If you want to learn to take photos like that let me know – I figured it out in about 15 minutes!
4. 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens: This is the lens that we got with our camera. It is a standard zoom lens that has lots of versatility. We’ve used it on vacation, at a parade, to take family photos, and I’ve used it to take close up photos of my DIY projects. Without a lot of size, weight, or cost this lens expands your picture taking possibilities.
5. Lens Filter: One time I had the camera setup on a tripod and an excited puppy dog knocked the whole thing over. I was convinced my camera lens was destroyed and took it to a local camera shop to replace it. Turns out I had a lens filter on the end (shows how ignorant I was about the camera!) and it saved the lens! For less than $10 you can protect your expensive lenses.
6. Tripod: Having a tripod is vital for indoor photography. Because it’s usually lower light indoors, you need the tripod to hold the camera steady for longer exposures. These are also great for family pictures. It’s how we took our Christmas card photo last year!
7. Remote: This goes along with the tripod. We used the remote and tripod to get a family photo last year (Barkley wasn’t much help). You can also use it when you are in cramped spaces. When I was photographing our new blinds, I set the camera up in the corner so I could get the best angle then used the remote to take the shot. Helpful little thing for less than $20!
8. Lighting Kit: This is vital for indoor photography! I don’t know how many times I’ve chased sunlight around my house trying to take a picture. Most of the time when I get home from work it’s too dark to take photos and it’s hard to fit all projects in on the weekends. A light kit makes it possible to take great pictures any time of the day!
I still use my iPhone camera for a lot of my photos and get great results! I use the built-in features to adjust brightness, contrast, highlights, shadows, fade and a tiny bump on saturation. I never use the built-in filters.
What is your biggest struggle when it comes to photography? If you could change one about your photos what would it be?
I never thought to get a remote, that’s a great idea!
Great information! I keep putting off getting a remote, but I think I will order one today!
Kelsey Faubion says
Great post! I need to get that memory card for sure 🙂
Amber Oliver says
It’s seriously the coolest thing! Let me know what you think when you get it and if you need any help from your fav IT girl 😉
Emily, Our house now a home says
I have all of this but a remote for my camera, I need to get one of those!
April R @Uncookie Cutter says
This is such a great post and I really need to start taking better pictures for my blog. I am pinning and sending to my husband for Christmas ideas :).
I wish I could invest in a DSLR right now!! Having quality pictures on your blog is a must because people are such visual creatures.
I’ve never had a digital camera! I was still taking pictures on film until my house burned down four years ago taking the camera along with it. I’m very pleased with my iPhone pictures but I know I really should learn how to use a camera–it just all sounds so complicated.
Mama Carmody says
I had never heard of the Eyefi card. I need to get one of those. I’m always having to have my camera and my phone handy so I can get pictures on social media right away. It can be such a hassle. Thanks for the information.
Amy @Planning Playtime says
I have my husband’s hand me down awesome camera. Yes! Now I need to figure out how to use the tripod.