May 30, 2018

How Do I Take My Photos Like a Pro?




It’s no longer a secret that I take my own photos whether they’re self-portrait taken sometimes using just my DSLR camera, tripod and timer. It took me years to have the guts and be in front of the camera, and all that was thanks to that course I took at Uni last year. Friends are always curious as how I take my photos and edit them, my answer is years of practice, because to be fairly honest I've taken photos the day I started blogging, throughout the years I've been experimenting and learning more of it, and I don't know maybe because I love photography so much, it's easier for me to learn faster, actually my thought is, if you really like something so much and you want to learn more of it, you'll learn super fast because you love that, you're eager to learn. 

Anyway, my photos are taken the majority of time at home, when no one is around, because I don't feel comfortable when getting my photo taken and also I think I’m just not ready yet to go outside and take my own photos, not that I care about if people stare at me or not, I ain't got no time to pay attention to it and that’s not the case either way but mostly I’m afraid to take all this equipment out with me and avoid not getting robbed, of course I would not go out on my own but with my family but that wouldn't be fun because they'd be like hurry up! are you done now? I can feel it, meanwhile unless I’m heading to a secret destination as vacations with them, I’ll wait for that day to take my own photos outside home. 

No more bla bla bla and let's get to the point, I’ll put all my cards over the table, and I’ll share my secrets and tips in case you want to do and try it as well whether they’re at home or outside, because why not?!

PLANNING + CREATIVE DIRECTION: This is something that happens so quickly and very spontaneously at the very last minute for me, but it’s good to know first what kind of mood/vibes you’re feeling at the moment, whether it’s all cozy, casual, etc. You have to bring your ideas to the moment, and keep in mind things like, lighting, equipment, angles, poses and more which I I‘ll explain later on, because whether you take your own photos or have them taken by someone else you have to know all of this so that, it will give you the results you want. 

When you are taking photos, especially if you take them on your own it can be quite a process and super tedious, so it’s good to have a plan and ideas all noted down or at least vision it with your mind/imagination, more like knowing exactly what you want and how you want it to be.

LIGHTNING: As I said before, the lightning is so important, especially if you don’t like using flash like me. A good time to shoot is always between sunrise and sunset time, but who am I to wake up too early to take a photo, it could be worth it when traveling, but not at home, just kind of lazy. When I shoot, I always do it during daylight in between 9am – 10am or somewhere between 3pm – 5pm, max 6pm which is still bright at that time and I can manage to get the shot, a good one. 

That means using natural lightning, so for that it’s good to have a window nearby, in my case; I use what’s the biggest slide door, kind of big window that leads to the balcony. Or if the sun is still out, I try to take them where I’m standing in the shadow, shadow pictures are always good, if you take them directly in the sun, you’ll be/look so bright that no filter will do the justice to make it look prettier, well at least in my case is just a waste of my time and my camera's battery. 

So my tip is wherever you guys are based/ live in, keep in mind when daylight is as its best and what time works better for you.

LOCATION – KNOW YOUR PLACE: This is key, for what you’re going to shoot and where, this time an outfit photo, mayhap? I keep in my mind always the lighting so because I have that big window I always shoot in one of the two corners whether it’s in this one where there are these flowers or this one that is for a proper outfit photo, although balcony is always a good idea. I don’t shoot in other areas of my place because they’re dark, natural lighting doesn’t get to those areas and using artificial lighting, aka turning on the lights, ruins everything and it makes my editing a complete nightmare. 

So, for this, know your place, where in those spaces lightning plays a big role and work with it, and keep in my mind how you want your photo to be like, having a wall as a backdrop, or part of a wall and some other details?!

Now, if you want to experiment a little bit more, try going outside, wander around your neighborhood and look for the perfect spot, as this will be a complement for your outfit/photo yet again keep in mind the daylight and look for the shadow ALWAYS!

SET THE MOOD: By this I mean, if you have a vision/idea of your photo, ask yourself what do you need to recreate that?  Is it a chair, wall as a backdrop, food or something else?

