How to Choose Outfit Photos

Originally posted on Style Symmetry

Whether you take 500, 50 or 15 photos you are going to have to narrow it down to a select few or even just one to place on your blog or online community. How do you choose which picture is the best? When I take outfit photos I use a self timer set to take 10 photos, so I can take anywhere from 10 on a good day to 120 on a really really bad day. After the photos are taken the first thing I do is delete all the obvious fails right off the camera. Then I upload whats left on the computer and use the bigger view to scrutinize and then am usually left with 3 to 5 full length shots. At this point I break the photo down into three sections; face, top half of outfit and bottom half of outfit. With me so far?

I go over my face in each photo, like in this photo below I really like that I’m smiling but the middle section of the photo isn’t the most flattering, not horrible but lets see if I have a better photo.

In this photo I think the middle looks alright, good posture and bottom half deceptively great but that scowl on my face is not going to cut it!

Half smile here is definitely not as good at the first photo but there’s a better look at my headband and the outfit looks good enough so this photo would be my choice.

For the close ups I take anywhere from 10 to 50 photos on self timer, usually only 10 to 20. My goal here is to capture a few smaller details. It can be a bit nerve racking for me to be that close to the camera so I often do a little shake or make funny faces beforehand to loosen up and then pretend my husband is behind the camera while it’s rolling.

When I come across a photo that makes me giggle, I choose it for an outtake shot.

What is your process for taking photos? How MANY photos do you take?

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53 Responses

  1. Leah

    I don’t take outfit photos particularly often, but when I do, I find I can’t keep a straight face! I almost always pull a daft expression or just look away from the camera. Still, I don’t take myself or outfit photos very seriously anyway, so I’m all for humour on occasion!
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..It’s A Colourful World =-.

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  2. MizzJ

    Cool tips and insight into taking outfit photos! I do all my own photos as well, so I understand the difficulties involved! One good tip would be to read your camera’s manual. Even a point & click can take great shots if used properly!
    .-= MizzJ´s last blog ..Weekly Shopping & Goodies – Green baby! =-.

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  3. Little Black Book

    I usually take around 100 photos first and narrow it down to around 5-10 however I probably only post up 1-3 photos with one full body shot and the rest a few close up shots.
    .-= Little Black Book´s last blog ..No doubt it’s a Nightmare on Wall Street =-.

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  4. Chelsea Rae

    Oh, the outfit photo. I personally hate scrolling through 25 photos of the same outfit on someone’s blog, so your editing tips are wonderful to all bloggers who post outfit photos. My process starts with about 20-30 pictures of various perspectives. If I see a full legnth shot is quite working, I’ll change positions mid shoot and try something else. Then I go through the pictures on my camera and mentally pick my favorites (and delete the really bad ones). When I upload them onto my computer, I already have an idea of the one maybe two pictures I’m going to use. So, I open them on photoshop, scale them down, if absolutely necessary, make the contrast or vibrance brighter. Then, I upload, post and write something, hopefully, interesting!
    .-= Chelsea Rae´s last blog ..My Little Monster =-.

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  5. Steff Metal

    Oooh, such good tips! I am trying to do more outfit photos. I use the self timer and I usually take about ten photos, but I look at them on the camera and delete them immediately if they’re utter crap. I only post about four photos per outfit post, because I just don’t have the patience to upload heaps of photos. Sometimes (like in my Steampunk birthday post) I get my husband to take pictures. But mostly, I work myself.

    I love my magical crop and fix pimples tool for making outfit photos ready to post!
    .-= Steff Metal´s last blog ..Steampunk Birthday Party: The Great Bogan Train Robbery =-.

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    • erindyan

      LOL, Wendy. True, but hilarious.

      I do 4 shots or 4 poses and choose no more than 1 of each. Normally more like 3, and normally one of those is sans jacket or something. I also do the occasional detail shot. I used to do more of them, but I’ve got a better camera and it manages to capture details in the large shots.

      Reply
    • Kelly

      HAHA I know exactly what you’re talking about. You can have a great outfit, great shots, be painfully pretty…but I don’t want to look at 10 nearly identical pictures of you.
      .-= Kelly´s last blog ..My Hawaiian best =-.

      Reply
    • Ela

      Wendy, I love it! Now I know what blogs I will never see you commenting on, LOL.

