BYOB(P): Tips + Tricks to Be Your Own Blog Photographer

9:48 PM

Happy Tuesday!

Most of my law school friends and some of my family know that I run a fashion blog. They check it out and (mostly) love it. But there's one question I get from pretty much everyone.

"Who takes your photos?"

Really short answer: me. Unless otherwise noted (which has happened a few times), I shoot, edit, and post my own fashion posts. But what you don't often see behind the fun photos of cute clothes is the work that goes into it and how it's all done. It's been a bit of a hit-or-miss process so far. I could probably tell you a MILLION things I've learned so far, but today I'd like to share with you five tips and tricks that work for me to create really great shoots (in case your photographer has the cold or you're going it alone like me).

1) Location, location, location.

Choose your location wisely. This is for two reasons. First and foremost, you want to go to a place that is convenient for you so that you'll actually take the photos. Secondly, you want to choose a location that works with the outfit you're shooting. For instance, shooting a red dress against a red brick wall generally doesn't work (trust me from anecdotal experience). If you're shooting red, go opposite on the color wheel--choose green trees. If you're shooting a busy pattern, going for a busy wall behind you will compete. Pick a simple white wall or something similar. You get the idea.

2) Timing is everything.

Schedule your shoots, or know when you have time to go and shoot. Nothing's worse than forgetting to shoot a really cute outfit and not getting it posted because you didn't schedule time to do it. You can choose to either shoot outfits before you wear them, the day you wear them, or after you wear them. I typically post-shoot outfits because I'll be honest: being a full-time worker is tough and I usually despair at trying to shoot in heels after working in them all day, and I'm fickle with picking outfits so it'll usually change by the time I wear it (making pre-shooting obsolete).

Another issue with timing is lighting. Pick a time when the lighting is good. I typically shoot thirty minutes to an hour before sunset when I get home from work. Pre-sunset lighting is amazing and works wonders for your skin and the colors you're wearing. Just ask any of my recent shoots.

3) The right equipment makes a difference.

I absolutely love working with a real digital camera and a self-timer. I'm picky like that. Most of my pre-camera photos are pretty dreadful, either because they're too grainy, too dark, or just don't get that same quality. I use a point-and-shoot Fuji I got for Christmas like three years ago. It's not the best, but it does really great photos for being so old. If you like your iPhone, that's great, but you'll probably need some equipment to make sure you can set it up to take your photos.

I also use a tripod. I use a rinky-dink one from Amazon that I broke the first week but have rigged to work. Yes, seriously. It's not the perfect set up but it works pretty well for me. If you're using a phone, Amazon typically sells adapters that work with iPhones to put them on tripods. Just be careful-I had one for my iPad and it didn't work too well.

If you have a nicer camera, there are also optional remotes you can purchase to simply click and shoot-no running from self-timer required. They are typically on Amazon for $5-$35.

4) Research poses.

Instagram and Pinterest are your best friends here. Look at other blogger's Insta-feeds. Read articles on poses on Pinterest (they do exist)! Know what you need to shoot to capture all the details of your outfit (like that great purse, the pattern on your top, or the cutout detail of your shoe). Try out poses you've never tried before. The backwards-over-the-shoulder thing? I tried that once and let's just say I do it like all the time now, because hello it looks amazing. Also, shoot WAY MORE than you think you'll need-I generally take 40-50 photos and come out with 9 that are good to use.

5) Don't be afraid to laugh at yourself.

Or sing, or crinkle your eyebrows, or make silly faces. You don't want to look stiff and as if you're just staring down a camera in all your photos (even though you totally are). Making yourself laugh helps you look relaxed, happy, and like you're just hanging out with friends getting your photo taken instead of running away from your camera as fast as you can to nail your pose.

(It's also easier to laugh at yourself when people are laughing at you on the street as you shoot. But don't worry, they're just jealous).

Do you shoot your own blog? What tips or tricks do you want to share that are different from mine? Put 'em in the comments below!



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  1. My set up is ridiculous. I don't do outfits for the most part, but when I'm in my study I've got this ridiculous rig made of storage bins and various colors of bedsheets, plus lamps and a small stepladder because being five feet tall and trying to shoot something from a bird's eye point of view is an adventure in itself.

    1. Girl, I understand the height thing! I'm about five feet tall as well and it can lead to some...interesting...results. That set-up sounds crazy!! But kudos to you for making it work. :) Thanks for commenting!!


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