Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Little About Me + Pretty Pictures

This is the first part of a 3 week series I've titled A Little About Me. Each week I will talk about one of my favorite things (Jesus + coffee + pretty pictures) and what they mean to me. 

Pretty Pictures.

If you follow me on Instagram you probably already have a good idea about what I mean here. However, I want to interpret myself a little more here and explain what, why, and how. --And for those of you who are picture crazy like me, the last one includes some photo tips. :)

The What:

I like simplicity, originality, and good quality. (I thought 'blank space' would be another good way to describe it but all google gave me was Taylor Swift... not what I was going for.) So with those three things in mind, pictures that are like candy for my eyes clearly portray the subject or point of the image, are unique in perspective and composition, and are not distracted by poor quality or a noisy background.

Here are some of my favorite feeds on Instagram that portray these qualities:

Beautiful Undefined
I always look forward to her neat and unique images of their everyday life. 
Her photos are always so natural and real. And her blog is just as dreamy. :)

Monica Outcalt
A fellow Minnesotan and Believer living the dream city life. 
I love all the white in her photos and I can't wait to go to the cities 
and try out some of the coffee shops she frequents. :)

Cautiously Obessed
More white. And the most beautiful lettering and designs. 
She created a gorgeous free printable calendar last year 
and I hope she has another one coming for 2016. ;)

The Freckled Photographer
Another awesome Minnesotan.
She's a stellar photographer, goes on the coolest adventures,
and her moody edits always leave me swooning. ♡

The Why:

In case it isn't evident yet, Instagram is my jam. (Now if I could figure out how to make it my bread and butter, too, I would be set.) I love taking pictures and getting a glimpse of other people's lives through their photos. I follow many different people, some because I know them and others simply because I enjoy their pictures and encouraging words. 

But something I think all of us struggle with at some point is the assumed glamorous life that is unintentionally portrayed through those photos. For example, I prefer to use Instagram as an outlet for highlighting the parts of life that I enjoy. It's a way of escaping my real life mess for a moment and focusing on the good and beautiful things around me.

So, while the only thing popping up in your feed may be pretty pictures and happy thoughts, remember that these are real people with normal, everyday lives just like you. We all have struggles and weaknesses, but it's our choice to decide what we're going to focus on. And I want to encourage you with these words:

And How:

There are a few rules I keep in mind when taking a photo...

First and foremost: Use natural light. There is nothing you can do that will complement your photos more than this. Natural sunlight will give your photos depth with highlights and shadows and will produce more true colors which is key to a good photo. 

The pictures below show the difference between an artificially lit room at night and one simply lit up by gorgeous sunlight.

While the evening photo appears cozy and warm, it looks stuffy and too warm in comparison to the more natural, true color noontime capture.

Second: Look for a unique perspective. I like to take shots from different points of view before I decide which one to go with. One of my favorite views is from above. (Maybe it's just because I'm short and it makes me feel taller? heh.) My photos are often taken either from above or straight on. Keeping your camera/phone perpendicular to your subject also helps to alleviate any distortion.

Thanksgiving aftermath; proof that my house isn't always clean and neat.
And yes, it might look funny when you're standing on a chair just to get the perfect capture, but life is short and people won't be laughing when they see all your pretty photos. :)

Third: Be mysterious. I like when photographers capture their subject but leave a little mystery. Look for the shot that will leave the viewer wondering and wanting to see more by hiding part of your subject or only showing part of an area in your frame.

Also look for the perspective that will make it more dramatic and tell a story within the photo.

And lastly: Keep it real. Curated shots are beautiful, but so are unique views of your everyday life. You don't always have to have a pretty coffee or a coordinated collection of items to make a pretty photo. Be creative and make your own life beautiful. And take pictures if you want to. :)

I'd love to hear your thoughts, what kind of pictures do you like to see?
5 comments on "A Little About Me + Pretty Pictures"
  1. I love this! Thanks for those tips...can't wait to read more from this series.

  2. Your tips + thoughts on social media are spot-on! IG is such a fun creative outlet, and your feed is always so absolutely gorgeous. I loved checking out the accounts you linked to here, and thanks for featuring mine! :D

    My favorite kinds of photos are kinda opposites actually...I LOVE the bright white/blank space/super crisp & clean ones...but yet I also tend to gravitate towards the high contrast/moody/shadowy ones. Ha! I feel like my feed tends to go in cycles with fluctuating between those styles!

    1. Aw thanks, Alicia! :) I have to agree, dark/moody photos have begun to pull me in just as much as the bright/clean ones. Both styles are so unique and beautiful in their own way. I have a hard time committing to one particular style myself, and I think variety is good. :)


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