May 31, 2016

Blogging Tips: Photography and Photoshop

This is our final week of our blogging tips series.  Thank you so much for joining us - and I hope it has been helpful.  For our last week, we are sharing our tips on photography and Photoshop.

Great photographs are what can make a blog look more professional.  To create professional looking photographs, you really need to invest in a good camera and lens.  I decided to invest in a camera - which I love to use for my blog, but also use it for photographs when we have family parties.  I had tried a Canon; however, I was not that impressed with it, so I decided to purchase this Nikon instead.  Although, I should say, taking professional looking photographs takes a lot of practice and work - I am still in the learning process - and hope one day to have mastered the art of great photographs.  A lot of bloggers you see with professional looking photographs - either hire a professional photographer or have spent a lot of time perfecting it. Also, you can buy a good camera or you can spend a lot of money and buy a great camera and lens.  A good camera will range around $1000 or less with the lens, a great camera is around $5000 and more.

Lens & Blurry Background
At the same time I bought the camera, I also invested in a 50 mm lens. You may hear a lot of bloggers talk about a 50mm lens (or "nifty fifty" lens).  You may also wonder how bloggers get the blurry backgrounds, well, it is usually by using the 50mm lens.  A few tips I have found to get the blurry background photographs. You will want to learn how to shoot in manual mode.  This allows you to adjust the settings, like the aperture.  The aperture is opening that allows light through the lens. A wide open aperture and low f-stop - like f/1.2 creates the blurry background.  Also, the distance between you and your photographer makes a difference.  The closer the photographer is to you - and the farther away you are from your background will help to create the blurry background.  Photography is a lot of trial and error and practice - the best thing is to practice and with time, you will learn more and improve.  I am still figuring out all the settings on my camera. And, have to have a re-fresher when I haven't used the camera in awhile.

White Balance
Another important setting that you can adjust in manual mode is the white balance.  Each location will have different varying colors - and amount of light, so it is best to measure the "true white" in each location.  In order to do this - be sure to take something "true white" with you to the location, like a piece of paper, where you are shooting and set the white balance based off that white.  White balance is what may make some of your photos have a blue or red tint sometimes. Our eye compensates for the differences cast by the light, but the camera will record what it sees, unless we adjust the white balance.

Here are a few camera resources.  
The 19 photography tips for every blogger - such as the rule of thirds.  Another great resource is this blog, A Southern Drawl - which walks through a lot of different camera settings for different lighting situations and backgrounds - and it is FREE.

Shoes: Halogen (Similar here under $50) // Reversible Tote: Street Level (Only $44)

To create my outfit collages and to crop my photographs, I use Photoshop. I have used Photoshop for almost 20 years, so it is something that is pretty easy for me to use. I do not know all the special features and effects of Photoshop - because it is a pretty powerful program and keeps getting more robust each version; however, I know enough of the features to make it the best program for creating graphics for my blog.  For a beginner, however, the program can be somewhat overwhelming.  

Here are a few helpful training tools to help you get started if you want to learn Photoshop. 

CreativeLive has different courses in Photoshop (and photography). has a lot of great resources, plus they offer a free 10 day trial - so you could easily check out some of the tutorials for free.

If you would like me to do a tutorial on how I create my outfit collages in Photoshop - leave me a comment and let me know. 

Next, be sure to "hop" over to Marta at Sweaters, Stripes and Sweets to hear her tips.

Week 1: What to know Before Starting a Blog
Week 2: WordPress vs. Blogger
Week 3: Social Media
Week 4: Monetize the Blog (Affiliate Programs & Sponsored Posts) 
Week 5: Where to Go for Help

I am participating in the following link-ups.


  1. These are great tips for shooting in manual mode! Thank you so much for putting together this series! It was a fun collaboration!

    Doused In Pink

  2. Love the excellent tip about "white balance", I didn't know this so it's very helpful! Thanks so much for organizing this great series Lisa and all the work you put into it!!

  3. Such great tips Lisa!! I struggle with the blurry background.

  4. Excellent tips, Lisa! Judging by the high quality of the outfit sets you create, I am not surprised that you are a Photoshop pro! It seems like all of the people who make the best product collages (like you!) use photoshop for it and have excellent skills.
    Gina || On the Daily Express

  5. I always wondered what you use to create your collages! I think I need to invest in photoshop (finally)!

  6. Great tips! We would be lost without our "nifty fifty"!
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  7. awesome tips! learning more about photography is my fav!

  8. I have been using Photoshop for awhile and I love it, I subscribe to it through their cloud payment program. My photos on the blog got so much better after I purchased the 50mm lens! Now I am looking at a thin lens for videos!


  9. While I don't have the Nikon I do have a camera that can shoot in manual mode so I need to use it!! xo, Biana

  10. Great photos seems to be really important to me. I'm lucky my hubby is willing to help and we are learning together.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  11. Getting a 50 mm lens really changed my photog game! :) Great tips, lady!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  12. These are great tips! I use Photoshop Elements, has everything I need to create what I do...I was too intimidated by the full the price. I would love to see how you make your collages and your graphics for your blog!

  13. I really need to get better at Photoshop. I know it would enhance my pictures ten fold if I just learned it already! Loved this series from you ladies. Sorry to see it end!


  14. Great tips! Thanks!!
    Adi xx

  15. I would love to see a behind the scenes of your outfit picture-taking prowess!

  16. Yeah! What Deena said! I don't have Photoshop but might be able to manage Elements? Idk. Another great free photography "class" is through me friend Kellea at
    Making the Most of Every Day

    1. Sheila, are you still taking pictures with Kellea? I finally broke lose and bought a camera and would like to start back taking pictures with her again, if anyone is still participating and if Kellea is still posting prompts.

    2. Just bought a camera. Good to know I now need a 50 mm lens. Thank you for these tips, and I would love to see how you create your sets!

  17. Incredible photos, thanks for sharing, you can also create quality HDR photos using Adobe Photoshop photo editing software I often use it to create quality photos for my own blog. Hope it will be useful for you. Good luck.

  18. Photoshop plays an important role in the photography and it is also a very important tool.


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