The Lazy Girl's Guide to Getting The Shot
When you think about it, I've basically spent the better part of the last 5 years taking photographs for a living.
Whether it be a selfie of me rocking some serious #trexhands, a carefully art-directed flatlay of shiny new beauty products or a bikini snap of me in a exotic location; setting up, taking and editing photos for the 'Gram is all a part of a day in the life of a social media "influencer" and blogger.
I'm no Annie Leibovitz, I have absolutely no professional training however I do think I've mastered the art of taking a pretty good snap. I've also become a bit of a whizz when it comes to editing photos. Watching me adjust the brightness, enhance certain colours, eliminate tourists and whiten my teeth using several different apps in under a minute has become a bit of a party trick.
You can keep your Rubix Cube, just Airdrop me a grainy photo taken in bad lighting and watch me turn it into a piece of art worthy of the Instagram Explore page...all with my eyes shut.
Something I've never done before however is share my secrets. I've been asked. Hundreds of you have left comments or sent me lovely messages asking what apps I use, what camera I'd recommend....
Well my lovely readers, today is your lucky day. Keep reading for my top tips on taking great photos as well as some of my favourite apps for editing. You're welcome.
- Invest in a decent camera. Sure, a big, heavy SLR camera is great and definitely worth looking at if you're taking your photography skills pro but if you're after something cute and small that will easily fit in your handbag or carry-on luggage, may I suggest the Olympus PEN E-PL9. I had a play around with my girlfriend and fellow blogger Lisa Hamilton's Olympus camera (See Want Shop) on our trip to Coachella last year and fell IN LOVE with it. The best thing about the PEN E-PL9 it is how easy it is to transfer your images from the camera to your phone instantaneously. I like posting in real time, on the go. I don't want to have to wait until I get back to my laptop to transfer all the photos across and then edit them on there before transferring them onto my phone. Thats wayyyyyy too much admin for this lazy gal. So with the app I'm able to shoot on my camera and send to my phone to post straight away. On top of that, they have an awesome feature which means you can prop your camera up on a tripod and then use your phone as a secondary screen and remote to take the photo remotely. This is ideal when I'm travelling alone so that I'm not forced to ask the poor housekeeping staff to stick around for a sexy little bath shoot. Finally, and perhaps my favourite feature is that it has a "Selfie Screen": a flip down LCD touch monitor screen which allows you to capture selfies and movies at ease. What more could you want?
- Find the best lighting. I cannot stress to you enough how important good lighting is in a photo. It is everything. It can make or break a shot. Always shoot in natural light if you can, especially when it comes to selfies. "Golden hour" aka. that beautiful time of an afternoon just as the sun starts to set is considered the sweet spot for bloggers as it casts a really lovely, soft light over everything. Avoid down lights if possible as they would make even Margot Robbie look haggard and if you're a beauty blogger or someone wanting professional looking selfies, maybe invest in a good ring light. You can grab them on E-bay for a pretty reasonable price.
- People always make the most interesting subject matters. Sure, the occasional sunset shot or any of the 37286 photos I'm seeing of the beaches of Italy make for beautiful photos but having a person or people as your subject matter will always make them more interesting. Flat lay of my burger and fries? Delish. Flat lay of my burger and fries with a cheeky hand sneaking in to pinch a chip? A way more engaging photo.
- Facetune (1 & 2). Any influencer that tells you they don't use Facetune is lying. It's hands down the best app to use when it comes to editing photos of yourself. You can smooth out that dodgy fake tan, whiten your teeth, patch out any pimples or scars...it's a total lifesaver. The trick is to just go easy on it. Keep it subtle. You're perfect just the way you are so don't get carried away or you'll start to look like a watercolour painting. Less is more when it comes to the "Smooth" functionality. Facetune 2 is a little bit more advance and kind of terrifying if you don't know what you're doing with it. You can make your eyes bigger or smaller, change the shape of your nose and width of your face... again, I like to use apps to "enhance" what is (hopefully) already there rather than change my appearance completely so use these functionalities at your own risk.
- Easy Eraser. This app might look childish and unassuming but it is perhaps the most magical. It's going to blow your mind. Change your life. With one swipe, you can eliminate all those annoying tourists ruining your pristine beach shot. Didn't notice the red wine stain on your skirt? Don't worry- Easy Eraser will make it disappear like magic.
- Foodie. I use this app mainly for food photos (go figure!) or flaylays. I just love the way it makes the colours pop (depending on which colours you want to accent) and turns dull, shitty looking flatlays into something you might see in a magazine. Hot tip: if the filter/effect is too much, try sliding the toggle down so that you're only applying say, 50% of the filter.
- VSCO Cam. A favourite amongst a lot of my blogger friends, VSCO is great for filters. It comes with a handful for free but I think it's worth forking out the few dollars and buying all the available filter packs. You'll notice the "A5" filter everywhere on your feed once you see it. (Again, I prefer to use it at half-strength.) It also has that "grainy" option everyone seems to be using all of a sudden. Not for me but if it works for Elle Ferguson then it's obviously worth mentioning.
- Finally, if apps aren't your thing, the brilliant Olympus PEN E-PL9 even has 16 of it’s very own in-built 'Creative Art Filters', with the latest addition being ‘Instant Film’ which mimics the look of old-school instant film. The updated touchscreen even makes it possible to compare the effects live on screen, meaning you can preview the results of your filter before committing. Impressive.
So there you have it! A small insight into the wonderful world of a professional Grammer'. Aren't you just #blessed!
(Full disclosure, this post was in collaboration with Olympus but only after I emailed begging them for a camera. It's that good. And guess what? They're giving you guys a discount code! Use EPL9TULLY at the checkout when you purchase an Olympus E-PL9 for a FREE camera strap from the Olympus PEN Generation Collection. Just pick from the amazing PEN Generation Collection and add it to the cart with your camera before you apply the code. Viola!)