Blogging 101: Photography (Part 1)

Blogging 101 iPhone Photography

BLOGGING 101Photography is a tricky subject for me because I don’t have a photographer to take my pictures. For the most part, all of my pictures are taken by me on a self timer with a point-and-shoot camera I bought over five years ago. Needless to say, I am far from an expert.

I’ve recently started looking for a photographer willing to work with me for trade (I promote their business in exchange for pictures) and have already had so many great people reach out to me expressing interest. Now I just have to pick the right person!

This section of my Blogging 101 Series will be focused on do-it-yourself photography: iPhone photography, editing apps, point-and-shoot photography, tripods and self-timers, and free photo editing online. I hope you find this useful! Please ask away if you have any questions at all and I’d love to hear if you have any other tips!

iPhone Photography

If you are just starting out as a blogger, chances are that you have yet to purchase a nice camera or know of any photographers (or even have a budget for one!). Even though I’ve been blogging for almost a year, I don’t have money for a photographer and I still have a pretty crappy camera.

That being said, I rely on my iPhone for a lot of my pictures – especially when I’m on the go.

Here are some great tips for getting the perfect snap on your phone’s camera:

  • Know your options – you can take photos in a normal size, square cropped (great for posting directly to Instagram!), or panorama.
  • Focus, focus, focus – the lighting will completely change based off of where you tap on the screen to focus (see the pictures below for an example of this!)
  • Pay attention to lighting
  • Take multiple shots of the same thing – sometimes it’s very easy to get a blurry picture with a cell phone because your hand is shaky and they aren’t like professional cameras in that they auto-adjust to that
  • Pay attention to your surroundings – simple backgrounds look better than those that are cluttered
  • Don’t use the zoom. It dramataically decreases the quality. If you want to get closer, you need to physically get closer
  • Make sure the lens is clean
  • Don’t use the flash unless you absolutely HAVE to! If an image is too dark, adjust the brightness later or try to adjust the focus


Photo Editing Apps

Camera+ ($1.99)

This is by far my go-to photo editing app. There are so many great tools you can use such as a camera, fun filters, basic tools, crops, and borders. It has everything you could need – best $2 I’ve ever spent!

Facetune ($2.99)

This is my go-to photo editing app that is like Photoshop in the sense that you can whiten teeth, eliminate blemishes, etc. It’s great for on-the-go blogging when you don’t have access to a computer (or can’t afford Photoshop).

A Beautiful Mess ($0.99)

I primarily use this app when I have a photo that isn’t a square (meaning it won’t fit correctly on Instagram). You can easily zoom an image out so that it fits in a square frame and then upload to Instagram! I also love their little doodles and phrases you can slap on – super cute!

Moldiv (Free)

This is a good alternative to PicStitch – it’s basically the same thing. You can make collages really quickly with this app.

VSCOcam (Free)

This is my favorite filter app. They have ones that look very natural, which I love, and they also have the typical editing tools most apps have. Some people are die-hard loyal VSCOcam users and exclusively use it, but I find it more supplemental.

Picfx ($1.99)

This app has an abundance of filters, but what I especially like is the option to add light. You can add light spots or sun beams to your pictures which is always super fun!

FontCandy (Free)

Such a great app for adding font to your images. There’s endless options for exactly how you want to format it!

The following topics will be covered NEXT WEEK! I’m so sorry for the inconvenience. I’ve been out of town and things have been hectic, so I didn’t get around to it. But please come back next week for Photography Part 2!

  • Digital Camera (Point-and-Shoot) Photography
  • Tripods and Self Timers
  • Best Free Photo Editing Online
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  • I can’t believe you take everything on a self-timer! Your pics are so cute I seriously never would have guessed.

    Another great pic editing app you can get for your smartphone is Adobe Photoshop Express (or PS Express), it’s actually like a compact Photoshop for your phone.

    • Oh cool! I will definitely have to check that out. Yeah, it’s a pain in the butt taking my own pictures but I don’t have money to be paying a photographer and I don’t know of anybody (besides my boyfriend) that would actually want to take pictures for free!

      • You’re still in college right? Does your program happen to have an Image Arts/Photography/Graphics program of some kind? If so, it might be worth spending a little time befriending the profs :-P

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  • This is so great! I’ve been looking forward to the photography part of your series. I can’t wait for the rest. I haven’t heard of a lot of these apps, and I can’t wait to check them out. I’m married to VSCOcam, but that’s only because I haven’t found anything I like better. I’ll be trying these out for sure! I struggle so much with taking decent pictures with my phone.

    • Oh, and do you have any tips for reaching out to photographers for trade? I want to do the same thing, but I’m not sure how to approach it. How did you find them and how did you approach them?

      • It’s tricky. I just researched a ton of photographers in my area that weren’t SUPER well known or expensive. I reached out to them and told them my blog statistics and how I would write about my experience with them and everything. I received one snarky reply and the rest were super excited about the opportunity! You just have to be persistent! Lots of photographers are looking to build their portfolios and are desperate for “models”

    • I definitely love the filters on VSCOcam! It’s so great because it’s so subtle. It’s definitely hard taking good pictures with phones but I find the more simple it is, the better!