Ideas and inspiration for easy entertaining and a fun home life


Photography Q&A

August 28, 2017

Hi!  First, just want to quickly say that I was so grateful for all of your questions on our Instagram last week.  We would love to help play a small part in your photography journey, so please do let me know what we can do to be helpful.   Photography is one of those things which can be quite frustrating to learn — the sight you have in front of you doesn’t always translate to the image the way that you wish it to, and then when you nail it one time, it’s hard to repeat if you don’t understand the reasons it worked in the first place.  I will definitely be running more tutorials to try to simplify the process and help you learn how to quickly and efficiently translate your vision into useful, on-brand images which will help grow your business or help you achieve personal goals.  For now, here is a link to tutorial on shooting in difficult conditions and I am doing a photography Q&A below!

What the best compact camera that takes the best “Instagram worthy” pictures? I have my own business and want to step up my photography game. I have a professional canon but it’s bulky.

Hi!  Ok before I get into some smaller camera recommendations, I would love to know which professional Canon you’re working with? I know that it is so bulky, and that alone was the reason that we invested in some smaller travel gear but, I did find the Canon system to be a really fantastic one to learn on and so it might be worth the extra effort to pull it out and learn the photography fundamentals.  Once you get the hang of it, it’s really user friendly and you can do so much with various lenses.   Smaller cameras will be strong in one area and weak in another, and a Canon pro system with various lenses will enable you to shoot basically everything: people, product, landscapes, lowlight, etc.

Having said that, I completely understand wanting to use a more discrete camera, especially in public areas.  I swear by my iPhone 7+ camera, I use it more than any other and once you get the hang of it and learn the best ways to shoot with it, I find it to be incredibly useful and efficient.

I am sure that this smaller Canon would be a great travel camera.  And I also love our Sony, particularly for overhead (flat lay) shots.

Maybe this is basic but, how do you manually get your subject in focus but background is hazy. It looks fine in the camera but on my computer my subject (usually a person) is also kind of blurry too!

Not basic at all!  Shooting on a shallow depth of field can both help you achieve this effect and make it tricky to nail your focus.   I always set mine using the autofocusing and specify the autofocus point.  This will take a bit of searching for depending on which camera system you’re using so it’s worth a google and come back if it’s unclear!

What’s your favorite camera to use while you’re traveling?

I shoot mostly with my Leica M with a 35 mm lens and my iPhone 7+.  The Leica is an incredible camera but is tricky to use and a massive investment.  The iPhone 7+ camera is quick and amazing and I highly recommend it — it can shoot well in a variety of circumstances, see here.

What is your favorite program/app to edit photos?

I always manage my photo editing in Lightroom and use VSCO filters with some tweaking.  Here is a quick tutorial on how I edit my professional photos for social media, and here is one on editing iPhone images.

What’s the best way to get started?! And best camera to get started?

The best way to get started is to shoot a ton and to try not to get too frustrated with yourself when it’s not looking exactly how you want.  So much of photography is about light and you will give yourself a huge advantage by practicing your photography around sunrise or sunset when the light is soft, gentle and flattering.   I also recommend doing some reading.  I loved Jose Villa’s book — while it’s about wedding photography, the principals and style are relevant to all types of photography and I learned a lot through employing his lessons.

Would love to know what equipment you use, especially a smaller travel camera you recommend?

Here is a full breakdown of all our equipment and when we use it!

Can you use generic lenses with branded cameras? (Particularly Olympus Pen). I’ve recently got into photography for my blog and am looking at two new lenses but they are so expensive!!!

First, let me just say that you should consider lenses great investments.  If you take great care of them, they hold their value because while cameras get replaced as technology improves, a good lens does not and can usually be re-sold for close to the value you paid!  Lenses make ALL THE DIFFERENCE and can turn a mediocre photo into an amazing, high-quality image.

But, yes! You can use generic lenses for all manufacturers. I don’t have much experience with them, but I know that some are considered to be classic lenses, often for specific jobs that the primary manufacturers don’t cater well to.

Bear in mind that generic lenses do not always offer better value if you are compromising on quality and compatibility with the highest functions of your new dslr.

I would use a trusted source to find out which lenses are considered worth investing in. I like this article from Adorama.

My general advice on lenses is to use prime lenses, the best quality you can afford, and to invest time getting really confident with it, rather than upgrading to the next lens as a quick fix, new gear often takes a long time to perfect!

I would love to know top tips for shooting in low light!

I use high ISO to shoot in low light.  I also love video lights and flash, but getting a camera that shoots well in low light is key.  Depending on which camera you’re using, the ISO can go pretty high and get that lovely glowy grainy feeling I adore.  Pro cameras definitely perform better here.  If it’s too grainy, you can add back some ‘luminance’ in Lightroom to soften the image.

Thank you guys so much for writing in for this photography Q&A! Let me know if/what I left out in the comments below and I’ll be right back to you!