Wednesday, 25 May 2016

how to: fashion blog photography

Photography 101
I really didn't know what to name this post, I thought 'fashion photography for beginners' sounded like I was some kind of advanced leader of photography - which I am not. To cut a long story short; when I was starting out I had no idea how to use my camera to the best of its capability. It's taken 4-5 years of never ending Googling, chatting to photographers, and trial and error to learn how to get the most of my DSLR, so I thought I'd pop it all in a post (in basic English!) in the hope of it helping someone. I'm going to rattle through my tips, and then there's a definition of any 'camera talk' at the bottom!

First of all, my kit:
I recently upgraded my Nikon D90 to a Nikon D610, which is a pro body. I started out with a Nikon D40 back in the day, which is an entry level SLR, with a standard 'kit' lens. I then upgraded to a D90, which is a bit more advanced but is old in terms of age, so when it began to have problems focusing - I decided to throw the towel in and dive in at the pro end of the spectrum. This isn't necessary, and a lot of blog photography can rely on a great lens, so if you're looking to purchase a DSLR, I'd definitely look towards an entry level body.

I have shot with the Nikkor 35mm f1.8 lens for the three years or so, it goes down to an aperture of f1.8 (see definition at the bottom!) providing good enough 'blur' for street styling shots, and is a fixed lens. I recently upgraded to the blogger lens, which is the 50mm with a super low f.stop of f1.4. I adore this lens, it's so great for the perfect crisp shot and combined with the D610, works as the dream scenario for blog photos. That being said, the 35mm is a great starting point and has the ability to take amazing photos and is also really reasonably priced.

Outside of the SLR kit, I also use an Olympus Pen E-PL7 (don't we all?) which I like, but don't love. It's great for on-the-go Instagram shots, taking to press days or just as an all-round point and shoot camera but having spent so much time learning how to use my SLR, it seems a bit of waste! If I travel with hand luggage only, I usually take the Pen as it's compact and lightweight and combined with the 45mm lens which has a low aperture of f1.8, it can take great, clear blog photography. I know a lot of bloggers use this as their primary blogging camera - so it definitely has the capability but I personally prefer the quality of SLR shots for my main outfit posts as I find the Pen a bit hit and miss with quality. 
Photography 101

The settings:
I have just got my settings nailed for great outfit shots, so I figured I'd just tell you directly! Firstly, I use whichever camera I'm shooting on the 'A' mode (which stands for Aperture) as this prioritises the f number and means you can manually set it. I then set the aperture to as low as the lens I'm using can go, so on my SLR I turn it right down to f1.4, or f1.8 on the Olympus, and then I set my ISO to as low as it can go too - so 100 on my Nikon, or 200 on my Olympus. From then, I'd do a couple of test shots to check the lighting and if we're good I'll shoot! If not, it's likely because they're over-exposed so I'd adjust the ISO, by raising it to the next setting.

So, low ISO, low aperture and then I let the camera do the leg work for the shutter speed. Ta-da.

So, if you're looking to invest:
If you're looking to invest in an SLR, I'd dig out an entry level such as the Canon 100D, or a Nikon D3300 and then buy a lens that has a low f number, such as the 35mm that I mentioned earlier. It's definitely worth trying eBay too as you can often save a bit of money that way!
If you don't fancy an SLR, then a point and shoot like the Olympus is a great option as it's easy to carry around and good for things outside of blog photography. I know first hand that carting a huge SLR around whilst on holiday isn't ideal!

Photography 101

Key terms: (once you know these, life is SO much easier!)
Aperture: Aperture, of the 'f number' of a lens, is in effect how wide the lens opens/dictates how much light is let in. In normal terms, if you're looking for 'blur' in the background of your photos, you want a low f.number as you can afford (it gets pricier as you go lower!), if you're shooting something with a lot of detail/you want the full frame to be in focus and clear, or there's a lot of people in it, you'd likely want a higher f.number. I.e. for blog photos, I shoot in f1.4, but if I were to take a photo of the NY skyline, I'd turn that up to f5-9, which would reduce the 'blur' and ensure it was wholly in focus.

Kit lens: A kit lens is usually a multi-use lens that comes with the body, with a range of zoom built in. Mine was a 18-55mm, with the 18mm being 'zoomed out' and the 55mm, being 'zoomed in' they usually have an ok range of aperture function, likely going as low as f3-4, and up to about f10.

Fixed lens: This means you can't zoom in or out using this lens, and it's 'fixed' on a certain point.

ISO: In essence, ISO is how sensitive your camera is to light. I shoot on as lower ISO number as my camera will allow (the more 'pro' your camera is, the lower it'll likely go down). In essence, if you're shooting outside, in good light - you'd go as low as you can. My D610 goes down to 100, so I shoot on that, or 200 if it's a bit cloudy/my photos are coming out over-exposed. The higher your ISO, the more 'dusty' your photo will be as it's telling the camera that there's not enough light, so it's hypersensitive. Shooting on a low ISO (in good light) will mean that your photo is crisp. I made the mistake of reading this wrong for years, and used to shoot on ISO 1600, and couldn't figure out why my photos were so noisy!

