Let’s Talk Photography | Finding Your Aesthetic + Tips

Let's talk photography | Finding your aesthetic + some tips
Let's talk photography | Finding your aesthetic + some tips

Photography, it can make or break your blog/brand.

Let's talk photography | Finding your aesthetic + some photography tips

Let’s talk photography | Finding your aesthetic + some tips

Let's talk photography | Finding your aesthetic + some tips

Let’s talk photography | Finding your aesthetic + some tips

Let's talk photography | Finding your aesthetic + some photography tips

Let’s talk photography | Finding your aesthetic + some tips

Let's talk photography | Finding your aesthetic + some photography tips

Let’s talk photography | Finding your aesthetic + some tips

Let's talk photography | Glossier Haloscope in Topaz

Let’s talk photography | Finding your aesthetic + some tips

Let’s Talk Photography | Finding Your Aesthetic + Tips

Photography was my biggest hurdle when I first started blogging, and to be perfectly honest, it still gives me a headache at times. I’m in no way a professional photographer, but I have come a long way since I first started (if I do say so myself). Everything I’ve learned has been through trial and error and research. But really– trial, error, and just playing around with my camera is what’s helped me find my aesthetic the most.

We’re all very visual creatures (I mean, Instagram’s popularity solidifies that fact), which is why photography is such a big part of blogging and branding. Once you find your photographic aesthetic/ style, taking pictures is so much easier, and it helps set you and your blog apart.

My top tips to finding your photography aesthetic:

Look at your personality

I always loved super bright pictures with lots of color because they pop and make you feel upbeat and happy. But, I’ve come to the conclusion that personally, that’s not my style, and that’s a big reason why I had such a hard time taking pictures. My pictures weren’t reflecting my personality. Instead, I prefer gloomier, cloudier, and shadowy pictures. That’s not to say dark and badly lit photos, but pictures that are more black and white, not too much color, and play with different shadows. I personally think it looks more luxe and editorial like, which is what I love. I also think it reflects my personality a lot better. I mean, I basically live in black and my personality isn’t super bright and colorful. It’s more chill, sarcastic, and introvertive.

Figure out what you like

What do you like photographing and how? That’s a big thing to figure out before you find your aesthetic. Are you a fan of taking pictures of makeup products, perfume bottles, fashion pieces, jewelry? Do you like photographs that solely focus on the product, and backgrounds aren’t too important? Do you prefer taking pictures of people and fashion? Or do you like products in a setting, as if they’re telling a story or capturing a moment? I personally like to photograph makeup/ beauty products in a minimal “lifestyle” setting. But, I photograph in a very limited space (as you saw in my DIY photography “studio” post here) so I haven’t quite been able to get my pictures exactly the way I want them. It’ll happen in due time, people. Seriously though, figure out what you like, and it’s a lot easier to find your style. Right now I’ve really been loving taking photographs of glass perfume bottles with shadows. It looks so beautiful so I’ve been trying incorporate more of that into my pics.

Ask yourself what you’re trying to convey

Are you trying to convey the message that you’re the ultimate beauty junkie? Are you trying to capture the beauty lover and collector’s attention? Then product heavy shots with lots of different beauty products and brands splayed out is the way to go. Are you trying to be the minimalist fashion expert? Then scout out different locations around your city that have black/white/grey settings where you can take pictures of your outfits, but find a way to add your personality into it. Do you want to be the person people go to when they want to see some positive/ happy photos? Then find props/products/settings with lots of different cheerful colors. I personally want my pictures to convey an elegant, minimal, and high end feel so I stick to mostly photographing luxury/ high end products with minimal backgrounds and props.

Find some inspiration

Pinterest, magazines, Instagram, blogs.. there are endless ways to find inspiration. Pinterest and magazines are two of my favorite ways to find inspo for when I’m feeling uninspired. I’ve dedicated a whole board to pretty photography that I turn to when I feel stuck, and I”m always flipping through magazines for images that catch my eye. I love Pinterest for photography inspo because you can figure out what your personality and aesthetic is by looking through the images you’ve saved. There’s probably going to be some sort of theme or common element so it’s another great way to find out what you like.

Do what YOU love

At the end of the day, don’t take your photos the way you think people want them to be or what you think is popular. Take your pictures how you like them. I’ll be honest. I used to get a ton more likes and follows on Instagram when my pictures were just a hodgepodge of makeup with no real theme. My pictures weren’t edited that well and my photography skills weren’t all that great, but even then I got a lot of likes (granted, the algorithm change has definitely impacted my engagement). But, I personally wasn’t happy with the way my pictures looked. So even though I don’t get as much engagement on my pictures, I am happier with the way my photos look, and that’s what is important. They finally feel more like me, and reflect what I like. At the end of the day, that is what counts, and that will set you and your blog apart.

