If you follow along with my adventures on Instagram, then you know that this past weekend I had the pleasure of heading over to Jess Keys of The Golden Girl’s apartment for a full day blogging photography workshop. I’ve been following Blair of The Fox and She and Jess’s blogs for a while and I was so excited to have the opportunity to learn from them! They also co-blog over on Blogging For Keeps which is an excellent resource for fashion and lifestyle bloggers.
Does anyone else struggle with photography? Photography has always been my weak spot as a blogger – I need (and want!) gorgeous, compelling images and I often find myself frustrated when I feel like the photography doesn’t match the quality of the written content on my blog. I am first and foremost a writer, but I’ve always loved composing photographs; I just lacked the technical know-how to get the look I was hoping to achieve. It was awesome to spend the day with a room full of dedicated bloggers and content creators who face the same obstacles I do when it comes to photography.
We talked about equipment and I confirmed my suspicion that I desperately need a 35mm lens (I’m also seriously eyeing this Canon 6D). I recently invested in a less expensive 50mm lens but since I don’t have a full frame camera, the fixed focal length makes it hard to capture everything I want in the frame. Woah, I sound like I actually know what I’m talking about! It’s crazy how much I learned in one day.
We talked about aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. I have been working on shooting completely in manual (a must for those blog-worthy blurred backgrounds!) and I definitely still have a lot of practicing to do before toggling between all three of these settings feels natural to me, but I’m working on it!
We played around with taking different types of shots from flatlays to portraits to street style and it was amazing to see how quickly my photos improved. It was also SO valuable to be able to just ask Blair or Jess why my photos weren’t as sharp as I wanted or why the light was off, etc. I wish I could bring them along on my next shoot! Jess’s fiancé even did a little lesson on how to help your mom/significant other/best friend/whoever takes your photos get the shots you want. This was especially helpful for my blog/marriage because I subject my poor husband to a lot of shooting and sometimes I’m a bit of a jerk when the photos don’t turn out the way I was hoping. (Sorry Matthew, I love you and thanks for putting up with being a blogger husband!)
At the end of the day, we turned to photo editing in Lightroom. If you’re a blogger, I think this is one of the most worthwhile investments. We went through all the various editing tools and I found my new editing best friend – the tone curve! This was also extremely helpful in defining my style as a blogger. I came to the realization that although I gravitate toward dreamy and airy images, I live in a city with colorful backdrops and I tend to incorporate bolder colors in my outfits. I’m still playing around with how I can work more contrast into my images while still maintaining the lightness that I love.
Photography is such a beautiful art form and I am finding so much joy and inspiration through this medium now that I have a better sense of what the heck I’m doing. Now that the technical principles have been illuminated, I feel so free to play and enjoy it! I’m so excited to see my images continue to improve and I’m feeling a renewed sense of confidence in growing this blog. If you’re serious about blogging and wondering whether it’s worth taking a class or doing a workshop, I highly recommend it!