Favorite tools to make blogging easier

My instagram is flooded with questions about how I edit photos, how I take photos and of course how I make blogging easier for me. I wrote this post several weeks back but since I am constantly changing things in my repertoire up, I wanted to wait till I was super satisfied with everything in order to write this post.

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So here it is….

My favorite tools to make blogging easier.

And of course these are tools that I use and not the end all be all, DUH!

Photo Taking

I alternate between my iPhone 7 plus and my Canon 80d. When I am at events by myself, I almost always use my iphone solely for capturing outfits and the scenery. When Jen’s Plus One comes with me we bring the Canon 80d and he takes primarily 80% of the event coverage. He has gotten so darn good and Ill post a few of his shots from covering the Whisky Charlie Preview!

With my DSLR, you will always see us use our Youngnuo 35mm f/2 lens or the Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens. I am currently saving for the 24-70 but till then we have to move around to take photos.

When I know that detail shots are important or I want some serious bokeh/ depth of field, the 50mm comes out because it is a better lens overall but the 35mm is a superb walk around, every day type lens for us. These photos we used the 50mm and shot right outside our neighborhood.

I 100% shoot in RAW. Every single time. Because I edit so much, I like to have a blank canvas to manipulate. Shooting in JPEG makes it so that the camera adds its own information to it including color info. I want to be able to edit to my liking.

Before most shoots, I have envisioned the location, my poses for that location and how I want it shot. Sometimes we shoot darker if that is the aesthetic I am going for and other times it is properly exposed. Photos for me should tell a story and editing plays a huge role in that. BUT- how you shoot it makes editing even easier!

If you are looking for dark and moody, then shoot a little darker. When it’s decent light outside we always start with 1/250 f2.8 ISO 100-200. Then we change it based on how the test shot comes out.

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Favorite Tools for Photo Editing on Computer

For photo editing, my favorite tools for making blogging easier are my iphone and my computers. Yeah, plural.

My Macbook pro is my favorite computer of life solely because of air drop. After editing a photo, I can seamlessly send it to my iphone for social media but this computer is so heavy/bulky that when I don’t feel like back exercises, my Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is the winner.

On both computers I edit in ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) and Lightroom. My brain still has not figured out Photoshop outside of small things so I avoid it at all costs.

If I am doing minor color adjustment and sharpening, I will use ACR for editing. If I know I want to add filters, then Lightroom is my editing preferential. 75% of the time Lightroom in the winner. In Lightroom, I have all the VSCO film presets, presets I have created on my own, and other presets I have downloaded through the years. I have my presets sorted by TYPE of photography.

If I am editing food, I have food presets. Editorial looks get editorial magazine presets. Collaborations with brands that want images suitable for marketing have their clean and bright presets and so on. When I purchase presets, Creative Market is my trusted store to get credible ones with support.

My favorite VSCO film preset are the Kodak ultra gold which are in pack 6. (I believe). I also steer closer to warmer edits in the fall and winter and go more blue in the summer.

I have my presets sorted by that as well.

Lightroom allows you to organize everything and I was able to copy presets from one computer to another so no matter the computer I’m on, everything is organized the same.

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Favorite Tools for Photo Editing on iPhone

Even if my picture is edited on the computer, I still do some final touches with editing on the iPhone. Because I am drawn to a cohesive looking instagram feed, every single one of my pictures get the same filter in Vsco. J2 is my current go to for the Fall/Winter. Once spring and summer hit, I will switch. During the warmer months, I gravitate towards the chromatic filters like c8 or c1.

In VSCO, I add filters, change temperature and sometimes add grain.