What kind of photos do you like? How did you find your style? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • I take my pictures pretty much the same way all the time but it works for me. I don’t have 3 hours to spend taking pictures, arranging all the fancy pansy props and all. I wish I do then maybe my pictures won’t look so boring but I have to do what works for me. I do love your photography, Nida, the gloomy, moodier style has become your signature style.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    • I don’t think your pictures are boring at all, and I really like your pics! I like that the makeup/skincare products are the main focus.

  • You have a lovely aesthetic and it’s great that you’ve found your niche! I think a lot of people still struggle a lot with finding their own style and what works for them. Especially for me, I struggle not only with my photography but also with being a perfectionist, so it adds a multitude of problems to the equation. I’m never happy with my photos and I honestly hate how my instagram and blog looks. I can’t really do anything about it since my lighting is limited due to my location and how the photos seem to turn out so crap, even though I live in a place where it’s sunny and summer all year round. I do envy those who can easily take such well put together photos and get the lighting, products placed, and everything so well together. Yours are very beautiful and I’ve always admired your creativity and style. Honestly I’ve thought about stopping IG and blogging altogether many times. I guess I have to accept that what I want with my photos is just not possible, even with all the photo tip blog posts in the world to help me. I light bright photos but I also like gloomier ones too, but even the gloomier looks very bad, so I’m just stuck. I’m just overall very unhappy.

    I definitely agree with all of your points here love, you gotta do what you love and there’s no sense to try to fit in with the cookie cutter blogger style. We are all so unique and I think it’s great that we can all have our own creativity. I find that there’s a biiiiiiiig clique in the blogging world and it’s really disheartening, a lot of certain bloggers only support those who take really good photos and fit into the ‘blogger style.’ It should be open to all styles and all people and diversity backgrounds. Well, that’s a whole other subject to deal with. Great post as usual love.

    xoxo
    http://www.hellohimawari.com

    • I feel you on the perfectionist thing. I’m not a super perfectionist, but I am pretty picky when it comes to my own photography, and get frustrated when things don’t look the way I want them to, which is pretty frequently lol. I’m still not 100% happy with my pics, but I’m beginning to think that no matter what it’s hard to ever be fully satisfied. Human nature, perhaps?

      I’m honestly surprised you are unhappy with your pictures and think that they turn out crappy because I definitely don’t think that!! Your pictures are so beautiful, and they’re so bright and well lit. I think most people would agree with me ;). Whenever I’m feeling down, I just look back at my pictures from a couple years ago and instantly feel better lol. It’s so easy to get caught up in things not turning out the way we want, but I like to think about how far you’ve come, and how much you’ve learned since you first started. They say it’s the journey that counts, right?

  • You seem to have the best timing with your posts and the struggles in my brain! I’ve been trying to figure out my aesthetic and am having difficulty getting there. My lighting source has had to change substantially with the shorter days. I actually love the “gloomier” lighting myself, so it’s kind of worked out that I can’t get direct sunlight anymore. Now, I’m testing different shots and setups to see how I like everything. It’s a lot of trial and error, as you said! These are really fantastic tips for me to think about when I am getting ready to setup my next photos.

    xoxo Jenn │ Beauty by Jellybean

    • It’s definitely a lot of trial and error! I think your photos are so beautiful! I would’ve never known you’re still trying to figure out your aesthetic. That Dior pic you posted on IG recently.. drooling!!

  • Thank you for all the tips and links, I loved checking out your Pinterest. I also love the cloudy and moody style of yours, but I personally don’t know how to pull it out. As a color junkie I want to keep my photos very bright and display the make up and other items as closely as they are in real (bright) light. I don’t play with shadows much, but I’d like to venture out for something different time to time!

    Laura xx Laurantaina Beauty Blog

    • Your photos are so bright and cheery, I love it! Your feed is literally what I was trying to achieve, but couldn’t get there lol.

      • Wow, thank you so much! I appreciate your words a lot, especially when you’re someone I look up to as a blogger. I love your styling and theme, I just don’t know how to do it myself lol!

