Ask an Expert: How to Take Bright White Photos with One Armed Mama
When our content partners ask for something, we deliver! We sent out a survey and you all asked for more educational content. So, with that being said, I would like to introduce a new Education Blog Post Series: Ask an Expert, to help educate our partners on how to create the best content, promote his or her personal brand, and accelerate business goals. The catch? All information is being sourced straight from YOU, the content creators that make up the very talented Ahalogy Content Network.
To kick off this new series, I had the opportunity to chat with Tristin Rieken, the content creator, author, and photographer behind One Armed Mama. Tristin has been partnering with Ahalogy for over two years now, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her working on our campaigns. If you have a chance to take a look at her blog and social channels (which I certainly encourage you to do—and give her a follow if you don’t already!), you’ll see that she’s truly a pro when it comes to taking those bright white, crisp photos that so many people strive for when creating content. Below, she shares tips, tricks, advice, and even equipment on how you can master these amazing photos—just like her!
What type of camera do you use?
“I currently use a Canon 6D, which is a really nice mid-level camera for those not willing to take the leap into an extremely high-end camera. I did, however, buy a very nice 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens! This lens helps give that really beautiful but professional look. There are more expensive options available, but this one has been great so far. I also use a 50mm lense, which is popular in the photography community, but I mainly utilize this for overhead shots because I love the content I can produce with the 100mm option!”
Do you try to shoot your photos at the same time every day for lighting purposes?
I used to strive for that “perfect” natural light all the time! I would shoot first thing in the morning or right before sundown to capture the ideal light. However, it’s really hard to plan accordingly when you live in the Pacific Northwest. A fellow blogging friend told me that all light is usable, so I’ve learned to shoot at any point in the day. Sometimes, that means you’ll do more photo editing after the fact, but if you shoot in RAW, you can make it work no matter what.
What type of lighting do you use, and how do you set it up?
I use it all! I have reflectors, bounce boards, and light diffusers. I use backdrops and a tripod to set up all of my scenes. My lighting changes based on the natural light that occurs while I’m shooting. For example, if it’s too dark in the room, I will use a silver or gold reflector to correct the coloring. The diffuser is very helpful for creating soft light. Every situation requires a different setting, so you just have to test and play around until you find what’s right for you.
What type of editing software or preset filters do you use?
Photoshop was always my go-to for years, mainly because I was so comfortable using the program. Around a year and a half ago, I made the switch over to Lightroom based on a recommendation—and I’m so glad I did! Editing photos in bulk is so much easier and quicker with Lightroom.
I’m not a huge fan of presets, even though I know they are very on-trend right now. I love the process of photo editing, and doing it manually allows me to have control over every inch of the photo—which makes for better content at the end of the day.
Any additional advice to share?
If you haven’t already, make the move over to Lightroom. You’ll be glad you did!
If you’re trying to achieve those bright white photos—don’t overly style the setting. Minimal props will help keep your imagery clean and simple. When I do use props, I always make sure they have a personal meaning to me. They’re either a family heirloom or from a vintage shop, which gives my photos a stronger personal connection to my brand.
There are so many content creators out there (a large pool of creators just means you have more great connections to make!), but it’s important to build your community around the type of content creators you admire. If you love bright white photos and are working towards creating this type of imagery, then I encourage you to connect with the people whose work you truly love. Watching and learning from them will help you mold your skills and push you to move forward and get better.
Now that you have some insider tips, we encourage you to give it a try—AND make it your own! Learning from others should always be a starting point for your growth and creativity. Take these tips, learn from them, expand on them, and share them with others. Huge thanks to Tristin for sharing her knowledge and photography with us all.
We’d love to hear from you!
If there’s something you’d love to learn more about, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get it in the works! Otherwise, check back regularly to see what new tips we share and what experts we feature!
About the Author | Cassie Saddlemire, Manager of Influencer Relations
Cassie spearheads the Influencer Relations team at Ahalogy. Helping content creators succeed, learn, and grow is what she’s all about.