A lot of people ask me how I take makeup photos for my blog and I was thinking it’s time to show you behind the scenes as my recommendations might be beneficial if you are just starting with blogging. My intention with this post is to demonstrate that photography part of blogging is not that difficult as it might seem and it’s more about finding creative solutions rather than spending funds on making your photos “work.” Saying so, this blog post will follow a Q&A format, where I’ll be answering some of the most common questions people asked me throughout the years of blogging.
What is the best camera for video and pictures (affordable, of course)? (question by @jackieperichi)
I cannot recommend more the camera that I’m currently using both for photo and video content. It’s Sony Alpha a5100 — not the most affordable camera, but one of the best in its category. It’s super easy to use, it’s compatible with so many lens brands that are less expensive than Sony. If you buy it in a kit with a 50mm lens, you are all set for both YouTube tutorials, beauty and outfit photos for your blog. You could also use the same lens for taking flatlay photos, but you’ll need to stand on a chair while doing so as the lens is fixed (i.e. there is no zoom in/out option).
Keep in mind that if you are planning on vlogging, you’ll need another lens. Mine is Sony 16-50 mm Power Zoom Lens and it’s more expensive than Sony 50mm lens. The good thing about this lens is that it’s light and it doesn’t distort your face while you are shooting vlogs. By the way, this model of the Sony camera comes with a flip screen which makes the vlogging process so much easier.
Best 1st camera for a blogger that can get that blurry background look! (question by @ChowDownUSA)
The camera could be any DSLR, but the blurry effect could be achieved with the right lens. Regardless which camera you are using, aim for the 50mm lens with f1.8. My first camera was SONY a6000 and I used an affordable lens, but the blurry effect you could achieve with such kit is truly impressive.
Do you ever too picture with your iPhone and video as well? (question by @jackieperichi)
I take 95% of my photos and videos with my camera. The only exception is flatlays — sometimes these look better when I’m shooting with iPhone! For instance, this shot that I recently took in London.
What kind of lighting do you typically use? Natural or ring? (question by @KatlynPierre)
Both! Especially for videos. The best quality is when it’s sunny outside and you use a ring light to brighten up the face. Same for photos! As I mentioned in my post about photography equipment for bloggers, I use a typical ring light that allows controlling the intensity of the light. I shoot in our living room as we have windows both on the walls and on the ceiling. That way, I have a soft natural light that I combine with a fluorescent lighting that comes from a ring light.
Where do you find such pretty backgrounds?
I use wrapping paper! In fact, I have an entire collection of different papers that I purchased at Papyrus and Paper Source that I switch all the time to keep things interesting. I use the same collection of background for both flatlays and portraits. When I need to take a selfie, I stick my wrapping paper to the wall with a piece of duct tape. Yep, it’s not fancy at all, but it really works!
How to make a highlighter pop in photos?
I actually just recently learned this trick from my friend Vital Agibalow who is a professional photographer. I used to use a white piece of cardboard to reflect the light and it worked fine, but with his tip, my highlighter became so much more noticeable. Basically, the idea here is to shoot with flash and use a silver light reflector. You could DIY one by using a piece of cardboard and tin foil.
Who takes your outfit photos?
I take the majority of my photos myself. Sometimes, my boyfriend, Ben helps me out, but I don’t like bothering him too much with it. First of all, he already has a demanding job and putting this new responsibility on him is not something he signed up for. Also, I don’t want him to think that he is an Insta-boyfriend :) For real if you don’t know what Insta-husband phenomenon is about, you really need to watch the video below.