      I must admit my husband often asks, “why’d you choose that one? I liked the other one better.” Not quite sure what he’s basing that on. Probably because he made me do some *fabulous* pose that I decided to scrap, haha.
      .-= Ela´s last blog ..Now You Know =-.

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  6. lisa

    I like cropping and collaging together multiple shots from different angles: a head-to-toe shot along with some detail shots of accessories or detailing on a garment. That way the reader can get a sense of the entire outfit in one image without scrolling through lots of photos!
    .-= lisa´s last blog ..Product Review: Hourglass Superficial Lash Mascara =-.

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  7. kylie jo

    I just started posting outfit posts this week, so this post couldn’t have arrived at a better time. As a beginner, I feel very awkward standing in front of my timed camera. You provided some great tips that will most certainly help me. Thanks!

    Reply
  8. Rosie Unknown

    I take anything from 5 to 50 photos, depending on how much time I have, how well my photos are turning out, ect. Then, once they are all on the computer, I eliminate any obvious fails, ex: I cut off my head, completely out of focus, absolutely terrible lighting. Then I go through the rest and fix up minor lighting problems, I crop, I might erase a blemish, sometimes I fix the focus a bit. Once I’ve done that, I choose the ones where I look the best.

    It might sound silly to edit 25 photos and only use 5, but sometimes a gem of a photo is neglected simply because it needs a touch of editing to turn it from fail to favourite. I’m not talking about hours and hours of difficult work, just a few quick touch ups.

    Great post, it’s really informative.
    .-= Rosie Unknown´s last blog ..I wish I had a school uniform =-.

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  9. KB

    I take about 50 then only choose one, as I feel it’s indulgent to post the same outfit again and again. I like to be to the point. Occasionally I’ll include a detail shot, if it can’t be shown easily in the photo, and I want my photos to get better one I buy my tripod. It was great to read about your photo-choosing process!
    .-= KB´s last blog ..Bloggers Unite! =-.

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  10. Blaq Vixen Beauty

    Funny, I was thinking about taking pictures of an outfit inspired by the release of Alice in Wonderland. Usually, whenever I take pictures, I take anywhere from 50 – 100 photos! Recently, I took about 10 pictures of a pair of boots that I recently found. I don’t know but I find it hard to do a proper full outfit photo with my Canon Powershot. What type of camera did you use for the photos in this post?
    .-= Blaq Vixen Beauty´s last blog ..The Fashion Closet: Model Boots from Electrique Boutique =-.

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  11. Sandra

    My process is easy. I don’t take style shots. LOL. I really am unphotogenic. I am so much cuter in person ; )

    You take the best pics!

    Reply
  12. Emalee

    Good article! I tend to take a few pics for an outfit shot and then choose the overall best one. I only display one though, because it does get tedious looking over loads of shots, especially when the pose is not all that different. I try and mix up the poses and/or the setting too.
    .-= Emalee´s last blog ..Working to Play =-.

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  13. Kelly

    I probably take around 20-25 shots a day. My timer takes 5 photos at one go, which is helpful if I blink or whatever – I still have a few more of me in the same pose. At each go I try a slightly different pose or angle. I plug my card reader into my computer and look at them in filmstrip mode, and when I see one that I think is a possibility I drag it into photoshop. When I’m done looking through all the pictures, I open photoshop and compare them all. Pick my favorite, tinker a little in photoshop to fix lighting issues (a lot of my photos come out darker than I want), done. My goal is to post one full-body shot with a few detail pictures, but I’ll post two full-bodies if I actually like two. I think my posed smile looks weird so usually it comes down to which one my face looks less stupid in!
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..My Hawaiian best =-.

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  14. Carlina

    I just started my blog this week! I too am trying out outfit photos. They are actually pretty hard to pull off, especially since most of the shots are taken in public- and I’d rather not look like the faux-model doing a photo shoot in San Francisco!

    Reply
  15. Moe

    I use a similar process but never thought of deleting fails from camera before downloading. It makes so much sense so thanks for the tip. That lipstick is awesome by the way!

    Reply
  16. Carla Aziz

    I envy ALL of you guys being gifted with the self timer! I have the worst case of the blink eye so 99% of my self timer photos are just a big fail. haha

    Reply
  17. Michelle @ Glisters & Blisters .

    i do a similar process here !
    i actually take around 50pics for one outfit..hahah..
    then I usually post up around 7-10 photos up 😀

    i love taking close ups for the things in my outfit that i find interesting .

