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5 Ways to Take Stunning Photos

I fell hopelessly in love with photography when I started blogging in 2012. I knew I had to make Fashion and Style Police stand out, and I knew one way to stand out was to take stunning photos. Photos are usually the first thing blog readers notice, so I knew I had to brush my photography skills up.

 

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I have come a long way from the girl with the Fujifilm point and shoot camera to where I am today. I am not quite where I want to be as far as my blog photos are concerned but I am gradually getting to that sweet spot. It has taken a lot of practice, many trials and errors, many props and lighting and many cameras to get to where I am now in 2017. So I thought to share some tips and tricks I picked up along the way. And some photography tools that help create these photos.

 

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Camera

I currently use a Canon EOS 1200D, and it is the best camera I have ever used. It is my first Canon, and first DSLR. I got an extra 50mm lens to go with it, and together we are magical. I really couldn’t ask for a better camera.

The camera plays a major role in how the photos look in the end, so pay attention when selecting one. I would strongly recommend a Canon DSLR above all others because my experience with mine has been amazing. The fact that I can take stunning photos regardless of the time of the day with no flash, says it all.

Pro Tip: Go for a DSLR and get a 50mm Lens.

 

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Lightning

I recently got these 2 Continuous Lighting Kit 50 x70cm Softbox Photo Studio Set Light Bulbs Lamp 500K from Amazon, and it has literally changed my photography game. I can take photos any time in the day, even at night, which is amazing especially for this winter season with darkness starting at 3pm sometimes.

They brighten my photos leaving room for little or no editing. They are a must-have photography tool for every blogger.

Pro Tip: Get a Lightning Kit.

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Natural Lighting

Natural lighting is the best if you have enough of it. I get all my outfit photos taken outside, I think they would appear best with natural lighting.

Pro Tip: Take as many photos as you can take in the natural light especially the outfit photos.

 

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Location/Props

The right location/props could make the photos very beautiful. I am not as adventurous as I should be with my outfit photos. I just take my photos when and where is convenient. I am hoping to step it up a little this year, and go fishing for amazing locations around me.

As for my photo props, I have a few wall paper samples I go from B&Q, and a white fluffy rug from IKEA that does the trick. I also make use of magazine pages, worktops, regular tables, and the couch sometimes. It all depends on what I am photographing and where I am.

Pro Tip: Pay attention to the location and props you use.

 

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Editing

For my photo editing, I make use of Lightroom and Photoshop. I do minimal editing, so I may play around with the exposure, contrast, vibrance and saturation of the photo on Lightroom. I usually just crop and save on Photoshop. I am currently taking an online Lightroom course too. I am learning so much and I am enjoying it.

Pro Tip: The more amazing the photos are, the less editing you have to do. Pay attention to the photographing.

 

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Do you have any photography tips or tricks to share?

 

 

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5 Gadgets Every Blogger Needs

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Blogging is one of the cheapest businesses to set off. You don’t need much really; a domain and a minimal theme and you are good to go. But there are some gadgets you would be needing if you plan on taking your blog to another level. You won’t need to spend a lot of money because you may already a few of these gadgets already.

Here are the top 5 gadgets every blogger may need:

Laptop/iPad

Having a laptop and iPad is essential to blogging for me. I do most of my blogging work on my laptop, but I use my iPad a lot when I am on the move or when I am too lazy to go on my laptop. Because I take my Laptop and iPad everywhere I go, so I can work, I like to have it protected. I use a cool custom-made skin made by the lovely people at CaseApp, and I will be telling you guys all about the fab skin in the next few days. I will also be giving away a discount code, so lookout for that post.

Back to the gadgets, I have always had a laptop and iPad so I didn’t buy them specially for blogging, but now that I blog and work from home fulltime, they have become even more useful. I would be lost without them and it would be very hard to blog without having at least 1 of them.

 

Camera

I had a point and shoot Fujifilm camera before I started blogging. So it automatically became my first blogging camera. I used it for a few months before upgrading to another Fujifilm point and shoot camera, which was a better model. I finally got a Canon DSLR about a year ago, and it is the best. I would strongly advise any blogger especially Fashion and Beauty Bloggers, to go for a DSLR straight away. The difference in the quality of pictures is gobsmaking, trust me.

