Today, I wanted to chat a bit about curating an interesting Instagram feed, and doing this specifically through a variety of photography techniques.
It can be so easy to fall into the habit of "full body OOTD" and "upper body OOTD", but truly, there is so much more you can do with fashion photography. Different props, locations, angles, perspectives...there are endless ways to add variety to your feed, while still maintaining the overall aesthetic that you are trying to achieve.
As always, when it comes to maintaining a uniform feed, I always point people in the direction of a previous blog post I wrote (and my most read post to date): you can read that here.
I'm not going to talk about the full body OOTD or the upper body OOTD, because you can make one #ootd search and see all the examples you want. In my opinionm these are the most popular, and easiest outfit shots to recreate- they don't ask for a ton of creativity, and because they requires no movement, these shots can be captured as easily on a phone camera as a DSLR. I'm not bashing these fashion shots either- I use them, as I think every fashion blogger uses them. But the point of this article is to explore other creative options, so we will start there.
1. The Coffee Shot
There's a few ways that this shot can be done- I think that a smiling coffee shot is always cute. If you're more of a tea drinker, that works too!
There's also the classic birds eye view- you can do this by lifting your camera or phone really high into the air, and shooting blindly. Normally after about thirty shots, you can get one that works.
I also think there's something beautiful about capturing the slow destruction of a coffee scene- it's one thing to shoot a meal before it's been eaten, but I think that capturing the aftermath of a coffee shop can also be really pretty. That's a matter of opinion, but it's one that I use occasionally.
2. Using a Prop
I love a good theme. Whether that focuses on a prop, or a product placement, or a unique location, there are so many ways to diversify your shoots.
Shooting on a rainy day? Add an umbrella. This is an otherwise perfectly normal, mid-walk street shot, but in a sea of beach photo ops and sunny shots, this rainy day shot can really break through the clutter. It's something different.
Add some product placement! I did this photo shoot for a collaboration, but it doesn't have to be an ad- beauty products are a very easy, and entirely appropriate prop to incorporate into your shots. Again, this is an otherwise ordinary upper-body OOTD, but the product placement changes things a bit.
Switch up your location! I'm not saying you need to do a photo shoot in a bathtub...but I'm also not not saying you need to do a photo shoot in a bathtub...
This was a theme I created for a New Years shoot- I was channeling 2008 Ke$ha, and that whole "pass out drunk in a bathtub" vibe. Some creativity definitely goes a long way.
3. Find a Friend!
Some of my favorite (and most popular) fashion shots are the ones I've done with my best friend, Sam. You can find her on Instagram at @capturingsam, I'll link her here.
Regardless of whether your friends run fashion blogs or not, it can be so much fun to shoot "friend pics." This is another way you can add some diversity to your feed, without doing a whole lot else, other than adding an extra person.
4. Exclude your Face
There are lots of ways to capture details, and shoot fashion photography without actually shooting your face. Change the angle a bit, and you have a whole other photo.
Bird's eye shots are one of the easiest ways to do this yourself, but there are a number of ideas for how this can be done.
5. Use a Mirror
If you have your photographer stand off on the side, you can get some pretty creative angles for shooting a mirror shot. I think that these shots are particularly useful for shooting product placement.
Truthfully, if I wanted to grow a fashion Instagram account as quickly as possible, I would probably post an endless series of full body OOTDs- they tend to receive the most likes, and get the most attention on the 'popular page.' But I am a perfectionist, and the integrity of my feed matters a lot- if my aesthetic looks off to me, I cannot stand to do my work. So I am particular about what I post, and insistent on adding variety, even if some of these photo shots don't get as many clicks.
I hope that this post was useful for some of you! I'm heading back to the US today, so I wanted to get something posted before I head out. Much love.