One of the questions I’m most frequently asked by lovely readers is what I use to blog / take my pictures, and how I edit my photos. So here is a roundup to all my favourite gadgets and apps.
To write my blog: I am seriously attached to my Apple MacBook Pro, and my blog is self-hosted on WordPress.org (meaning I pay a monthly hosting fee and built the design from scratch).
On the go: Though I’m really a pen and paper girl (for my endless ‘to do’ lists and ideas), if I’m travelling then I’ll take my iPad (which lives in a stella macartney case) or my new Samsung Galaxy Note tablet (which comes with the snazziest pen for hand-drawing and writing over pictures) for checking in.
Photography: Until this point, I’ve mostly used a Canon 1000d (the perfect entry-level digital SLR camera) for my blog photos, but I’ve just upgraded to a Canon 650d which so far seems perfect. If I don’t want to take a big camera but want something in my bag ‘just in case’, then the Olympus Pen Mini is excellent (it works like an SLR, but is a fraction of the size / weight and you can also add photo filters a la Instagram). Regardless of the camera I’m using, I always shoot on manual so that I can set the ISO higher and the shutter speed lower than it would otherwise be on automatic (to give a brighter, breezier look).
Phone: I am rather permanently attached to my iPhone, and between checking my emails, approving comments, writing from the train, snapping pictures of little things that make me smile, and updating my social media, sometimes it feels as though my blog could barely function without it. My favourite apps are Instagaram, Hootsuite to keep up with my Twitter feed (you can create categories and columns, meaning you can just check your favourites or your mentions if you’re short on time) and dropbox to easily transfer photos between my phone and computer.
Photo-editing: I am really rather low-fi and do as little as possible when it comes to editing (I prefer good, natural lighting to post-processing), but sometimes I do give my pictures a little tweak. Oh my phone, Instagram (I always use the Earlybird filter) is by far my favourite app (I always put my 'month in pictures' posts together using the pictures I’ve snapped on Instagram), but I also love the PicFX app for the bokeh effects (that gives the little twinkly lights in the two pictures above) and the rosy Marshmallow filter (also in the two pictures above). For my main (camera) photos, I’ll sometimes use picmonkey (like Photoshop-lite, but free and online and easy-peasy to use) to brighten, crop or blur photos, smooth out a blemish or add a slight filter (I like a touch of Tranquil for a vintage look). You can also make collages on PicMonkey, but I tend to use either Polyvore for a collection of products (like my 'monthly loves' posts) or, for my ‘month in pictures’ posts, literally line the images I want up in a square on my computer’s draw programme and then save them as a jpg file (I told you I was low-fi!).
…And there you have it; all my blogging secrets revealed!