How To Improve Your Outfit Photos

Okay, let’s state the obvious, I am by no means a photographer, but quite a few of you have been asking for tips on how to take outfit photos. Most of the time, I don’t take them myself.,They’re taken by anyone, from photographers I happen to meet, to family members who I have to explain a thousand times where the shoot button is. Stressful, right? It doesn’t have to be, but sometimes it can be a long process until you’re content with your photography game. I always think everyone can improve their photography and even now it’s rare that I take a batch of photos that I’m 100% happy with. But in the sixteen months that I’ve been blogging, I have (mostly) figured out what works when it comes to taking photos. So, these are the main questions I get asked and my main tips…

1. HOW DO YOU GET THAT BLURRY BACKGROUND?!
So, let’s address the elephant in the blogger room, buying a DSLR. You don’t need one, but it would really help. Trust me, I spent months wondering how the eff my favourite bloggers got that dreamy, blurry background in their outfit photos. It’s all done with a lens with a low aperture such as the 50mm/ f1.8 lens which I use on my Canon 600D. This lens has completely transformed my photos and allows me to capture beautiful images in amazing detail. It also manages to make the most boring backgrounds look pretty. Pros of this? It gives you professional looking images where you’re in focus and the rest of your image is blown out. Cons? Because it’s a 50mm, you’ll need to ask your photographer to stand quite a while a way from you to get your full body in. This can be a bit awkward when passers-by ask if you’re either a model or crazy. You’ll get used to it.


2. HOW DO YOU POSE?
The best outfit photos are always the ones where you’re not contorting your body into unnatural positions. When I first started, I was crooking my arm and doing that head tilt thing like it was going in my Facebook tagged photos. Okay, I haven’t quite got over the head tilt, but my point is awkward poses do not work well. So, do not point and shoot poses, instead, walk around naturally. Keep posture and your best angles in mind, and you’re good to go! The best way to get those natural, unposed photos are to set your camera onto continuous shooting. Ask whoever is shooting your photos to keep clicking away as you move around. You might end up with 500 photos, but that’s better than 12 posed and unnatural ones that you probably won’t like.

3. WHICH SETTING SHOULD I USE? 
If you do set your camera onto continuous shooting, I’ve found that keeping it on Aperture Priority normally provides the best result. This should set everything automatically for you, including shutter speed, so your images should stay in focus. Always make sure that your depth of field is low by lowering your f.stop as low as it can go to make the background as blurry as possible.  My photos are always taken on f.18. Don’t bump up the ISO too much, it’s better to brighten your images through an online editing programme than turn your photographs grainy because the ISO was too high.

4. WHAT MAKES THE BEST BACKGROUND?
Backgrounds make such a huge difference. When I style an outfit, I normally have what kind of background I want to shoot it in thought out in my head. If you’re in a big city, why choose a plain white wall to take your photos infront of? Source out the florists, coffee shops, quirky painted houses and city streets. Try to pick something interesting, where the colours might compliment your outfit or enhance the mood of your images. If you spend too much time browsing the popular page on Bloglovin, you might feel a little disheartened. We don’t all get to live in NYC but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a little inventive with your backgrounds.

5. HOW DO I  GET THAT LOW ANGLE?
Ever wondered why bloggers look about 6ft tall in their photos? That’s from telling their photographers to bend their knees. You’ll need to work this out for yourself, but the lower the angles, the longer your legs and the more flattering the photos are going to be.

6. LIGHTING?!?
Ain’t nobody got time for squinty photos when the sun is shining in your face or to spend 15 minutes of your life shooting photos for them to come out shadowy and sucky. Lighting makes a HUGE difference to your photos. Whenever I shoot, I always make sure I’m standing in front of the sun rather than facing it to avoid that awkward eye squint and overly exposed effect.

7. HOW MANY SHOULD I TAKE?
Firstly, you need to nail the “main” full body photos. But you’ll quickly realise that 5 or 6 images where you’re doing a slightly different pose get boring. Switch between landscape and portrait, take photos of the small details of your outfits, shoes, handbag and headshots. Obviously this comes down to personal preference, but I’ve found that my posts which include lots of different photos from different angles always get the best response.

So, there you have it! Did you find this post helpful? What would your main tips be?

Lydia Rose,

xoxo

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22 Comments

  1. December 4, 2014 / 8:14 pm

    This has been such a big help Lydia! 🙂 I'm hoping to finally start integrating more and more outfit posts into my blog and this is just the kind of post that I needed to read. Your photographs always look so incredible and if mine look even half as good I will have done well. Hehe.

    Ellis – Ellis Tuesday

  2. December 4, 2014 / 8:31 pm

    Loved this post, I still feel like a DSLR noob and constantly have different people taking my outfit photos so this was super helpful!

    Andini xx
    Adventures of an Anglophile

  3. December 4, 2014 / 9:11 pm

    This is so helpful, your outfit photos look so good!! I'm forever trying to improve mine! 🙂

    Millie x | Millies Wardrobe

  4. December 5, 2014 / 4:50 pm

    Amazing tips, I must try harder!

    franleanne.blogspot.co.uk

    x

  5. December 5, 2014 / 8:41 pm

    Fab posts! I definitely need to invest in a new lens, I've been looking at them for so long now too!

    Hannah xx
    Raspberry Kitsch | UK Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

  6. December 6, 2014 / 10:55 pm

    Brill post, thanks so much for the tips! I'm always on for improving my outfit photos, even if I do have one hundred retakes and a whole lot more outtakes. I do sometimes wish I lived where the sights were prettier and wish I had a photographer on call who would be willing and have the time to search for locations. The strange looks and stares do put me off in public but I suppose you get used to that! x

    Bridie | Upon My Sleeve

  7. December 7, 2014 / 2:13 pm

    You always provide amazing tips!

  8. December 11, 2014 / 3:30 am

    Absolutely a very helpful post! Thanks for sharing..! And I love your outfit dearie! You look beautiful in the photos as well 😉 2 *thumbs up* for this post! 😉

    BTW, I love your blog, dearie! Mind if we follow each other through GFC and/or bloglovin? Lemme know! ^_^

    Dearest yours,
    Jong 🙂

    iamjoannalanojan.blogspot.com/

  9. December 24, 2014 / 12:42 am

    This is perfect! My new years resolution is to get in touch with more photographers and learn how to act natural in front of a camera haha. I really want to get some professional outfit photos on my blog. Thanks for the tips. You are truly my favourite blogger x

    littlekaatoe.blogspot.co.uk

  10. January 27, 2015 / 10:27 pm

    Very helpful article! Great to read another blogger's perspective!

    Style On,
    Fashionista Jenn

    fashionistajenn.blogspot.com

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