Photo: Instagram/@Marianna_Hewitt
Photo: Instagram/@marianna_hewitt

Photography is everything when it comes to blogging—your personality and vibe comes through with your aesthetic. Your photos are a vital selling point when working with brands and especially true when you’re getting paid for the moments you create. Finding your niche and style can be really difficult and expensive when starting out a blog, but there are a few ways to get quality photos on a budget:

The basics for using your phone as a camera: 

  • A lot of my Instagram photos are taken with my iPhone 6. It’s all a balance of good lighting, the right apps and a good set of editing skills (you can see my editing tutorial here).
  • Take pictures in natural light for the best cell phone photos.
  • For great iPhone outfit pictures, I like to stand in the shade against a solid wall but with the sun in front of me. Standing in direct sunlight not only makes you squint, but causes unwanted shadows on your face.
Photo: Instagram/@marianna_hewitt

How to get great blog photos and Instagrams without your own photographer:

  • Finding someone to take your photo can be pretty annoying to your family and friends. I ask whoever is with me to take pictures and I take a lot to get a good one. A lot of bloggers don’t have their own photographer—sometimes using a friend, boyfriend or husband is much more convenient anyway.
  • Be your own creative director. Test out a few angles first, then show whoever is taking the photo an example and have them take it of you.
  • Use a self timer or remote. I know this sounds crazy, but I know a lot of people who use this. If you have a camera, you can set it up on a tripod. If you’re using an iPhone, use the self timer. One person told me they did this for years and would Photoshop the remote in their hand to look like a pair of keys.
  • Make friends with another blogger. This way the two of you can use your creative eyes to take photos of each other without having to hire anyone.
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Photo: Instagram/@marianna_hewitt

If you want to move from taking pictures of yourself to hiring a professional: 

  • Wedding photographers make great blogging photographers. They work great with daylight and give photos that airy, bright look that fits well for personal style blogs.
  • Reach out to photographers whose style you like and approach them to take outfit photos. Get rates from various photographers to find what works best for you.

In my personal experience, it’s been almost more difficult to work with photographers because they want to direct you too much in your photos. A blog and Instagram page is your vision of yourself, so I prefer to take photos myself or work with photographers who are used to shooting bloggers.