DSLR Camera FAQ and Basics
Lipstick MAC (color is Flat Out Fabulous) / Camera Canon Rebel T5 (used to shoot. The one pictured is my dinosaur of a film camera that I used for film photography class this last semester. Fun fact: My dad has had this camera since high school!) / Lens Canon 50mm / Necklace Kendra Scott / Top Nordstrom (similar) / Jeans Vigoss (similar) / Shoes Nordstrom (similar)
Happy Monday! Thank goodness for long weekends, am I right? I'm especially excited about today because I am super excited about today's post! Some of my most frequently asked questions on my blog have been about my pictures, and my camera, so I've been wanting to do a post explaining everything for quite a while now! Let me start off by saying that I am not a camera expert or professional photographer by any means and I've only had my camera since March of last year, so I'm still learning new things about photography every day, but I thought I'd share the tips and tricks that I've learned along the way that have helped me hugely step up my blog and Insta game!
The first question that I'm often asked is "who takes your pictures?". As a recent college graduate, I can't afford to hire a professional photographer like so many bloggers do, so I've had a lot of fun learning to use my own camera and take photos on my own. I also love having total control over the shots and the way that they are edited so that my blog is as much "me" as possible. I love getting together with other Nashville bloggers (shoutout to Alex) and taking each other's pictures! This is so helpful because unlike friends or family, other bloggers usually know what types of pictures you are looking for when you go to shoot! I will usually just set up the shot and adjust the lighting on my camera and then hand it off.
The second question that comes up a lot is "what kind of camera do you use?". I use a Canon Rebel T5 with a 50mm lens and it has been AMAZING! If you are just starting out and looking to buy your first camera, especially on a budget (this one is only $399!), I would highly recommend this camera! It has been such a great starter camera, and is SO easy to use once you get the hang of it! The next product that has been an absolute must have for me has been my lens. I use the 50mm 1.8 lens and it is amazing! This is what will give you that nice blurry background that so many bloggers have in their pictures. If you only buy one lens (I bought my camera body by itself and the lens separately, so this is the only lens I've ever owned!) I cannot recommend this one enough! The T5 will be cheaper because it's an older version, but if you're budget is a little bit higher, the Canon Rebel T6i is a great one to look into. The nice thing about this camera is that the screen flips out so it is better for filming videos or taking flatlays, and it has WiFi, which will make it much easier to upload your photos! I was able to find it for only $799 here! Keep in mind that these are both crop sensor cameras, so if you are looking for a more advanced and expensive camera, you may want to look into a full frame. April from The Blue Hydrangeas wrote a really informative post about the differences between a crop sensor and a full frame here.
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Now that we've covered the basics, it's time to talk about the most confusing (at first, anyways!) part! The settings. You will get the best photographs if you shoot on manual mode, which can seem kind of intimidating at first, but don't let it scare you! Once you figure it out, it's actually so simple! The exact settings will differ from lens to lens, but in general, you will want to have your ISO set as low as you can possibly have it. This is because the higher you have your ISO set, the grainier your picture will be. With the 50mm lens, I always try to have my ISO set to 100, unless I'm shooting indoors. The next thing to think about is your Aperture or "F-Stop". This determines how much light your camera lets in, and how blurry your background will be. A lower F-Stop will let in more light, and give you a blurrier background. A higher F-Stop will let in less light and give you an image with a sharper background. I usually have my F-Stop somewhere between 1.8 and 2.5. Once I have my ISO and F-Stop set, I will usually only change the shutter speed during a shoot. The faster the shutter speed, the darker the image will be, because a faster shutter speed will allow less time for light to be let in. A slower shutter speed will lead to a brighter image, but you have to be careful because when the shutter speed is too slow, it can be hard to get a clear image.
As for editing, I actually really don't do much. I am slowly but surely learning to use lightroom, but I typically try to get my pictures as close to where I want them as possible while I'm shooting. When I do edit, I mostly just play with the lighting. The pictures in this post are actually not edited at all. The pictures I post to Instagram tend to be adjusted just a little bit more than the ones I post to the blog. I usually use Instagram's in app editing and brighten the picture a bit, add a tiny bit more contrast, and adjust the sharpness if needed.
Sorry for the length of this post, and if you've stuck with me so far, thank you! Haha Hopefully I was able to give you some helpful information! If you have questions about anything I didn't cover here, feel free to email me or leave me a comment below!
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