Anytime I share on Instagram stories behind-the-scenes of me taking my own photos on my tripod, I always get a lot of messages asking how I do it. Being a blogger, I am constantly taking photos for my Instagram/blog. I am excited to finally share my process for tripod photoshoots. Learning to take my own photos has seriously been a game changer for both Jake and I. When Jake started residency last year, I knew if I didn’t find a way to take my own photos, I wouldn’t be able to continue with my blog (or at least not as consistently). Luckily in February I learned from Kristen from Lovely As A Mother Blog that using a tripod is an excellent option and much easier than I expected. Sometimes I even find that the tripod photos are better than when someone takes my photo on my camera because the photos are almost always in focus and I know exactly what is in the background. Also, there has been a few times that my bra strap has been showing or I’ve had my skirt on backwards (see post here) and Jake never told me until I saw when previewing the photos on my camera. It also really helps in low lighting, since the camera remains motionless. The first time I used a tripod I just used the self timer and my pictures were blurry, but thankfully I have found a better way to take my photos. I will admit that I’ve had a lot of help with pictures recently, both from Jake and my parents on our Alabama coast trip.
- Shoot in Raw: Starting in February, one of my blog friends was helping me shoot some pictures and really encouraged me to start shooting in raw. Shooting in raw allows you to have full control of the editing. For example, if I took a photo and it is way too dark, I can easily lighten it. When you shoot in JPEG, there is only so much that you can lighten up the photo. This saved several of my Europe pictures because a lot of them were too dark due to it being so cloudy when we went.
- Use The Live Shooting Mode On Your Camera: If you have this mode on your camera, take advantage of it. While I am not a seasoned photographer, the live shooting mode has really helped me learn how to use the camera. When I do have Jake take my photos now, I am so quick at adjusting the settings because of this mode.
- Shoot in manual mode: When I first started using a DSLR camera, I always used aperture priority or automatic. While these are good for beginners, I have really noticed my photos improve by using manual mode. You get to control the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, which is really important when the lighting isn’t so great.
- Shoot With A Low ISO: I have learned that shooting with a lower ISO like 100 or 200 has also improved my photos. When you shoot with a high ISO, it makes your photos more grainy.
- Be aware of your surroundings: When you’re shooting alone on a tripod, you have to be very careful and pay attention to your surroundings. I have a select handful of locations that I am comfortable shooting at alone. I also am very observant to make sure I am not in someone’s way when I do shoot. I find a lot of people are very considerate and make a point to go around me when I shoot instead of photobombing me.
What you need to shoot on a tripod:
- Camera with a Built-in Wi-Fi Feature: I have a Canon Rebel T6i, which is a great starter camera. It’s very user friendly and is a great DSLR price point. One day I do plan to upgrade, but for now I am very happy with it. I think the lens honestly makes the most difference. I shoot primarily with a 35mm lens, and when I need a wider shot, I use the lens it came with. My camera is a cropped sensor; I plan to get a full framed next time. I also have a 50mm lens, but with a cropped sensor camera it’s hard to get much of the background in the frame.
- Smart phone/Canon Connect App (I’m sure other camera brands also have an app): This app has seriously been a game changer.
- Tripod: This is my favorite tripod in general and this is my favorite one for travel (it’s not as sturdy, but fits in a carry on suitcase easily. I’ve never had problems with it not being secure enough). I always have a couple tripods, since they do wear out quickly. I also love that both of these tripods can hold the camera in landscape or portrait mode.
How I Take My Own Tripod Photos :
- Connect your camera to your tripod.
- Connect your phone and camera together: Turn your camera on and connect your camera and smart phone together via the wi-fi setting. I go into my setting, then go to the wifi settings and select connect to phone. The first time is the hardest, but once you know what to do it’s easy. I just Googled how to set it up.
- Once the phone and camera are connected together, open the Canon Connect App on your smart phone.
- Click the remote live view shooting button. This allows you to actually view what the shot will look like and how the settings are affecting the photo. Adjust your settings based on the lighting. I keep my ISO at 100 usually, then adjust the shutter speed and aperture.
- Select the area you want the camera to focus on.
- Set up the self-timer: I recommend doing 10 seconds, since it allows me enough time to hide my phone and pose. I also set the app to take 10 photos at a time.
- Hide your phone and get in your pose: I always carry a purse when I do my own photos, so I have somewhere to hide my phone.
How I edit my photos:
Starting in February, I started to shoot in raw and manual. This is a life saver and really enhanced the quality of my photos. I edit my photos in Lightroom on my laptop and adjust things like shadows, white balance, exposure, contract, highlights, whites, blacks, clarity, vibrance, saturation and the colors. I try to make my edits as natural as possible and true to color, but also bright. I have developed my own Lightroom presets based on a few locations I frequently shoot at. When I take iPhone photos, I use Natalie Kennedy’s presets and have made my own presets from hers that work for my skin tone (she’s a lot tanner than me).
About My Outfit:
This skirt and top are both amazing Chicwish finds. They both run true and size and are beautiful for summer. The skirt is the perfect length for me (I’m 5″4.5) and luckily doesn’t drag like most maxi skirts do. I never thought I could wear yellow, but I love it paired with some blue by my face. It’s so hot here in Birmingham, so i’m fully embracing the summer outfits right now
Thank you so much for reading. I just want to say thank you to my husband for all of his help when he does take my photos. I am thankful to have the option to take my photos on my own now. Jake is very much part of my blog and edits my posts before I publish them. He also takes any photos when we travel.
Do you have any photography tips? If so, let me know! Also, if you have any questions about using a tripod feel free to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org