Today, I’m deviating a bit from our usual organizing/decorating posts in order to chat about blogging life. The topic of blogging (and more specifically blogger education) is top of mind for me this week as I officially begin my Elite Blogging Academy Coursework. It’s both exciting and a bit overwhelming!
Y’all have heard me sing from the rooftops about my love for blogging many times before. I believe that each of us has a unique voice and an amazing story to share with the world. For those of you who might be interested in hopping on the blogging train, be sure to check out my post on how to start a blog, as well as the list of educational resources for bloggers that I recommend to set you up for success.
As a newbie blogger, photography is among the most important fundamental skills that you’ll need to develop. I’ve spent the past few years honing my photography craft via trial and error, seeking out great educational resources, and researching various photography tools.
So I thought it might be helpful to share a round-up of the blogging photography tools and resources that I use and love with you today.
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
I’m far from a pro photographer, but my photography skills have come a LONG way from where I started.
Case in point: here’s what a typical image looked like during my first year of blogging:
And here’s a collage of images from a more recent post:
So let’s take a look at some of the tools and resources I’ve used to transform my photography skills over the years, shall we?
BLOGGER PHOTOGRAPHY TOOLS – GEAR
Having the right photography gear is crucial for capturing quality images. And it all starts with your camera. I began my blogging career using a Canon T3i DSLR camera. I’ve since upgraded to a newer Canon T6i model. This camera has definitely served me well, and I would highly recommend it for beginners.
The Canon EF-SS 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens is the stock lens that came with my camera. I use it for wide angle full room shots, while I use the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens for close-up/detail shots. Both lenses work like a charm for their specific functions.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that tripods are an essential tool for low-light shooting (which requires the use of slow shutter speeds). Using a tripod enables me to get crisp, clear photos by eliminating the inevitable camera shake that happens when I attempt to hold the camera while using a slow shutter speed.
I use this Ravelli tripod, which is relatively inexpensive, yet incredibly sturdy and versatile, since it extends a full 66 inches.
Using a shutter remote in conjunction with a tripod is key to successful low-light photography. Even if you use a tripod in order to reduce camera shake, the mere motion of your finger pressing the shutter release button can cause blurry images.
I use this shutter remote by Foto & Tech in order to eliminate camera shake altogether.
One of the constant challenges I face when attempting to create high quality images for the blog is having to take photos in the absence of natural light. I have several spaces in my home that are notoriously difficult to photograph for this reason, including my laundry room, powder room, and the Man Cave.
If it were not for the Cowboy Studio Lighting Kit, these rooms would be impossible to photograph. This lighting kit has been a Godsend, not only in these rooms that receive no natural light, but also when I’m forced to complete a photo session during evening hours. The kit comes equipped with special light bulbs that give off a cool white light (instead of the typical yellowish hue that you get when lighting a room with conventional lighting).
BLOGGER PHOTOGRAPHY TOOLS – PHOTO EDITING
PicMonkey is my go-to photo editing tool for creating graphic design elements for the blog (collages, & images with text overlay) and for adding watermarks to my images. There’s both a free and paid (“Royale”) plan. I use the paid plan to gain access to the awesome library of fonts and additional features.
ADOBE LIGHTROOM 6
Since reading the Ultimate Photography Book for Bloggers (see below), I’ve been excited to learn how to use Adobe Lightroom to take my photo editing skills up a notch. For those of us who don’t have the countless hours necessary to learn Photoshop, Lightroom is a fantastic alternative.
I’m currently working my way through the Lazy Girl’s Guide to Lightroom course , and I’m kinda kicking myself because I’ve waited so long to make the switch to Lightroom for photo editing. Up to this point, I’ve used the built-in photo editing functionality on my Mac, which yields pretty decent-looking images, but is completely inefficient (I have to edit images one-at-a-time using this tool).
Lightroom cuts down significantly on editing time, since you can create presets that enable you to batch edit multiple photos simultaneously.
Why, oh why didn’t I learn Lightroom sooner?
BLOGGER PHOTOGRAPHY TOOLS – EDUCATION
ULTIMATE PHOTOGRAPHY BOOK FOR BLOGGERS
When the Ultimate Photography Book for Bloggers first came out a few years back, I jumped for joy! This ebook was the first photography resource I had ever come across that was created specifically for bloggers by a fellow blogger. If you aren’t familiar with Aniko Levai, she’s the DIY home decor blogger who blogs at Place of My Taste. She’s also an uber-talented professional photographer & artist.
This ebook really helped me to understand the basics of shooting in manual mode and the mechanics involved with capturing crisp, clear and bright interior shots. You can purchase both a stand-alone ebook, or opt for the higher level package like I did. This package includes a video training series, a set of Adobe Lightroom presets, and access to an exclusive Facebook community devoted to blogger photography education.
I hope that you found this round up of my favorite blogging photography tools helpful! If you have any questions about any of the tools I’ve mentioned, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments.
Be sure to check out these other posts to get you started on your blogging journey, as well as my Blogging Tools + Resources Pinterest Board!