15 Important Details to Consider When Taking Your Own Photos

casually taken photo
by Julia DiNardo of Fashion Pulse Daily

Have you ever taken photos for a post and realized afterwards you've been photobombed? When it comes to photography, the beauty is in the details, and even something like a garbage can in the background or Home Simpson smoking a joint can ruin a photo (or make it funny, depending how you look at it.)

After penning 3 Compelling Reasons For Taking Your Own Blog Photos for IFB, I was thinking that a nice follow-up piece would be a checklist-style feature that would make your photos a tremendous amount better, just by taking pause before snapping those pics. With contributions below from IFB's Jennine Jacob, we've compiled some items to consider, which, for the most part, come down to keeping tabs on and making sure some aspects of your photography remain consistent, while mixing up others for a bit of interest and variety.

Before taking a photo:

  • Check your background to make sure there are no unsightly items, i.e. parked cars, garden hoses, garbage, or photobombers.
  • Venture out and find new locations for your photo shoots.
  • Compose your photos. When in doubt, center yourself in the frame.
  • Make sure your pose is not awkward. Play around with different poses, but make sure you don't look awkward in the ones you publish. It's ok just to stand! Smiles usually do more to improve a photo than a dramatic pose.
  • Make sure there is not too much ground in your shot (take the photo at a low angle).
  • Take photos in the morning or just before sunset for the best light (sunny days often cause harsh shadows).
  • Are you sure you're using the right setting on your camera? Test out a few to make sure there isn't a better option for your setup.
  • Make sure all fingertips, hair, straps, strings, or anything that could dangle in the way of the lens are tucked away.
  • Avoid red eye; if you can't find better lighting use a red eye setting, look away from the camera, or have the flash aimed at slightly above your head.
  • Consider if making a small investment in a tripod or remote control (if your camera is compatible with one) will make life much easier for you!
  • When photographing still objects, get close, and crop tightly; don't be afraid to fill the frame with your object.
  • Sometimes having a little bit of the object outside of the frame can build great interest and attention to your photo.
  • Don't wait until you're home or have left the location before checking how the photos have turned out; you may want to re-shoot!
  • Strive to get the photo elements right the first time around; don't rely too heavily on image-editing software for major overhauls on your pics.
  • Keep taking photos until you “got the shot.” Sometimes one or two photos aren't going to be enough. Especially when you're learning, you may need to take 20 or 30 shots until you have one good one.

What do you look for to make sure your photo is picture perfect prior taking it?

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About The Author

Blogging at her site Fashion Pulse Daily since 2008 and working on fashion's editorial side since 2003 has lent Julia the acumen to think creatively and endure in the colliding worlds of blogging, fashion and beauty. New York City is her backdrop for inspiration (and many a outfit photo), where she is often found on her couch, feverishly typing away at her latest post, with her trusty feline at her side. Follow her on Instagram , Twitter, and Pinterest.

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32 Responses

  1. Ashley

    “Check your background to make sure there are no unsightly items, i.e. parked cars, garden hoses, garbage”

    I always envy people who live in beautifully landscaped neighborhoods where this seems to be less of an issue. In New Orleans? Good luck.

    Teasing aside, these are GREAT tips.

    • Z

      Ashley, I think that 1st point is debatable. I have a very weird soft spot for beautiful photos of not so beautiful things. It is possible to take lovely photos in a more derelict area, as long as you compose it well. I love the way fashion photography can look when paired with something in stark contrast – it can make for much more interesting photographs!


      • Julia Dinardo

        Thanks Ashe and Z; I think that it just has to strike the right balance that would fit in amongst what you are going for (i.e. focusing on your outfit) without being overly distracting. It’s true though that in busy cities, it’s hard to work around parking meters, pedestrians, cars, and the like! 🙂

    • Wilma Bullo

      Me also, I feel envious with other fashion bloggers where they can took their photos in a very good background. I live in a very busy community where you know, unsightly items are everywhere. Would it be okay if I take pictures just inside my room where there is a plain white or floral wallpaper background?

  2. AJ Wears Clothes

    I don’t normally shoot from a low angle because it makes my thighs look ginormous if I’m wearing a skirt or shorts. But I like the idea of there being less ground, so I should probably try it.

    • Julia Dinardo

      lol good point AJ; I’m definitely not a photography expert, but I think from the proper distance, the perspective should still keep the body in proper proportion

  3. Broke And Beautiful

    These are great tips! Also, if you have to shoot an outfit or someone else and can’t get around in the morning or pre-sunset, try to schedule on a day that is generally overcast. This helps all the little shadows and highlights balance out for a much more dimensional photo with no harsh lines, as Jennine said!

    I also check the camera after about 15-20 photos just so I can see what kind of material I’m shooting. I’d also be dead without a remote control!

