Taken by me – Canon 5D Mark IV – 35mm
If there’s one question I get asked frequently, it’s “Who takes your photos?” Today, I’m sharing the answer to that along with all of your other photo related questions in today’s blog photography Q+A post (part of my Q+A series).
Taken by Josh – Canon 5D Mark IV – 85mm (see post here)
Last week, I asked you all to share your most burning photography questions via Instagram stories. This is a subject that I get asked about often so I decided to have my husband join in the Q+A as well. Please keep in mind that we are definitely not professional photographers and neither one of us have been trained. We are still in the experimentation stage so we are both learning as we go through trial and error. 😉
Who takes your photos?
Josh: “I do!”
Me: “My husband! When I first started the blog, I recruited my little sister to take them for me. She moved away shortly after so I enlisted the help of my husband until I could find a professional. He ended up enjoying it more than he thought he would and decided to stick around 🙂 All flat lays and product shots are taken by me (as well as a few full body [see the first image] and detail thanks to my self timer!).”
Who edits your photos?
Me: “I do! All of the photos that you see edited on the blog and Instagram are done by me. It definitely wasn’t natural for me at first and it’s taken a few years of trial and error, experimentation and practice to get to this point. I’m still trying to figure out my “photo and editing style” (I have it in my head but can’t figure out how to pull it off) but according to you guys, I already have a style haha!”
What kind of camera equipment do you use?
Me: “We just upgraded to the Canon 5D Mark IV in November and this is what we use for most blog and Instagram photos. It was big investment but to be honest, it was worth every penny. We are both obsessed with it! For lenses, we currently use the 50mm 1.8, 35mm 1.8, and 85mm 1.8 (our fave is the 85mm!). For travel, we usually use the Canon G7X Mark II. Before the upgrade, we used the Canon Rebel t6i.
Taken by Josh – Canon 5D Mark IV – 50mm (see post here)
Do you think iPhone or DSLR is better for Instagram?
Josh: “Definitely DSLR. The images look more professional and higher quality. Overall, it just takes better pictures.”
Me: “I think it’s a personal choice and depends the type of content you’re shooting. I personally prefer DSLR over iPhone for my photos because I like the way it looks. It just seems a bit more professional and has a higher quality feel plus it fits in with what I’m trying to achieve long term with our photography. However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with iPhone photos if that’s the look you are going for! I think that iPhone works really well with more in-the-moment shots and does a great job at creating a connection while also still being relatable to your audience. For me, it’s purely about the aesthetics.”
Do I need an expensive camera as a beginner?
Josh: “No, you don’t. I recommend looking into used camera gear if you want something more expensive. For beginners, I recommend the Canon Rebel. It’s a great camera to learn on, especially for the price point.”
Me: “No. In fact, I recommend not spending your life savings on your first camera. I agree with Josh and would look into used camera gear or check out the Rebel (or something similar from a different brand). We had ours for over two years before we upgraded and I’m so glad we started with a more basic camera because it was much easier to learn on as beginner. The thing that really makes the difference are the lenses. If you’re on a budget, I would recommend getting the 50mm 1.8 to use in conjunction with your stock lens. When you feel like you’ve outgrown your equipment, then upgrade. The most important thing is just to get started, even if that means using your phone. Don’t feel like you have to have the most expensive camera to get started.”
Did he have photography skills prior to helping with the blog or is that how he learned?
Josh: “No, I didn’t have any photography skills. I learned by helping her with the blog.”
Me: “He learned through trial and error by shooting by blog photos. I also learned through trial and error and lotssss of practice.”
Taken by me – Canon 5D Mark IV – 50mm
Did photography come easy for you?
Josh: “No. Definitely not. It was a lottttttt of practice.”
Me: “Photography definitely had a learning curve but the thing I struggled most with was my editing. I do come from an artistic background though and have experience with figure drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics and fashion design in mediums such as pencil, charcoal, pastels, acrylic, watercolor, oil paints, ink, colored pencils and mixed media. I also did briefly learn photoshop for a graphic design class. However, I never took a photography course so this was very new. To be honest, Josh is much a better photographer than I am. He has a great eye for composition and is a natural, even with zero artistic experience.”
How did you learn how to take photos?
Josh: “Just by doing it. I learned mostly by playing around with the camera and trying out different settings. I also learned a lot from YouTube tutorials and videos.
Me: “Same! I also practice by taking photos of my little brother and editing them.”
Any advice you can give my boyfriend for taking photos?
Josh: “It takes a lot of practice and experimenting (I’ve been doing this for over four years). It doesn’t come right away and can be frustrating at first. You just have to keep trying until it clicks. The most important is for him to be patient with you.”
Me: “I agree with Josh. Being patient is so important. When he first started taking photos of me, I would get so frustrated with little things…the weather, my hair, my outfit…I would get down on myself and it would take us much longer to get things done. He was always so patient with me, even when he wasn’t feeling well or his back hurt or he was hungry. We usually block out about an hour each weekend to get things done. Sometimes we’ll even set a timer because if not, I’ll criticize the way I look and want to take a million more photos lol (I don’t look at the anymore for this reason)! It took a lot of time in the beginning for him to get the angles just right so it will take some experimentation as well. Also, if you take them outdoors, look for a more secluded spot to practice so neither one of you feel weird.”
Taken by Josh – Canon 5D Mark IV – 85mm (see post here)
How does he make you look so tall in your photos?
Josh: “I bend down to shoot her and either shoot straight on or at a slight upward angle.”
Me: ” Josh is 6’2″ and I’m 4’11” so if he shoots me without bending down, I look even shorter than I am lol! It took a lot of experimenting but now he’s got it down to a science. He bends down far enough to where the camera is about mid-body on me.”
What editing system does he use for the pink hues/tones?
Me: “I actually do all the editing! I use Lightroom for the blog and add VSCO on top of that for Instagram. I edit each set of photos by hand until I’m happy with the way they look so I don’t use a specific preset or anything (unless it’s my own). The pink hue is achieved initially in Lightroom by upping the pinks and warmth slightly so it creates a nice rose gold/blush hue. I use HB2 in VSCO for the Instagram photos to brighten and then finish up with small edits in the Instagram app! One of these days, I’ll show you guys how I do it :-)”
What preset do you use?
Me: ” I get this question allll the time and I actually don’t use any one specific preset. In the past, I’ve used Pretty Presets and Dreamy Presets, but I wasn’t able to achieve the look I envisioned for myself. Over time, I’ve created my own presets that I use based on location and time of day since the lighting tends to change. I have presets for both indoor and outdoor locations as well as for my flatlays and product shots. If I use one of those, I’ll just tweak it and if none of them work, then I’ll edit by hand. I get a lot of DMs asking about the “preset” I use so if this is something you guys are interested in, let me know!”
Are there any other questions you have?
Let me know in the comments!