Most of us are not professional photographers, nor do we have houses, wardrobes and stylists to make us or our images pretty every day. So how do you make the most of DIY photography and still have a sick social media feed?
I have made a new internet friend, Amanda Campeanu from Plush Content Co. What I loved about Amanda was that she has a freaking gorgeous feed, she gives amazing value to her followers and is just a down right real cool chick.
So I couldn’t help but reach out and ask her to give some of her best DIY Photography tips so I could share it with you all. This will be useful for both product and service based babes, because whether you are taking pics of yourself, other people or your own stock these are great, easy useful tips.
One last thing before I get into the wisdom from Amanda I wanted to touch on one elephant in the room and that is stock photos. (And by stock photo’s I mean images you have downloaded from stock image sites that are not your own)
Stock images are great and there are some amazing sites with high resolution stock images you can use for your feed. If you want some gorgeous stock images that are not your average ‘run of the mill everyone has used them already’ then Amanda does 4 FREE Stock Images per month when you subscribe to her mailing list. That is a killer opt in in my humble opinion, I personally am a subscriber!
Firstly, having a feed full of entirely stock images is not something that is advised. It is impersonal, people can’t see the real you or the real business. For us small business babes one of the best things about being a small business is that we can have that personal cut through that so many larger corporations find a challenge. We can show our followers who we are, what makes our business tick and be a real face behind the business. People do business with people, so get yourself and what you do in your feed as much as possible.
Secondly, we live in the age of the entrepreneur which means there are so many small business, new startups and one man band businesses. Not all of them can afford a huge range of pro pics, which means that the stock photo catalogue is being spread over a HUGE number of accounts, websites and platforms. Sites like Unsplash, Pexels and Pixbay have amazing quality images BUT you often see the same ones pop up, because they are popular and they look good. So using images you either paid to be taken or can take yourself will give you a point of difference.
Amanda really embodies both of these ideals in her feed, she puts herself in her feed and also her images are her own. Giving her brand that consistency and authenticity that followers crave.
That is enough of me speaking for now, I want to share Amanda’s gold for DIY Photography with you so here is her top 4 tips to help you make the most of your photography prowess.
4 Top Tips When Taking Your Own Photo’s
Taking your own photo’s doesn’t need to be a daunting process! It’s actually easier than you think and you don’t have to own and fancy camera. Whether your a service based or product based business, your products and services deserve to be highlighted in the BEST possible way.
The only way to do this is using high quality imagery. So, if you can’t quite afford to invest in a brand photographer just yet, invest your time into learning how to take your own high quality imagery.
#1 FIND THE LIGHT!
Natural lighting will be your best friend! Find a window or a door (any location where you have a good amount of natural light) and set up there.
You may need to experiment with a specific time of day to determine when you get the best lighting. For me, anytime before 12pm is prime shooting time!
Artificial light can be useful if you don’t have the time to shoot during the day. However, natural lighting will allow your images to look more raw and real.
#2 PLAN AHEAD!
To me, this is one fo the most crucial stages of a photoshoot. Without a plan, you have planned to fail. The I first stated product photography I would shoot on a whim and it took me twice as long to photograph for my clients, and I just got stressed and frustrated.
Give your photoshoot a goal and map out the scene for EACH photo. Decide on what props you will use, what backdrops, product/prop combinations, etc. I promise this will make the whole process alot easier and less stressful.
During the photoshoot itself, play around with your props and products! Style them into different scenes, take shots at different angles… just play around with the your props so you have plenty of options to work with once you have finished the photoshoot.
Options are necessary! You don’t want to get to the end of the photoshoot and realise you don’t like any of the photo’s you took. Move things around, get creative, and have a play!
#DON’T FORGET TO EDIT
Some people may think they don’t need to edit a photo…trust me, you ALWAYS need to edit a photo!
Even if it’s bumping the brightness up a bit, or the contrast, or reducing the saturation. Ensure you always pay attention to your white balance when editing as well so you images don’t look too blue or too yellow. We want to avoid that at all costs.
The key to success with any photoshoot is planning and having a vision for your shoot. Don’t rush the process, and don’t be afraid to get creative! Spending time actually learning how to take a great photo will put you one step ahead. Keep practicing, keep playing around with different ideas and don’t be afraid to switch things up!
HOW AWESOME WAS THAT SIMPLE ADVICE?!
I truly believe that we often make things way more complicated than they need to be, so these simple tips for DIY Photography could be a huge game changer for so many small business babes out there.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE?
I know you all want to know what tools and apps to use to make the most of your not gorgeous images.
When I first spoke to Amanda on the phone a couple of the things we both agreed on was this when I comes to the tools for good DIY Photography.
You DON’T need to go and buy the most expensive camera that your friend the wedding photographer uses! Most phones have exceptional photo (and video too BTW) quality these days, I myself upgraded to the iPhone X when it came out and the quality is phenomenal! But if you do want to buy a camera then a good DSLR camera will not put you back as much as it used to and some of them even come with Bluetooth or Wifi capability so you can download them to your phone if you want to.
Also it is so easy to edit a photo these days, you don’t need to be a Photoshop expert to edit an image. All phones and cameras come with easy to use editing options, plus there are heaps of easy to use editing apps that can help you without sacrificing good quality images. Some of Amanda’s recommendations are: Snapseed, VSCO and Lightroom.
Lastly, if I can say one last thing is this. If you need to learn some basics for DIY Photography you know the internet right? Well OMG it is a wealth of info, tutorials and clips on how to make the most of your existing tools and resources you already have to become a PRO DIY Photographer and Editor.
And if DIY is just too hard for you then check out Plush Content Co for Amanda’s super great value Brand Photography Packages. For product based babes you can post your products to her, for a personal shoot if you live near Brisbane then I would be getting on the highway ASAP to book a shoot with her.
Amanda Campeanu – Brand Photographer @ Plush Content Co
After being made redundant, I decided I never wanted to put my financial security into the hands of someone else EVER AGAIN. I felt totally helpless and that’s when I invested part of my redundancy package into my first DSLR camera. Was I scared letting go of over $1000 when I had NO money coming in? Heck yea girl! But it was the BEST thing I ever did!
I even became a morning person because of my business! And this is coming from the girl who would stay up until 1am watching Pretty Little Liars and sleeping in until 8-9am. I am literally motivated every single day to create new content for my amazing community on how to build their Instagram profile WITHOUT needing ALL the followers.
Continue to follow Amanda at The Plush Content Co on the gram HERE