I get asked a lot what equipment I use for my pictures and videos, and how I edit them etc., so I want to shed some light on that. I’ll start with the pictures and get you some insights on the videos in one of my next blog posts.
The thing that always comes first is an idea for a picture. I have a google doc on my phones home screen where I scribble down all the picture ideas I get. I get inspired a lot by things I see – wheter in real life or on Instagram or the web. There’s nothing wrong with taking Inspiration from other peoples pictures – but I always make sure that I get my unique twist in it and not just replicate a picture.
Often people will tell me that they’re so impressed with my ideas and they have a hard time coming up with something original. I tell you what – it’s basically practice. Just like you don’t play the ukulele like Jake Shimabukuro the first time you pick up a Ukulele, you don’t take perfect pictures the first time you pick up a camera and you don’t have the greatest picture ideas the first time you think about it. It takes time and practice just like any other art form.
So bottom line is, don’t be discouraged cause you can’t come up with the best picture ideas right away. Just try different things, maybe even try to replicate some pictures you like, until you get a feeling of what you want to do.
Being prepared is really important. So if there’s a certain picture you want to take, make sure you have all the props, clothes, backgrounds, etc. whatever you need ready. Also think about what other pictures you could do with the props you already pulled out. Is there really just one pose you can imagine? There might be other ways to style it as well. I try to think about those things in advance.
Also think about all the tech and people you’ll need. If it’s outside, make sure you’re allowed to take pictures in that area. And be prepared for people to stare at you 😉
Once I know what pictures I want to take it’s time to set everything out. Get dressed up, put on make-up, put up background etc. etc. Set out your camera or smartphone and take pictures. I always try to take lots and lots of pictures with different angles, with different poses, switch around props, try different faces etc. I like to have a variety of pictures to chose from. There’s lots of time and heart that goes into my pictures. So doing a setup and then maybe not be able to use any of the pictures because the angle was weird or my smiling looked fake is not an option for me.
Now I do have a big advantage that maybe not everyone has. I have a hubby who’s totally into photography and has a great camera and a very good eye for making me look good. So about 99% of the pictures that I’m in – he was involved. So you might want to think about asking your loved one or a good friend or family member to help you with the pictures. There’s no shame in asking 🙂
About the tech I use. I take a lot of pictures with my smartphone. I have a Samsung Galaxy S9+ which has a 12MP camera and a 8MP selfie camera. Both do a really good job and take fantastic pictures with a good quality. Especially when I’m travelling, I don’t want to take a big camera with me and it’s just a super easy to take good ukulele pictures with my smartphone (which I have with me all the time anyway).
When I’m not on the road and/or I am in the picture, there’s a big chance, that the picture was taken with a Canon EOS 5DS R. As I said, it’s not mine, it belongs to hubby and he is the one who know what to do with it 😉
Now a good camera can make things easy, but again, there’s really no need if you have a smartphone with a good built in camera. And I’ll show you why in the next section:
This is something I feel is very important but can be very intimidating to a lot of people. I do not use photoshop – even though I own it and know how to use it quite well, I just feel it’s really not necessary to edit my pictures with it.
What I actually use is mainly just the tools that Instagram offer. There’s really a lot you can do with adjusting brightness, contrast, warmth, saturation, colour, highlights and shadows – just check it out and try it.
Here are two examples of pictures edited within Instagram:
First one is a picture taken with the DSLR camera:
Second one was taken with my smartphone:
As you can see, there’s really a lot that you can do with the Instagram editing tools and a smartphone picture. So go for it.