A Photography Lesson


You may or may not notice the quality of the photos here but if you haven’t, take a good look. My incredible husband, Anel, takes most of them and continues to amaze me with each shoot that we do together. We’ve grown as a team over the last few years, and now have it down to an art. I get so many questions on Instagram about how we take our photos that I finally decided to sit down with him to get the scoop.

The camera…

A Photography Lesson

{Anel and his camera}

I use a Canon 5D mark II digital camera and my favorite lens for outfit photos is my Canon 1:1.4 50mm lens. It’s not only light and easily packable,  but it has a very low aperture. This means that more light comes though the opening in the lens, allowing me to shoot in any kind of light. It also allows me to use a wider range of settings from ISO to aperture to shutter speed. Let’s talk about what all those settings mean…



The ISO level represents the level of sensitivity of your camera to surrounding light. The lower it is, the less sensitive it is to light, the higher it is, the more sensitive it is to light. A high ISO allows you to brighten your image without having to use a flash. If your ISO is too high, however, it will give you a grainy (noisy) image. I try to shoot at an ISO of 100-200 at most times. There are some cases (like indoor shoots) when I increase the ISO to 1600 because there isn’t enough natural light available. In those cases, I use a tripod to steady the camera and avoid extra graininess.

Shutter Speed:


The shutter speed on your camera represents the length of time that the camera shutter is open to allow light into the camera’s sensor. If the speed is too low, you may have a blurry photo. If it’s too high, you’re freezing the action completely meaning that there is no blur at all. I use higher shutter speeds so that our photos come out crisp and clear.



The aperture is a hole in the camera’s lens that you can make smaller and bigger depending on what you want in the image. This is also known as the “f-stop”. It’s represented in numbers from 1.4 (lowest)  to about 22 (highest). What can be confusing about this, is that the lower the number, the higher the aperture. This affects the depth of field aka which part of the image is in focus. I like to keep the f-stop at  around f 2.2 which blurs out the background slightly but keeps my subject in focus. I like the background to be visible but have Julia as the main focus of the image (note the slightly blurry water above).

White Balance: 


The white balance determines the color balance of the photo.This changes based on the setting of the photo shoot. Most DSLRs have an “auto” white balance setting which is what I stick to most of the time. In the photo above, the light was quite yellow so I played around with the light balance to make it look more natural.



If you don’t have a light defuser (which I highly recommend buying) try to find shade to shoot in. When you shoot in the shade you eliminate shadows from the face and other parts of the body. When we have to shoot in the sun (like in the photo below) I use a defuser which blocks out direct light and eliminates shadows. I change the camera settings to a low ISO of 100-200 and a high shutter speed of around 1/1000 (but play around with that) because you will have a washed out overexposed background. There is something beautiful about shooting in the sunlight but it has to be done at the right time of day, around sunset.


The Magic Hour…
Beach Hair

Time of day is key when it comes to shooting. The magic hour is the best possible time to shoot because the light is soft and not harsh. It happens twice a day, as the sun is rising and as it sets. I have a little secret tool that I use to find out the magic hour each day: An app called Lumy, which, based on your location, gives you an accurate magic hour times to shoot. The photo above was taken 6:30am in the most beautiful light. Notice how her face is pointed toward the sun. In the photo below, the sun is behind her which makes her face dark and the background back-lit.

A Photography Lesson for Fashion Bloggers

When you have to shoot inside…
A Good Night's Sleep Challenge

Shooting inside can be tricky. Again timing is key. If you do not have lighting (I don’t) you need to have enough light to get the shot. You will need to increase the ISO of your camera to allow more light it, Be super careful here because if you allow too much light the image will be too grainy.  I always use a defuser for indoor shots. It reduces the shadows and gives you a nice clean sharp image.

Check out some of Anel’s amazing prints for sale here and write any specific questions in the comments below. He’ll answer all of them!

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