05 November 2013

Blogging Tips | My Setup for Photos and Videos

I always miss the #bbloggers chat, because it falls on Monday mornings at 5 AM, and as much as I want to chat with you all, it kills to be up that early or late. If I'm ever on the chat, it means I didn't sleep yet, and I'm about to knock out, lol. However, I do try to give some input and learn from the other bloggers whenever I can.
I see a lot of questions on Twitter about blogging setup, what to do when there's no sunlight, etc, so I thought I'd share my little blogging setup with you. If you don't have a lot of funds to spare, this might be helpful!
FYI, I have no windows that let sun shine through in my entire house. We're vampires! Kidding! We live in a duplex that goes from front to back, and we live in the back. My dad has surrounded the house with canopies to protect us from the scorching heat. Though, I'm very grateful for his diligence, it doesn't help my lighting situation as a blogger, lol. So here is how I've set up my little space.

I have my Macbook Pro on one side, then my mirror next to it, followed by my everyday makeup pieces and brushes. On the other end is my "photo station", where I have some pieces to be the background of my photos (if I choose to shoot horizontally). You can use candles, makeup, books, anything your heart desires. Otherwise, I have a place mat (yup, the ones used for dinnerware) that I use a backdrop for my photos, because I mostly shoot downward. 
Using place mats is super effective if you like to change your background a lot. I found a faux wood place mat at Macy's for $16, but it was on sale for $5. I totally snapped that up then and there since I've been eyeing it for ages! If you haven't noticed it already, it looks like this:
I don't have a softbox, because I have no space for it, nor the funds to purchase one. So, I use what I have, which is a floor lamp with flexible arms. The flexible arms are super convenient, and I'm able to angle them right where I want to direct light. I aim one hood toward the ceiling to light up the room, and then I tape a piece of parchment paper (used for baking) over one of the other hoods to soften the effect so it's not as harsh. I aim this hood towards the subject of my photo. I always use energy efficient daylight bulbs. If you use warm white, you'll get a yellow glow to your photos, and unless you like that, then I recommend daylight bulbs. They imitate the sunlight very well. 

Video Setup:
If you make Youtube videos like I do, you may struggle with getting the light to light up the proper areas without making you look too white or reflecting off everything, blinding the viewers. I still use the floor lamp as my main lighting source. I move my tripod and camera next to the floor lamp to face me at my desk. I shoot one hood to face the ceiling to light up the room. Then I line up one of the hoods so that it hovers above my camera, aimed at my face, without getting in the shot or creating shadows. This way, it lights up what my camera can see, which should be me. I take a few still shots of myself with my infrared remote ($9 from Ebay) to ensure that I am in the shot. Once I like how it looks, I'll just press the record button. The infrared remote is so helpful, because it focuses on me where I'm sitting, and then I can just get up and press the record button without worry that it will be out of focus. Best $9 I ever spent, ha!

So there is the first set of my Blogging Tips! I'm no expert, but I've found this setup to be really effective in my situation, so hopefully you enjoyed this little peak behind the scenes. Next up, I'll probably talk about camera settings that I use and some editing tips. 

What is your blogging setup like? Do you have a post on it? Any recommendations? Would love to know! 

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