    Reply
  18. trashtastika

    I’m such a beginner and this is such a bugbear for me – taking clear and interesting shots. I use a self-timer on a point & shoot camera, but don’t take near as many as you suggested – maybe I should. I constantly put the timer on, run to my spot to stand, take the pic, run back and see if it’s crap…and repeat ad nauseum…

    I’ve just got a great DSLR camera and I’m learning to use it so when I start posting outfit pics again, they’ll be heaps better!
    .-= trashtastika´s last blog ..Yamanote Line fashion – Shibuya to Shinjuku, Tokyo and beyond =-.

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  19. Ms. Eggplant

    I just started blogging. I do some outfit photos with the same self-timer technique. It’s not that easy for me though, specially when it comes to the close-up shots! I get a bit embarrassed. I’m hoping I’ll get used to it after awhile =)
    .-= Ms. Eggplant´s last blog ..Butterfly Garden =-.

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  20. Nicky

    I love the photography part of the blogging but I don’t take pictures of myself. The trick is to take loads of pictures and keep talking to your subject to relax them. I always say I’m not after a model pose this is a more natural view. Tell them jokes or anything to relax them and change your settings to get alternative shots.
    I love picking out the more focused smaller things that make a photograph more interesting. For example a shelf in a shop with a close up of what’s on it can be far more interesting than a wide angle shot with lots of clutter in it.

    When I turn up at fashion shows or events with my camera I follow the photographers but I make a point of joking with them that I’m no competition as they often scowl at me but you just need lots of Chutzpah!

    My Canon g9 is a fabulous small point and shoot camera that doesn’t look as imposing as my Olympus e510 with all its big lenses and flash attached. It fits in my handbag and takes fantastic shots.

    Take lots and you’re bound to come up with some goodies. Put them on your computer and look closely at each one before deciding which are the stayers and which are not. Crop out stuff that makes the image clearer and adjust the light if you need to.
    Photography is one thing that definitely gets better with practice. Enjoy!
    .-= Nicky´s last blog ..Rag Tales Weekly News Round Up =-.

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  21. julia

    great topic! I don’t know if anyone else does this, but I look at each photo after it is taken, either with the self timer or by my patient boyfriend. It helps to troubelshoot some things, but also seems to end up taking a lot longer…
    .-= julia´s last blog ..3 Minutes of Beauty with Julia: The Hair & Hands Edition =-.

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  22. Erica B.

    I pretty much go through the same process as you. I’ve been using my tripod and remote lately. This has been working great for me.

    Reply
  23. superalzy

    These are great tips! I’ve wanted to post outfit photos but have held off because I’m incredibly awkward behind the camera. Awkward is kind of who I am though so maybe it would work on my blog. Thanks!
    .-= superalzy´s last blog ..Magic Monday =-.

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  24. fashiontheorist

    I try to take a very documentarian angle on blog photos. Like WendyB said, a dozen shots of the same outfit aren’t interesting reading, and can come across as terribly vain. One full-length shot gives an overall impression of the outfit, then one or two detail shots, either staged still-lifes of jewelry and accessories or close-ups, support the main photo.

    I take photos with a DSLR, either on a tripod with a timer or wielded by my wonderfully patient and cooperative husband: then I upload them and crop and correct levels/curves in the GIMP, an open-source image manipulation program.
    .-= fashiontheorist´s last blog ..Link-tastic! 5 March 2010 =-.

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  25. Sonia // Dozen Dresses

    I take looooads! I just keep running back and forth from the self timer, until my camera battery runs out.

    I usually end up with a few good ones at the end, but then I take ages just staring at them to try and decide.
    So I’m definitely going to think it through like you!

    Anyways, good post 🙂
    .-= Sonia // Dozen Dresses´s last blog ..The Dozen – Bigcartel shops I’ve recently discovered =-.

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  26. Elissa of Spandexpony

    Haha! Wendy I appreciate your candor! And I agree. I do the self-timer, too. Getting a tripod has been endlessly useful to me. I usually end up taking 10-15 and using 1 photo, maxing out at 3. I guess the photos are mainly a way to break up my text, to me they don’t usually take center stage.
    .-= Elissa of Spandexpony´s last blog ..Sketchy =-.