        • Aww girl you are so sweet, thank you! Love your blog and pictures so don’t ever stop :)

  • This post has been so helpful! Thanks for sharing

    http://www.rachyblogs.com

  • Thank you so much for writing this, Nida. I’d say you have succeeded in making your ‘own photography’, whenever I scroll down my bloglovin and see your photo, I can say it’s you without even having to check the blog name. I’m still trying out whether I want my photo to have bright, white-background or adding a little bit of soft, blue-ish hue in it. And like you said, I think in the end it really goes with what I actually like seein on other people’s photo.

    Selene Addicted

    • Haha I hope that’s a good thing ;)

      Definitely. If you like both of those vibes, then include both :). I really like your bright, airy pictures. So beautiful. But, it’s really just up to preference. I think people relate more when it reflects your personality because a lot of people connect more when they know the person behind the blog, you know?

  • I loved this post! I think finding your own voice through your photos is quite important, when I first started out I’ll admit I was keen on the perfect white background and flatlay. I’ve found that although I still like the occasional spaced out flatlay, I’m quite pleased with a darker/shadowy photo as well. I like that ethereal morning light feel, although working full time isn’t always the easiest for me to achieve that. The new IG algorithm bums me out a bit but I do agree that the most important thing is to be happy with your feed – and that’s the most rewarding in the end anyways! I always love seeing your photos pop up on my feed so keep at it girl, you’re doing amaze ;)

    Cindy | http://www.cindyhyue.com

    • Girl, tell me about it. Working full time and balancing photograph/blogging time is so hard. I commend you so much for doing blogmas haha. Thanks girl, that means a lot because I’m never satisfied with the way my pics turn out and get frustrated pretty easily lol!

  • I’m pretty flexible with my photos. I’m probably alone in feeling this way, but I prefer to be spontaneous and live for the moment rather planning ahead for photos but I do appreciate the effort that goes into maintaining a strict aesthetic xx

    • That spontaneity & flexibility probably reflects your personality! I’m not a super spontaneous person in real life which is probably why I like my feed to look very similar.

  • I love this post! Amazing tips – so true about figuring out your style and reflecting your personality onto your photography. That’s what makes us all different :) I love your photos and the play of shadows. xx

    Daniela | MissNewBeauty.net

    • Thanks girl! Love your pics and how they’re so bright. I always struggled to get my feed that way!

  • Awesome tips! I love your photography style!! x

    Sara | saraspoke.com

  • Bernadette

    I have become obsessed with blogging props lately. I still like to add a bit of let’s call it ‘improv’ to the way i take my photos and keep things looking simple but i love the options blog props give.

    http://www.themakeupaficionado.com
    https://www.instagram.com/themakeupaficionado17/
    https://au.pinterest.com/bernadette_95/

    • I’m obsessed with blog props too haha. I’m always on the hunt for new ones.

  • This was such a helpful post, thank you! I’m very much unsure about what my aesthetic is. Particularly as I don’t just focus on one topic area. I need to find something that works for beauty, fashion, lifestyle and chronic illness photos. Which seams to be a massive challenge. I’ve some across some great Instagram accounts and am currently playing around with lowering the saturation. I like the look this gives, but I need to work on getting the same effect to all of my photos. Xx

    Tania | When Tania Talks

    • I think your photos are beautiful :). I feel like photography is something we’re always trying to play around with, figure out, and trying to get better at it, which is why I love it. There’s so much to learn and so many different styles of photography that it’s really just about playing around and finding what speaks to you.

      • Aww!!! Thank you so much! I completely agree, there’s always something more we can do to better our photography. That’s one of the reasons I love it! Xx

  • Imogen

    These pictures are so beautiful! I just started so I’m trying to figure out how to convey my style with full originality. Love your blog by the way!

    http://www.fauxsilk.blogspot.com

    • Thanks babe! I hope you figure it out :). It took me the longest time lol

  • This is such good advice, everyone’s different and has different styles. And no one way is the ONLY way to do things! I love taking photos and they are never perfect, but I think that’s what’s so good about them haha

    Elizabeth
    19 By Chance | 1415

    • Girl yes! Imperfect photos are so much more relatable, and I think that helps other people connect with you better. The “popular” aesthetic is always changing so you might as well stick to what you love and what your personality draws you to.

  • Saiqa Deen

    Really good advice! I really like your blog! It’s very personable! I am in the process of setting my blog so it’s nice to read others and get some inspiration. xx

    • Thank you! I’ve done a few other blog/photography posts so I hope they help you out :) xx

  • Ollie Hart

    Just starting a blog and realised yours was not only up my alley but you have some amazing tips to get me started. thanks tons x x p.s. love your style ;)