How To Up Your Blog Photo Game

Well hey.

How you all doing? Survived Storm Doris? Seriously though .. DORIS.  The amount of times I’ve seen this name on SM is insane ha. Anyhoo… blog post time, woop. And it’s a good one. Ya know why? Cos a crap load of you have requested it… CHECK ME OUT GETTING REQUESTS FOR POSTS. 

So… I’m finally writing a blog post all about my photography & upping my game. I did a blog post on photos when I first started blogging .. but recently I’ve really been trying hard with my photos, both on the blog & my Instagram (totes should follow me on there if you don’t already .. shameless plug.. I’m at @throughtheglitterglass). And you know what I love? So many people have noticed too. I thought I’d talk you through some of the things I’ve done to up my game, and also just some general tips too.. and I hope it helps some of you out!

Camera

Now.. I recently invested in the EVER so popular Olympus Pen because I knew I really wanted to focus on creating high quality images and this one is so highly raved about in the blogging world. And oh my goodness I can see why.. not only is it the most instagrammable camera EVER.. the photos it can produce are AMAZING. So many of you have complimented my pictures since getting this camera, and it definitely was the first step for me in upping my game. If you also want to do the same .. I highly recommend investing in a good camera.. as the difference is crazy. In fact .. I’m also going to be picking up the 30mm lens too because I want those beautiful, blurred background photos! Another thing I LOVE about this camera is the Wifi feature… it means I can easily send myself photos and post these directly onto my Instagram! If you’re not really feeling the whole spending £400 on a camera, fear not, because my babe Holly over at TheKittyLuxe uses her iPhone for her photos and my GOD her imagery is stunning. She did a whole post on it too.. so make sure you check it out.

   

(Taken on iPhone)

Play around with manual mode

Not gonna lie.. manual mode on my camera scared me at first. All it seemed to do was make my photos blurry and dark.. not a good look. BUT..  a little bit of research really helped and now I refuse to use the auto settings on my camera! A few tips I’ve picked up:

  • Lowering the ‘F’ feature when you want a close up for that gorgeous blurry background. This reduces your focal point, meaning your camera will focus on a small part of your image, and slightly blur out the rest. This is amazing if you want to do a close up of something (i.e. lipstick/bathbomb). I also find it helps when I’m filming YT videos.. as the camera will focus on me and blur out the background. Yay!
  • Increasing/decreasing aperture based on how much natural light you have – this helps so much if you are taking photos on a cloudy day. This allows more light into the lens (if it’s dark) or less if you have a lot of sun.
  • Increasing ISO – Again.. this helps if you do not have a lot of light coming through (this is more about the sensitivity of light). Be careful with this one though.. as a higher ISO means grainier photos.

These are basically the only settings I’ve got to grips with .. there is so much more but I’m learning! If you need more in depth info, Lydia Millen did a fab snap story on the Olympus settings (I think you can find this on YT), as well as an amazing post by Robyn.. who has fab tips on getting to grips with manual mode, and her photos are absolutely STUNNING.

Natural Light

I’ve definitely had my fair share of having to photograph with artificial light and natural light .. and to be honest, natural light wins by FAR. Of course, with it being Winter, we get like 5 hours of light and even then for most of the time it horrible & cloudy… so we don’t really have a choice but to pull out the soft boxes. Where possible though.. I always photograph by a window… and even on cloudy days I can faff around with my camera settings and make it work. The best times for me are between the hours of 9am-11am, and 3pm-4pm. And the best tips for soft boxes? Use 2 and extend them quite high to get as much light as possible (rather then up close & using just one).. I find this helps so much with getting rid of shadows and too much brightness. Instead, you get a nice glow. Perfect.

Have a good backdrop

Since I’ve developed a ‘white theme’ for my Instagram… I needed a good sized backdrop. My solution? A double sized duvet/white sheet. I use this as my base, and add blankets/scarves as needed. This means I have a huge drop to work with and can get really creative with my photography without worrying about anything getting in the way/having to crop anything out.

