Lazy Girl’s Guide to Photography

… or the one where I share all my photography secrets to getting bright & beautiful photos, the easy way. Lately I’ve gotten quite a few questions on how I get my photos to look so bright and crisp, so I figured I’d just do a post all about my photography process. Now first of all, I’m by no means a professional photographer. I know how the exposure triangle works in theory, but haven’t got the slightest idea on how to use it in practice. And to be honest, I’m just a bit too lazy to learn. So here’s my lazy girl’s guide to photography.

Lazy Girl's Guide to Photography | Shakespeare & Sparkle

LAZY GIRL’S GUIDE TO PHOTOGRAPHY

Always Use Natural Light

I really can’t stress this one enough. If you go back and look at the photos I took when I first started this blog (although, please don’t), you’ll notice that most of them have been shot in pretty bad lighting. Using ceiling lights can give your photos weird shadows and a not so attractive yellow tone, so always make sure to use natural light. I always try to take my photos on bright days, close to a massive window, and away from direct sunlight. (And I never use flash!).

Take Note of Time of Day

Another point relating to light, is to take note of how the light changes in your space. Morning light tends to be brighter and cooler, whereas the light in the evenings has more of a warm glow. And naturally living in a country with all four seasons, it varies a lot according to season as well. I personally like shooting most of my photos in the afternoon, since I prefer a slightly warmer, softer light. So just try taking photos in different spots at different times of the day, to find what works best for you.

Invest In A Decent Camera

If you were hoping that this would be one of those posts where I tell you that you can get great photos just by using your iPhone, I’m sorry to disappoint you. (Although, you can get good photos on your phone too, and most of my Insta snaps have been shot with my iPhone). Buying my first DSLR made a world of difference in my photography. Now DSLRs can seem insanely scary and complicated. And they do have about a billion settings. So if you’re a photography novice like me, I’d suggest investing in a camera with brilliant automatic settings. I owe practically half of my photography skills to my Nikon D3200’s guide mode.

Get A Brighter Lens

I bought my DSLR as part of a kit, so it came with a basic lens that worked just fine for a beginner. But eventually I wanted to upgrade to something a bit brighter. Now I won’t get all technical on you (since honestly I wouldn’t even know how to), but basically the bigger the aperture, the more light your lens lets in. Whereas my original lens’ best aperture was f/3.5, my current lens can go all the way to f/1.8, giving me better & brighter images.

It’s All About Brightness & Contrast

When I first started my blog I edited all my photos with Picmonkey. It’s a decent app for doing simple edits, and I still use it today to do my collages. However, nowadays all my photos have been edited with Photoshop. Just like DSLRs, to a photography newbie Photoshop can be a pretty scary place. And honestly, still to this day I don’t know what half the settings do. But lucky for us lazy gals, Photoshop also has plenty of brilliant automatic fixes. Almost all of my photos have been edited by using the automatic contrast, color and tone. (I’ll admit this doesn’t work for every image, but it’s a pretty good rule of thumb). Then I just amp up the brightness a lottt and add a bit of colour brightness & saturation.

Lazy Girl's Guide to Photography | Shakespeare & Sparkle

Do you have any simple photography tips?

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8 Comments

  1. Julia 18 January, 2017 at 21:41

    I am a lazy girl, so this guide’s definitely made for me haha! I love using PicMonkey, you have all the tools you need there – and just like you I play a lot with contrast and brightness. It’s also great if you need to write on your photos, as it automatically detects the fonts you added to your laptop so you can use them on there too. No need for photoshop or anything too fancy!

    Julia x
    Last post: L’Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask Review | https://juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/review-loreal-pure-clay-detox-mask.html

    Reply
    1. Jenni 19 January, 2017 at 10:02

      It is so handy, isn’t it? I actually forgot to mention that I also use it for adding text to my photos. xx

      Reply
  2. Tara 19 January, 2017 at 22:44

    I’m so nosy I love seeing how others edit their images, I agree that natural light is the best way to get a good image- it’s amazing the difference good lighting makes! I find the best time for me is as close to mid-day as possible but I often have to chase the light around the house!

    https://taradaniella.com/

    Reply
    1. Jenni 20 January, 2017 at 20:54

      It really makes such a huge difference! Like right now I’m seriously struggling with trying to get a half decent photo with the January light… xx

      Reply
  3. Inma 21 January, 2017 at 12:24

    Thanks for sharing your tips! Would love to see a Lazy Girl’s Guide to Photoshop one day if you fancy it, as I’m fairly new to it and as you say, it can be pretty overwhelming!

    Inma x | sunshineandglow.com

    Reply
    1. Jenni 21 January, 2017 at 19:27

      Thanks for stopping by Inma! I’ll definitely write that post idea down and see if I might be able to rustle up a Photoshop guide later on. xx

      Reply
  4. Tomi Kay 23 January, 2017 at 22:23

    For me, umbrella lights work better for me than natural light. I work full time so when I first started my blog, I could only take pictures on Saturday morning which is a waste of my weekend. I have now got my lights so I take my photos any time of the day. Another way to make my photos simple is that I put all my props together and I plan the photos I want to take well in advance and I try to take bulk photos.

    tomikaydoesbeauty.com

    Reply
    1. Jenni 24 January, 2017 at 12:05

      I definitely shoot my photos in bulk too, forgot to mention that! True, having proper lights does give you more freedom, but for me nothing just beats natural light. xx

      Reply

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