Most of what you see on Burghologie comes from my perspective— AKA I'm always the one behind the camera... for the most part at least. I have to admit I enjoy a good candid or even a selfie from time to time, but most of what you see here comes from me, my amateur photography skills, and my Nikon.
So a couple of weeks ago I stepped out from behind the lens and put the photo taking into a true photographer's hands. I don't tend to like pictures of myself, but I was completely BLOWN AWAY by Ashley's talent. I mean, just look at how beautiful and glowy these shots are! I couldn't be more happy with how these photos turned out and if you haven't noticed, I can't stop posting them on IG. (Sorry... but not sorry!)
Ashley is local Pittsburgh creative and the owner and mastermind behind Ash K Captures, her own photography brand. From engagement sessions and senior portraits to nature photography and branding, this girl knows exactly how to capture personality and details. In my opinion, that's what makes a truly great photo. When I reached out to Ashley about this session, I asked for something with a warm, lighthearted, and fun vibe. I think it's safe to say she nailed it! Not to mention, I had a blast gallivanting around Mt. Washington. How can you not enjoy golden hour on a warm summer evening?
Ashley is such a kind soul and I can't wait to work with her again in the future. Check out her website and give her a follow on Instagram! I promise it won't be long before you're booking your own shoot!
Fact: I love photography and I love editing photos. From messing around with my very first (super shitty) digital camera in 8th grade to shooting with my new Nikon, photos just mean a lot to me. I'm that one friend that doesn't let you touch your food until I've documented it... I don't think I'm really sorry about it. *Shrug*
For the past 7 months, I've built my Burghologie (and personal) Instagram feed with a custom preset I created in VSCO. I still love the aesthetic, but as we head into summer I wanted to change up my look with some warmer, brighter vibes. As I started shopping around I came to realize that Lightroom presets AIN'T CHEAP. I love a nice cohesive feed as much as any other blogger, but that pretty feed definitely comes with a pretty hefty price tag. For a girl ballin' on a budget, a $90 preset wasn't an option. This is just my hobby after all!
Luckily, all of my preset problems were solved when I landed on Preset Parlor.
Preset Parlor has a large variety of cute Lightroom Mobile presets. And the most amazing part? ALL presets are under $5. Yep, I'm here for it.
The filters aren't always a one-click deal, but with a little adjusting they make a really pretty, creative, IG-worthy edit. What adjustments you'll need will largely depend on the lighting and the colors in the photo. Before you buy, check out the descriptions for each preset. The captions describe what type of photo conditions work best with each filter. Personally, I'm drawn to photos that are very warm and bright with neutral undertones, so here are my top picks:
Check out the before and after shots below!
Preset Parlor is currently running a Buy 2 Get 1 Free promo! That means you'll get 3 new presets for about 10 bucks. I don't know about you guys but I'm all about the deals. Check it out!
I'm semi-new to the lifestyle blogging scene, but in the past 6 months I've found some really helpful tools and apps that have made my life much easier. Here are some of my faves:
PicMonkey is great for drag and drop design. I actually built my logo and some elements of my website on this platform. There's limited functionality in the free version, so I pay $7.99 for a premium subscription. I think it's more than worth it. I don't have any true graphic design skills and this is a great alternative! This app is also a photo editing tool, but I'm personally not a big fan of their filters and editing capabilities. However, it is ideal for building unique collages!
Web app + mobile app | Available for iOS and Android devices. | Free download
Canva is very similar to PicMonkey, but there's some notable differences. I really love Canva's template options and they have some unique text and photo elements. Inside scoop: Canva has great Instagram story templates that are easy to throw together on their mobile app. Their platform is also a bit more user-friendly than PicMonkey, but I still use both for different projects. The free version of Canva is all I've ever needed. However, there is a "Canva for Work" subscription with enhanced features that may be worth exploring.
Web app + mobile app | Available for iOS and Android devices | Free download
I use VSCO for almost every single photo I edit... ever. Their filters are great and I've even developed my own preset. (My little secret: it's "A4" with a bunch of tweaks.) It's important to note that VSCO has recently changed their platform. You used to be able to purchase filter "packs" for a couple bucks each, but they've migrated to a full subscription-based concept. Their tools are available for $19.99 a year. Still not a bad deal!
Mobile app | Available for iOS and Android devices. | $19.99
4. RNI Films
I just recently discovered RNI Films and immediately fell in love. RNI aims to give digital photos an old-school film vibe. The app itself has a lot of different editing functions, but I use it solely for its "grain" and "dust" filters. I add my preset in VSCO, save to my camera roll, upload the edited photo to the RNI editor for the final touches, and then re-save the final version back to my camera roll. I give this app a 10/10! It adds such a cool touch to my feed.
Mobile app | Only available for iOS devices | Free download
I'm obviously really digging the vintage-y, old-school film trend that has made its way to Instagram, so that's why the 8mm Vintage Camera is also on my list. This app allows you to record videos with 8 different lenses and 13 aged film looks. My favorite feature of this app is that you can apply effects to existing videos in your photo library, so those "oh shit that would have been cool" after-thoughts can still come to life.
Mobile app | Only available for iOS devices. | $1.99
Unfold is an app entirely dedicated to Instagram story templates. There's a basic package available for free plus several different design packs you can purchase for a small fee (around 2 bucks). "FF1" is my favorite because it ties in more of that vintage film look! (If you haven't guessed yet, my whole photo strategy can be summed up as "vintage.")
Mobile app | Only available for iOS devices. | Free download
For my fellow detail-oriented, borderline OCD people out there, Preview is both a blessing and a curse. Preview features a drag and drop grid that allows you to "preview" the look of your feed before actually posting your content live to Instagram. You can even draft captions and search ideas for hashtags. One piece of advice: Don't spend too much time rearranging photos on this app, it is a battle against perfection and you will never win. I speak from experience...
Mobile app | Available for iOS and Android devices | Free download
8. Camera Stuff
When it comes to shooting photos for my blog, I've got the basics. I have a Nikon D3400... that I barely know how to use. Thank god for autofocus! And I have my handy dandy iPhone Xs. Plot twist: Portrait mode is actually kind of just weird? In addition to the electronics, I have a tripod for my camera, a tripod for my phone, a wireless camera remote, and an amazing invention called SnapBridge for Nikon. AKA when I shoot photos on my camera, they're set to automatically download to my camera roll. MAGIC.
What are some of your can't-live-without tools for blogging or social media? Drop me a comment, shoot me a DM, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!