 

Memory Card

If you take a lot of photos like I do, then you will be needing a memory card with a huge storage. It is better to have just 1 big memory card, than to have 3/4 memory cards with tiny storage.

 

iPhone

I finally joined the iPhone family this year, since I decided I have had enough of having a Blackberry and that was a fab decision for my blogging career. Having an iPhone means I can update my Instagram a lot quicker and it means I can take better photos on my phone. The quality of the camera on my iPhone 6s is unreal. I think it is the best mobile phone camera I have ever had. I know it sounds vain but I can take more discreet photos of my meals or anything I choose to photograph, when I am out and about.

 

Tripod, Selfie Stick & Photo Props

I blogged successfully for over 3 years without a Tripod but having one has made my life a lot easier. It is so easy to take a photo when I am alone now.

I have just bought myself a Selfie Stick and I think it is definitely another gadget worth having as a blogger.

Photo props are essentials for me because I like to make my photos pretty as much as I can. I got a mini white fluffy carpet from IKEA some months ago and I have found it very useful so far. I also have a few wall papers and tiles I use as photo props. I got them free as samples at Wilkinson and B&Q, so it is worth checking your local home stores to see what you can get.

 

What gadgets can you not live without as a blogger?

Celebrate Your You-niqueness

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Most bloggers complain about how the blogosphere is such a saturated industry, and how difficult it is stand out or get noticed. Some bloggers wonder how they would ever get noticed with new blogs popping up every minute, with new bloggers thinking they could be the next Zoella. I kind of understand where this ideology is coming from. I mean, all you need to do is to go through the #prrequest, #bloggerswanted or #bloggersrequired (I use these hashtags too) on Twitter to understand this point of view. The blogging world is a lot noisier now than when I set up Fashion and Style Police, three years ago.

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Call me crazy, but I don’t see other bloggers as competitors, I see them as colleagues, and I don’t see any other blog worthy of me copying. I believe every blogger has something new to offer, a story to tell. We all go through life and have different experiences which influence our blogs, and that is our you-niqueness. It could be through how we style our outfits, our writing voice, our photographs, what we photograph, the critical eye we use in reviewing products or anything, every blogger is unique and every blog has the opportunity to shine.

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The problem really is bloggers not setting up blogs to stand out, not bothering or wanting to offer their readers something different. They want to go down the ‘safe route’, which they believe is guaranteed success, so they publish tried and tested posts like ‘this month’s empties’, ‘outfit of the day’, ‘product review’ and so on. They go for blog content that they believe is guaranteed to get them noticed. There is nothing wrong with this post ideas (I feature some of them), or getting inspiration from other blogs or magazines (we all do that), the issue is bloggers taking inspiration a little too far by copying other blogs, and not bothering to put their own spin on their posts.

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The issue is bloggers not being confident enough to celebrate their voice, they feel they have to write what everyone else is writing, wear what every top blogger is wearing, but the question is how do you stand out when you follow the pack? How do you make a name for yourself when you have nothing that sets you apart.

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You copy other bloggers’ poses, writing style, tweets, outfits and you want to get noticed?

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Everyone else is taken so I rather do ME. I celebrate my blog and all it represents, and I make sure I keep it a 100 every time I hit publish. I am not afraid to stand out. All the pictures in the post are from my early days of blogging in 2012 with my good old point and shoot Fujifilm camera, and my style being all over the place. My pictures are a lot better now with a Canon DSLR, and I have twerked my style as well, but sometimes I like to look back to where I started, so I can appreciate where I am, and keep my eye on where I want to be, and just ignore the noise.

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Fashion and Style Police will be 3 in few weeks and I will be featuring a big giveaway soon so keep your eye out for that. In the meantime, enter my current competitions here and here, if you havn’t already.

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Do you struggle to blog the way you want? Do you struggle to stand out from the noisy blogging pack? Drop me a comment, let’s chat.

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