When it comes to blog photography, there are so many options. You can hire somebody, you can ask a friend to shoot for you, you and a blogger friend can shoot for each other, you can set up a tripod, or you can convince your significant other to humor you and take all of your photos.
But not everybody is lucky enough to have an Instagram husband. Or, rather, an Instagram husband who can actually take good photos. Which is when a paid photographer can come into play.
In this Blogging Basics post, I will not only deep dive into how to find a blog photographer if you want to pay for your photographer… but also some tips and tricks for creating beautiful imagery using said untrained Instagram husband (or friend). Blog photography needn’t cost an arm and a leg. However, there are tradeoffs to outsourcing versus doing the photos and editing yourself.
What I’m Wearing:
Dress: Ann Taylor / Shoes: Vince Camuto / Bag: Cult Gaia (similar for less here)
Earrings: Sugarfix by BaubleBar, c/o / Sunglasses: Sunglass Warehouse, c/o
Ring: DeForest Jewelry c/o / Nail Polishes: Essie, c/o (nails); Essie, c/o (toes)
Quick bit on this look: you can swap out my bag and my shoes for a work bag and some cute flats (or heels) to make this work appropriate. Or wear it as I did above for some post-work (or weekend) funtivities!
My dress fits true to size (I’m wearing the size 6). My friend said I looked like a piña colada which I took to mean that I looked like fun and summer all in one.
Also it makes your badonk look amazing. So there’s that.
And now for the real crux of this post:
How to Find a Blog Photographer
I tend to use the same photographers time and time again… because I am a firm advocate of being friends with your photographer.
As a result, 99% of the time, the photography I post on my site was either taken by a friend or a professional photographer I’ve gotten to know really well through working with them time and time again.
The longer you work with a photographer, the more he or she will get to know you. And the more your photographer knows you and your personality, the more authentically you your photos will be.
I’m sure this comes as a huge shock to y’all, but I tend to do weird sh*% during my photoshoots to keep myself entertained. While shooting with Rebecca, we got to the point where she knew me so well that she could anticipate when I was about to leap or do something utterly bizarre in the middle of a shoot.
After a few months of working together, she knew me so well that she was capturing my random ballerina moves mid-pirouette.
Years ago, when I set out to find a blog photographer for my first blog photos, I started by figuring out who took my favorite local bloggers’ photos… And then I contacted her. Once she “retired” from photography, I went back to Instagram and found my two go-to photographers: Rebecca and Vanessa.
These ladies have totally different vibes. Rebecca’s editing tends to be a bit more high-contrast (like here and here), while Vanessa’s skew brighter (like here and here). And, because of blogging, they’ve both become dear friends of mine.
When figuring out how to find a blog photographer, you have to think about your desired aesthetic. If you want light and bright photos with color popping off the screen, go to the bloggers who have that photography and figure out who takes their photos. Feel free to contact photographers via Instagram… but make sure you see more of their portfolio before booking them. You want to make sure that the photos you saw were indicative of the photographer’s style… not of that one blogger’s style.
How to Find a Blog Photographer: Fashion Blogger Photography Rates
Keep in mind that professional photographers can be expensive… but, hopefully, the results are worth it.
I typically pay about $100-$150 for 4 outfits (or 1 hour) in Dallas. This amount definitely ranges based on location, but I’ve found that most photographers in Dallas charge roughly this amount. (Read: not all. Some charge $200+. It can range.)
Typical turnaround time for a professional fashion blog photographer is 5-10 days. But then they send you all of the photos edited and ready to be posted every which way and sideways without any additional work on your end. So it’s all about the tradeoffs.
Asking a Friend / “Instagram Husband”
Let’s say you decide to forego figuring out how to find a blog photographer and instead decide to either have a friend do it or have your s/o do your photography. Maybe you’re blessed with a roommate who studied photography in college. Or a boyfriend who shoots for Vogue.
But chances are you’re not. And you need to teach your designated photographer how to operate a camera.
I used to use a Canon Rebel but I recently bought the Sony a6000 (and a 50mm/f1.8). Y’all: I’m never looking back. While I shot on the Canon in manual, I stick to auto on my Sony. And, somehow, the photos turn out leagues better. Plus, shooting on auto makes it tons easier to get a friend to take a good photo of you (instead of 150 blurry ones).
Or, if manual is beneath you (no judgement), just swap places with your “photographer” after you set up the image.
How to Find a Blog Photographer: Editing Your Photos
Whether you shoot in auto or in manual, hire somebody or have a friend push the button, the real magic happens in editing.
I use Lightroom to edit my photos. Most photographers (and a lot of bloggers) have presets you can purchase to make editing in Lightroom a total breeze. I edited all of the photos above (and about 15+ more photos) in under 30 minutes using Lightroom.
Lately, I’ve been loving Angie’s presets. I edited all of the photos above using her “Engel Vibes” presets (my personal favorites of all of her presets!). My photographer, Vanessa, will be also releasing Lightroom presets in the coming weeks.
The presets are what makes Lightroom a breeze to use. All you have to do is click your preset of choice and then tweak as desired. For the photos above, I turned up the exposure, warmth, and pink tint a bit, and then I reduced the saturation, hue, and luminance of the greens. I then used the auto straighten feature and cropped each photo as desired.
All in all, about 1 minute per photo. And oh-so easy.