Improving your Photography
There are millions of blogs out there, and everyone does things a little bit differently. I’ve written this blog for 3 and a half years now and goodness knows I have altered my photography style so many times to constantly improve. My photography back in the day was quite basic and standard, and also taken on an iPhone, and whilst it was still appreciated by my reader, I always wanted to replicate the photography styles and formats I had seen on my favourite, established blogs. And thus, after a few years I started to understand what it was I needed to do in order to enhance my photography. Not just the photographs themselves, but the way in which I posed, my locations, my expressions, the different types of sunlight, the angles and types of photos. Quite often it is hard to see what you need to do differently if you’re in your own bubble. It can take stepping out of it to realise the ways you could switch things up a bit!
And so, I wanted to impart some of the things I have found and put into place, in order to improve my photography style and format.
I know how much time it takes to go out and find new locations. And how long it takes to get there, take your shots whilst waiting for passers by to hurry past, changing into your next outfit and then taking some more. Yep, its a logistical nightmare. BUT, it is so so necessary if you want to ramp up your blog photography. I remember I took photos in my room for YEARS and always put off going out into the open for my own confidence sake, the weather and mainly time constraints. But it really is one of the best ways to add diversity, a touch of lifestyle and realism as well as a more professional feel to your photography. Your back garden is great, but seeing the fence panel in every photo can, in honesty, become a tad repetitive. I’m speaking from experience here. I think everyone hated my white wardrobes by the time I had taken thousands of shots in my Manchester flat.
Easier said than done. But when you get a set of poses down, that you feel are realistic to the way you move and your personality, then you are set. Again it took me so long to be comfortable enough in front of the camera to start busting out new shapes, in fear they would look ridiculous. But hey, you never know if you don’t try! Have a look around at your favourite magazines and models. How do they pose? Replicate their style, facial expressions and movements in your mirror first to get used to how they do it. Then head out onto the street and start throwing some shapes! Just try to remain as realistic and un-cheesy as you can. It’s hard to not look cliche or alternatively, extremely cheesy or false. You almost want to look as though you’re getting on with your day whilst being papped, I suppose. Of course it all depends on the style of photography you’re going for though, as editorial photography (think Vogue) is usually much more posed and expression-full, but for street style, this tip should be helpful.
Of course it all relies on who is taking your shots. And it can be so difficult finding anyone who you feel comfortable with, who doesn’t charge you a fortune or who cares enough to stand there taking your shots whilst you pose. Often it will be a Mum or a partner who takes your photos for you and their photography skills probably aren’t all you would like them to be. BUT teach them how to use the camera a little more before throwing the camera into their hands. Get your dad or sibling to stand where you will stand for the photos, and just show your friend or relative the composition you would like, how to take the photo and how quickly you would like them to take it. It will really help them to understand what you would like to get out of the shots.
I remember a few years back, my cousin was once taking my photos in front of a hotel we were staying at, and I had handed her the camera and expected her to understand what I wanted. Afterwards we were literally in fits of laughter looking through photos of the hotel with a tiny me in the bottom right hand corner posing. But up until that point, my cousin had only taken family shots where your subject is often more about the location and proving you were there, than about what you wore in front of it. After laughing our socks off, I showed her what I actually wanted (me in the photo) and she took some great pictures! But it really taught my a lesson that I’ve remembered since.
If you do have a little extra cash though, quite a lot of upcoming photographers may take some of your blog photos for free, or charge you perhaps £50 per blog post to pay for editing and a small day rate. But it’s worth asking. Just don’t presume it will be free, as 99% of the time, it will not be. But it could be what you need to ramp up your quality and style. I would only say to do this though when you feel confident posing in public and you have your poses down. Otherwise you may find your shots still aren’t what you wanted; at no fault of the photographers.
Composition is so key to mixing up the content on your blog. I remember that when I started posting fashion photos on Inthefrow, that I would use maybe two different photo styles. A long (wide) shot and a detail cut shot of my shoes for example, all featuring me slap bang in the centre. There were no other angles or shot compositions in sight and therefore it could look a little basic and samey, after 15 blog posts of the same thing.
Changing the type of shots you use can add so much more interest to your posts. Using a wide shot of you, where you are entirely in shot is of course necessary for your readers to see how your whole outfit looks together. But then perhaps throw in some mid shots of just your torso or some more cut-in shots of details, such as your bag, buttons or shoes for example. Then perhaps a close up of your face, or your sunglasses. Or a very wide shot, that captures you and your outfit but even more of your background. Try adding more background into the shot whilst you stand to either the left or right or use props in the street to mix up the styles. Lamppost leaning, swinging from a railing, you know the gist. It just mixes up the composition and keeps things interesting! Plus gives so many more angles of your outfit!
I know that sometimes your outfit and style is on fleek that day and you’re loving every picture that your photographer has taken. But your reader doesn’t need to see every single angle of your shoes or ten different versions of your favourite pose. Select maybe 10-12 shots that you really love, that show off your outfit in full, some of your favourite details, maybe a back view, some close ups and a few images of your surroundings to allow for more context. But more than that really isn’t always needed; unless you feel they add something else to the post.
Try to put yourself in the shoes of a magazine editor and brutally decide which of the images will make the cut into your magazine that day. If you’re in doubt over one, don’t include it. Until you have a selection of the very best!
I just need to add, how beautiful is this new bag Louis Vuitton Capucine MM in grey?! I picked it up pre-owned from Vestiaire Collective, a store for buying or selling pre-owned clothing and accessories. It’s such a gem, I’m seriously in love!
What are you best tips for improving your photography? I have purposely not spoken about cameras in this post as I feel that should have its own dedicated post due to the size of the topic. But regardless of your camera, these tips should really help you clean up your fashion posts and bring them to life a little more.
Really hope this helped! And let me know if you’d like me to cover more on blog tips! I love writing about blogs and photography, so let me know if you enjoyed it!