It’s no secret to you all how much I love photography and practicing my skills in that field. When I first started to get into blogging, I began to observe the many creative, beautiful outfit shoots that the most unique and successful fashion bloggers posted. I knew that if our blog was to get anywhere, we needed to excel in the imagery category. Over the past 2 years, my sisters and I have learned so much about what it means to take great photos for our blog, but by far the most challenging type of shoot to do is an outfit shoot. From getting the images perfectly focused, to making sure that the outfit & subject wearing it is framed just right in the camera, it’s an art in and of itself, but one where there is such freedom for creativity and unique expression. Today I’ve gathered up some of my top tips for taking great outfit photos that I hope will help some of you fashion bloggers out there to excel in the wonderful world of fashion photography. I am by no means an expert, but I’ve learned a few things in the past years that I think might be helpful to share 🙂
Practice in the Mirror
It’s may sound like vanity practice, but honestly: look at yourself in the mirror. Observe which side of you is your best side, practice facial expressions, poses, etc. It will help you familiarize yourself with how you will look in the camera, so that when you head out to take outfit photos, you are not left completely in the dark in regards to how to pose. It’s hard to get a great photographer to take your photos all the time (unless you have an “in house” duo like we do 😉 ), so when your photographer may not be the best communicator, it is helpful to be familiar with yourself and how you look at what angles, etc. Mirror practice may be limited, but it certainly is helpful in developing a photogenic look.
Find your Posing Style
Not everyone was cut out for the “model face” look that you see in catalogs and fashion editorials everywhere. In fact, some of us look really stupid trying to be über pose-y and serious. Develop your posing style. Do you look best candid and laughing, smiling for the camera, or striking a dramatic, contemplative pose? Each of us girls has a certain feel we want to communicate through our photos, a certain aspect of ourselves that we want to share, or will better help get across the aesthetic of our outfits: Jessica and I tend to look best candid, laughing, and having a good time. Brigid really shines when she looks more thoughtful and wistful. All of us can nail just about any style of pose, but each of us has a certain one that really lets our personality shine. Through practice and time, you can develop your own that will help you look your very best when getting your outfit photos taken.
Tell a Story
The most powerful outfit photos I have seen and taken are the ones that communicate a story. It’s one thing to just pose in front of your garage door or a blank backdrop, but when there is a story involved, it takes the shoot to a whole new level. Do you have a special tale to tell behind the outfit you are wearing? Is there a certain aesthetic/personality that you want to communicate? Perhaps an adventurer, or a city tourist? Play around with themes and figure out the best way to communicate your outfit’s story through your photos.
This is a technique that we girls are still developing and getting to understand, and we certainly don’t employ it in all our outfit shoots. But, when we do, it definitely takes that shoot to a whole new level, and the photos tend to be much more engaging and visually captivating.
Choose a Great Backdrop
I guess this is a “no duh” tip, but it still needs to be said. If you are posing in front of a garage door or messy backyard, your photos will most certainly suffer, and your outfit won’t look much better. We girls have been blessed to live in an area where rural, picturesque backdrops are right in our backyard. If this is not the case for you, then hunt around! I have seen beautiful outfit photos that were taken in front of everything from unique dumpsters, so the back part of a Rite Aid store. Great backdrops are just a creative glance away.
Communicate with your Photographer
This is one that I had to learn the hard way. Being the main photographer of the blog, it was challenging getting Brigid to take photos of me that were up to my expectations. Now, this wasn’t exactly Brigid’s fault: it was more my fault in not communicating. If you don’t have a photographer who is experienced in fashion shoots or how to pose people, then you could try having a discussion right before/during the shoot describing how you were wanting a certain shot to look. Looking at images online to get your photographer to understand the aesthetic and framing that you want will definitely be helpful as well.
Observe other people’s work
This is a big one. We girls wouldn’t be where we are at with our visuals if it wasn’t for fellow bloggers who have come before us, inspiring us to up our photography game. Following blogs with great visuals will definitely help you understand the possibilities for outfit shoots, and inspire you to play around more and not just settle for blah backdrops and cliché poses. Here are a few of my favorite blogs that nail it in the outfit shoot category:
**Note: most of these are not “modest fashion blogs”. They simply take great images, and are visually inspirational. Please use your own discretion when looking at these blogs. We all don’t have the same standards 🙂
I hope that these tips were helpful! Like I said before, outfit shoots can be some of the most challenging out there, but with work and diligence, you can definitely master this category and take excellent outfit photos. Now, I know some of you may be thinking “But what about the equipment?”. Photography gear and post-processing can have a huge impact on the photos that you take, and I talked about the gear I use here. Not much has changed since that post, so if you want my thoughts on the gear I use, I would highly recommend you check it out.
What are your tips for taking great outfit photos?
-Charlotte, the youngest sister & singer