Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

You don’t need a DSLR camera. Here’s why.

The perfect camera for bloggers

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is “what camera do you use?” I’m asked about it a lot when I’m out shooting at events. It’s so small, it looks like a point and shoot. But it’s not–it’s an Olympus mirrorless micro four-thirds model. It has the functionality of a DSLR, but at a fraction of the size. I think it’s the perfect camera for bloggers (and many other photographers!).

What it’s like to use a mirrorless camera

Here’s what it’s really like to shoot with a mirrorless camera and why for the time being I’m truly happy with this choice. Whether you’re a blogger looking to upgrade your camera or just getting more into photography, here’s what you need to know.

The size.

For me, this is the number one reason why I go the mirrorless route. I just can’t lug around a DSLR and its gear without getting a major neck ache. But with my Olympus, I can throw it in my purse and go to any event. It’s so portable and light.

You know when you see someone with a full frame DSLR and you’re like, “they must be a photographer.” That’s just not going to happen when you’re shooting with a dinky thing that doesn’t even look like it can switch lenses. This can be good and bad depending on the situation. If you travel a lot, a lighter and less expensive-looking camera might be perfect for you. Just some things to think about!

The brand.

I’ve been pretty happy with the Olympus line, which includes a range of cameras from the lower end model I usually shoot with up to pricier camera bodies. Sony is also really well known for its mirrorless line, which one of my fashion photographers used in this shoot–take a look at how well it does!

Some of my other fashion photos are taken by an Olympus EP3 and an Olympus EM-1:

The price.

It seems like you’d be saving money by buying a smaller camera, but sadly this is not really the case. The cost is pretty similar to a starter level DSLR kit–or even a little bit more.

Performance.

Now it’s not a perfect camera. I’m not satisfied with how the Olympus performs in low light, but for many blogging related needs it’s great.

With a prime lens, I can get depth of field for close-up shots for my blog.

It’s also great for taking flat lays for Instagram.

Of course, DSLR cameras are still a great choice. My outfit posts shot by pro photographers are done with DSLR and I used one on my summer cross country road trip. The majority of bloggers I know shoot with the Canon line, and I’ve heard nothing but positive reviews. With DSLRs getting smaller and lighter, I may consider getting one down the road. I just want you to be aware that there is a viable alternative for both beginning bloggers and more advanced photographers that I recommend for its portability.

Camera style

Just for fun, here are some camera bags and camera-themed accessories worth checking out.

Which camera do you use? Let me know in the comments!

How to Take Photos That Look Like Your Life Isn’t Falling Apart

Hilarious parody of a lifestyle blogger's instagram accountDoes your life look perfect enough online?

Recently a friend and I were talking about how perfect some people appear on social media. We know it’s not really that way of course….right?

She flipped on her phone. “Look,” she said, “See this picture I posted?” It was a beautiful new porcelain compost container photographed against the pure white tile of her renovated suburban home. “It looks like it’s from a magazine,” I said.

“Yeah, well it was the only square foot of real estate I could find that wasn’t covered in clutter, cat hair and dust,” she responded. Well, she fooled me with just one photo. And she fooled the forty other Facebook followers who called her a goddess from heaven sent to teach the people of earth about sustainable housekeeping.

Those picture perfect couples holding hands in matching flannel shirts still fight. Their beautiful smiling babies still vomit all over their work clothes right before they’re ready to walk out the door. And that friend #blessed with a promotion at #dreamjob still has days she can related to this:

 

How to use photography to make it seem like your life isn’t falling apart: A Definitive Guide

You, too, can have a picture-perfect life online. As a lifestyle blogger I’ll teach you what you need to know. The trick, my friends, is how to successfully curate your life to look good. To look like it isn’t…you know, falling apart. This might sound difficult to achieve but it’s actually really, really easy with just four steps.

Make it look like your life isn’t falling apart in four easy steps

1. Cropped AF. 90% of lifestyle photography is cropping the shot until there’s nothing ugly in the background. If the clutter doesn’t make it into the shot, is your house still a trash heap? The answer is a definitive no.


2.  Add Sugar. Nothing makes your photos look classy like macarons, frosted donuts and cupcakes. This makes it appear as though you have nothing but time on your hands to sip a latte at a Parisian cafe and not worry about calories. After you take the photo of a single donut, eat the entire the box and tell no one. Calories don’t count if they aren’t Instagrammed.

3. Pretend to Love Minimalism. Uh-oh, people might start to notice that you’re wearing the same clothes in all your photos. Tell your Instagram followers you are creating a “capsule wardrobe.” This will make you temporarily forget the fact that you want to cry into your undone piles of laundry at night.

4. Use Creative License on Captions. “Great start to the day! I hiked a mountain and did yoga at the summit while the sun rose. #morningslikethese.” Caption your photos to successfully deflect away from the fact that you’re in yoga pants today because it’s a day that ends in -y, not because you actually worked out.

