Sunday, May 25, 2014

How-to Take the Best Outfit Shots (Part one: The Camera)

I'm super excited to kick of my "Blogging Series" with this post. While I don't often take my own photos any more, my boyfriend and I work together to create the perfect shots. He's got the technical photographer eye and I've got the sense of what makes a great style photo. Together we've learned some tricks and I'm going to share them with you. Thanks Ashley for suggesting this as a post!

Learn your camera: No need to be redundant here, but learn your camera. You don't need the $2000 set up or lenses. Sure it helps, but nothing beats learning the settings of your camera. Ditch the auto shooting and get educated. There are plenty of resources on the internet about camera bodies, lenses, what white balance, aperture, and shutter speed mean. Learn it. Remember: The camera doesn't take the "good" photos, you do. So, even if you spend a lot of money and don't bother to learn the camera, chances are your photos won't be any better.

Location, location, location: Some people think the background does not matter and that's okay. But for me, the location is the most fun. It takes the photo from "the middle of suburbia" to "editorial". Not only does it step up your photos, it also makes outfit taking an adventure. Look at the difference of the two photos above. I could've stuck with the weird brick, but I moved. The background and lighting were much better.

Ideas: Rundown buildings, brick streets, brick buildings, open fields, grassy paths at the park.


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Photos I snapped of Abby
Positioning & zooming: The way a camera is held is very important. When I ask people to take my photo, I notice they naturally stand at eye level and shoot. This is not flattering for anyone's body. Also don't be afraid to get close, bend down, zoom, and make the subject fill up the majority of the frame. Be weary of titling the camera upwards though because it creates a bad angle. Photos that are very far away do not make sense for style photos.

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Lighting: This is obvious. Do not shoot at the brightest hour and do not shoot in the darkest. Learning your camera will help with this as well. If you are shooting and it's bright, find shade. Overcast days are perfect for outfit photos.

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Shoot the details: When getting dressed we sometimes put an emphasis on the small details. Like that cool new necklace or the bracelet arrangement. Those can be lost in body shots. So, it's always fun to get a little more artsy and document it. Plus it enhances the post.

Don't rely on editing, but do edit: A lot of people think that editing is magic and while Photoshop is kind of magical, it doesn't solve everything. I hardly edit my photos because they usually turn out pretty nicely. If I do, it's just brightening them.

Shoot vertical: When using a tripod or even a human, a lot of people shoot horizontal. This is great for detail shots, but not ideal for an entire set of photos. With vertical, you get a great head-to-toe view of the outfit. Horizontal makes the subject smaller and washes out the detail.

The Blogging Series @ Midwest Muse will continue on a semi-regular basis. Covering all aspects of blogging. Got a suggestion or question? Email me at jessica@midwest-muse.net