Here are some of the questions I am most frequently asked about my Instagram account and blog:
What do I use to take my photos?
Canon Rebel XS DSLR – I bought this camera a few years ago for a trip my husband and I were taking. I absolutely love it. The lens it comes with is great and I also purchased a portrait lens that I use to take photos of my friends, family and dogs. I’ve also recently purchased another lens specifically for my Instagram and blog.
iPhone 6 – About 75% of my photos are taken with my iPhone. Honestly, the quality is much better when I use my digital camera but sometimes I don’t have enough time. The camera quality on the iPhone 6 is very good and it is obviously super convenient for posting to Instagram.
Canon efs 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens – I bought this lens specifically for my makeup blog. I went to a camera store in Austin and got help from an employee there about what lens would be good for product shots. Honestly, I would find a specialty camera store in your area and go in and have them help you find something. This lens was very expensive, but I didn’t mind since the camera was “free” since I already owned it. I am sure there are cheaper alternatives out there as well.
What do I use to edit my photos?
Adobe Photoshop Express App (on my iPhone) – This app has made the biggest difference in my photographs. I am 99% sure that this app is free. However, I paid extra to get the “reduce noise” and “defog” functions. I use both of these functions to edit EVERY photo so I would highly recommend paying extra to get these. Some of you may prefer to use Photoshop on your computer, but I really enjoy the process I have come up with. I take photos on my DSLR and upload them to my computer. I then go through all the photos and flag the ones I like. I then email those photos to my phone where I edit them on the Adobe Photoshop Express App. I then email the photos BACK to my computer to use on my blog. (If you can’t tell by now, I am not the most tech savvy person. I am sure I could use Airdrop to eliminate having to email photos back and forth to myself, but for now, this system works for me).
What do I use as a background?
When I first started, the Instagram accounts that I was most drawn to were ones with white backgrounds. I played around with a few different options (white scrapbook paper, piece of wood painted white, white pieces of printer paper, a white art canvas) before I landed on my “perfect” background. I started using these thick mailing envelopes that my husband had in our office for his job. For me, these worked really well and were “free”. However, I have recently upgraded my background.
I now use a light tent and lights that I bought off Amazon. The light tent comes with backdrops and I use the white one on most of my photos. The light tent and lights cost under $100 and I have to say – they have DEFINITELY improved the quality of my photos. However, I ordered these because I needed a way to take pictures without natural light. It is dark when I leave for work and it is dark by the time I get home. I needed something that I could use to take photographs either early in the morning or late at night. If Instagram/Blogging is something you are serious about (and if you have room – the light tent is bulky and the lights are large) I would highly recommend investing in these. FYI, I leave these set-up on our guest bed.