A Beginners Guide to Blogging, Photography, and Influencing: Shooting with a Tripod
“We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.” ~ Ralph Hattersley
Number One Question
The number one question I get about blogging, isn’t oh so you are an influencer? Or how do you make a living off of that? Questions you would think I would get. No, I get asked all the time how I take my pictures, if I use a professional photographer, and HOW do I do it?
It always without fail seems to fascinate people, despite being SO simple. I use my handy dandy tripod that I nicknamed Betty with a Bluetooth remote. Don’t ask me WHY I nicknamed her Betty but I did. And she has become a LIFE SAVER especially during the pandemic. As well as a conversation starter. People will come up to me all the time asking about Betty. There are pros and cons to using the tripod and I am going to break them down for you.
This might be slightly biased, but I personally LOVE my tripod and Bluetooth remote. It is the best and longest relationship I have had aside from coffee. It is easy and portable and I don’t feel beholden or guilty for friends taking pictures. And I know. I know my friends are amazing! But I always feel guilty and like an annoying knat when I ask them to take pics. In fact it has become a running joke about WHEN I will ask because well they are amazing and always down to help.
A tripod takes away that guilt. I can also take as many pics as I want. They always say you have to be comfortable with a camera. I feel like that can be said for a tripod, once I get over I am posing in front of an innate object, I can let go and have fun with it and be an idiot. Especially where it is just myself and Betty. While it does take longer and you have to find the right angles especially if you are shooting in an area you are unfamiliar with, you can check and retake as many times as you want.
You kinda feel silly. Well I did at first. The funny thing is people will always look whether you are with someone or with your own Betty. I have had to learn to block them out, but if it is your first time, it can make you feel uncomfortable at first, especially when people stop and stare. As I mentioned I have gotten so many questions about my tripod in fact even with COVID people will still come and ask me the deets.
As much as it is a pro, you do have to constantly stop and check your pics. There IS an adjustment period, especially in the beginning, since tripods are portable, but they also aren’t portable. Unlike people they don’t move at a whim, and if you don’t like the way a photo looks, you have to move it around until you get the perfect angle.
I now a lot of bloggers use the self timer, but I prefer a blue tooth remote. The trick is figuring out how to hide it in a photo. Coffee cups, pockets, even tucking your hand in a jacket or sleeve are ways that I not so nonchalantly hide my remote.
Then of course there is the wind. I have gotten pretty lucky, but I also have counted my blessings, because Betty has taken quite a few falls especially this winter, and some how she and my phone have survived. Making sure where you are taking pics has a stable surface for the legs to rest on or even sink in, is so important as is checking the weather and wind speed. I have gotten pretty confidant with my angles and what I am looking for when taking pics, but I still have about ten minutes of setting up and trying out different settings before I am fully satisfied and then I can just click and pose away.
Now the Tripod
People might disagree, but you really don’t need to buy an expensive tripod. It doesn’t need to have all the bells and whistles, and it doesn’t need a mounted ring light. Are they nice? Yes. Are they practical when shooting at the beach or on a street? No. If I really need more light, I actually have a portable ring light that clips on to my phone and is perfect when I am in a pinch.
I am on my second tripod and I got it from Amazon. Because of how I like to shoot, I got the fifty-five inch, because I like to be looked down on as opposed to up. (again all about YOUR angles) The one I currently have is more expensive, but much more durable. It is also lightweight and came with a bag to carry it in.
With social distancing, and the pandemic, as well as trying to expand my business, Betty has been a life saver this year. ANY Cons are out ranked by all the pros. I can even take her out into my backyard and shoot content if I want too. While I usually use my phone, tripods work with DSLRs, and other types of cameras as well.
One other thing that I don’t have to stress about, is that when I send pictures in for a campaign, I do not have to worry about infringement of rights which is something you DO have to worry about if a professional photographer takes your pics and you are then selling exclusivity, copyright, or even commercial rights to another company. As there is so much more that goes into that whole aspect of blogging and photography, I will be discussing that in another blog post, as well as pricing, and just the mundane paperwork and contractual aspect of the biz.
But for now, Betty takes the stress out of having to worry about that. And this is one relationship I am very confidant in saying that we are very VERY happy!
Have you shot with a tripod? What are your thoughts about it?