No photographer? No problem! Here is how you can create content on your own for your blog or social media. No Instagram boyfriend needed.
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Only once. That’s how often I have used a professional photographer since I started blogging in 2016. However, I have used my sister and teenage daughter to help me take pictures and shoot videos over the years. Then, I realized that I needed to create content more often. Both of them couldn’t always be sitting around taking pictures of me (they have other things to do!!). So, I needed to figure out how to take pictures and create videos by myself. Now, the majority of my pictures and videos are done by me!
Here is how I get my own shots and the gear I use:
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Watch the replay of my Content Creation Tools for Creators on a Budget Amazon Live:
Pro Tip: I use the Cannon app on my phone to take self-timer shots. It allows my phone to act as a remote. Then, I just put my phone in my purse to hide it during the shot. Finally, this app (it’s awesome!!) lets you download the shots right to your phone afterwards. So good!
“Vlogging, or video blogging, is a way for you to share your life and interests with the world, potentially making money while you do it.”Source: Wirecutter
Alright, so here are my tips to get you from bothering your loved ones for a shot to getting photos you will equally love on your own:
Practice at Home First
Taking pictures with a self-timer can be awkward at first. People will look at you. Then, they will offer to take the picture for you. Hahaha. Anyway, the point it is that it will be a bit uncomfortable when you start. So, practice a bit at home in the beginning. Figure out poses that work for you and angles you like. Also, just get the hang of using the self-timer feature on your camera or phone. Watch tutorials on posing to speed up your proficiency. Don’t worry about these first few photo sessions. My self-timer pictures were garbage when I started too. You will get better! All of this prep will make your photo sessions in public smooth and productive. Additionally, you will generate more content!
Find spots in your home that have natural light. You can use a combination of natural and artificial light. I use a soft box light when the natural light isn’t enough. Additionally, you can try to do your at home shots when the golden hour hits (right before sunset). This will give you a soft light for your shots. Experiment and have fun! Because, who cares, right? Also, I found that the more I tried different shots and ideas, the better my content got!
Location, Location, Location
Once you are ready to hit the road, location will be key! Simple backgrounds outdoors with some shade will be easier since you are on your own. For example, try a wall, a corner, or stairs with low foot traffic. Having a simple background with shade will help you get consistent lighting. Likewise, you won’t have to worry about something unexpected in the background that you won’t catch until you are editing. Shade is also important. Although I love me some back light, that’s tricky to get that right on your own when you start. People can bug. Yeah, I said it. Anyway, just find a spot where there aren’t a lot of folks walking into your shot. Now, at the same time, for safety reasons, don’t go somewhere that has no one around. Get yourself a spot to shoot that will you can do so safely and without people walking into the background. I like to shoot content in outdoor malls, shopping centers, and downtown areas of cities.
Prep and Plan
The more your prepare for your shoot, the better shots you will get! I batch shoot most of my content. So, I think about the outfits I will shoot along with the order in which I will do so. For instance, I shoot all of my outfits with jeans then go to the dresses. I sometimes determine the order of the shots by the lipstick I’m wearing.
Bring What You Can Actually Shoot
Likewise, I try to aim for shooting three to four outfits max. I usually only have about two hours. That allows enough time to get pictures and videos of each outfit. I do an Instagram Story explaining the outfit as I transition to the next look.
Pro tip: I use the hybrid auto setting on my camera to automatically generate video while I take the shots. This setting takes a video of the moments before the shot is taken. I use that footage for Reels, TikToks, or short video clips in an IG carousel post. You can see my other posts and podcast episodes on Content Creation here.
Have Fun – It’s Not That Serious
Finally, enjoy creating content! Keep things light and have fun. It will be a bit awkward when you start. After that, you will be a pro. Additionally, you will have a sense of freedom as you gain creative control of your shots! Lastly, the only drawback is that if you don’t like a shot, it is all on you (hahaha)! You can’t blame the photographer, boyfriend, friend, or sister!
Alright, now wipe that iPhone lens, get your tripod out and start getting those shots! Comments? Leave them below!
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