UNDERSTAND YOUR EQUIPMENT: I take my photos using the manual settings, so for me it’s good to set everything prior the shoot. I take sample photos in order to see whether I have to adjust either the ISO, aperture, and to see how the lighting is at the moment, if my photo turns out too bright or too dark, just some important details to keep in mind beforehand. I use my tripod and place my camera, whether that’s horizontal or portrait mode but most of them are actually taken in portrait mode, to keep it steady.  I then proceed to take the photos using self-timer, and this means going back and forth and checking if the camera is not out of focus because then I’ll get blurry photos, and if I get tired? Yes, I do, but it’s all worth it at the end. 

But if you have a remote, it’s much better; because you can even hide it between one take and another, and also make sure you have your camera’s batteries charged. Also, there are apps that can connect  your camera to your phone and that will make things easier for you, because you're in total control of them, just using your device.

If you're more advanced in photography, try shooting in RAW, that way you'll be more in control when editing your own photos, and they'll look much better than if taken as JPEG.


ANGLES: This is so important when taking a photo, especially if it’s outfit photos. In my case it’s all about changing position of tripod and camera as well, whether far or near, zooming in or out the lens if I want my entire body to show or just half of it or a close up for details.

But if you have someone to do this job for you, then it’s all good. If you have in your mind what kind of photo you want to achieve, tell that person whether is your mom, brother/sister, BFF, etc, to pose for you so that you can take a sample photo of how you want the shoot to turn out and it’ll be a lot easier. It’s all about angles. Whether that’s them standing up in a tool, or just standing up, or maybe kneeling on the floor literally to almost sitting up on it to get the shoot, if they try those, your photos will look differently, those are some tips and tricks, to look taller, make your legs longer, etc and not just a plain photo of you standing up awkwardly. 

PERFECT YOUR POSE & KEEP IT ALL NATURAL: One thing I learned is that when I took these photos in my bedroom, I was actually looking at the mirror, to perfect my pose, if I wanted to lean my head a little bit, etc; and that was because my camera doesn’t have a flip on screen, so that has been working for me. My tip is to have one mirror placed on the back of the camera so you can understand your own body language and know what works and what doesn’t for you.

Also, if you don’t feel like looking directly to the camera, you can look down to the floor, close your eyes (depending on the pose) just try to be and keep it all natural, that way you’ll get an amazing shot and will make you feel comfortable in front of the camera if you're shy like me, which now, you can tell I'm not any longer. Haha!

TAKE A LOT OF PHOTOS: When I take my photos they’re usually between 10 to 50 photos, no more than that, because they turn out super nice, sometimes I get the shot instantly and other times I have to keep on trying to get it. But it’s good to take as many as you can even if only one or five make it at the end, so you have a lot of options, and make sure to always be checking if you got the photo and if they’re focused; because you'll probably be so in the moment and once when you're done, you'll get this surprise and we don't want that! 

ATTITUDE: For me this is key, when I shoot I’m always energetic, I have all the attitude to do it, I’m at my 100% and I feel it. I know it’s hard to do the job all on my own but you guys, it’s worth it, I always get impressed at how good my photos turn out, for the ones that have followed me for so long and know me, photography is my passion and seeing and doing these little things makes me get out of my comfort zone and come out of my shell, and I can’t believe it took me YEARS, to start posting outfit photos every once in a while and sharing photos of me but, this is my therapy, this is what I love doing the most and I simply want to share it with you all. 

BE PATIENCE: And with the attitude, comes the patience, it’s not so easy to take your own photos, so besides of having the attitude, be patient, don’t rush and do not stress, slowly but surely you’ll get there at some point as well. Just enjoy it and have lots fun. 

EDITING PROCESS: After all this work, you need to edit your photos. Yes, you should! So, get yourself a professional software to edit your photos, look for as many tutorials as you can to help you get started. If you can't afford that, it's alright my friend, there's also plenty of free website where you can edit your photos and make it look better, that makes you edit the basics, you know, exposure, saturation, contrast. I rely so much on PhotoScape, I've used that one for years and I still do. 