  4. Jolly Caucus Race

    Wish I lived in an urban area, it’s much edgier- there’s just fields and ditches for miles around me!
    Plus the fact that it’s dark,miserable and raining almost consistently in Ireland ;D
    As an alternative, I did a 2-part shoot indoors recently if it gives any other bloggers some ideas?-


    • Bike Pretty

      Wow, you totally nailed the interior shoot.
      Even the graininess that happens in low light totally works with the album cover inspiration.
      Impressive. Way to make lemonade out of rainy, Irish lemons!

      • Carol C.

        Thank you so much, Bike Pretty! hah ‘rainy,Irish Lemons’ 😀

    • Julia Dinardo

      Wow – I love this! Did you use filters in a photo editing software to create the green and sepia glow? Love it!

      • Carol C.

        Thank you Julia 🙂 I’m quite proud of how this shoot turned out although there was a whole good bit of planning involved 😉
        I used a Picasa filter for the sepia pics, altered the contrast/brightness on the black & white pics where the background dissappears and used a HDR-ish filter to create that vintage grainy look.
        The blue/green tinge (like a ”cross-process” look) was down to 2 settings on my camera (an indoor artificial light setting with the camera set to AV mode),clever lighting and a bit of luck 😉
        I learned so much from playing around with my camera on that shoot! Thanks again 🙂

  5. Elena

    Beautiful tips! Especially about investing in a good tripod and remote control!!! A couple of days I lost my favorite Canon remote control($20 on Amazon) and had to use $5 version- ughh it was the worst shoot ever!!! I ordered the new one as soon as I got home;) by the end of the day, we got what we pay for.

    • Julia Dinardo

      that is true! A remote is sooo important – which reminds me….I need to get a new one too! Which one did you get/do you recommend?

  6. Kenneth Jacobs

    I need to invest in a tripod and remote. Doing self-portraits of yourself gets challenging when you’re only using a chair to hold your camera LOL. Thanks for the tips Julia!

    • Julia Dinardo

      I TOTALLY agree Kenneth! I had a very intricate balancing system, until my dad dug an old tripod out of the basement and handed it to me!

  7. Kenneth Jacobs

    I need to invest in a tripod and remote. Doing self-portraits gets challenging when you’re only using a chair to hold your camera LOL. Thanks for the tips Julia!

  8. Shira

    Ha ha, I do ALL my photo shoots in the middle of the street, surrounded by parked cars on both sides;) We’ve (my photographer and I) found that we get the best lighting there. I’d love to be able to travel to interesting and beautiful places but I don’t often have time and if I have a bunch of outfit posts, it would be kind of hard to change in public! Oh well….one day….


  9. Lauren // thepearshape.com

    I typically review the photos on the camera before leaving the shoot site, and often I have to re-shoot! Things just don’t always turn out perfectly the first time.

    I also check the ground for weird pieces of paper, soda cans, trash, etc that may make the shot look weird or be a distraction to the outfit.

    Finally, I check the background to be sure it won’t clash with my outfit. I want what i’m wearing/saying to stand out!

    • Julia Dinardo

      great points Lauren; sometimes even gum on a sidewalk can be SUPER distracting too!

  10. Tanja

    I do live in a village were both, the street-blogger-pictures and the nature ones are possible. The background makes such a difference, I can tell! I’m normally just not able to shoot in the morning or before the sunset as my photographer aka my dad isn’t at home and I’m not too. But to all who are shooting at afternoon as me: try to find a shadow. The sun should also be behind you when shooting so your face doesn’t turn out white. And I feel like the lens/ camera makes a great difference too so if you want to blog on a professional level or something, invest in that!

  11. Kendall

    as a blogger who shoots her own shots even still I love these words of advice.
    this is exactly what I tell people.

    I believe bloggers (whom even have their own personal boyfriend photographers) need to read this, the background is the most important part to a photo.

    it frames everything, and can make or break a good post.

    xx thanks J

  12. The Science of Happy

    I’m very picky about the way my photos are displayed but I only have a limited quality camera.

    For anyone interested, my MAC giveaway is still running!

  13. Sloane

    It is so important to make sure you get that shot! Once, my camera dies and I couldn’t check the photos at the location and once I got home, I realized the photos were not so good.


  14. Barbara

    I don’t publish fashion posts (and when I do Polyvore comes to my rescue, lol) but there are a couple of the tips I can also take to heart.


  15. Petya

    “Check your background to make sure there are no unsightly items, i.e. parked cars, garden hoses, garbage, or photobombers.”
    It seems to be a big problem for me to find a nice place to make photos. I awlays end up photobombed by a car or some garbage.

  16. Adela

    Great tips. Living in England it’s mostly overcast so I strive for sunlight! But I’m still learning how to make the best use of it, so the photos are not too bright.
    Adela x

  17. Nasreen

    Really great tips! fields are my friend since I live in the middle of nowhere hahah. I hate when I’ve left the site and have looked through the pics thinking they’re great only to realise the hanger strap of clothes snuck out.