Photographing Objects and Rooms from Kristen Duke « Build Your Blog Conference
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Photographing Objects and Rooms from Kristen Duke


Kristen Duke is a blogger, photographer, mom, foodie, and diyer from the uber cute and successful blog, Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke taught a really informative class on how to photograph objects and rooms in her class at Build Your Blog Conference.  In her class she shared her secrets to getting bright, beautiful, and vivid photos, her tips to how she stages her photos, and what she does to edit her pictures.  So let’s dive in!

One of the first things she talked about is the steps she takes to adjusting her camera settings.  I thought the order of how she changes her settings was genius and made sense.

The first thing she changes is her ISO according to the light in the given space.  The second, is her F-stop or aperture depending on how much you want in focus example: f/2.0.  The third is her shutter speed, unless she is using a tripod.  Shutter speed is measured in fractions of a second example: 1/250.  The final step is her white balance which is the color temperature depending on shade, sunlight, and light bulbs that are reflecting on the object in the photo.

Kristen talked about the lenses she recommends for bloggers.  There’s four that she feels bloggers in general need and they are:

  • 50 mm: Is perfect for objects, is inexpensive, but can be limiting when it comes to photographing rooms.  This lens is recommended if you don’t the following below.
  • 35 mm: This is great for rooms because it will produce a wider shot.
  • 28-75 mm: Is a great versatile lens but may not be as crisp.
  • 14-35 mm: This is a wide angle lens, and is likely distorts space, but is really helpful for small spaces such as a bathroom.
Kristen highly recommends you to shoot with natural light because it won’t look as artificial.  The best time to shoot is in the middle of the day or early afternoon when the light is at its best.  Position your projects close to a window or a large opening to get great natural lighting.
Most DIY home bloggers show off rooms they’ve redone or projects in a room. This can be frustrating because you can’t bring the room to a well lit spot by a big window, you have to work with what you have.  The best advice Kristen gives is to use a slow shutter speed on a tripod and will brighten up your room immediately.  The reason you need a tripod is because you will get camera shake if your shutter is too slow especially when you’re holding the camera in your hands.  Sometimes setting the timer and setting it down works, but that can be limiting.
Kristen gives some great examples of how she sets her camera settings to get beautiful photos and shares her secrets to capturing bright and stunning pictures in her presentation.  To read her slide show presentation, and listen and watch all of the audio recordings from Build Your Blog you can purchase them here.
Written by Courtney Killpack.  Courtney is the social media manager for the Six Sisters’ Stuff annual Build Your Blog Conference and their recipe sharing website My Recipe Magic.  She also blogs with her two redheaded sisters on their lifestyle blog called Fry Sauce and Grits.  Between blogging, being a mom and a wife, she enjoys being active, writing about bras, anything Jane Austen, designing eclectic interior spaces, and eating cookie butter. 

Posted May 05, 2014 in: Photography by Kyle Ivins