Get yourself some props

Props. Are. Everything. Literally the most important thing ever if you want to up your photography game. One thing I love to do is match up my props with the type of photo I’m taking/what season it is etc. A few of my favourite props are:

  • Blankets
  • Fake flowers (essential)
  • Small trays
  • Cute bowls/mugs/plates
  • Bows
  • Candles
  • Perfume bottles
  • Fairy lights
  • Plants/cacti
  • Cute notebooks

Literally ANYTHING can be used as a prop… and you don’t even need to buy anything extra if you don’t want to – you probably have plenty of stuff that you can use! The key is to experiment! I’m still learning on how to get my perfect flatlay.. but once I’ve worked it out.. I will definitely do a post on it!

(Taken on iPhone)

Get your editing right

Editing really doesn’t have to take you hours..I honestly think it takes me about 10-15 minutes to edit all my photos for a post/weeks worth of Instagram shots. And you know why? Because I do more or less the same thing for all my pictures:

  • Increase Brightness – but not too much where you can’t see certain things (i.e. images/writing). Just enough to highlight your picture and not make it so dull
  • Increase Contrast – just enough to make the darker things in your photo be slightly more prominent
  • Increase Highlight – this gives your pictures a little but of a “glow” – again increase slightly, not too much otherwise your image becomes too bright
  • Increase Sharpness – to make small details stand out nicely
  • Decrease Temperature – this is a personal thing for me because I like my pictures to have a slightly cool tone to them
  • Whiten Whites – this is where my fave app FaceTune comes in. It is especially helpful in making my backgrounds whiter and giving them that lovely crisp look. It has been my saviour since developing my white themed Instagram too!

That is literally the quickest way to tell you how I edit my pictures – let me know if you want anything in more detail though gals!

 
OK -I think I have covered everything? These are basically the things I have been doing to really up my photo game – and it has helped too because I receive so many compliments on my pictures recently (you guys are DA BEST). If you have ANY more questions about my pictures, make sure to let me know in the comments and I will help you out 🙂 For now – hope this post helped you!

I’m off sofa hunting with my parents & hubby – so hope you all enjoy your weekend!

LOTS OF LOVE,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥

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Lets go on a Road Trip!

Hiya sweethearts!

How have you all been?! I feel as though it has been so long since I have just sat down and blogged to my hearts  content :). I hope you have all had a lovely Monday.. mine has been slightly crazy. It started as normal, I set off for work at 7:45am, thinking I would get there around 8:10am (as usual)  – little did I know I would be a whole hour late to work due to gridlock traffic (which I found out later was due to a stabbing on one of the bypasses (!!!). I actually would have been even later, but I decided to park up where I could and walk! I really do hate being late anywhere, but I think the majority of the people at the office had experienced the traffic – and sometimes it cannot be helped!

So, the rest of my day was spent getting as much work done as possible – I then went to visit one of my cousins who has recently had a baby! Now, I am all set to blog, catch up on other blogs and everyone’s Twitter & Instagram (I will post both my links below :D)

Now, back to my weekend.. It started on Friday afternoon, when I finished work early. My husband was picking up a car in Bournemouth (which is around 5 hours away from where I live).. So we set off around 2:30pm, stopping for some food on the way, and got there at around 9:30pm. We were lucky enough to stay in a Travelodge literally 2 minutes from the beach, which was perfect! We actually went for a walk on the beach at night .. it was so peaceful. I am truly envious of people of those who live near the beach – you are so lucky!

For my outfit at night, I wanted to wear my new shawl/cape that I picked up from Matalan – at an absolute STEAL for £12 .. not to mention I had an extra 20% off :). The link for it is here: http://www.matalan.co.uk/womens/shop-by-category/knitwear/s2611619/checked-shawl. I really love Matalan, they have some amazing clothes and shoes.. as well as being affordable .. do check them out :). I have wanted to buy one of these shawls for the longest time, and literally GRABBED this one when I saw it :). I paired it with my fur scarf to add extra warmth too.

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(I apologize for the bad quality of these photos – it was very dark 😦 )

The next morning, I got everyone up early to watch the sunrise on the beach – it was an absolutely stunning view ..  I never get a clear view of the sunrise (I live in the city – and there is always some sort of building/house blocking the view!).

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I also took some outfit pictures on the beach, as I thought it was such a good background!.. There were also beach huts, which I think would be so fun to book out for the day (I am already planning my next trip here!).. I think they made such a cute backdrop too :).

