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