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How to Create and Photograph a Blog Tutorial

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Little Miss Momma: How to Create and Photograph a Blog Tutorial

Saturday, October 16, 2010

How to Create and Photograph a Blog Tutorial

How to Create and Photograph a Blog Tutorial
{even if you're not a photographer}
{and especially if you don't own photo shop}

A few of you have sent me emails wondering if there are any secrets to the photos I take for my to tutorials.  Are you ready for the truth?

Here it goes.

I have NO IDEA how to use my camera.
I don't even know what kind of camera I own{sure I could walk over and pull it out of the closet to see what its called, but I'm all cozy on the couch right now, and for the purpose of this tutorial it doesn't matter}.
I literally just point and shoot on "auto".

And since I have no idea how to use my {or any} camera, I need to compensate in other ways.  Here are my not so secret secrets to creating a pretty tutorial with decent photos:

First, all you need is a camera {this is not the camera I use} and a large white poster board.

Now place all your tutorial supplies on the poster board in a pretty layout like this:

 Isn't that so pretty?!

Don't be fooled though--this picture is the miracle of the poster board.
The poster board gives the illusion of a photo box or studio.
Zoom out and now you can see the disaster that is my garage--where this tutorial really took place:

Ahhh, not quite as pretty.

In order to make sure you can't see my vacuum and 15 loads of laundry in the background, I use the hand not holding the camera to fold up the poster board as a backdrop for the photo.

Then I stand really really close to the object to take my picture.  For some reason I like this better than zooming with my camera.

And here is how the unedited picture turned out.
Not half bad.
But still not all it could be.

This is where "editing for dummies" {aka editing for me) comes into play. If you haven't already, head over to Picasa and download it immediately.

It's free, it's easy and it's awesome!

Picasa provides BASIC editing tools for your photos--not to mention it is owned by google, so as soon as you finish your editing you can automatically upload your pics to blogger with the click of a button--super convenient!
Picasa is also where I insert my cool fonts into photos.

Once you have downloaded Picasa and have selected the picture you wish to edit click on the button titled "I'm feeling lucky" and Picasa will automatically edit your photo for you--it's true!

note: sometimes Picasa doesn't edit a photo exactly how I want so I tweak the "highlight" and the "fill light" settings until I get the end result I am looking for. This will make more sense when you are in the program.

Photo BEFORE Picasa:

Same photo AFTER simple editing in Picasa:

BIG Difference!

And now for some more random tips:
I like to really crop my pictures so that they are zoomed in on the subject of the photo. For example, I needed to crop my thumb out of this picture and brighten it up with the "fill light" tool in Picasa.



*I ALWAYS take my pictures during the day and INDOORS.
*I am sure to be in a VERY well-lit room, that is NATURALLY lit from outside.
*Make sure there is no outside glare or shadows in your photos.
*Early morning and late afternoon tend to be the best times to shoot at my house.
*I NEVER use artificial lighting--the pictures will just turn out yellow.

NOTE: I am NOT an expert and certainly NOT a photographer--so I know there are actual "professional" tips out there that are much better...but this is what works for me *smile*

{Hope this helps a few of you}



At October 16, 2010 at 10:06 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for the tips! I love the poster board idea and will be trying it asap!! :)

At October 16, 2010 at 10:12 PM , Blogger Kara @ Mine for the Making said...

Great tips! I will be buying white poster board tomorrow! And I just love picassa! So easy to use!

Thanks for sharing!

At October 16, 2010 at 10:58 PM , Blogger iam_artisan said...

I love how you put humor with this post. Thanks for sharing this. I also love Picasa. Although I had a hard time using it at first, lol. But how the poster board gave a big effect on the photo though...

At October 16, 2010 at 11:37 PM , Blogger  Justine said...

Thanks for sharing with us! I don't really know how to take pictures either, but I am going to try the white back drop when I can :)

Just Better Together

At October 17, 2010 at 1:06 AM , Blogger Mruna Mistry said...

This is pretty much the same technique/process I use...Thanks for sharing!

At October 17, 2010 at 8:26 AM , Blogger ellie g said...

