Simplicity is Elegance

How to Take great pictures!

February 7, 2017
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After being asked by many of my followers how I create my images, I’ve decided to share with you some of my  secrets and tips on how to capture and edit a great shot !

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As a photographer, this subject seems easy, but for most of you, it doesn’t come naturally.


Follow my small tips and I’m sure you’ll start creating better images instantly!

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First things first, good lighting!  As many of you know, an image is achieved with one basic element. May it be natural or artificial( flash kit ), light should be your number one concern!

Going through your lens, light creates a game of shadows. Now, by playing with your camera settings, you will play and calibrate the image as you wish, in order to catch the subject of your choice.

Smartphones and professional cameras can both deliver great images. Of course, as a photographer, I cannot compare both tools. However, I still achieve great shots with my iPhone 6 plus and I ‘m always quite amazed at the quality or these miniature cameras!

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  •  Light ( Diffuse and reflect )
  •  Subject ( Texture, Colour, Angles)
  •  Editing apps and secrets


Having a good source of light is crucial! Daylight is great as long as it’s well managed ! If not, you might find that your nose suddenly looks five times bigger.

Why ?

At noon, the angle of the sun is aligned above you, creating aggressive shadows. A light source should never be right above your head. However, sunlight can be great at anytime of the day if well reflected !

Light bounces on nearly everything ( reflection ) . However dark or black tones actually absorb light rather than reflecting it.

For instance, being under a  beach umbrella creates a good composition of light. The sunlight is both reflected on the sand , creating a softer light, and  diffused through the umbrella’s fabric, which acts as a light softener (soft box).

Colour is also reflected within light, hence why a beautiful coral wall can give your skin a healthy glow ! – Also why you don’t want to face a green wall !

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NOTE: Clouds are excellent light softeners !  As you can see below,  the rather cloudy day creates a softer light on my skin.

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Basically, always try to avoid direct light unless wanted for creative purposes! Make sure it either bounces (reflection) or gets filtered (diffusion) through sheer fabric or any wall or object before hitting the subject. If not, pick a time in the day where sunlight is naturally less aggressive and more flattering, such as 4 pm.


1M3A0234 copyUnder this exotic rooftop bed, light is soft and flattering. The white mattress also plays a role in reflecting the light softly on my body !

1M3A0137Again, I am sitting under a roof in open air. Light comes in by reflection and does not hit me directly.



Try this for me! Go to your sunny window and take a selfie while facing the window. Now, with a piece of waxed paper, cover your window and repeat the same image.

See the difference ?

Light is filtered through your waxed paper, creating  softer shadows and in most cases, a better result.



We all know wearing black slims us down ! Here’s why. Black absorbs light. By creating the illusion to appear slimmer, black or dark colours dissimulate imperfections and contrasts, allowing our curves to appear toned down.

While wearing a white dress often means looking bigger, light colours are not alone in the game. Shapes and textures play a role too. Any metallic or silky fabric will also reflect light, making curves and imperfections more apparent! Conclusion: Unless you’re Gisele Bundchen, I’d avoid wearing a silky tight white dress on your wedding day!

NOTE: Don’t forget your lens is already curved and may add on about 10 pounds to your body by default depending on your settings.


Light, texture and colour all play a role, but you do too!

The position you will take is key.

TIP #1: Always look for the light. your face should always be looking or be angled towards where the light comes from. If light reflects on a surface, you should aim to direct your face in that direction.  Any model knows this secret!

TIP #2:  In order to look taller, position the camera lower.

TIP # 3: To look slimmer, lean your upper body forward from your hips when posing. This illusion will make your waist appear slimmer!

TIP # 4: Try to avoid pointing an elbow or a knee straight at the lens. It’ll seem like you have a cut body part. Always keep both elbows and knees slightly angled to the side.



NOTE: The closer to the lens, the bigger it appears!


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Now that you have basics tips on lighting, reflection, tones and positioning, lets talk about editing!

Color Tones:

I like my images a little desaturated. I love to be slightly over exposed and I keep my background minimal. I avoid busy images.


I keep a colour composition of maximum three tones. I also stay away from bright colours. My style is neutral and toned down.
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When I am rapidly editing a photo from my phone, here are my top three favourite apps :


The basic filters are great! However, my go-to filters are part of additional filter packages such as the minimalist collection or the alchemy collection. You can purchase these packages at low cost.

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Here, you can see how the filter toned down the bright green accent from my original image. As I said, I prefer colours to be toned down. Then again, this is a personal taste.

Here are some more examples of my images, identified with their respective VSCO filter.

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I love Snapseed ! To add some text, it’s really great! I also love using the different filters and their choice of typewritings are great for additional captions.




Now! if you have small imperfections or need a bit of blush, here’s what you need ! Avatar-photo editor is a great tool to easily correct small blemishes or dark circles. You can see an example below.

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You now have the tools to execute some better photos ! Good luck with your new image creations and don’t hesitate to ask questions  for any additional tips or tricks to help you with your camera settings or any editing softwares. @

With love, from Jess.

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