Photography Tips + Tricks

Dec 22, 2016 | By New Darlings

NEW DARLINGS - CANON - CAMERA/PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS We definitely don’t call ourselves “photographers”, we like to use the term: “photo-takers”. Haha! Since our dating days, we have been photographing everythingggg and have dozens of albums to prove it, but the photos were always on a point-and-shoot camera. Nothing too fancy. Over the last several years we became more serious about photography and like to think we’ve become a bit more savvy with our way around the camera. We are always so humbled when we receive an email from a reader asking about what camera we use, looking for pointers on photography. Here are a few tips + tricks we’ve picked up that have made taking photos on our travels and for the blog a little easier. 🙂

How do you find the ideal lighting for OOTD photos?
We prefer to use natural light for all of our photos, indoors and outdoors. Our favorite time to shoot outside is usually right before sunset. The lighting is super soft, which maintains the natural colors of the environment, an outfit, skin tones, etc…

What is the best angle to capture a non-worn outfit – i.e. a flat lay, interior, etc.?
For flat lays we like to get as far above/on top of the subject as possible, so placing the items for your flat lay on the floor and standing over them is the easiest route. For food shots and table tops, you may want to stand up from your seat to get the ideal shot. Something we love about the Canon EOS M5 is that it has a swivel touch screen and is super light. This is such a plus when taking overheads because, you can angle the screen to face down at you. Normally, when taking an overhead shot, your arm is raised above your head, preventing you from seeing the screen, so this is a nice little bonus.

For interiors, you want to capture the room as someone would view it, so angles are important.  We prefer to shoot interiors on a tripod, giving us a clear and crisp image each time.  Setting up the shot at “belly-button height” is a great rule of thumb as well, preventing any funny angles or skewed perspectives/proportions.

What are your favorite lenses/cameras to shoot on?
We recently began shooting with the Canon EOS M5, in addition to our Canon 6D. The M5 is so compact and has been great to throw in our bag to capture photos throughout the day. The EF-M 22mm f/2 lens has been a nice addition as well. We enjoy bringing our camera to parties or gatherings with friends, which are usually in the evening and this lens is nice for capturing images in low-light settings, while still getting that pretty background blur. Lately we’ve been loving the  Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 II on our 6D. It gives us a lot of versatility when traveling and is great for interiors in a smaller apartment.

What’s the go-to rule of thumb for capturing a portrait and/or full body images of someone?
For us, we like to keep three things in mind when taking a photo of each other or friends:

[left: original image, right: image after posting to IG]

01. Stand several feet away from your subject: Tight, up-close shots are beautiful, but more times than not we end up playing with cropping and angles after shooting. Having more negative space to work with is always nice, especially if you’re looking to share your image on social media. We love sharing full frame-vertical images on Instagram, but the app does cut a bit from the top and/or botton of the shot, so keeping some extra space for any cropping that may occur has been something we’re conscious of while shooting.

[photo from Fall Style post here]

02. Get a little lower: Crouching down and taking the photo from a lower angle allows you to capture the subject in their best light. As we mentioned above for interiors, shooting from above or eye level can throw off a room’s proportions. It’s the same for people. Sometimes you may want to play with different perspectives and angles, but for a true representation of the subject, getting a little lower allows you to capture the subject without distorting their proportions. A little way to check this for yourself is make sure the edges of your shot are lined up with the building or door way your subject may be standing by/in front of. Using the surrounding environment as a grid can be super helpful.

[photo from our trip to San Fransisco; more from the blog post here]

03. Keep an eye on your aperture: A high aperture will keep everything in your shot sharp. This is great for interiors and landscapes where you may want everything in focus.  If you’re shooting detail shots or portraits, you probably want the background to melt a bit. The wider your aperture, the lower your f-stop is, and the blurrier your background will be.

What are your go-to filters?
VSCO film pack 01 is our favorite for editing blog photos in Lightroom. It has a large array of classic filters that create a clean look and are a great starting point for large photo sets. From there we usually tweak the saturation and exposure, and almost always warm up the image, unless it was shot indoors. Then, we usually find ourselves stripping the orange and yellow tones a bit, which can sometimes become too saturated from artificial light.

NEW DARLINGS - CANON - CAMERA/PHOTOGRAPHY TIPSH&M turtleneck | Madewell jeans | Sezané belt | Coach bag

Hope that helps answer some of your questions. 🙂
Please comment below with anything else you guys might be curious about!

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16 comments on “Photography Tips + Tricks”

  1. Excellent tips! I do most of my own photos for my blog, and I’ve still got a lot to learn about my camera. I definitely have to second the tip to get low when shooting – it’s a great way to lengthen the body.
    Zella Maybe

  2. Hi Christina, This is a question about an older post you had back in the summer, I just didn’t know if you would see it if I commented to that post. I’m wondering about your Away luggage set. I really like whichever color you have! In some pictures it looks like you have the beigy color called “sand” and in others it looks like the white one called snow. I’m on Away Travel’s site now shopping for new luggage, and I’m not sure which color I like. Wondering which it is that you have, the beige or the true white. Thanks for any help!

    1. Hi Stacy, Thanks so much for your comment! I have the beige/sand color. It’s held up really well, and the light color is definitely easier to spot when at baggage claim. Hope that helps! Happy Holidays. Thanks so much for following along. 🙂

  3. This post came so handy! I recently purchased a new DSLR – a Nikon which I dearly love, and I need all the help I can get with navigating it. I’ve already taken a bunch of photos I posted on my blog, but I feel there’s a lot of room for improvement.

    Lena –

  4. Such a helpful post! I too have the VSCO film pack 01 for Lightroom. Are there any particular presets in that pack you find yourself using the most?



  5. Hey! I have one question that was bothering me for a while now. Who takes photos of both of you? Do you take them yourself using a tripod or do you have some secret photographer? 🙂 It is just out of curiosity 🙂 I just thought that if its you who take tho photos, it has to be a little bit time consuming and sometimes even annoying, to take photo after photo… but anyway, its worth it, cause your pictures are always beautiful and inspiring 🙂

    1. We take them of each other, have a friend shoot them, or bust out the trusty tripod. We sometimes work with photographers too. 🙂 Thank you so much for the kind words about our photography. We really love sharing images with everyone here. xo

  6. I love your photos! Thanks for sharing these great tips! I’m thinking about getting the 24-70mm lens. Do you use a protective filter on it? If so, do you mind sharing which one? Thanks for your help!

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