Be the photographer in your own photo shoot

Woman in casual dress & jeans sitting in grass smiling.
My new banner for my Etsy shop

Be the photographer in your own outdoor photo shoot

My Etsy shop got a small makeover after taking these photos which leads me to what I want to talk about today: Photo Shoots

If you’re like me then you get a knot in your stomach when you hear those words. I love taking photos, but prefer to be not in them!

I have always felt uncomfortable being in the spotlight and when you’re the subject of a photo shoot, guess where you are?

The other side of the coin is BUDGET. MOOLAH. It can be expensive to hire a professional photographer. And if you’re a small business owner then you have to watch your expenses.

That’s why I prefer to be the photographer of my own photo shoot.

And, honestly, it’s not that hard.

Now,  I own a Canon Rebel T3 (kinda getting old but that’s okay) and a tripod. While DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras can be pricey (anywhere from $300-$600) tripods are very affordable. You can get one for about $25 on Amazon.

But when you start looking at what a professional photographer costs, the camera will quickly pay for itself. To be clear, I’m not telling you to never hire a professional photographer! But, if you can’t afford it then it’s worth investing in the right equipment and learning how to do this on your own.

THINGS YOU’LL NEED: camera | tripod | chair

What’s the chair for, you ask? You’re about to find out 🙂

Now that you have your equipment here’s the step by step process:

  1. Pick a day with good weather (obviously). The golden hour for photos is 2 hours after sunrise or 2 hours before sunset. I took the above photo maybe 3-4 hours before sunset, but my backyard is shaded at that time of day. You don’t want harsh light casting shadows on your face.
  2. Set up your tripod & camera. Make sure camera is securely fitted onto tripod.
  3. Now here’s where that chair comes in! Take that chair and put it where you’ll be sitting/standing for the photo shoot. I have found that using Manual Focus instead of Automatic Focus gets me better photos. So set the button on lens body to MF then adjust the lens until the chair is crystal clear.
  4. Take a photo. Do you need to change your shutter speed? Does your automatic white balance settings match your environment? Is your ISO set properly? Take some time working with these settings before you do a photo shoot. Break out that instruction manual that came with your camera.
  5. Once your photo has the right lighting (I use natural light but you can look into professional lighting options), set your camera’s timer. You’ll have about 10 seconds after pushing the button to get into position. Don’t forget to move the chair out of the way 😉
  6. Smile! Or look serious and thoughtful. Whatever look you’re going for. You’ll want to take at least 20-30 photos. Keep checking them as you take them. You want to make sure they’re completely in focus & that can be tricky when doing this on your own.

I hope this helps you if you’re thinking about doing your own photo shoot. If you do, I would love to see how your photos come out! You are totally capable of doing this on your own!

While you’re here check out my Etsy shop: Jeffcoat Art

(And a little secret on my photo-editing this time around: I totally smacked this photo onto my smart phone & used one of the automatic edit features. No Photoshop required!

Further Reading- Read my article on how to edit your product photography the easy way: How to Use FotoFuze for Easy Product Photography

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