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Can you believe I am wearing a pair of jeans?! They are so soft and comfortable though.. not like your usual pair of stiff jeans. This is probably one of the most casual outfits I have on my blog.. But I knew I would be sat in the car for the majority of the day, so wanted to be as comfortable as possible! I paired the jeans with an over-sized grey top and a flannel shirt – this shirt is SO comfortable guys, and gives an outfit such a laid back vibe. I will be completely honest though loves.. I pinched both these items from my mum’s wardrobe (whoopsie :P).. I guess that is just expected when you are both the same size :).. anybody else “borrow” their mum’s things ;)? Moving on… I wanted to add warmth to the outfit, so layered up with my fur vest 🙂 – I also thought I would rock my Converse (I think every girl needs a pair of these!). My hijab of choice was a lovely cream, cotton fabric that was so easy to wear, and I felt just complimented the whole outfit :).

We then enjoyed an English breakfast, and headed off to the garage that was actually in Dorset to pick up my husband’s new car… which is a beautiful Audi A6 (WOW Mashallah!). After, we headed off on a road trip, passing through an amazing place in Somerset called “Chedder Gorge”, a beautiful Abbey in Wales, a country park in Leominster, and then back home up north (phew!!).  SAM_1902 SAM_1904 SAM_1914 How cute is this little display! I love shops like this, and there were so many at “Chedder Gorge” .. it really is an amazing place to visit, I only wish I could have spent more time there :). SAM_1917 SAM_1922

So guys, that is what I got up to on Friday and Saturday .. along with my outfits that I wore! On Sunday, we actually went to The Trafford Centre in Manchester, and then visited a steak place, which was very yummy :). I really hope you liked this post and having an insight into my weekend … and also the outfits! I am now all set to catch up all your blogs, and then sleep, ready for work tomorrow :). I really want to do a beauty post next, possibly my favourite products at the moment .. both make up and beauty.

Hope you enjoy your evening lovelies!

Twitter: @saira1816

Instagram: @throughtheglitterglass

Lots of love,

Saira Xx

Jewel Tones

Evening dollys!

How are you all? For some reason it feels like it has been so long since I have blogged (even though I posted TWO posts on Saturday)… Maybe its because I haven’t been as active on social media than usual. Sunday seemed to fly by.. I visited my favourite Sunday Market, returned some things in town, then headed off to Matalan, as my husband had gotten some 20% off vouchers, so I made the most of it :). I picked up the most BEAUTIFUL shawl, which I will feature very soon.. and what makes it even better, it was originally £12 (!!), and I then got 20% off too .. wooo! After, I took some outfit photos, for my posts during the week, caught up on X Factor, showered and snuggled into bed.. all set for work on Monday!

So… this outfit was actually from Saturday when I went to Manchester. I loved how the colours just went together – the emerald green of the top and the maroon colour of the hijab complimented each other so beautifully. They reminded me of jewel tones, and I think this colour combination is perfect for Autumn :).

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The beautiful sleeveless blazer was from the Sunday Market, and cost a whole £5 :D.. I love layering up so much, and I find sleeveless blazers/gilets go so well when you have a jumper underneath – It adds warmth and looks stylish too.  SAM_1715 SAM_1714

I paired with jeggings, boots, and my signature red lip .. I am on the hunt for the perfect berry/dark lip though :D. The hijab is also from the Sunday Market (Ok.. maybe I do buy too many things from the market .. it can’t be helped, I love a bargain :P).  SAM_1713 SAM_1708 SAM_1706 SAM_1705 SAM_1704

That is the whole look.. I love the sleeveless blazer so much, and want to buy more :P.. they are so great for adding length and coverage if you have a short top. It also just adds dimension to an outfit, and helps it not look so plain. I recommend them highly as a styling piece! Hope you like this outfit guys!

Top: Primark

Sleeveless Blazer, Hijab & Jeggings: Market

Boots: Primark

Bag: Next

Well.. let me update you on my busy Monday .. Work was so CRAZY.. and I actually spent the afternoon driving to and from Wakefield (don’t ask). I am just so glad to be home, in my pj’s and cuddling up in a blanket.

I hope you liked this outfit guys .. I think I may make my next post a “Get to know me.” I don’t know about you, but I always like to know a little bit about the person behind the blog (this may be my nosy side coming out :P).. Let me know what you think :).