Like I've said a thousand of times, I don't do that much of editing to my photos, it's all about the light and my camera settings and I just simply play around with exposure, saturation & contrast.  



I was wearing: shirt and skirt from Stradivarius

That’s a wrap for this post! I hope you guys loved this and find it super helpful, I’ll try my best to keep on posting more often but if not, you can still find me on Instagram. Comment down below who takes your photos and is there any other tips you want to swap and share with me that I 've missed? I would love to read what you guys have to say! Until next time! xx

46 comments:

  1. Love your editing! Super cute and minimal

    xxAmanda
    http://www.poiseinwings.com/

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    1. Thank you SO much Amanda! Have a lovely day! ♥ xo

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  2. WOW! That's a lot of tips you follow and do to get these amazing photos?! Hats off to you, they just keep on getting better and better. It's good to see how much not only your photography has improved but your self-confidence by making an appereance every now and then! These are the loveliest photos Melissa, and you're really beautiful, love the editing as well! Thank you for sharing your tips, and please keep on posting more often, if not it's alright! Have a lovely day! xx

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    1. Thank you SO much Camille! Haha, yes! Behind every photo there it goes this process minuciously, I didn't know I went through it until I finished writing this post! I know, right! It has really helped me a lot and I simply wanna continue on taking more and more photos! I have some upcoming posts scheduled that will be up soon so, stay tuned! ♥ xo

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  3. I LOVED IT! A very helpful post indeed! I think you covered every single aspect of it! Also, your photos just keep on getting better, and these portraits are the most beautiful ones I've ever seen, you so pretty and the outfit is so cute, it seems like you don't have a certain style defined (for what I can see of your recent posts) but whatever you decide to wear ends up being so simple and minimal and I love that! Less is more! ♥ x

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    1. Thank you SO much Tuğba! I really appreciate your kind words, it meas a lot to me! Yes, you're right. I sometimes am thinking about it too, but when I get all dressed up everything seems to be super simple, but hey, simplicity is the key and less is more, both are my go-to motto! Nothing wrong with it, right?! ♥ xx

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  4. Love this post so much! It has many amazing tips. Your photos come out very nicely. :)

    http://www.lifeofardor.com

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    1. Thank you SO much Yana! It makes me so happy to know that, I really appreciate it! I poured my soul into this post to share every detail and tip that goes behind my photos so that it could be helpful! Have a lovely day! ♥ xo

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  5. What a lovely photos and outfit, you look so stunning! I loved loved loved this post so much, those are some great tips indeed and you're a pro already at taking these photos because they turn out amazing, who needs a photographer? not you! haha! Good to see how much it has improved over the years! Keep up the good job always babe! :)

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    1. Thank you SO much Mikayla! Not sure if I would call myself a pro already but there's still so much I need and have to learn. Haha! Well yeah; probably not me! Thanks once again! ♥ xo

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  6. I love your photos, honestly. Thanks for the tips!

    T H E Ä S T R O N
    InstagramTwitter

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    1. Thank you SO much dear! Have a lovely day! ♥ xo

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  7. These photos, editing, outfit and even you, are so beautiful, Melissa! What an amazing post and tips but honestly I don't think I could ever be able to take photos like you do and you know, sometimes it's not the equipment but the person himself! You've come a long way so far and more to go and let's say I'm proud of it, your photos and writing never cease to amaze me! Keep it up girl! ♥

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    1. Thank you SO much Maria Paula! But with time comes practice, you can do it aswell. That's actually true and I completely agree and it all depends on how the person actually manipulates the camera and also, what kind of photo they take, how they do it, etc! Thank you for your continued support, it means a lot to me! Have a lovely day! ♥ xo

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  8. Great advice on how to get the perfect shot! https://mariannyc.com/2018/05/31/june-goals/

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    1. Thank you so much dear! Have a lovely day! ♥ xo

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  9. Lovely tips dear. You really know your way with the camera. I absolutely love your photos.

