Hey guys!! Jaci here, and I wanted to share my Top 5 Photo Tips with you today! If you didn’t know, I have been obsessed with photography since I was 14 years old and did it full time until I was 22 when I switched over to full time social media influencing. I still take photos almost every day but now I am in front of the camera a lot more which has been an interesting change!
Photography is such a huge part of who I am. I am not exaggerating when I say I have taken photos every day for YEARS. I have obviously learned a lot about photography in the process so I wanted to share a few tips with you! These can apply to travel photography, portrait photography or really any kind of photo taking.
Remember that there are no rules.
This is something that took me awhile to grasp. I was always trying to follow the “rules” of photography. Making sure my subject was in focus, keeping my shutter speed fast enough so there wasn’t motion blur, etc. Towards the end of my portrait photography career (I don’t want to say the end of it, because I am pretty certain I will pick it up again some day, but we will call it “the end” for now), I learned that I loved shooting with a slower shutter speed to allow for photos like this to happen:
Sometimes motion blur can really give a photo feeling which is always my main goal when shooting photos. What is the point of a picture if it doesn’t make you feel something or tell a story? Try new things and you will have way more “Ah-ha!” moments and will progress more than you can imagine.
2. Play with colors.
This is one of my all time favorite parts of photography. I am really drawn to (subtle, pastel) colors and love to play with colors to create a fun, pleasing image. I love monochromatic looks, as well as combining multiple colors. I think both make images so appealing to look at! Here are some examples of what I mean:
I think playing with colors and not being afraid to mix patterns is what makes a photo really stand out! Before taking that first photo I almost paired that rainbow sweater with generic jean shorts and then last minute decided to wear my colorful shorts with it. That is one of my favorite photos and I’m so happy I decided to do that even though I originally thought it might look too crazy. I have people ask me sometimes “Do you plan out all your outfits with specific locations?” Sometimes I do, but the truth is sometimes I just get lucky! With that last photo, I had a few different outfits in my car and we were shooting around a marina. When I saw that yellow sign I thought it would be so cute with my yellow romper I had brought and my cute photographer happened to have those yellow sunglasses. I didn’t plan every detail before hand but it all just came together!
3. Try out different lenses/focal lengths.
This is something that I struggle with because I often get so content with my equipment and forget that there are other options out there! 95% of the time I shoot with my Canon 16-35 mm 2.8. All of the photos you saw under Tip #2 were taken with that lens. I love the focal lengths it can get, and especially for traveling the wide angle is so great. That being said, Leif and I started shooting with our 50 mm lens lately and I forgot how much I love it! Here are some examples of photos taken with different lenses:
Canon 50 mm 1.2:
Canon 70-200 2.8:
Canon 16-35 mm 2.8:
Canon 85 mm 1.2:
Sigma 20 mm 1.4:
As you can see there are a lot of different options when it comes to lenses and they will all give your photos a unique feel. Sometimes I prefer iPhone photos because they give off such a casual/effortless vibe. Other times I love something like a 50 mm or 85 mm because the background blur is amazing and can make photos look really artistic. Like I mentioned though, my favorite is my 16-35 mm 2.8 because it is versatile and gives my photos a mixture of a casual/artistic feel. It will take time to figure out what works best for you but I recommend trying out different lenses so you can figure out what you love the most!
4. GET WEIRD.
This goes along with Tip #1-that there are no rules to photography. Just do your thing and have fun!! My favorite photos ever have been the ones where I tried something new. Of course there are times when my ideas completely fail and look stupid, but there are also the times they succeed and it is so fulfilling! Here are some examples:
Use fun props, learn something new on Photoshop, create a mood board prior to your shoot and make it come to life!! All of these photos took planning, but that is why they are some of my favorites! Even if you think it may turn out weird, it is worth a shot. I’m challenging you to think of a creative shoot idea this month and make it come to life!! If you end up doing it, tag @whatwesaidpodcast so we can see!
5. Practice, practice, practice. Learn, learn, learn.
I know this probably sounds very self explanatory, but this is the most important tip!! Nothing will help you improve faster than practicing. There is sooo much out there to learn. If you are feeling bored of your photography, try and learn a new technique or take an online workshop. I promise there is so much out there and the more you learn and put it into practice, the better your work will become. Leif and I recently became pretty uninspired with our film work. Then the other night we watched “American Animals” which had the most amazing cinematography and it totally rekindled the spark of passion that we had been missing! It is okay to feel uninspired or be in a creative slump-it happens to everyone. Make sure to give yourself a break if you need it! You will probably come back even stronger.
As I was writing this post, so many other tips came to mind. If you are interested in a part two, comment and let us know and maybe I can do that in the future! You can follow along with my personal Instagram here.
LOVE YOU ALL!!!! xoxo