Other apps that I use for editing on my iPhone

  1. Snapseed | This is a very powerful app with amazing features for ALL your editing needs. Me being annoying though only use it for the following: tonal contrast (but I always decrease the midtones because of the effect on faces), sometimes the portrait look (this adds great vignette and softens the skin a bit), expand (if my photo is too tight for instagram), and the brush tool (usually saturation). get it here
  2. Facetune | Although this app is selfie editing magic, I use it for the following: details (usually eyelashes, eyes, and then details on the details of my outfit), tones, and sometimes patch. If I need something erased from a photo, the easy eraser app is usually my go to though. get it here
  3. Darkroom | The Darkroom app is also powerful and acts very similarly to Lightroom. This is where I use the HSL tool to increase or decrease the saturation of certain colors. Some filters make my skin color too orange or ashy so I will adjust accordingly in this. Please note, I almost always decrease the yellow saturation in photos. get it here
  4. Afterlight | Grain and Dust. Afterlight offers excellent grain and film looking dust effects when I would like my photos to emulate an old school film look. get it here
  5. UNUM or Planoly | These are the apps that I plan what my feed will look like. UNUM is my go to ONLY because it allows me to place an unpublished photo in my draft next to a published one so I can accurately see if it flows. I have not been able to to do this in planoly yet. BUT Planoly is an instagram approved app so I keep it around just in case. Planoly does however allow you to plan instastory content now but I have not delved deep into it enough to review.
  6. VidStitch | This is how I make those outfit of the day videos that I have been posting on instagram. You all seem to love the format! Thank you! get it here
  7. RNI Films | Photo editing app strictly with film emulations for true film looks. get it here

Blog Planning

Being organic is important to me so I don’t plan outfits too much. I however am obsessed with pinning outfits and inspirations on Pinterest, I obsesseively save instagram photos I love (and outfits) to my saved collection right on the instagram app, AND I use the iphone icloud shared folders to keep albums of outfits I like whenever I am in a rut. I also use evernote to keep a list of any new clothing items I get so that I do not have to be at my closet to know what I have. Planning outfits on that helps too.

Like if I get a new coat and want to shoot it, I will add photos from all my inspiration albums that are similar to that coat onto an evernote note and go from there. Being a pisces, Im scatterbrained so this helps me when Im too moody to get my brain to work.

I also am a huge fan of actual planners. I purchase the old school ones from Target or Walmart during back to school. To be honest, Im terrible with using them consistently though. Last but not least I have an actual notebook that I use also. I use sticky tabs to make the notebook more organized. So I will have outfit ideas in one section and things that I like in another and of course items to buy etc…..

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I hope you all found this favorite tools to make blogging easier post helpful and of course if you have ANY questions, please feel free to write a comment below. I answer each and every comment so check back also or check that you want to be notified of replies.

Outfit details: Coat- Rainbow size L | Turtleneck: Rainbow size L | Jeans: OldNavy (old), similar option 1, similar option 2 | Shoes: ShoeDazzle | Hat: Similar 1, Similar 2 } Purse: Gigi New York

What are your favorite tools?

Talk to me……

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7 Comment

  1. Adrian McClanahan
    November 27, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing what helps you Jen! I’m soo working on getting better with blogging consistently that’s where my pain begins lol. Can’t wait to upgrade my phone though!

  2. Michsi
    November 21, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    First of all! THis is a look! I love that you always find good jems in stores like rainbow. I haven’t been in there is so long.

  3. Claudia
    November 21, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    OMG….. I forget how much work you put into this! Such a good description of what you use, how you use it and why.
    (Secretly putting on my Christmas wishlist– photo sessions & behind the scenes photography lessons with jjp) 🙂

    1. Jen
      November 23, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      Thank you Clo Clo- except for short changing myself. 😭

  4. Shauni
    November 21, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Love this post! I’ve been using VSCO for a year now and I love it ! Thanks for sharing these tips on blogging – being organized has helped me so much!

  5. Shivawn Brimage
    November 20, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    I have to say I absolutely love love love this style. You are really wearing it well. I also want to thank you for sharing your tools for your photos especially for the not so savvy photographers out here like me. What I can say is that you’ve inspired me to do better a little. Please keep being your authentic self. It is so appreciated out here in these social media streets.

    1. Jen
      November 23, 2017 at 7:21 pm

      Thank you so much! So much!

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