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Can we talk about fashion blogging for a hot sec? Somehow it seems like every fashion blogger and her mother (or rather, her fashion blogging besties) is getting shipped off to Palm Springs or Cancun for exotic, all-expense-paid vacays in exchange for a few blog posts or Instagrams. It seems like the life, right? I mean, I don’t even need Mexico…ship me off with a margarita to the Carolinas and I’d be a happy camper.
But not all of us are fashion bloggers. I don’t consider myself one exclusively, and I know the struggle is so real when you’re trying to embark on a more fashion-forward photoshoot…but you’re just so not a fashion blogger. Fear not, friends. I’ve got ya covered with 16 fashion photography tips for non-fashion bloggers.
- Talk to your photog ahead of time. Make sure you’re on the same page with the goals of any photoshoot; is this a campaign for a brand and you’ve gotta feature your shirt specifically? Is it for a blog post that’s more fun and upbeat, or one that’s more serious-toned?
- If you’re working with someone professional/investing in someone, choose based off of personality, too. For me, I don’t care if you’ve got the best photography portfolio out there – if I feel totally awkward and uncomfortable shooting with you, it just ain’t gonna happen. Especially if you’re not exactly graceful like a model when it comes to style shoots (*raises hand*), having a photog with a sense of humor goes a long way. Or a mom who loves to shoot photography with you. Like my mom. She’s the best.
- Use props. Having your hand on a bag or reaching for your sunnies is an easy fix to the “but what do I do with my hands?!” panic. If you’re wearing a flowy skirt or dress, twirl it! Got high heels? Kick ’em up! Toss your hat, clasp your necklace, buckle your jacket – anything that gets you interacting with the clothing and accessories you’re wearing.
- Experiment. Don’t feel limited by anything, really. There are no “rules” – because the second you think there are rules, someone breaks them and creates something awesome. Fashion photography tips are made to be broken, just like any other rule, right?
- Look in different directions. Really, it’s all about finding your good side. 😉 Plus, this helps if you feel awkward looking straight into a camera lense, since those things definitely read our souls.
- Angle it. Don’t just shoot straight on frontal portraits all the time – that gets boring! Remember the rule of thirds (explained more in depth here) and position yourself at either edge of the frame to set up a nice “scene.” Turn your body to the side, or shoot from only the waist up or waist down.
- Get inspired. You know those fashion bloggers that just *nail it* time and time again? You love their look for a reason – think about how they style and set up their shots, and try to emulate that in your own special way.
- Focus on shots that are as natural as possible (as opposed to overly posed and orchestrated). Try taking a (slow) walk down the sidewalk with your photog and capturing a few action shots. Sit on a nearby bench, step onto the sidewalk – things you would have to do anyways that aren’t hands-on-the-hips cliche.
- If you’re shooting with an iPhone (because DSLRs are hella expensive), try this trick beforehand: wipe off your camera lense. Sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how much gunk gets on your phone from handling it all day long – and your camera is bound to get cloudy and dirty in time. Simply swiping it down before shooting could make all the difference between grainy, unprofessional-looking photos and something else entirely!
- Think about what you want to highlight. Are you showing off your shoes? Is your bag super cute and worthy of the extra spotlight? Maybe your legs just look hella good in the skirt you’re wearing…whatever the case, think of a few aspects that deserve a close-up shot. Besides showing off a cute product or great look, it mixes up your shots so you have interesting pictures to choose from afterwards!
- LAUGH. Laughing is good for the soul and boosts your health, and it ALSO boosts your photographic score. Why? Because it’s natural and just perks every positive muscle in your face – you truly shine! If you’re feeling awkward or your smiles just aren’t workin’ out, think of something funny – it seriously makes a difference.
- Be mindful of your outfit + your background. It might be totally unrealistic to do this all the time, but it really makes a difference when you’re coordinating a color you’re wearing to a color in the scenery behind you. Granted, we don’t all live in Palm Beach or LA, so gorgeous palm tree drives or bright pink doors aren’t in all of our backyards. Heck, I’ve got dead shrubbery and trash-filled streets around me most of the time being from a Northeastern cityscape – the glamour is hard to find. But even picking up on one small detail can go a long way – like matching your shoes to an iconic landmark. 😉
- Create a shot list ahead of time. This is SO HELPFUL, especially if you’re not the most comfy cozy in front of a camera. Come up with a list of shot ideas before your photoshoot to help guide both you and your photog through it with ease. Write down some angles, locational notes, anything from “sideways glance” to “hands in pockets” to spark your memory and clue you in on the shots that you thought about getting before you were in the moment, nervous and hesitant. It also makes things go *so much faster*.
- Shoot in natural light. It’s ALWAYS best, whether you’re shooting an outfit, a product flatlay, or just messing around with friends.
- Shoot in “golden hour.” First thing in the morning, or last thing before sunset! It’s the most flatting sunlight for most skin tones and won’t leave your with harsh lines or shadows.
- When in doubt, walk it out. I learned this trick when I interned in corporate marketing and organized a huge advertising photoshoot. I was playing model with the company’s professional photographer and he told us it’s hard to fake in-motion shots; to make it more realistic and easy, literally hop forward from one foot to the next, like a more dramatic walking step that’s got some pep in it. Just be mindful of how your legs move so it’s not overly dramatic and weird – keep it small and graceful, and let your arms move naturally by your side. That’s how models in magazines get that runway-ready walking “pose” – by literally being in motion right beforehand!
What helps you feel confident and comfortable when doing a fashion photoshoot as a non-fashion blogger?
I’d love to hear your tips and tricks, cos this girl has still got a lot to learn!
P.S. Here’s 14 steps to a more CONFIDENT you, just in case your week needs it. <3