Monday, 22 August 2011

How To: Photography.

I get asked a lot about what camera I use to take my blog photos, I actually have two which I use for a number of reasons. If I'm at my flat in Leeds, I'll use my DSLR camera which is a Nikon D40, I got it almost two years ago and it's a great "entry level" SLR camera. Eventually I'd like to step it up a gear and get a Canon, but at the moment it works great and I see it as a really good "starter" DSLR as it can be hard to get into the settings etc. I was taught basic photography at university, although I studied Forensic Science, photography is pretty crucial (you'll know this if you've ever watched anything involving a crime scene).
This camera, the Nikon D40, is actually discontinued but the D50 is the next one up in the range.

If I'm travelling or going to festivals, gigs etc. I tend to take my bridge camera, bridge cameras are those that are in between a typical digital camera and a DSLR. I have a Nikon Coolpix P5100 which is great, and produces good quality pictures which are a step down from a DSLR camera.
Do you need a fancy camera to produce outfit photos? Probably not, but it does help. If you're happy with that you work with, then fine. If you feel the need to upgrade, choose one which is a good "entry level" camera that will be easy to get to grips with.

For taking outfit pictures, I use a tripod. I bought a cheap one from Amazon which is really great and lightweight (not because I take it anywhere, but because I move house a lot). It cost about £10 and is a good height and easy to use and pack away. This one is pretty similar, if not the same, as what I have but make sure you purchase one that works with your camera. It should say in the description.
I personally don't use a remote control for my camera, I've never needed one and I like the way I do my outfit posts so it's never entered my mind to buy one. Some people prefer to use them, but I just get in place, reach forward and focus my camera and then shoot whilst on a 10 second self-timer.
I think if I was to start taking my outfit pictures full length, then I would need a remote for my camera, but at the moment I'm fine with my "set up".

When I was looking for a new flat, I made sure to find one with a blank wall to take outfit photos (sad, I know). I adjust the lighting using my blinds and/or light and sometimes edit the brightness/contrast and/or levels in Photoshop afterwards if the colours don't look right.
Sometimes for portrait style photos or other non-outfit photos I'll edit the settings in Photoshop to make it stand out. Like most people, I use Photoshop Actions for this, usually ones I've made myself but you can get heaps online for download.

I'm not a professional photographer, I haven't had massive amounts of training and I'm still learning myself. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you'll know that my first attempts at outfit posts weren't spectacular and they still aren't perfect. These things come with practice, it sometimes takes me 50 attempts to get a few outfit photos so it really is trial and error!


  1. great tips thank you :) x

  2. I have the nikon P5100 too, I love it but I think that its gonna die on me soon :( The shutter doesn't close and sometimes it takes its time when I turn it on/off. I've had it for about 3/4 years now, how long have you had yours?
    Rachelle xxx

  3. This has really been useful, thanks! I've been trying hard in getting to grips with using a point and shoot for my previous posts, but I never really been satisfied. Who knows? I might just go out and get a dslr in the near future - it sure makes a whole lot of difference! (:

  4. I would say that being familiar with editing software helps taking pictures too! Sometimes you just can't point and click and come away with something perfect... "enhanced post production" as they say haha.

    My DSLR is a Panasonic Lumix and it's hefty! I want to get a bridge camera to tote around with me but then if I did I don't know when I'd use the biggun!

  5. I've been after a new camera for a while and this post was very helpful :) xx

  6. This was a great help! I'm hoping to purchase a DSLR soon! :)

  7. This is a really good post. I use my bridge camera, a Panasonic FZ40, which is a brilliant camera and takes great photos. I have a Canon SLR but I find my bridge camera much easier to use and play around with the manual function more easily. The only thing I haven't quite got the hang of is taking the photos on the tripod; I can never be bothered to unpack it and get it set up, I usually get my boyfriend to take photos instead!

  8. This was really helpful, thanks! x

  9. I so badly want a Nikon camera!!

    Eda ♥

  10. i really want to start doing outfit posts but i can't find the right set up - might have to look into getting a tripod and finding a blank wall in my house for shooting them! :)

    maddie xx

  11. Love this post. Was just asking on Twitter the other day if anyone has written a post like this. I desperately need a new tripod - but want a tall one! x

  12. Sounds like a good idea. Why not a professional approach to party memories. I like this one and it is way better than the conventional random shots are parties.