Today, I wanted to chat a bit about the photography aspect of fashion blogging. These are my tips on how to get the most out of your shoots, and how to diversify the types of photos you capture. I also want to talk about how weird / uncomfortable it can be to stand at the center of the camera; posing feels unnatural for a lot of us (myself included), and while a lot of it comes down to shooting often and simply getting used to it, I do have a few tips for shooting fashion photography, and also getting more comfortable being photographed.
1. Invest in a Good Camera
Truthfully, this is probably the most obvious, but also the most important tip for fashion photography. I use an iPhone 7 Plus, and with the duel camera, it is one of the best phones on the current market for photography. But while I have no problems with iPhone photography, the shutter speed, and the light capture on a phone simply does not compare to a professional DSLR. When you have a strong camera that can capture detail, you are far more likely to get better shots, and get more better shots. An iPhone can quickly snap a full body OOTD, but to capture walking photos (motion), night photography (flash + light), and detail shots (zoom), there is nothing like a DSLR.
I use a Nikon D3400 for nearly all of my photos.
From left to right: Nikon D3400 flash, Nikon D3400 no flash, iPhone 7 Plus flash, iPhone 7 Plus no flash
Above: Nikon D3400 with flash
Above: iPhone 7 Plus with flash
I wanted to shoot the same photo with a DSLR and an iPhone, and edit them the same way, just to demonstrate the difference in photo quality. While the quality of the iPhone shot isn't bad by any means, it doesn't capture the same depth of light. It highlights the subject of the shot, but makes the background incredibly dark. The DSLR captures much greater depth.
Above: Nikon D3400 without flash
iPhone 7 Plus without flash
I also wanted to take the same photo without flash. The biggest apparent difference is how the DSLR focuses on the subject and blurs the background. The iPhone quality simply isn't as good. And while the iPhone 7 Plus has a "portrait mode" setting, I personally never use it, because I don't think it looks very good. The DSLR also captures light better.
2. Explore Movement
Standing still and posing is an uncomfortable experience for most of us, which is why movement is so important in fashion photography (and why having a DSLR with a decent shutter speed is crucial.) One great way to get comfortable in front of the camera is to not stand still! And fashion tends to photograph beautifully when it's in motion. Practice extending your legs and exaggerating your walking movements, it looks editorial and natural.
3. Consider Different Angles
Fashion photography is much more than a long series of full body OOTD shots- I personally think that an Instagram feed made up purely of full body shots looks flat and one dimensional- it's simply boring. Think about all the different ways you can highlight certain areas of your look.
Above, I've included a number of ideas for shooting fashion details, without taking full body shots. This can be done by shooting that specific area, but I also tend to do a lot of cropping. Be creative with your photo cropping; just because the entire photo doesn't work, that doesn't mean part of it might not be useful.
Above is an example of a photo that I partially didn't like: I wasn't particularly into all the words in the window, but I liked the detail from the neck down.
I did a bit of cropping + editing, and I love how it turned out!
There have been so many instances where I thought that my body looked good in a photo, but my mouth was making a weird shape, or I was mid-blink, or my hair was completely in my face... just crop it out! Look at your photos as if they are a puzzle; if one piece doesn't fit right, just remove it. Cropping is your best friend.
4. Smile in Front of the Camera
Feeling uncomfortable in front of the camera? Own it. When I'm feeling awkward during a shoot, my initial reaction is usually to start laughing. It's okay to post laughing photos! I never used to smile in my photos, but I've recently become much more comfortable with it; I think it brings out the humane side of a blogger, it's okay to snap the laughing shots.
5. Explore Flash Photography
Flash photography introduces a whole new level of richness in color, and contrast between light and dark.
If you want to read an entire post dedicated to my obsession with flash photography, click here.
Flash can change the mood and lighting of a photo dramatically, and you can upgrade your feed by exploring both.
Above: with flash
Above: without flash
I don't think that one is better than the other, but I do think it is important to experiment with both.
I imagine that more tips could be added to this list, but this is my general beginners guide to shooting fashion content, and capturing those editorial shots. Be sure to check out my guide to maintaining a consistent Instagram feed here: you can learn how to edit all of those great photos you just took, and how to incorporate them into your feed to look balanced and uniform.
As always, much love. Happy blogging!