This is the first in a 4-part post series brought to you by ASOS Fashion Finder, dedicated to helping you showcase and promote your personal style through photography, social media and smart spending.
Smile. Don’t smile. Pop your knee! Stand up straight! Touch your sunglasses! Look to the left! Cross your legs and admire your shoes!
Photographing your personal style is as much about what happens in front of the camera as what happens behind it. In this post we have tips for both sides of the lens, whether you’re taking the photos, posing for them – or both! Whether you use a point-and-shoot or a DSLR, these tips will help you look your best in every photo.
If you’re on both sides of the lens:
- Use a tripod: Trust us, trying to prop your camera up on all manner of household objects rarely produces the results you want (and you risk damaging your camera). Photojojo has all kinds of tripods (and much more).
- If you have a camera that allows for it, a remote works better than the self timer feature (and makes shooting much easier and faster).
- Set the self timer: If you don’t have a remote, set the timer for the longest setting (usually about 10 seconds)
- Take a few test shots to figure out how long it takes you to get from the camera to where you want to stand, and perhaps even put a marker on the ground.
Photography Hot Tips:
- Natural light is your friend. Try to shoot outdoors as much as you can, and without a flash. Don’t be fooled, shade or cloud cover produces a better photo than too much direct sun (lots of shadows).
- Speaking of shadows, watch out for them! Be sure to position yourself so your face and outfit are well lit and there are no crazy shadows falling on you.
- Pay attention to what’s in the background of your photo. Make sure you don’t have a pole or a tree sticking out of the back of your head. If you can’t adjust the depth of field on your camera, a simple, not-too-busy background works best to showcase your look.
- Depending on the location you’re shooting in, you may want to let your readers see the scenery. Try moving farther away from the camera, but for composition, try to remain close to the center of the frame.
- Think about focus. If you’re using a DSLR switch the settings to manually select a focus point – that way you can be sure that your face (bag/necklace/sunglasses) is in focus and not something behind you. Nothing’s worse than a blurry blogger.
- If you’re not very comfortable with adjusting the settings on your DSLR camera (or using a point-and-shoot), the automatic setting should produce great results.
- For full-body shots, shoot vertically. This allows you to show your entire look without having to be too far away from the camera. Aim for having about the distance of your head above and below your head and feet, and center yourself in the frame. It may take a couple of test shots to figure out where the center is.
- For detail shots (shoes, accessories, etc) shoot horizontally so you can get in close. For inspiration, check out the street style photos of STREETFSN and Jak & Jil.
- Play with angles and perspective. Change your shots around to create more visual interest.
- Take way more photos than you think you need – you’ll want a variety to choose from in case your favorites are out of focus or overexposed. (Take the time to do this yourself or direct your photographer to snap constantly as you pose!)
“Well, besides great lighting, make sure your cameraman can make you laugh (I like when personal style photos aren't so serious). I also like close up detail shots so I can really see what you're wearing and what those earrings look like!” – Alicia, Cheetah Is The New Black
- Move around. Clothes are meant for movement, so show how they look when you’re walking, turning, sitting, standing, holding something, opening a door, etc.
- When in doubt – smile. You can feel a desire to take yourself a little more seriously when shooting outfit photos, but a natural smile or a laugh looks genuine and real.
- Try using props. It can make you feel more relaxed to have something in your hands to play with or hold when you’re in front of the camera. This could be a simple as a cup of coffee or your phone or handbag, but you could also walk your dog, pick some flowers or carry an umbrella – get creative!
- Try a still life. If you’re not feeling particularly photographable, arrange looks on a clean floor-space or hanging in front of a blank wall. You can also arrange accessories and jewelry on a table or dress for cool, up-close shots.
“Act natural and don't try too hard. it comes off less believable. also, remain true to your own style vs. trying every trend you think you should be photographed wearing.” – Meghan, Wit & Whimsy
Editing Your Images:
- On an Apple computer, iPhoto works great for cropping, adjusting the exposure, and many other basic editing needs you may have. It’s easy to play around with (and easy to undo mistakes, too)
- There are also easy-to-use, free in-browser editing programs like Pixlr and PicMonkey that allow you to improve and adjust your photos and store them in the cloud.
- For outfit images taken with your phone, Instagram has great filters that are quirky, flattering and fun! (We also like these photo-editing apps.)
- Photoshop can do just about anything if you know how to use it, but even beginners can use it to lighten and darken, increase contrast, make a collage or add text. (There are also many free open source alternatives to photoshop you can use, found here.)
Sharing & Promoting Your Images:
- Beyond posting your photos on your blog, you can promote your look and your site using social sharing sites online such as ASOS Fashion Finder, and more. This is a great way to build traffic and community.
- Share a teaser image on your social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) to pique your readers’ curiosity. Don’t forget to provide a link to the post.
- When sharing your looks, be sure to “tag” the brands you’re wearing so they can see your style and share it with their community as well.
For more resources, check out these posts:
- Photography for the Amateur, Stagefright-Afflicted Blogger
- Top 5 Photo Gadgets For Bloggers
- How To Take Your Own Outfit Photos
- IFBtv: Turning blog content into vlog content
- 5 Quick and Easy Photo Processing Tips For A More Beautiful You