How To Make Photo Blocks

How to make photo blocks-- with video tutorial!Valentine’s Day is a-coming my friends.  And I mean, what says I love you more than a handmade gift?! These photo blocks are not only the perfect way to display your special Instax shots for both friends and partners alike, but they also take less than 30 minutes to make. Talk about a win-win! Here’s how:

Time: 20 minutes + dry time
Materials: Instax Mini 70, Instax Mini film, wooden block, alligator clips, E-6000 glue, paint + paintbrush, tape

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DIY Instax + Tinsel Wreath

DIY Instax + Tinsel WreathOne of my favorite parts about traveling is taking photos. Since I never want to lug my DSLR camera with me, I usually toss an instant camera in my bag and hit the town. Now that the year is coming to a close, I thought it would be fun to weave my collection into my holiday decor. Because honestly, what is Christmas without a little sparkle and fun?! Here’s how:

Time: 10 minutes
Materials: Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 camera, Instax film, clips, star frame, tinsel, scissors

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5 Tips for Photographing Interiors

5 Tips for Photographing InteriorsWhen I first started blogging, I had never held a DSLR camera. It’s amazing how much of this job is just jumping in and figuring it out as you go. One thing that I’ve learned recently is how to photograph interior spaces, even when the lighting sucks. If you’re new to photography of this nature, here are five absolute must follow tips for shooting:

1. Use natural light. This is just lifestyle photography 101. Even if your space is low lighting use natural light. If your shoot day is flexible, I recommend that you keep track of the lighting in your space for a day. Note the times its the brightest and take some test shots to compare the results.

5 Tips for Photographing Interiors2. Use a tripod + wireless remote. So you know all those photos you’ve pinned and drooled over? The ones that made you hate your own apartment and made you want to move because they’re so bright and perfect? Turns out that more often than not a tripod is to thank (maybe blame?) for that magic. Trust me here, a tripod will change everything because it allows your camera to have a slower shutter speed which lets more light in (making spaces appear brighter than they are). The photoshoot will take a lot longer since you have to set up and frame every single shot, verses being able to move freely holding the camera, but you’ll be able to get a brightness to your photos that you wouldn’t otherwise. Continue reading…

3 Photo Editing Tricks for Brighter Photos

3 Photo Editing Tricks for Brighter PhotosIf there’s one thing that always catches my eye when browsing Pinterest, it’s a bright clean photo. Well that and just about any dessert recipe but that’s a whole other topic of discussion. Whether you’ve been taking pictures for years, or are just starting out, there are some easy tricks you can do right now to start producing brighter photos in post production!

Although there are several ways that you can edit your photos, I prefer Adobe Lightroom (I run version 4, but they’re up to 6 now). Note that these tips refer to their editing tools; if you don’t use Lightroom, I highly recommend it for photography!

3 Photo Editing Tricks for Brighter Photos

1. Make the background white. Not the background you shoot on, but the background in either Lightroom or Photoshop (which ever you use to edit your photos). If your background is darker, like grey or black, anything against those colors will automatically appear brighter. A white background will help you gauge how bright your photos are. This also helps you to get a preview of how the images will look on your site if your background is also white.

3 Photo Editing Tricks for Brighter Photos3 Photo Editing Tricks for Brighter Photos

2. Opt for vibrance, not saturation. If you want to ramp up the color in a natural way, increase the vibrance. A saturation adjustment will certainly give you bolder colors, but they start to look unnatural and overdone.

3 Photo Editing Tricks for Brighter Photos

3. Don’t rely on exposure. While adjusting the exposure will brighten your photos, it can also wash them out if you turn it up too high. Instead, brighten the whites, lighten the shadows, and even play with temperature. The photo above is the final edited version along with the exact changes I made. Notice that I barely adjusted the exposure setting (you’ll increase it less when working with colors, whites might require more of an increase).

So that’s it! Completely do-able tricks, don’t you think? And if you’re looking for even more photo editing tips, be sure to check out my Photo Styling 101 e-course! It covers everything from branding and composition to how to take brighter pictures on your camera from the start!