Um...that was AWESOME! Beyond awesome. And the fact that you have a point and shoot, makes me alright with admitting that same thing too. But I do have photoshop. And I use it to try and make my pictures a "little" better. I'm gonna try this way though! Thank Ashley. Really. You kind of rule!

At October 17, 2010 at 9:42 AM , Blogger LaVonne said...

I like Picasa too. You are so funny. Thanks for sharing your honest yet limited knowledge. It helps those (like me) who have even less knowledge :)


At October 17, 2010 at 9:48 AM , Blogger Samantha {Moody Mama} said...

Thank you for the tips they are great!

I will definitely have to download Picasa on my computer

At October 17, 2010 at 10:11 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you.. Thank you.. Thank you! I am so horrible at taking pictures..I always apologize for my pics everytime I post something. I am currently loading Picasa on my computer as I type!

At October 17, 2010 at 7:49 PM , Blogger Delia said...

I usually don't take the time to set up a white back drop but I should! It really makes a difference. Great tutorial. :)

At October 17, 2010 at 8:40 PM , Blogger Suzi Q said...

Wow. Duh. I was actually wondering if you had a picture studio or something ca razy. Thanks for commenting on my blog last week, totally made my day! I still think your absolutely darling and wish we could hang out. Peace out.

At October 17, 2010 at 11:09 PM , Blogger B said...

awesome tips as usual! I recently discovered's amazing! And to think...I was spending hours making simple edits in more! :O)

~ !

At October 18, 2010 at 7:35 AM , Blogger Ashley Houck said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE This post!! I had no idea about the "i'm feelin lucky" button. Your post made my day!! I love ALL your posts.

At October 18, 2010 at 8:25 AM , Anonymous Liz said...

great tips!!

At October 18, 2010 at 10:25 AM , Blogger Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Hi Ashley! Thanks for visiting my blog this morning! This looks like it was so much fun. I love how each table was different but they all kept to a black and white color scheme. Love the hats and the different crafty ideas. I have to say the food looks pretty good, too! : )

At October 19, 2010 at 2:42 PM , Blogger Amanda said...

Thanks Ashley! That was SUPER informative and helpful. I'm going to try these tips on my next blog post. *Muah!*

At October 27, 2010 at 11:09 AM , Blogger Cranes for Katy said...

Ashley-Seriously? YOu make this look so easy! I am going to download picasa right now...hopefully it's compatible with my mac:) Thanks again!

At November 30, 2010 at 12:25 PM , Blogger Amanda @ Life with A.Co said...

Great ideas, Ashley! Thanks for sharing :)

A.Co @ A.Co est. 1984

At December 20, 2010 at 6:42 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

awesome idea!! I would have never thought of that!!! what kid of camera do you use?

At March 6, 2011 at 8:11 AM , Blogger Ashley said...

I just love your blog. I keep blaming my camera for my terrible pictures so this post is exactly what I needed! Downloading Picasa now!!! :) Thanks!

At March 16, 2011 at 7:07 PM , Anonymous Shannon said...

Bless you for this post! The photography side of blogging has had me sweating, but I'm feeling much more confident after reading this. I'm off to find Picasa.

At April 8, 2011 at 1:44 PM , Blogger Lil Mama Stuart said...

ha! I seriously would've never known it was just a point and shoot. Good work!

At April 16, 2011 at 2:50 PM , Blogger Katie Evans said...

Great ideas and something that everyone can do to improve their blog pictures! You have a natural eye for style!

At April 16, 2011 at 8:54 PM , Blogger Lindsay @ Delighted Momma said...

Okay baby is in I can browse you cute blog :) I was always wondering how bloggers took such perfect pictures with white backgrounds..I just thought everyone had white kitchen counters haha! Poster it! Thank you so much for sharing.

Delighted Momma

At May 24, 2011 at 6:49 PM , Blogger JeanaMichelle said...

Finally!!!! a tutorial addressed specifically to a blogging idiot like me! (thank you Keren from "FreePrettyThingsforyou" for directing me here). I am so excited to give these tips a try.

At July 14, 2011 at 4:35 PM , Blogger Sadie said...

These are exactly the tips I needed to give my photos a boost! Thanks so much!


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