Behind the scenes: how I approach photography


Like it or loathe it, photography has become a big part of blogging.  The majority of the blogs I follow have beautiful, high quality photographs which often border on editorial level.  I'm nowhere near that point, but I do feel like I've upped by game recently in the photography stakes, and seeing the way other blogs set up photos has pushed me to strive to improve.

So let's start with the basics.  The camera I use is the Nikon D3100.  I chose this camera a couple of years ago because Essie used it, and it does everything I need it to do for the time being.  It came with a standard 18-55mm lens which I use most of the time, and I've also got the 50mm lens which I use on occasion.  The only thing stopping me from using it more is the fact that it doesn't auto focus so it can be frustrating to take a batch of photos only to discover when they're enlarged on the computer that they weren't in focus.  For the occasional candid lifestyle post I'll use my Fujifilm Finepix JZ camera - it does the job but the photos aren't great.

The set up of photos is something I'm constantly working on.  I have a softbox on hand for when the light isn't so great and I keep the rule of thirds in mind when taking photos. I prefer a crisp white background at the moment, so a couple of bathroom tiles have come in handy, but in the past I've used wrapping paper or a painted crate to add to create an interesting backdrop.  And props!  Never underestimate the pleasing aesthetic effect a 'casually' opened magazine can have. 

And now on to editing.  I'll keep this brief because I'm pretty much clueless!  I favour picasa for easy editing and resizing, and occasionally use picmonkey when I'm feeling fancy and want to mess around with the curves.  And no, I have no idea what that actually means...

For social media photos, such as instagram or twitter, it's 97% certain I'll have used my iPhone 5.  It takes decent enough photos, but I love using different apps to improve the quality further.  Instagram is a given, but I use a couple of other apps pre-instagram to up my photo game.  Photoshop Express is great for straightening things up, removing noise and adding filters but my absolute favourite for the moment is LandcamSquareSize is another good one for adjusting photos so that they fit into instagram's standard square, while Diptic lets you create collages with multiple images and Picfx is great for adding in bokeh effects.  I promise I'm not sponsored by any of these apps....but use a combination of them and you'll get some fantastic quality images!

And that's my tuppence-worth!  Hopefully I've shared some useful tips with you....if you have any suggestions for me, please do leave them down below!


  1. I love PicMonkey. I use it to edit most of my photos. So handy.
    Great Post
    x tink x //

  2. I think you're spot-on about the lighting. I take most of my photos outside at the moment because the lighting in my house is so bad. I'm moving soon though and the new flat is lovely and light and airy. I love to fiddle around with the set-up of photos, and then fiddle some more in post-production. The combination of writing and photography that comes with blogging is my absolute favourite, which is why I am certain that I want this to be my career one day!

    Owl Girl | A London lifestyle blog

  3. I love this post - im forever trying to improve the quality of my photos so i find posts like this so helpful.

    Can i ask what softbox you use? The lighting in my house is terrible and i want to look into buying some lighting
    Natalie xx

  4. Really not looking forward to the darker evenings, A softbox may need to be purchased!

    ​Leanne @ Leanne-Marie ​ x​​x

  5. Oh gosh, you're so organised and considered when it comes to taking photographs - I think I need to put a little more thought into mine! xx

  6. Another great iphone editing app I love and use on almost all pics is Afterlight. See if you like it!

    It's always a juggle though, just when you think you have the hang of something some new and improved app or program comes out that everyone is raving about.

  7. I absolutely love photographing things for my blog. I'm like you in that I use iPhone 5 for Twitter/Instagram but a more professional camera for blogger. I'd definitely recommend VSCO Cam App for photo filters on iPhone!

  8. I've never had much confidence at photography - which is why I decided to get blogging! This was a great post, thank you

  9. Great post :) I found you though Twitter. Your blog is beautiful - new follower

  10. Love this! I've been trying to improve my photos recently and am finding it hard. I see photos on other blogs that I like and think "I can do that!" but it never ends up the same... I think I need to just keep trying and eventually I'll get the hang of it!

    Ivory Avenue


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