Can we keep this weather, please? #lakelife #onlyinmn #minstagrammers #pup

A photo posted by The Pink Paperdoll (@abbie_katrina) on

At the end of the day, we use social media to add beauty to a dark world. It’s reality mixed with a healthy dose of aspiration. So when you’re depressed about where your life is going, just scroll your own Instagram feed. You are a badass bitch who has at least one square foot of clean house, eats sprinkle donuts for breakfast, has a faux capsule wardrobe and did yoga once. Don’t let your real self forget: you are amazing.

Want more satire? Check out How to Shop For Baby Clothes.

New Year’s Cards

christmas-cardsHappy New Year!

Do you send out holiday cards? After two years of being a freelance business owner, I sent out my first set mailing to my clients and friends to say thank you for their support over the last year and wish them the best in the year ahead. I absolutely love snail mail, and I hope the recipients appreciate it too. This year I traded Christmas cards with other bloggers and creative business owners from my area and it was so fun to send and receive paper stationary instead of e-mails!

blogger-christmas-cardsI love photographing flat lays (as evidenced by my Instagram), so I just had to design my own card, from the photo to writing the messaging and arranging the fonts. The florals were re-purposed as well from previous events, and I had the ribbon and pine cones left over from an assignment I’d done for Midwest Living. After all, there’s no rule that as a creative every idea you have has to stand alone as unique. Let one creative endeavor inspire the next. Here’s a photo from that shoot below, so you can see how similar they are to each other.

Paint pinecones for a multi-purpose seasonal craftLet each creative endeavor you undertake inspire the next. Click To Tweet

I debated a while about the message (Merry & Bright was a strong contender), but I wrote this one to be inspiring and non holiday specific. A local printing shop, Visions, did my printing and I was so pleased with the end result.

For addressing the cards, I used a brush pen to make pretty lettering. Also, you’ve got to check out the National Parks US postage stamps! Looking at the stamp sheet is like taking a mini tour of some of the major National Parks.

addressing-christmas-cardsHappy New Year! I hope you’re super excited for what lies ahead in 2017.

Early Fall Style & a GIVEAWAY

abbie_aug15_47 I recently got the chance to work with Mo Ashley Photos again after our first collaboration together this spring. We chose to shoot in downtown Wayzata, one of my favorite main streets in the Twin Cities. The shops are trendy, Lake Minnetonka is gorgeous, and even the occasional train that rumbles by just adds to the scenery.

abbie_aug15_53Mo Ashley is such a talented photographer and I have gotten countless compliments on the shoots we’ve done together, like this one at the Walker Sculpture Garden. Someone said they thought one of the photos I put on social media was from a magazine. Not only is she artistically gifted, she makes the process fun even if her subjects experts at modeling.

I know this because she we had to take about 100 walking shots to get a good one 😉

abbie_aug15_46Giveaway with Twin Cities Senior Photos Photographer Mo Ashley

I have the amazing opportunity to offer TWO readers the chance for their own photo session with Mo Ashley! This will be valid for a senior photo session OR a fashion session. To win, you MUST be available to shoot in the Twin Cities before September 30.
If you qualify, make sure you get your shot to win below! Follow along on Instagram for another chance to win coming this week.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Step into Spring Style

Adam Wold Photography Step into spring style

For this shoot I worked with the  talented photographer of Adam Wold Photography. Check out his work which includes diversity from landscapes to portraits. Together we explored downtown Minneapolis’ slushy, not-quite-spring streets.

City LightsFor this look I wanted to do a transition to spring, which as my northern readers know can pose a challenge when it’s still sloppy, wet and windy outside (If you live someplace where there isn’t still snow on the ground today, consider yourself lucky).

City Girl StyleWe played around outside in downtown Minneapolis at dusk, then finished up shooting inside the Minneapolis City Hall building.

How to Start on Spring Style

These are the style points I rely on as spring approaches but the weather is still cool:

  1. Ditching the down parka for a lighter, throw-it-on-and-go jacket. Everyone sing “Let it Go” with me: “I’m freeee!”
  2. I keep wearing my go-to leggings and tights to keep warm, but add shorter lengths and springlike details to the top layers of my outfit.
  3. Daring to wear pumps and short booties instead of weatherproof boots every.single.day.
  4. Remembering what colors are! Pastels are about to be really big this season, so now is as good a time as any to start experimenting with them.

Winter in MinneapolisHow are you transitioning your outfit choices into spring, even if “spring” is a concept on the calendar and not the thermometer?

Early spring styleOutfit Details: Dress courtesy of Luxx Loren  /  Basic black tights  /  Shoes Jessica Simpson  /  Jacket Similar at H&M

Venue: Minneapolis City Hall

Photographs all by Adam Wold Photography. Connect with him on Facebook.