Shutter speed: This is how quick the 'shutter' in the camera releases to take the photo, and how much light it allows in during that time. It's measured in seconds, or fractions of a second. Think of shutter speed, ISO and aperture settings as a triangle with your perfect shot sitting in the middle. You need a good balance of all three. As an example, if you were to use a really slow shutter speed you'd get lots of movement and blur in the photo as the shutter is open for a long time. This is ideal for a shot of moving traffic etc, where you want all the lights to blur into a long path - although you'd need to use a tripod as otherwise you'd just get a blurred image due to shaking whilst holding. For blog photography, I let the camera decide the shutter speed in relation to the aperture and ISO setting I have chosen. 

lots of love xxx
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Sunday, 22 May 2016

pink pyjama shirt

BRANDY MELVILLE shirt, MONKI jeans, CÉLINE bag, ADIDAS trainers

Not one of my finest outfits, to be honest with you, but I'm trying to get into the habit of posting 'real time' outfits a bit more. I.E, less "I wore this to shoot it" and more "I actually wore this, and then I shot it." Not to say that what I shoot isn't what I genuinely wear, because it is - but normally I spend hours wandering around looking for a location etc and I thought a bit more of a street style vibe wouldn't go a-miss.

ANYWAY - I've been after a pyjama style shirt for ages but haven't quite found what I was looking for and then I unexpectedly found this gem in Brandy Melville! I miss the days when they did more than extremely soft jersey, and it seems they're coming back because I never expected to find 'real' clothes in there but what do you know?

Lastly, I've added a 'shop' link to my blog where you can find most things I post on Instagram and Twitter/Snapchat. Just click the photo and you'll get a list of items and alternatives. Yay.

Photos by Olivia
lots of love xxx
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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

new in: bluebella lingerie

Bluebella lingerie Bluebella lingerie Bluebella lingerie Bluebella lingerie Bluebella lingerie
Blake bra and briefs and Luna bra and briefs*

If you know me, you'll know I'm a total lingerie fiend (seriously, it's getting ridiculous) so when Bluebella got in touch asking if I'd like a few pieces, there wasn't a millimetre of my body that could have possibly declined, so after much consideration I picked out the Luna and Blake sets to feel fancy over, and aren't they pretty? 
They're cut out and 'sexy' without being OTT and are perfectly suited to my less-than-ample chest so I'm happy. I particularly like that my Mum approved these pictures as 'artsy' so therefore I don't care what anyone else says, my Mumma said they're artsy. That, and they look better on than laid over last months Vogue next to a couple of cacti.

Bluebella have kindly given me a 20% discount to offer you guys if you fancied either set, just follow this link or enter 'GLAMERAMO20' and the discount will  be applied at the checkout.

Go on, have a field day.

lots of love xxx
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Sunday, 15 May 2016

venice part two

Venice pt.2 Venice pt.2 Venice pt.2 Venice pt.2 Venice pt.2 Venice pt.2 Venice pt.2 Venice pt.2 Venice pt.2
ASOS dress*, ADIDAS stan smiths via size?*, TOPSHOP sunglasses (old), ASOS choker and CHLOBO necklace*

Back with outfit number 2/2 from our little trip to Venice, and it's a fairly cute one, mainly because the colours in the background are cute, not me.

I saw this ASOS dress when scouring the site for things I didn't need, and low and behold it was only in stock in a size 8 when I'd usually buy a 4 (or potentially a 6 at a push), but I gave it a go nonetheless and I'm glad I did. It's a relaxed fit with the cool, if slightly unnecessary, straps over the shoulders and just an all round good throw-on-and-go number.

On a side note, this is my new necklace combination of choice, so I'm sure you'll see it popping up all over the place. There's something kind of gross about chokers, but then again here I am wearing one so who knows? A final side note - yes, my bra straps are annoying me as much as they're annoying you. Blame bad packing.

As promised, my Venice city guide of-sorts will be up in the next couple of weeks so keep your eyes peeled!

lots of love xxx
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Friday, 13 May 2016

favourites - may '16

Favourites - May 16 Favourites - May 16SAINT LAURENT card holder, BUMBLE AND BUMBLE hairdressers oil and primer, TEAMI skinny tea*, ASOS choker/s, URBAN OUTFITTERS necklace* and CHLOBO star chain

I don't often do favourites posts, but I figured given I've barely left my flat and I'm particularly enjoying a few things - it made sense to do one.

Firstly has got to be my new lens - except I shot on it so it's not pictured. I recently upgraded my camera to a pro body, and picked up the official 'blogger' lens in order to support it and I'm SO glad I did. It's improved my photos ten-fold and I'm just really pleased with it in general.

Secondly is my current purse. Weird thing to put in a favourites, but it's just so much more convenient than carting a huge wallet around. I originally down-sized because my old Mulberry purse didn't fit in my Chloé Faye.. lol first world problems but it was an issue nonetheless, so James bought me this Saint Laurent wallet and I've not looked back since. The only downside is that I've had to lose all my beloved loyalty cards due to lack of space.

Next up is some Bumble and Bumble products that I've been using of late. I was first introduced to the hairdressers' range by my hairdresser and picked up a few bits in my NYC haul. I've been using it ever since, and the oil has really improved the condition of my hair. I was once a longstanding Moroccan Oil fan, but this has had be converted.

Another new fave is this Teami 'skinny tea'. Now, I'm a total breakfast-tea-or-go-home kind of gal, and usually find these kind of tea's undrinkable but this is actually fine! You can sweeten it with honey or agave, or pop a slice of lemon in to make it nicer and I've noticed I look a lot less bloated since starting drinking it. That and the tumbler it comes with is so cute and handy to take in the car in the morning. Win, win.

Lastly is my latest choice in neckwear. I've always stuck to my Anna Lou of London 'G' necklace that James bought me years ago, but lately I've been branching into chokers, neck-ties and even my swish new Chlobo necklace. This could be the year I start to accessorise again. Who knew?

lots of love xxx
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© Georgia Luisa Meramo// UK fashion, travel & lifestyle blog

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