Tuesday 27 September 2016

How to Take Blog Photos in Winter

As we're heading into autumn, the days are getting shorter, the temperature's are getting colder, and you're wondering if this blogging thing was such a good thing after all. However, let me just say: please, please, please, don't be a fairweather fashion blogger - consistency is one of the most important elements of blogging, so don't let winter take that away from you! There are many ways to get around the winter months; with a little help, soon enough you'll find that maintaining your blogging game will be as easy as pie.

S H O R T E R    D A Y S

One of the biggest motivation killers when it comes to anything during winter - not just blogging - is the lower amount of daytime hours. Obviously, good light is essential for great photography (unless artificial lighting is part of your aesthetic), and what with work/school/childcare taking up most of those crucial hours of sunshine, taking that killer shot is somewhat of a mammoth task.

Now, there are several ways around this. Firstly, thanks to daylight savings, our mornings will be lighter than evenings in winter. Therefore, it'd make sense to get up half an hour earlier, set up your camera on your tripod (or grab your Instagram husband), and catch your OOTD in the morning sun. The sun will be low in the sky, so you'll avoid those mid-afternoon high contrast shots, and you'll be fresh as a daisy having only just got ready, so your outfit won't have gone through the turmoil of a day's wear.

On the other hand, this isn't the best option for those of us who are attached to our beds, or those who like to go further afield for their shots (as travel might not be an option in the mornings). So, you could always head out on your lunchbreak, source a good patch of shade (perhaps behind a building or under a large tree), and shoot away. This way, you're still avoiding harsh lighting contrasts, but you still have a good amount of light to work with.

In winter, weekends are your friends. Sometimes, I'll spend a good three hours putting together and shooting looks for my blog and Instagram. I know, seems like a lot of work for a weekend, right? But, if you're dedicated and you love to blog, then this is just something that must be done. I shoot mostly on weekends because I don't feel like I'm in a rush, so I can really perfect my look, and even travel to get the perfect background (unfortunately, I don't have a perfect white brick wall at my disposal!).

U N P R E D I C T A B L E    W E A T H E R

So you're finally blessed with an hour to take photos. But, you arrive at your location and it's windy and/or raining. Typical. However, not totally impossible. When unpredictable British weather rears its ugly head, I try and find somewhere that's still outside, but sheltered from the elements. Some creative examples are:

A beach hut with a verandah
Under an archway or bridge
A doorway with a porch canopy
A bandstand or pavilion
By a picnic table umbrella
A narrow alleyway

I wouldn't recommend taking your photos inside unless you're next to a really big window - preferably floor to ceiling to show off your whole outfit - otherwise this can make your shots look unnatural and can often provoke shaky camera blur or ugly flash photography. 

C O L D   T O N E S

Thanks to a lack of sunlight, winter is associated with a blue, grey and white colour palette - and you may notice these hues in your photos. If you're going for a cool-toned or even minimalist aesthetic, winter might be your best friend. However, if you like to keep your shots warm, there are a couple of ways to get around this.

Firstly, if you've got a DSLR, alter your white balance before you start snapping. Most DSLRs will offer this option, and you'll probably find it in a button on the camera body which is marked with 'WB'. Hit this, and you'll find a range of options including Tungsten/Incandescent Light, Daylight and Fluorescent Light, amongst others. If you want to go for a warmer image, select either Cloudy or Shade options - these will bring out the red and green tones in your image to make your subject and scenery seem warmer.

If you don't have a DSLR, your best option is to recreate the effect with your photo editing software. If you have simple software, you may find that a warm filter will do the trick. However, if you have Photoshop or similar, play around with a 'Levels' layer to alter the tones in the image and make it warmer. If you haven't done this before, it's easy to find a YouTube tutorial to help you out!

Let me know what your tips are for taking photos in winter - or if you have any questions about blogging or photography, please let me know in the comments section of this post!

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