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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    1. Thank you SO much Jessica! Well, it's been years of practice, somehow due to Uni I left aside this hobby and this time last year I got back at it and started doing self-portraits. I still have a lot way more to learn though! :) ♥ xo

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  10. I love that you listed 'Be Patient' as a tip - sooo true, and so often overlooked. Impatience is my biggest hurdle to work through when it comes to my creative process. I too often give up on projects early or get frustrated with the progress (often too slow for my liking), because I can't foster enough patience haha. But its definitely worthwhile to master it as a skill. Thanks for sharing these tips, it was a really cute read <3

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    1. Thank you SO much dear! I'm more than happy to see you've enjoyed this! I know what you mean, and sometimes being just impatient, it leads us to stress somehow. While I was at University I found out this and little by little I've learned to be more patient. Hope this now helps you to master it, believe me it'll take time but it'll be all worth it at the end! All the best! ♥ xo

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  11. Thank you for the great tips, will bear these in mind next time I am shooting!
    Have a lovely weekend :)
    Rosanna x
    Rose's Rooftop

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    1. Thank you so much Rossana! I'm glad I've helped! You aswell have a lovely and happy weekend! ♥ xo

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  12. These are good tips. Location, and lightning is key for sure for taking good photos.
    http://sugarcoatedbears.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you SO much Courtney! I completely agree one hundred percent! ♥ xo

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  13. Good tips! Photography can be so tough.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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    1. Thank you SO much Amy! Yes, it can be tough and tricky at the same time, but you're the one who controls the camera and not the other way around! ;) ♥ xo

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  14. I agree with everything you said. Lighting is so important. Location is another great factor. I also think that taking a lot of photographs can help us relax because it eases off the stress.

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    1. Thank you Ivana! That's so true what you just mentioned. It really helps, I've loved taking photos lately that I simply can not stop now. It's something I never thought I would do, well, I wanted to but didn't have the guts until now! It's so much fun and I definitely enjoy it! Not stress at all! ♥ xo

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  15. Some great tips here! I do the same I take photos of myself using my tripod and camera as most of my friends don't have time to take photos of me out and about.

    Kay xx
    www.mummywho.com

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    1. Thank you so much Kay! Yes, that's another aspect, their time but it's fine, you still can do the job all by yourself, although it's good to have a hand of help every once in a while but it's alright and we understand it, right?! :) ♥ xo

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  16. You've listed some fabulous tips babe! It's amazing how you take all of your own photos - very impressive! I'm a huge fan of the editing process, you can have so, so much fun playing about with the lighting :)

    aglassofice.com x

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    1. Thank you SO much babe! I know right, same thing here. Lately, I've been watching as many tutorials as possible so that I can keep on learning even though I'm not that into retouching that much my photos, but I have loads of fun experimenting! :) ♥ xo

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  17. It's always interesting to hear/ see what techniques other people use to take their photos!! Great post girly!

    xo,


    H

    http://firsttimethings.com/

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    1. Thank you SO much sweetie! I really wanted to share it because I found appropriate as some people always ask me how I do it! ♥ xo

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  18. Great tips here, and they work really well, you have amazing photos :D
    with love,
    xx

    Patricia & Miguel
    www.freeoversea.com

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    1. Thank you SO much guys! That means a lot to me! ♥ xo

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  19. I think that it is so impressive that you take your own photos. Thank you for all these amazing tips. I need to starting using some of them so that my pictures can be as beautiful as yours!

    http://whatmakesmesmileblog.com/

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    1. Aww, thank you SO much love! I've been doing that for some time now and I love it so far. I really hope all my tips will help you get better photos! ♥ xo

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  20. Amazing pics!

    http://www.iameleine.com/

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  21. Thanks for sharing your tips! I absoultely love the photos! :)

    Shoot for the stars | ☆ ☆ ☆ | Facebook page | ☆ ☆ ☆ | Instagram

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Thank you so much for all of your lovely thoughts, they're kindly appreciated. I read and even try my best to reply them all! ♡