A Beginners Guide to Blogging, Photography, and Influencing: Posing, Editing, and Instagram
“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.” ~Anonymous
Happy International Women’s Day Framily!
I am so grateful to be surrounded and inspired by such amazing women who support, encourage, and empower me every day. Strength isn’t tearing people, especially women, down but building them up, and today isn’t just about honoring women, but also empowering them. Thank you to all the women who inspire me to follow my dreams and just be a better kind human always.
Also Happy Monday! The second week of March and it is kicking off with a bang. Did anyone see the Meghan and Harry interview? I have so many thoughts, also some of it was not that shocking (look at history) but I am firmly team Meghan and Harry and I hope they can find and create the joy they so deserve. What did you think of the interview?
Constantly evolving and pivoting
I am kicking this week off with another guide all about editing and photo cohesiveness as well as some tidbits about the ‘gram. I know I have been talking a LOT about photography and there is an old school of thought that blogging should NOT be about photography. But not to date myself, but totally dating myself, blogging really has evolved from the early days of Myspace and LiveJournal and even early sites of Blogspot and WordPress to not just a common place “Blog” but also Instagram.
I remember the first time I heard an Instagrammer being called a blogger and I was really confused, but as the industry has evolved, it makes a lot of sense. What ever you call us whether it be Instagrammers or bloggers, or influencers or content creators, (the last one is what I prefer) we are no longer one dimensional. It isn’t just written words, but pictures and themes, graphics, and coding. In order for blogs to be successful, bloggers have had to become business savvy, computer savvy, learn marketing, and learn how to pitch, among so much more.
If you want to be successful it isn’t as simple as just writing up words and posting, but truly channeling that creativity. Bloggers really have adapted at being the jack of all trades and learned to manage their time for absolute productivity as well as evolving as technology, trends, and world events have forced as to pivot, sometimes at brea neck speeds, with the content we are putting out. It is a hustle that if you know the ins and outs, can make you quite successful and at the very least feed your coffee habit or pay for your hosting site.
Instagram and Cohesiveness
Whether you use Instagram or not, pictures and graphics are so incredibly important. I am a very visual person, most humans are, and as a fashion, travel, Modern Day Renaissance Woman, lifestyle, blogger, photos help showcase what I am talking about. I have thought a lot about niches, and as a Gemini I can’t be one. Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble. I have been blogging for a long time, and while my own personal blog is a side hustle I am working to turn into a full time gig, especially in this on going pandemic world, I can’t typecast myself into ONE niche. I love fashion, I love travel, And as someone who has a lot of life experience, I want to share what I have learned. The last one might sound a little hubris, but my blog originally started out as a diary, sharing my move and journey, which evolved as a way to heal. Ultimately it is those posts where I talk about grief and self love that have resonated with a lot of people and I am so incredibly proud of.
Throwing all the “experts” into a tail spin, I don’t think you need to be stuck in ONE niche. Humans are complex, we have a lot of interests, that can’t really be typecast into one thing nor should it be. That being said graphics should be cohesive whether it is on your blog or on Instagram or other social media. It doesn’t need to be matchy-matchy, but it should flow. While I don’t have one particular filter I use on my photos, I do try to stick to similar color themes. I also alternate between images of myself and photography I take. I have thought about switching it up, (especially since photos of me do much better then my photography) but I like how alternating pictures breaks images of well me. I can get pretty sick of looking at myself. Joking kinda.
I love taking pictures of coffee and nautical scenery, but since I run other Instagram accounts, and can barely keep up with my own personal brand one, I do NOT have time to then make another one. Just keeping it real friends! I also don’t do flat lays, or take many pictures of product so my photography is a way to again break that up. In order to mesh it all together, I make sure that the pics are cohesive color scheme wise. It isn’t always perfect and that is alright. I honestly am not out to have the most perfectly curated Instagram out there, I just want it to be cohesive.
Photo editing is one of my favorite, least favorite things to do. (did I mention I am a Gemini?) For me it is very, very time consuming. Part of that might be I take a gazillion pictures, but hey I like options. That being said it is a ton of fun laying around with lighting and finding presets that either enhance or mute the colors in photos. There are so may different apps that you can use, but by far my favorite is Lightroom. Yes, even over Photo-shop.
Lightroom is a free app, though they do have a subscription pro-version that I bought only in the last year as my business began to grow. You don’t need it. The regular version has so many great features including creating and saving your own presets. I really only use it for color or cropping. I am not into photo shopping, and you will never see me trying to slim someone down in a picture. One of the best pieces of advice I received was from a photographer friend who told me that the sign of a great photographer is someone who takes pictures and doesn’t need to edit them. It is a little harder on an iPhone because the lighting settings are much more limited then on a DSLR, but over all I try to practice that piece of advice.
Due to licensing and image rights, it can be difficult shooting especially in a crowded place. Sometimes you do need to photo shop (especially if it is being used for commercial use, like campaigns or even on Instagram) a picture. While photo shop is a great program to have, it can be complicated and there is definitely a learning curve. There are apps like Face Tune Snapseed, VSCO and Prisma to name a few of my favorites, that you can use from your phone, and are easy to learn. Face Tune especially is great for removing people without making it obvious.
Tips on Posing
Lastly, posing is something I get asked a lot about, which is both ironic but also an honor because I think I suck at posing. And I still find it awkward at times, even knowing my “angles” sometimes it can get repetitive. I am always trying to find new ways to be creative in my pictures, while still capturing an image I feel confidant in. Practice makes perfect and I know what works for me. That being said you don’t want to look bored and while going outside the box can be uncomfortable it also helps you grow and evolve. I try to have fun with it and laugh. Thinking of something funny helps to create a genuine smile, and then there are other times when the situation really is hilarious, because Mother Nature is NOT cooperating, (for shame!) and I am just eating all my hair or freezing while pretending it is ninety degrees out instead of negative twenty.
If all else fails, because arms and hands can be so awkward, I love a good prop, which is usually in the form of a coffee cup. It has actually become something of a running joke. I recently posted a picture of myself and I was not holding a coffee and my friend was like WHO am I? Am I sick? No, no I wasn’t. Ultimately confidence, that will win when taking pictures. Owning a pose, or that coffee as is my case, will translate to film and those will be your best pictures. As with anything it takes time, but if you are passionate about content creating, it will be worth it.
What are your thoughts? How do you feel about Instagram, editing pictures, or posing? Do you have any tips? Anything you want me to share? I would love to hear from you all!