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Photography tips with the Olympus Pen

First of all this is not going to be a post about the technical aspects of photography, there are more than enough posts about apertures and shutter speeds. If you're looking for that information I'd recommend Bang on Styles recent post. A wise man once said to me "Why would camera companies spend millions of pounds developing automatic settings if they wanted you to fuck around with the specifics yourself?" - Fair point. Some people enjoy the technical aspects and some people just want the basics for taking good photos

This post is full of simple and effective tips for amateurs just like me, easy things that you can do to improve your photography from lighting to lay-out. Some tips are not specific to the Olympus Pen and can be used by anyone looking to improve their photography. I own the Olympus Pen EPL7 and EPL8 cameras and I shoot predominantly through a 45mm lens  

Buy a Tripod and utilise the remote feature

People always ask me who took the photos that feature me, the answer? I did. Using a photographer isn't always time or cost effective but happily my Olympus Pen camera links up to my phone via a wifi connection which allows me to use my iPhone as a remote control. If you look carefully at some of my photos you can see that my hand is sometimes slightly out of shot or you may even see that my phone  is lying on a table to one side. That's because I've used the remote function to capture that shot. This function also includes a timer for when you need both of your hands in the photograph. The wifi connection also allows me to transfer and edit photos from my camera, using my phone, whilst on the go. This feature massively cuts down on the time and effort I need to put into creating quality, on-brand content 

Create the illusion of balance 

I use blueback a lot in my shots, to keep things still and to hold cylindrical products in place where I need to see a certain aspect of their packaging or branding. Spoons are bluetacked onto plates, make-up is bluetacked at certain angles, basically as long as you can't see it in the shot it's the perfect helping hand for getting the composition just how you want it. The same goes for using a ruler for your flatlays, use the edges to level your products in the shot and measure the gaps between products to ensure that you get that "perfection" effect that every good flatly needs  

Invest in a 45mm Lens

So you've just forked out for an Olympus Pen Camera and here I am telling you that you need to spend yet more money to get the most of the camera. I apologise but this is the one lens that transforms the Olympus Pen from just a camera to a blogging essential. Most people buy the Olympus Pen body withe the standard Pancake Lens but THIS is the lens that you to capture crisp, clean, professional images without having to learn all of the technical know-how, it is a game changer. Every single person that has bought the 45mm on my recommendation has said that it has changed their photography like never before. If you are serious and improving your photography then I urge you to make the investment. If not, then hopefully my other tips will help

  Don't overcomplicate things


I know photoshop is the new norm but I'll let you in on a little secret. I've never used it. I don't know how to use it and frankly I don't really see the need for me to learn. Instead of spending hours at the computer screen or relying on lots of complicated apps just really concentrate on where you place things in the shot. Concentrate on the angles and props you use, where you position things from. The same goes for lighting, I'm always being asked how I make my photographs so bright, what lighting equipment I use when I don't even own any. I used to have a ring light but I quickly got bored of the hassle of it, to be honest I don't think you need a lot of fancy euiptment if you have a natural eye for a shot and a flair for creativity. I shoot almost everything in natural light, using the most basic of editing tools on my phone 

Flip the screen to avoid angles in shots

This might sound really stupid but the flip screen is such an unusual feature that I sometimes forget to utilise it. I find myself angling my arm and neck into uncomfortable poses to capture the angle I need before I engage my brain and flip the screen out. This function is particularly good for flat-laid images as you can directly capture your shot from above without having to be about 12 foot tall or have to balance precariously on a chair - just flip the screen out. The one problem with the Pen is that you cannot flip the screen out under the camera using a tripod adaptor but you can pick one of those up pretty cheaply here - Click to Shop 

Get Appy

My favourite feature is the wifi link meaning you can edit on the go using just your phone, limiting the need to for fancy OTT editing.

My top apps:

Originally for people to make their selfies look better but actually amazing for picking out detail in your shots as well as defocusing the background of close-up product shots, making the depth of field look incredible. You can also patch areas and whiten backgrounds, I think this function was originally for teeth but it works really well. This app is not just for catfishing 

This is my go-to app, it does everything. For my particular style of photos I like to ramp the brightness up to about +30 and bring the shadows down about -30 depending on the level of natural light in the shot. You can also use this app to adjust the levels of contrast, saturation, ambience, highlights and warmth

I'm just getting back on to the VCSOcam train. I only really use the 04, 05, A5 and H filters and should really start to branch out. I do use it though, as although Facetune and Snapseed usually take care of my editing needs sometimes I finish using them and just feel like my photos are still missing something, which is where VCSO comes in handy 

This app is great for resizing you images, yes. BUT it's also great for creating collages as you can move your photos around the screen and create a collage effect. You can also place images side by side, like the image of the eye below. This app is great for producing before and after shots  


I hope this post helps you to be more considered when you take your photographs, whether that's using the Olympus Pen or any other camera. Keep trying, testing and constantly improving your skills. Don't rely on fancy equiptment or complicated editing software, just set-up the basic shot well, using natural light to your advantage and it will be much easier to tweak the things you aren't happy with 


  1. I absolutely adore this post! So many hacks to help take better photos, I know a LOT of bloggers will find this useful. Plus this has been the final prompt I needed to buy a Tripod! x

    1. I couldn't cope without mine! Such a handy tool, especially when I've had one too many coffees that day and have MAJOR hand shake! xx

  2. Love these tips! Would love this camera at some point! X

    1. It's such a great starter camera. Really easy to use and compact enough to pop in your handbag, I always get so many compliments on how pretty my two are too xx

  3. This post was so helpful - thank you! I got an Olympus Pen a couple of weeks ago so found this really useful. I never even thought about using my phone to get photos with me in them, such a great tip! x

    1. No problem babe, it took me ages to realise this too! It takes a bit of practice with the timer etc but have play around and get creative with your shots :) xx

  4. Loved this post Milly! I really need to make better use of the remote app and also I seriously need to get a Tripod! Georgie xxx As You Wish UK

  5. Wonderful learning guys I’m a fan of your website.
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  6. This is really a great stuff for sharing. Thanks for sharing. picbear


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