Update: In the two years since this post was published, I have completely upgraded my camera equipment and shooting acumen and now this is the best camera equipment you need as a fashion blogger in 2018.
I have a lot of people asking me, “how do you take such great photos”?
And the answer is simple.
You need a great camera PLUS a great lens.
I use the Canon EOS 60D camera, which comes in at $460 on the used market.
The lens I recommend for beginners is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8, which is just $110.
You can’t just shoot with an iPhone and expect amazing results.
Here’s a quick example of one of my shots with my iPhone 7 Plus (the best cameraphone on the market).
When shooting with an iPhone, everything is in focus.
You don’t get the blurred effect that makes some photos really pop.
And this photo with me in the black jacket is taken with this lens. It’s just $125, and it makes a world of a difference.
The jacket is the same jacket, but on the iPhone 6 Plus, the jacket is a weird kind of olive color.
The 50mm lens captures the brown in the jacket, and you can see that everything in the background is blurred.
This lens is just $125, and makes a HUGE difference.
But what about even more expensive lenses?
With this being Life, Tailored, I’m always looking for the absolute best, and I think I found it in Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L Lens.
The photo above has me in the foreground, and it’s perfectly crisp, and everything behind me has a very subtle, blur.
The difference between this lens and the $125 lens are these subtle details, and for those of you serious about your fashion blog, and treat it like a business, it’s worth it. (Just think about what your advertisers want to see… they want the very best).
The price comes in at a whopping $1,349, but it’s worth every penny. You know the saying…
“You need to spend money to make money.”
I bought it from Jet.com, and thanks to all the JetCash I earned, I was able to purchase it for 50% off.
How to Take Amazing Photos
So I just learned how to shoot photos about 3 months ago, and while it can seem really hard, it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it.
Here are some of the tips I used to learn how to shoot.
Tip #1: Adjust the white balance of your photo accordingly.
If your photos have people’s skin looking very white or their white shirts looking blueish, then your white balance is off.
Luckily, there’s an easy fix.
The white balance of your photo will often change according to the lighting of the photo itself. While most DSLRs have an automatic white balance setting that does a relatively good job of keeping the color balance looking its best, it is worth noting that you may need to manually adjust in order to have the best outcome.
Tip #2: Adjust your shutter speed.
Anyone with a camera has fooled around with shutter speed a time or two just for fun. While it’s pretty cool to blur your photos, it’s also undeniable that shutter speed can make or break a good picture. The shutter speed, to put it simply, represents the amount of time that your camera lens is open. If the speed is too low, this will often result in a blurry photo. If the speed is too high, the photo may be too crisp with little to no movement at all. Play around with this and find the right balance for whatever you are shooting.
Tip #3: Make sure you have good lighting.
Good lighting can make a break a picture. When it’s done well, the subject appears to be sent from heaven.
Everyone with an iPhone believes themselves to be a photographer. But even the most novice of us know that good lighting is the difference between a good photo and one that lands in the recycling bin forever. There are certain tips that you will uncover as you become more experienced, such as trying to shoot under shade as often as possible in order to eliminate shadows from the face and body, and perhaps even purchasing a light defuser. If all else fails, time of day can make all the difference. A photo taken around sunset will always be beautiful, as will a photo taken at sunrise. Do your best to capture these rare moments and take advantage of them for prime lighting.
Tip #4: Adjust ISO levels.
Adjusting your camera’s ISO levels is basically adjusting the camera’s sensitivity to surrounding light. The lower the level, the less sensitive the camera is, and the higher levels will make your camera more sensitive. A high ISO will allow the photographer to automatically brighten a photo without the use of a flash, which is always extremely helpful. It is worth noting, however, that an ISO that is too high will result in a grainy photo that cannot be used. Experiment with this, as every photo is different, and find the ISO that works best for your camera and surroundings.
Tip #5: Don’t be afraid to shoot inside.
While there is no denying that good, natural lighting is a photographer’s best friend, there is nothing wrong with shooting indoors as long as you know what you are doing. Make sure that you shoot at a time where you have enough light, and that you increase your camera’s ISO to optimize the image. If you have professional lighting, that is always an added bonus. If not, don’t worry. With a bit of experimentation in time of day and ISO settings, you’ll be an indoor photographer in no time.
What is aperture?
You can see in the photo above, I’m in focus, and all of the background has a really nice blur. This is based on an aperture of 1.2.
To pull off this effect, it’s based on setting your aperture to the lowest possible setting. The blur itself is known as “bokeh”, and here’s what you need to know about it.
Even more camera lenses for fashion bloggers
These are some other recommended lenses that I haven’t personally tried out, but are all getting 4 1/2 stars on Amazon.
- Very Fast f/0.95 Wide-Angle Lens
- 17.5mm Is Equivalent to 35mm Lens
- Focuses As Close As 5.9″
- 10 Diaphragm Blades for Great Bokeh
- Aspherical Elements for Crisp Images
- Manual Focus
- 34mm Equivalent in 35mm Format
- Micro Four Thirds Mount
- Aperture Range: f/1.8-22
- Movie & Stills Compatible (MSC) AF
- Snapshot Manual Focus Control Ring
- Distance and DOF Indicators
- Dual Super Aspherical Element
- High Refractive Index Element
- Extra-low Reflection Optical Coating
- For OM-D and PEN System Cameras
- E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
- Aperture Range: f/1.4 to 16
- One AA & Three Aspherical Elements
- Zeiss T* Anti-Reflective Coating
- Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave AF System
- Physical Aperture Ring Can Be De-Clicked
- Minimum Focus Distance: 12″
- Dust and Moisture Resistant
- Filter Diameter: 72mm
- Circular 9-Blade Diaphragm
- F1.4 Brightness for Shallow Focus
- Low Distortion, Chromatic Aberration
- UHR (Ultra High Refractive) Lens
- Reduced Ghost and Flare for Clear Photos
- Circular Aperture Diaphragm
- Durable Metal Mount
- VM Mount Lens for M-Mount Cameras
- Aperture Range: f/1.5-16
- Minimum Focus Distance of 27.6″
- All-metal Lens Barrel
- Manual Focus