If you’re not already.. follow me on Instagram: @throughtheglitterglass and Twitter: @saira1816.. I try to update these as regularly as I can too :).

Thank you so much for reading my loves.. hope you have a lovely evening, and I will catch up with you in my next post 🙂

Lots of love,

Saira XO

Fresh Princess of Bel Air

Hi my loves 🙂

Hope you are are very well! I have had a very busy week at work.. and cannot believe it is Thursday tomorrow, let alone the beginning of October! Where has this year gone? I am not sure of the weather where you all are, but in Yorkshire, the mornings have been so foggy (Literally I have been unable to see what is in front of me whilst driving), yet by lunchtime, the sun is shining and we are in summer all over again! Oh, the joys of British weather :).

Anyways, I took these outfit pictures on Sunday, when it was the most beautiful day ever.. bright blue skys, the warm sun shining, yet you still felt the autumn breeze (perfect :D). I also thought I would wear something besides black (can you believe it!?), and incorporate some colour into my outfits :).

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Seriously though guys, how amazing is this t-shirt! I love the slogan “Fresh Princess, born and raised 1990’s” – it applies to all us 90’s kids :P.. And anybody else LOVE The Fresh Prince of Bel Air :). Although you cannot see in the pictures, it also has slits up both sides, which is so on trend and gives an otherwise plain t-shirt a nice edge. It is also nice and loose, so great for modest dressing.. I have paired with a plain black top underneath and maxi-skirt, with a sleeveless denim jacket on top – Loved it!

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I knew you guys would not forgive me for posting another grey/black outfit (hehe), so thought I MUST add some colour. I paired the t-shirt with this beautiful hot pink over-sized blazer which I absolutely adore. Blazers are normally seen as smart, but I think if you have one that is not fitted, and in a lovely colour, you can wear it casually. I think blazers are an absolute staple in any girl’s wardrobe, and add a very “put together” look to any outfit. I wore the “Leigh” jeggings from Topshop in this gorgeous acid wash .. they are literally the most comfortable trousers ever, and I highly recommend them for us ladies who do not like wearing jeans!

SAM_0848 I wore my beloved jelly shoes again, which I felt just added to the “casual” look of the outfit. I also completed the look with a plain black hijab, which I felt fitted the outfit perfectly and did not take the attention away from the t-shirt. I personally prefer not having an overly printed hijab if my top has a slogan or print,  as I do not like to feel drowned :P. SAM_0857

Yes guys, I am on my garage roof taking blog photos – Oh the things us bloggers do for good pictures 😀

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I hope you like this outfit – I have added some colour, and tried to plan my outfit to show you how you can “smarten” up a very casual t-shirt by adding a blazer. I am on the hunt for the perfect cream and burgundy blazer.. so any recommendations would be brilliant! For lipstick, I wore a Rimmel one in the shade “006 Pink Blush” – a very different shade to what I have been wearing, but I stayed away from red as I did not want a clash between my makeup and outfit. 

Outfit Details:

T-Shirt – Ebay

Blazer – H & M

Leigh Jeans – Topshop

Jelly Shoes – Topshop

Hijab – Market

Anyway.. I just wanted to give a quick update on my week so far :). I have been at work, leaving the house before 8 and returning home after half 5 (Yes, Monday to Friday).. I absolutely LOVE my job (I work in HR), it is very busy and full on, but I enjoy it so much.. I have only been working full time in HR for 2 months, but know that it is definitely the career path I want to follow :). I have been interacting with other bloggers as much as I can in my free time, and love the blogging community so much, and am so excited to get to know so many of you! I also have made a schedule of my blog posts to work around the working week, and cannot wait for my next post.. which will be a DIY pamper night (using all DIY masks/scrubs etc!). I am also planning on going into town either on Friday after work or Saturday, as the new Lush Christmas goodies come out (OMG OMG!), and I cannot wait to see them and stock up (which I will blog about, of course :D). I also want to get my hands on a candle that will represent Autumn, as I think having a candle burning in a room makes it feel so cosy and warm, so please let me know of any of our favourites! 

Right loves.. that is me done for the night! I am going to catch up on an episode of Eastenders, then snuggle into bed, ready for work tomorrow! Hope you enjoyed this post, and stay tuned for more fashion/beauty/lifestyle posts!

Lots of Love, Saira xxx