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  27. Leia

    Oh gosh! I don’t go through all these processes when I take outfit photos (although maybe I should?!) I take anywhere from 3 photos to 10, put them on the computer, and pick about 3-5 that I like! I don’t check head/middle/bottom or anything, just overall how it looks, how well it shows the outfit, etc. 🙂
    .-= Leia´s last blog ..Sunday Specials: 07/03/2010 =-.

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  28. Heather

    I feel so silly standing in front of my only bare wall making faces at the camera. However, I always get requests for pics of what I wear so I endure the pain! I take about 20 full body/close up shots of each style and then delete the terrible ones before I lose courage! My posts generally include one full body and then a few detailed shots (particularly if I’ve spent time on makeup, I’ll do a mini tut. of that).
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Friday’s Wardrobe: Sort of =-.

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  29. Shini

    Great tips! Also a good tip for those using dSLRs is to take the photos in RAW or NEF format and then take them through extensive post-production with photoshop or any compatible image editing software. (Of course if one’s capable…) I think I take around 100-150 per photoshoot and only around 2-3 end up in the blog…
    .-= Shini´s last blog ..LFW Day 4 Outfit =-.

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  30. CAROLINE

    I rarely ever take outfit photos, because I just find it too awkward. Especially in public. (But you see, the dilemma is that I hate the whole, oh-look-at-me-against-this-white-wall-with-wooden-skirting thing. It gets old fast.) & I can never find a photo I’m truly happy with. I always look a little psycho 😛 I love looking at everyone else’s photos, though!
    .-= CAROLINE´s last blog ..I survived one week as a merchandising intern =-.

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  31. chantele Cross

    If I am doing self timer shots then I will probably take between 5 and 10 full length then a few close ups if I feel I need to. If someone else is taking the photos then it can be anywhere between 20 and 50, it depends on where I am. If its just at home it will be the lower end, but if it is outdoors it will be a lot more in a few different places. Then I just find the ones that look the nicest!
    .-= chantele Cross´s last blog ..Wonderland Boutique Giveaway =-.

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  32. Buky

    I take about 10-15 pictures with my teeny bitty $150 SONY Camera.
    I set the timer for 10 seconds too.
    I upload all the pictures because cameras can be deceiving with their small screen.
    Then i narrow it down to 1 or 2.
    I save them in my blog folder and i edit the pictures without photo shop.
    .-= Buky´s last blog ..Spring and Winter are friends. =-.

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  33. vinda

    my photographer usually takes many pictures, but only very few are chosen.
    thanks for the interesting post! <3
    .-= vinda´s last blog ... =-.

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  34. Mary

    It was really cool to hear how other people choose their photos. I hate when I think I have an awesome pic & then I realize I’m doing something weird with my face.
    .-= Mary´s last blog ..90s Love =-.

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  35. PixelHazard

    I don’t have custom timer on my good camera so I just put a 10sec timer and view each photo as it’s taken, as though I won extra frames on america’s next top model 😛

    I take 15 max and choose a max of 3.
    .-= PixelHazard´s last blog ..& i’ll cry if I want to =-.

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  36. Eva // evoluer

    i find that shooting pictures on a large setting [1200px or more] gives me the freedom to crop back down to 600px for my finished product.

    This was if i get some really good lighting in one picture I can hack it apart and make a collage board consisting of 3-4 images.

    I am also not crazy about posting images of my face and try to avoid including it! hehe ..
    .-= Eva // evoluer´s last blog ..IFB // Links à la Mode // April 8 =-.

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  37. HUE

    Hey fellow fashionista,
    Absolutely love your style. I work for a marketing team associated with HUE, and we are celebrating leggings as an essential part of a stylish wardrobe by launching a photo contest on HUE’s Facebook page on Tuesday, June 1st at noon and will run until June 5th. Fans can submit a picture rocking their favorite legging look, and we’ll send the first 20 people a free pair of HUE leggings every day for five days! We’ll be showcasing these looks on our Facebook page and spurring conversation around legging do’s & don’ts, trends, etc. Would love for you to come take a look and let us know what you think!
    Here is a link to our Facebook page. Click on the picture of the leggings to enter the contest!
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/HUE/335829874743?v=app_4949752878&ref=ts
    Thanks for reading,
    Leigh

    Reply