Monday 30 December 2019

7 tips for amazing fashion blog photography

So, you've launched your blog and you've got some innovative, creative ideas for content - but you're thinking about how you can achieve amazing imagery to keep your readers engaged. Fashion blog photography may seem intimidating if you've never tried it before, but with some simple tips and advice, you'll be snapping the perfect photos for your blog in no time.

Before I provide you with my tips for shooting the perfect photo, let's talk about gear. There's a variety of cameras that can help you get the best out of your photo shoot, but knowing which one to pick can be tough. When I first started blogging in 2013, I used a really simple DSLR camera; it was ideal at the time because there were very few people who could invest lots of money into better gear, so I didn't really have much to contend with. However, these days, there are amazing cameras available at every price point, from simple and inexpensive Compact Cameras to (Professional) Full Frame Mirrorless Cameras for more serious bloggers.

If you're hoping to make amazing photography a focal point of your blog, here are a few tips that you can use to tweak your technique and get the perfect shot every time.

1. Purchase some cheap photography accessories

Don't worry about expensive backdrops and lighting. Leave that to the pros. Instead, invest in some cheap photography accessories to get the best out of your shots. The following accessories have been seriously handy over the past few years, and they've each cost less than £10 from online shops or secondhand:

- Reflector
- Tripod
- Remote control

Reflectors are great for using if the lighting isn't quite right; you can use them on a sunny day to get rid of a heavy shadow, or inside if there's not enough natural/artificial natural light. Tripods can vary in price, but unless you're filming, shooting wildlife or doing lots of macro photography, you probably won't need a really expensive one. I use tripods in tandem with a remote control when I don't have a photographer to help me (the shots in this blog post are all by me, but if you want to take a look at a shoot I did with a professional, click here).

2. Shoot in overcast conditions

Overcast conditions are ideal, because the clouds disperse the light from the sun, leaving your photos with an even glow instead of a heavy contrast (as I mentioned earlier).

If you have to shoot on a sunny day, make sure that both you and the camera/photographer are under the cast of a shadow (from a tree or building, for example) as this will even out the lighting.

You can shoot in full sun - this might be the case if you're shooting swimwear on a beach. In this scenario, use a reflector to get rid of shadows; but be careful, as the light from the reflector can be blinding in full sun.

3. Use depth of field

Shooting with a shallow depth of field means that the background of the photo will be blurred, while the subject in the foreground stays in focus. This is great for drawing emphasis to your subject's clothes or jewellery.

Shooting with a deep depth of field means that you'll achieve both a sharp background and subject. This is great for drawing attention to an interesting background, and works well if you're shooting at a unique travel destination or other exciting environment. Which brings me to my next point...

4. Find interesting locations

Although I took many outfit photos in my garden at the beginning of my blogging career, I now strive to find more interesting backgrounds to stop my photos becoming too repetitive.

There are so many ideas for backdrops - all you need to do is look at the world around you. Perhaps there's a colourful exterior wall on a building in your town centre, or a tree lined boulevard round the corner. Experiment and see what you're comfortable with.

5. Practice your poses

It might seem silly practicing your poses in the mirror, but professional models do this all the time and there's no reason that you shouldn't. If you're going to be taking photos of yourself to put in the public domain, you want them to reflect your best efforts.

Find which poses both look and feel natural so that you don't appear uncomfortable and awkward while you're shooting your photos. If you're struggling for inspiration, look at pictures of other bloggers on Pinterest or Instagram and copy them to see which ones you're comfortable with.

Take note of the position of your head, the angle of your body, and what you're doing with your arms - it's no secret that arms are so difficult to know what to do with in a photo! Practice until each pose feels comfortable, then mix it up while you're doing your photo shoot so that you don't look the same in each shot.

6. Shoot a variety of images

This keeps your photography interesting and makes you think about angles, composition, and the subjects that you're shooting. I usually take the following shots:

- Full length (the complete outfit, head to toe, with some space above and below to allow for cropping)
- Knee to head (a slightly closer view of the look)
- Head shot
- Accessories

7. Get an Adobe subscription

Adobe Lightroom has been my saviour over the last few years. I really don't know how I coped without it. With Lightroom, you can take a dull, poorly lit photo (within reason) and turn it into something usable for your blog or Instagram. You can create and save presets (like filters) for photos, and even edit large amounts of photos with a few clicks, saving you hours of editing.

Adobe Photoshop is also endlessly useful for editing smaller elements of your photos, like retouching skin or removing a passer by from the background of your image.

I use both of these programmes on a daily basis. You can buy them on the monthly 'Photography' subscription from Adobe from £9.98 - this also comes with Lightroom for mobile, which I also use daily for editing mobile images.

I hope that these tips help you improve your fashion blog! Remember to always stay on the lookout for inspiration - and have fun! P.S. if you're a budding food blogger, you might also want to read my tips for achieving better food photography here!

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