Roundup: Tips for Better Photography

Tips for Better Photography // cupcakesandcoffeebreaks.com

Ever since I started reading blogs in 2009 I’ve been interested in the photography aspects that go on behind the scenes. The first blog I ever followed was Oh She Glows, and I loved that it was written by a Canadian girl who lived not too far from where I grew up. Sometimes as a Canadian it can be difficult to relate to the American bloggers. Even though they’re right next door to us, there are still a lot of things that separate us, brand- and audience size-wise. So when I saw that a good ol’ Canadian girl was having massive success from her blog (both in Canada and internationally), and taking amazing food photographs to support it, I was really excited to see some success north of the 49th parallel!

Fast forward to 2011 when I decided to start cupcakes+coffee breaks. All I had was my junky little point-and-shoot camera (not that all P&S cameras are bad, but mine was particularly awful) and 60$ to spend on web hosting. I knew that for one thing I wanted to post about food that I’d made, but I was so disappointed with the way my photos would turn out (examples here and here of my ‘early works’). Eventually I got a DSLR, and over time I think my photos are definitely improving. Motivated by the fact that I really want to include more original photography on my blog (most of my favourite blogs do this already, and I really love that about them), I’ve been plugging away with my DSLR and kit lenses, with plans to upgrade to a 50mm lens ASAP.

In the meantime, I’ve been devouring books and blogs, reading anything I can find to help me create better photos, both in camera and with the help of photoshop. Living across the world from my family and friends is a lot easier when I can share experiences with them, especially when the experience is well-conveyed through great quality photos. I do think I’ve come a long way in the past year, and I’m looking forward to improving even more, especially thanks to a bunch of great bloggers who’ve been kind enough to share their tips online for getting really great photos. Who needs to take a $300 class when you have other people who were in your shoes not too long ago to share their wealth of knowledge? I did read this book, by recommendation of Molly on her post, which has definitely opened my nerdy eyes to the more technical aspects of photography. Also really helpful were the other books I bought on food photography and styling (seen here), which I keep re-reading weekly. But those aside, here are a few of my favourite tips from some great bloggers for creating better photos, both for real life and for blog-land.

  • + Aside from Molly’s post here, which I already  mentioned, her post on open shade is great for outdoor and daylight photography
  • + Julia and her husband Thomas take brilliant photos for her blog, and so far they’ve shared two great posts on techniques to take her outfit photos. The first one is on choosing location, and the second is all about adjusting your camera–both are so informative
  • + Taylor is a food photography whiz, and he’s dedicated an entire section of his blog to teaching us newbies how to take great food shots. My favourite posts of the bunch are on lighting and photo backgrounds
  • + Kristina’s post on fashion blogger photography is another amazingly detailed guide that I think is applicable for much more than just fashion blogging photos
  • + I really like this post from Tiffany. She hits the nail on the head with her tips for practice practice practice, and her photos really show how it’s paid off for her
  • + I already mentioned it, but Helene Dujardin’s book is amazing for explaining food photography and styling. Nicolesy also has a great book that’s chock full of tips & tricks for food photos

I know there are a lot of other budding photographers out there, and hopefully this little roundup will provide some of you with some resources to improve as well. Hey, we can all learn together! If you have any other great resources for photography I would love for you to share them in the comments. I’m a nerdy girl at heart and studying up (and practicing) is the best way I know how to improve at something! Hang in there friendies, it’s almost the weekend. One more day!

Image via The Sartorialist
  • http://Www.savorhomeblog.com Tiffany@ Savor Home

    This is a fantastic roundup! I will definitely check out your links. Thanks so much for the mention and I’m glad the post was helpful to you!

    • Erica Wodzak

      No problem Tiffany, and it’s true, your photos really are beautiful!

  • http://www.SnapshotsandMyThoughts.com Ailee

    Erica! This post is amazing – what a great roundup. I had only seen Molly and Julia’s (or I suppose, Thomas’) posts – these are so helpful. Your pictures are beautiful.