Morning Gals! Today I am switching things up a bit and sharing some of my tips for taking outfit photos. I receive so many emails and comments asking questions about how I take my pictures. Hopefully you can gain a little insight with the 9 things that I think are most important for the perfect outfit photo!
Location, location, location! You've heard that saying a thousand times. Here's the simple truth... you can make most any location beautiful, as long as you look at it with a creative and fresh perspective. Sometimes this means looking past what the area looks like in it's entirety, and simply honing in on that one little spot that will fill your camera frame. The above shot was taken on an empty, litter filled plot of land behind a rite aid. But all I needed was to look past the ugly and see what could be utilized in the final image. Step to the right one time, the background would have been filled with junk. But taking the time to find just the right angle resulted in a really interesting shoot location!
Never limit yourself to having your photographer take pictures straight on- standing up. One of the greatest things you can do as a photographer is to experiment with new angles and perspectives. I can't tell you how many weddings and portrait shoots I've shot, where I've ended up laying in the dirt, or bending over backwards, (literally) for the perfect shot. Now if you are the photo subject- talk to your photographer about new ideas for perspectives. It's fun to switch things up, and it will add a ton of interest to your photographs!
If you own a dslr camera, I cannot urge you enough to shoot in manual! This is one of those things that will completely revolutionize the way you take pictures. I suggest picking up a book to get started- funny though it may sound, DSLR Photography for Dummies was a huge help to me back in the day. Once you start playing around with the manual settings and become comfortable using them, a whole new world will open up to you. This is how perfect lighting, sharpness and soft bokeh backgrounds are achieved.
Never be afraid to move in your outfit pictures! Some of the most interesting shots are taken when the subject is moving. Play with the clothing- spin, jump- sometimes the wind can even help add interest, as it did the the two shots above!
One of the best achievements as a photographer is capturing true emotion. There's nothing better than getting done with a shoot and finding some real, genuine candid shots. If you are the person in front of the camera, try interacting with your photographer. I find that I have no trouble getting a good laughing shot after a banter with my sister or mom (whichever lovely lady happens to be taking my picture that day ;).
Detail shots are like the meat and potatoes of an outfit post. Without them, you are left with a set of pictures that are really just lacking. Pay attention to what is interesting about your outfit- is it a button on the sleeve of a coat? Maybe an accessory? These shots will help capture the feel of the outfit, sometimes in a way that's even better than seeing it in person!
Ahh, the wonderful world of props! Let's be real here. Sometimes you shoot pictures and there's really just nothing for your subject to do- especially at more simple locations. Props are a great way to add visual interest to a shoot, and keep your subject pre-occupied. It's also another great trick for capturing candid shots.
I can't stress this one enough- decent lighting is key for a good outfit photo! If possible, try to shoot either early in the morning, or in the afternoon when the sun is setting. The reason being is that shooting mid-day will often times result in nasty, overhead lighting. Unless you are going for a very stylized, bright sunlight look, avoid this as much as possible. Here's a trick I use a lot- hold up your hand- wherever the sun shines on your hand, face the subject's back towards. This creates that ethereal back lighting. If you are stuck shooting in mid day light, opt for shady locations.
Tell a Story
Finally, try and always tell a story with your photographs. It's great to see a nice outfit and good photos, but if you can tell a story with your images, then you're really doing something right. The theme story can be something extremely subtle- or it can be more obvious. It depends on the feel you are going for. For example, the pictures above are from an outfit post I did last year. The goal was to simply capture a 1920s Parisian type feel. A lot of this "story" was determined by the style of the location. Sometimes it happens that your location will really help you to tell a story. Go with it! Or if you want to illustrate a stronger story, inspire yourself with a theme- a fairy tale, a movie- maybe even something from pop culture!
A Few Frequently Asked Questions
What camera do you use? I use a Canon Rebel T3i (different than a T3), with a Canon 50 mm 1.4 lens. These two are a power duo- I love them both and could not recommend them anymore strongly!
Are you a professional photographer? Yes! I have been shooting weddings, fashion and portraits for over four years at a photography business I started in 2011, Simplicity Photography.
Who takes your pictures for your outfit posts? My wonderful sister, mom, and sometimes my friend Jenna snap outfit pictures for me. I have tried the whole tripod kaboodle back in the day, and let me tell you- not fun! It's enormously helpful to have an actual person behind the camera!