Professional Photographers on Fashion Blogging Photography: An Interview

Snapping topnotch photos for your blog is probably one of the toughest parts of being a fashion blogger.

In 2018, bloggers of all niche markets are under pressure to create amazing content. Social media platforms are more important than ever before, and fashion has embraced The Age of Instagram. If you want to stay relevant in the fashion industry – especially as a blogger – you need to be churning out a continuous stream of high-quality visual content.

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Gone are the days of grainy selfies in bad lighting, blurry landscape shots and bathroom mirror #OOTD. In addition to being journalists, graphic designers and web developers, fashion bloggers are expected to also be photographers – and good ones too.

Unlike most professional photographers, that have formal training and/or hands-on experience in the field, fashion bloggers need to learn their trade on the fly. (Psst! Check out IFB's “Top 10 Photography Mistakes You Should Avoid” to ensure you're not making these common errors.)

IFB had the chance to pick the brains of a few professional photographers, who also happen to be instructors in The Ultimate Photography Bundle. Armand Dijcks, Andy Lim, Nicole Branan, and Kyle Shultz answer some of the most common questions newbie bloggers have, when it comes taking the perfect photo.

Some of The Most Common Photography Mistakes Fashion Bloggers Make?

“I see a lot of people taking very cluttered shots, that provide little guidance for the viewer of where to look.

Even in a relatively messy location, it's possible to get a cleaner shot by finding a quieter background, changing your angle or, for example, making the background less distracting by using a shallow depth of field.

Another thing is having only overview shots and no details. Although I understand that you want to show the whole outfit, including a couple of close-ups of nice details can bring the visual story to life.

Finally, the light is often very flat. Instead of shooting during the middle of the day, try early morning or late afternoon. Play with shadows and reflections. For example, you can have your model stand in the sunlight, where the background is in shadow, which creates a lot of visual depth.”

-Armand Dijcks, Photographer and Cinematographer

“Usually the mistakes are poor lighting and exposure, which can be fixed with some camera skills. Shooting in RAW format and editing it in post-production will also help.

I believe it's also important to curate the set of photos so that they have a certain theme or direction, and not just a random set of photos.”

-Andy Lim, Photographer (Emotion in Pictures by Andy Lim)

Smartphone Camera vs. DSLR Camera: Do You Need To Make The Investment?

“What matters the most is not so much the camera, but instead it's what you do with it.

It's definitely possible to take crappy photos with a high-end camera, and it's equally possible to take great photos with a smartphone. But it's also true that smartphone cameras are much more limited in what they can do, especially in difficult environments such as low lighting situations, for example.

So, for that reason, I would recommend to invest in a good DSLR eventually, simply because it opens up so many more options.”

-Nicole Branan, Food Photographer (Stock Food Photos By Nicole Branan)

“The thing is there aren't really any bad cameras anymore. Even recent smartphones can capture amazing images. What they usually don't give you is a lot of control of depth of field, or longer focal lengths that you can use to visually isolate a person from their surroundings.

You could invest in a good DSLR or Mirrorless, but keep in mind that that it's going to be big and heavy. Perhaps less conducive for a spontaneous shoot.

An alternative is a good compact camera. I sometimes use the Sony RX-100 for example, which gives you almost the same amount of control as a DSLR in a much smaller (and slightly cheaper) package.”

-Armand Dijcks

Do You Need To Hire A Photographer? Or Can You Capture Good #OOTD Posts By Yourself?

“This depends on your budget.  If your blog makes seven figures a year, then I think it’s a great idea to outsource whatever you don’t do well to people who can do it much better.

But, absolutely, you can take pro quality selfies with some of the right gear, and the right knowledge.

As for gear, yes, a tripod and a timer setting is a good start.  Even better is just a remote shutter.  You can still use a remote shutter with the camera timer in cases where you don’t want your hand holding a tiny little remote.  Just click your remote, then toss it on the ground or in a pocket, and you’ll save yourself running back and forth to the camera.

Of course, much more important is learning the basics of photography.  And I’m not just talking about learning your camera.  I mean, it’s helpful to learn your “camera buttons.”  It’ll improve your pics by maybe 2-3x.  But…IF you understand light and composition, for example, your images will improve 10x, 20x, even more, no doubt!”

-Kyle Shultz, Photographer and Instructor (Shultz Photo School)

“A tripod and timer is fine for catalog-style photos, where the purpose is to simply show the clothes being modelled.

But for more creative shoots with artistic direction, where subtle facial expressions are crucial, you can't beat getting a pro to help out.”

-Andy Lim

Favorite Photo-Editing Apps and Programs?

“For editing on my iPhone, I love using Snapseed. It's really powerful and easy to use. You can use it to give a slightly more professional look to an image you shot on your phone, or go all-out and completely stylize your image.

I also like Lensdistortions, an app that lets you add light leaks and flares, to create some extra atmosphere. For more advanced processing of raw images out of a DSLR, nothing beats Photoshop.”

-Armand Dijcks

“For your computer, Adobe Lightroom is a workhorse and Luminar 2018 is a good alternative to the steep learning curve of Photoshop.  Use the code SHULTZ to get $10 off Luminar.  That’s an affiliate link, but honestly it’s a few pennies on my end, so I don’t recommend it to make money! Rather, it’s just a good tool for your bag.

For your smartphone check out VSCO and Retouch. They can get you 99% of what you’ll need day to day!”  

-Kyle Shultz

“That's easy for me to answer, because I've actually only ever used one photo editing app and that’s Photoshop. (And I love it!)

 I started using PS right away when I started getting into photography and I've never felt the need to try anything else because Photoshop does everything I ever needed it to do (and much more!). I do use Lightroom for tethered shooting, but for all editing I use Photoshop.” 

-Nicole Branan

Looking to brush up on your photography skills? Want to learn more than just the basics? Interested in a variety of ares of photography?

Check Out The Ultimate Photography Bundle Sale!

If you're interested in learning more about photography, now is the time!

For a limited amount of time, the Ultimate Photography Bundle will be on sale for $97. Score $5000 worth of resources at a fraction of the cost, and learn from the professional photographers and instructors.

Whether you're a fashion blogger that wants to learn more about lifestyle and food photography or a mommy blogger that wants to brush up on her portrait skills, now is the time. The bundle will be on sale for five days and ends on Friday, March 2nd at 11:59 p.m (EST) – so don't wait.

 

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