How To Take The Perfect Photo

Many people have asked how much I’ve paid to have photos done for Logan… Well, that cost is £0.

I take the photos myself just using my phone and a few apps for touch-ups if needed.

Photography has always been a hobby of mine and I admit I’m far to click happy, since upgrading my phone I have over 2000 photos and more than 80% of them photos are of Logan…oops.

I’m no professional but here are my tips to get the perfect ‘social media worthy photo’. These tips are based on what I learnt from taking media in college and just playing around with settings on a camera and different settings in my spare time.

1. Camera

The first tip is to get ‘professional looking’ photos at home you don’t need to pay ££ for a fancy camera. Just a smartphone will do.

Most smartphones these days have decent cameras, Apple has effortless features to get lovely portrait photos and so do most Android phones on the market.

2. Lighting

Personally, I think getting the right lighting makes the perfect photo, not the camera. To get perfect lighting your best option is natural light. So if you’re taking photos inside make sure to plan your photos around the time of day your room gets the most lighting. If photos look a little too bright or yellow, use a white curtain or sheet to cover the window, this will help with shadowing and getting a nice colour.

If you have a room that struggles to get natural lighting get some lamps involved! Hooded shade lamps are easier to work with. Make sure that the light bulb is white too. Make sure you get no shadows make sure the light is far back to produce enough light but not too much it creates harsh shadows. If you have two lights make sure ones facing the ceiling.

If you plan to take photos in an outside setting I find the overcast days are the best! Obviously, you can’t help the weather but if its overcast you get such a nice and effortless shoots, oh and less squinting of course (which means less editing!) But weather aside, the best lighting is usually early in the morning as the sun is rising or in the evening when the sun is about to set. This will get stunning shots.

3. Setting

Plan what type of shoot you want. Most shoots look great with a white background which is easily achievable with a big white bedsheet.

For outside shoots plan your location and what time to shoot for the best lighting. Also plan any props which might compliment the photo, especially if you’re doing themed shoots.

4. Clear the area

Make sure you have no clutter or items that shouldn’t be in this photo. Especially doing outside shoots. It can make the photo look cluttered and cause distraction from the main subject.

5. Prepare your camera settings

So no matter if you’re using your phone or DSLR the automatic settings should do the job well if you have the lighting right. Just make sure flash is off as you won’t need it.

Make sure you get the right distance and angle before shooting your photos. If possible buy a tripod or make your own stable stand out of books.

If you’re wanting to use Manuel settings play around to see what works best with your camera. I usually say a fast shutter speed works well, along with low ISO setting if the lighting is right. I find that ISO 100 or 200 is best. If Auto White Balance is available , use it. It’s usually a nice feature to use for portraits as it keeps whites, white and not looking unnatural or grey.

6. Editing

I actually don’t edit all my photos, if they’re good enough I just won’t bother. However, editing is the fun part to get super creative with the photos you’ve taken. If you need to do touch ups there’s lots of free and easy apps to use.

Personally, if you just want to add a nice filter on Don’t use Instagram or snap chat to do this. I find that Instagram filters aren’t too great and they destroy the quality.

Here are some app I’ve used over the years below:

VSCO – I’ve used this app for years, it’s easy to use and has lots of filters to choose from. You can do very basic touch-ups on the app too.

Most my Instagram photos have a VSCO filter, my favourite is T1 strength set to no more than 30%.

VSCO is available on all platforms.

Snapseed – This app is easy to use and effortless if you’re a beginner this app will sort your photos out for you.

Available on all platforms.

Facetune – Best for airbrushing and defocusing on the background also super easy to sharpen up the photos and get the focus right if the camera did not quite get it.

Lightroom – This is a powerful editing app that offers so much, this may confuse a few beginners, to begin with, but there’s plenty of tutorials out there which are super easy to follow. This app is a huge favourite among professional photographers and its available to use on all platforms. ( I personally prefer to use this on a laptop/computer)

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