When you do something every single day without fail it becomes so normal and natural that you don't give it a second thought. And that's exactly what taking photographs for my blog and Instagram has become to me, it's a completely normal part of my life and I don't really think about it in much detail. Which made me think that I should write this post not only in the hopes that it might be of interest to some of you but also for myself too to break down my system a little more and see where I could make some [positive] changes.
Ever since I started taking pictures properly which is now over 10 years ago. Something I've always tried to be really conscious of is what I take inspiration from and I try to take it from everything in life rather than just trying to seek it out from one source. I've always found that when I've got into one style of photography that I evolve my aesthetic too much in that direction and mirror it. Which I think is something that happens to everybody at some point whether we realise it or not and it can often be without that intention but it can never feel nice for the person that you're unintentionally ripping off. So this is why I try and vary where my main sources of inspiration come from as then I'm never consuming too much of one thing which I never think works out well for anyone. Of course, there are the typical places like Instagram, Pinterest and blogs that inspire me on a daily basis. But then there are other sources of inspiration that I pull from like magazines, books [yes, things without images can inspire imagery] and then films and tv. Also, everyday life is something that can inspire me too. There is a lot of emphasis on seeking out inspiration from dedicated sources but more often than not just going about your everyday life is what inspires me the most. Here are a few content creators that never fail to inspire me;
This section could be thousands and thousands of words if I wanted it to be as there is a tonne of prep work that goes into my photographs. Which is funny really as I want them to look as effortless and natural as possible. And it totally depends on what I'm shooting so I think I might just narrow this down to beauty images as otherwise, it might get a little too long. Before I even think about picking up my camera to photograph something I'll have always planned the post and every thing I want in the image before hand as well as a general idea of what I would like the images to look like. Sometimes I can leave things up to whatever strikes my fancy at the time. But when posting nearly daily there does have to be a certain level of organisation involved otherwise it would be a little chaotic. Preparing things might seem pretty dull but it allows me to photograph seamlessly as then I don't have to spend extra time faffing around finding the items that I want in the image as well as having props to hand too. As well as general prep something else that I do is look through the beauty archive section of my blog to make sure that what I'm going to be shooting isn't too similar to anything I've shot before. Obviously, this is within reason as there is so much you can do when you're a one woman business.
TAKING THE PICTURE & KIT
Once all the prep work is done this is when I move onto taking the images and I've actually written all about the photography tech I use on a daily basis [here]. But just to give you a quick run down here... I always use my Canon 700d when it comes to my blog with a 40mm lens, I used to be loyal to the 50mm but after 8 months of solidly shooting on a 40mm, I have to say I much prefer it. Having that little bit of width makes it so much easier when it comes to flatlays. When it comes to my Instagram I would say it's a mixture between my iPhone 7+ and then images from my DSLR too. Personally, I think it's important to keep it a mix even though I don't think it's bad at all if everything is shot on an SLR as some photographers use it as a portfolio. I just like to keep a mix as when something has been shot on my iPhone then it keeps the instant element of the platform alive for me. As well as what I shoot on I thought I'd share my general time scales of how long I spend on a typical set of images for my blog. When it comes to beauty it could be anything from 15 minutes to an hour and a half, there really is no telling how long I can spend shooting anything. I usually find that I have to get a few shots in to find my groove, it's very rare that I like the first images I take. So I dedicate a good few hours to shooting for my blog each day, if posted less frequently then I could spend a little longer but as I post daily I have to keep it somewhat short.
When I first started taking pictures something that I never loved all that much was editing. But, over the years I've really grown to enjoy the process and it's something I really look forward to. I've shared how I typically edit quite a few times on the blog and nothing much has changed so here are a few posts that might be of interest to you;
THE ILLUSIVE INSTAGRAM THEME
The approach that I take to my blog pictures is very different to the route I take with my Instagram as I'm a lot more relaxed with what I upload on there. Like I mentioned earlier I have a mix of DSLR images and then a lot of shots are just from my iPhone. Having the mix is what keeps the platform a little less planned and restrictive for me and keeps that instant element still alive, although I don't know anyone who uses Instagram in that way anymore. However, I do still work towards that elusive Instagram theme which a topical conversation amongst many content creators. For some, they hate the idea of working towards a theme but it's something that I really enjoy and if it wasn't then it wouldn't be something I forced myself to do. I don't believe you need a theme to have a great Instagram page as really when you're the one taking the images there will be still key themes running throughout your page. So like I said, I like to work towards a theme and always like to have a strong element of nature, beauty and lifestyle images and try to keep it as varied as I possibly can. As well as those particular subjects something else that I do to in a hope to keep things consistent is work with a particular colour scheme which means editing all my images in a similar fashion. I'm still loyal to VSCO cam, it's an app that I've used for so many years and I can't imagine straying from it anytime soon. That being said if you do know of any apps that you think beat VSCO do let me know as I always like to try new apps out.
What does your photography process look like?