Over the past few years, I have grown to love taking blog photos. I have grown a ton with my blog photography with my dad by my side. We shoot and edit all my pictures for The Happy Arkansan in-house. I edit my photos, and my dad helps me take them. Today I wanted to shed some light on my process so you can take amazing pictures too. If you want, one day I may update this with videos of me editing blog photos, but for now, I'll stick with some outfit shots throughout.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase items using my links, I may get a commission from your purchase.
Related Reading: Why I Wish I Took More Photos In College
Start With Stellar Equipment
First and foremost, we have some pretty good camera equipment. If you take your blog pictures with a potato, you are going to get potato quality. I know a lot of people who take their blog photos with an iPhone, and I think that it can work. I take some pictures with my iPhone, and I think that trend will continue now that I have an XS Max. It's all about what you want. If you want high-quality images, though, I encourage you to invest in some real equipment or a photographer who does.
I don't take my pictures with the latest Canon camera, but the one I have works just fine. I also have a T5i, but my dad is more comfortable just using the T5. This camera has just enough bells and whistles. We honestly still haven't cracked it just yet. I love this kit you can get on Amazon for around $400 that includes the body, an 18-55mm lens, and a 75-300mm lens.
I don't know if you need to get a 256 GB SD card. I wanted something that could store a TON of images. I didn't want to have to delete pictures off my card all the time. I got this card because it can seriously go for miles. I can still take thousands of images on this without ever hitting storage full. Again, it's about what you want. I do love the PNY elite performance cards, and there are other, cheaper options if you click the link above.
Shirt: Bando (This product is on final sale right now and extra cheap!)
Blazer: In Every Story via Gwynnie Bee
Ladybug On My Skirt: Nature
Do My Makeup And Get Dressed
You can do whatever you want with your face. Every blue moon I decide to skip on the makeup. I feel like wearing makeup it's almost destiny during the winter because I am paler than usual. I am going to talk about some of my favorite ELF products soon that I've been using on my face nonstop. Besides ELF Cosmetics, I also use some Too Faced products sometimes too because I bought some palettes and highlights and such from them recently. I didn't do anything fancy for today's shoot though.
Lately, I've been trying the Gwynnie Bee service out again. It's been helping me stay extra stylish. I got this adorable blazer from Gwynnie Bee. I will be doing a full review of the service in the next month or so. Look out for that!
I'm not a traditional fashion blogger. I don't usually give a ton of styling advice on the blog. I like taking pictures and sharing that with y'all. Most of my photos are taken from the standpoint of sharing a review of a product or using those pictures to tell a larger story. I do take my appearance into major consideration when preparing for a photoshoot though.
Scout An Excellent Photoshoot Location
After I am dressed and we get in the car, we usually try to scout a cute photoshoot location. I've written about this on the blog before (I'm going to link that post as related reading.) Lately, we've been shooting in front of churches. There are a ton of churches in our town with amazing architecture. One of my biggest tips is to just shoot at places with a lot of character and various “locations.” My dad is a master of framing photos. If we pick the right location he can sometimes make one spot look like 3-5 different places. Framing is everything in blog photo shoots. Find ways to play with your space and cut it up to bring some liveliness to your photos.
Related Reading: How To Scout Photo Locations As A Blogger (Even In A Small Town)
Take All The Photos
On a typical shoot, we take between 50-100 photos. Some shoots require more; some require less. If I am asking for product shots without me in the picture, we usually take around 30-50 images. Styling products is a lot easier than styling a human being after all. I encourage you to take more photos than you think you'll need. You may not use them all, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
Preview During To Make Sure We've Got Some Stuff I Can Use
I know that you may not be able to do this, but I usually preview my images when we are close to wrapping up a shoot. Pictures will look somewhat different when they are loaded into a computer versus on the camera, but I still like to preview them. I can usually tell if a photo will look pretty off camera. My dad has a mind of his own, so if I am looking for a particular shot, I will ask him to shoot what I am looking for if he didn't already capture it.
Upload My Pictures And Organize Them On My Desktop
After we get back home from the shoot, it's time to upload my images and organize them. On my desktop, I usually have a folder for the month.
Inside that folder, I make subfolders for every photo shoot that month. I usually give it a name that reminds me of the photo shoot like who it was for or what I was wearing.
Lastly, inside the subfolder for the shoot, I have a folder called “Edited” where I place all the pictures once they are edited in Lightroom.
Open Everything In Lightroom And Start Editing
Next, it's time to open up Lightroom. I have the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan which is only $10 a month and gives me access to Photoshop and Lightroom. If you were unsure of the price of Lightroom, I highly suggest you get that plan for yourself. It's an investment, but it's not that expensive. I used to be a hardcore PicMonkey person. I'd edit all my photos there. I recently switched to Lightroom because I realized it wasn't that hard to learn. I am still a work in progress as there is a ton I don't know about the program, but there is never a shortage of tutorials to pick up any skills I lack.
Remove Imperfections And Stains
I'm super messy, and I somehow manage to get makeup on every light shirt I own. I will often go in an edit out stains and just any random things I see (like a ladybug that was on my skirt.) I use Lightroom's clone tool to do this. The clone tool literally just takes a piece from something nearby in the photo and places it on top of whatever is wrong. So, you might clone a part of your shirt that's clean and put it on top of your stain. You have to be careful to make sure that the tones match if at all possible. This tool is so easy to use, though.
I've played around with many presets, but most don't work well on my skin tone. I have to be careful with the ones I use so I don't become orange or just unnatural looking. I love using The Blogger Collection Lightroom presets. I bought them on CreativeMarket, but I couldn't find them there anymore, so I linked them on the CreativePresets site instead.
If I am not feeling any particular preset, I will often play around with the settings until I find something I like. Once I've found a setting I love, I usually copy the settings using the keyboard shortcut for copy. Then it's as easy as pasting the settings (using the keyboard shortcut for paste) onto every image I want to edit. I obviously adjust it a little if the pasted settings don't work well for the current image.
Reduce My Image Size With Bulk Resize Photos
File size is everything when it comes to your site speed. I used to use a reducing plugin on WordPress, but I recently found out about Bulk Resize Photos thanks to Lauren from Daily Dose Of Charm and her blog post about how she edits her photos.
It's such a great tool, y'all. It seriously reduced my huge AF files into like less than a quarter of their original size and the images still look great. Plus, I don't know how they do it, but you don't actually upload your photos at all. Somehow they are able to resize images without needing you to upload them so it takes them like a minute to resize all your images. If you are looking for a way to reduce file size, I encourage you to check it out. Also, check out Lauren's post because she has some great tips on how to edit there.
Upload My Photos To The Happy Arkansan
After all is said and done, it's time to upload photos to The Happy Arkansan, use them for Instagram, or whatever else I decide to do with them. Yay!
I hope you liked this peek into what I do to edit my photos. I've become much better at editing, and my dad has helped me so much with taking pictures. I hope this article gave you some tips on how to edit your blog photos.