Fashion Blogger Photography 101
Maybe you've been thinking about creating images for your fashion blog, but you're not sure where to begin - or if you're even up for the task. Or maybe you're already creating images for your fashion blog, but if your keeping it real with yourself, you're not 100% satisfied with the images you're taking. Either way, you've come to the right place and this post is exactly what you need.
When I first started shooting about 4 years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. I had a Canon Rebel, I was shooting on auto, and thought I was amazing. I had no clue what camera settings were, what was good or bad lighting, or what editing photos were. I spent hours on YouTube learning how to edit my photos consistently and countless hours shooting everything in sight trying to find the best light and the ins and outs of my camera.
I've learned so much in this past year of shooting with dozens of fashion bloggers. Now its my time to share the knowledge I've learned with you!
This post will walk you through the first steps towards planning, shooting, and editing your own fashion blog photos, without having to hire a professional photographer, just maybe your insta-hubby or your best girl friend lol!
So grab a big cup of coffee because this is going to be a long one. Let's get started!
Step 1: Chose your Camera & Lens
Decide what camera body and lens is best for you and your style and make it your closest friend that you take everywhere. Get comfortable with using the settings. This will ensure you're using your camera to it's greatest potential. Prime lenses are a great investment for shooting portraits, outfit photos and flatlays.
Step 2: Shoot in the BEST Natural Light
Identify what types of natural light is best for your photos and schedule your shoots during the best light of day. Great light is the foundation of a gorgeous image. Rule of thumb when first starting out, the first 2 to 3 hours after sunrise and the last 2 to 3 hours of light before sunset is your honey pot. The light is creamy and soft and will give your images beautiful warmth.
Step 3: Shoot in Manual Mode
Using your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to create the best possible exposure in your images. Use your focal points correctly to create a sharp image every time. Your center focal point is always your sharpest. Knowing how to shoot in manual will give you the ability to create the exact image you envisioned.
Step 4: Compose your Images in a Compelling Way
Apply the "rule of thirds" to compose your images to make them stand out and to tell a story, regardless of the location.
Step 5: Plan and Prepare for your Shoot
Chose your location that best suits your overall feel for your blog and create a shot list of images you want to take of your outfits. This ensures your shoots are efficient, fun, and produce the images you were striving for.
Step 6: Shoot your Style Editorial
Communicate your vision to you insta-hubby or blogger bestie so you can shoot without stress. You can even have them stand in your place, compose the shot you want, and show them the exact image you are looking for. This will leave you not feeling overwhelmed and receiving the exact images you want for each outfit.
Step 7: Editing your Images with Consistency
Lightroom and/or Photoshop are the key to editing your images like a pro. Using these softwares insures your images consistently reflect your brand and include your personal touch unique to you. Editing is the finish touch in this creative process.
Mistakes to Avoid
Mistake #1: Assuming a "great" camera will create great images
You can have the best equipment in the world, but if you don't know how to use your DSLR's settings properly you won't be able to create the images you envisioned and want to share, Being confident with your camera will give you the freedom to create the exact images you want, without having to be confined to Auto Mode.
GREAT NEWS- this means you don't have to have the "best" camera and lenses out there if you have the knowledge to create great images. Knowledge= Beauty.
Mistake #2: Giving up After Only a Few Shoots
If you've attempted once or twice to shoot your blog photos in the past but they just weren't the images you wanted, giving up is the worst solution. Photography takes time and patience, and trust me I've been exactly where you are.
In the four years I've been shooting my style has changed and improved, but I'm still learning and practicing everyday. The secret sauce to this photography game is PRACTICE. The more you practice the better you become, and you'll be proud of the images you're creating in no time.
Mistake #3: Waiting for the "Perfect Time" to Start Shooting for Your Fashion Blog
Let's be honest, there will always be an excuse as to why you haven't started something, and trust me, I'm the queen of excuses! But if your fashion blog is something you plan on doing for the foreseeable future AND you want to create your own unique content, knowing how to consistently produce gorgeous imagery for your blog will set you apart from the masses.
The sooner you start to create your own images, the faster you'll be able to post, and the higher your chances are of monetizing will be (if you aren't already). I promise you, your images will be exponentially better with every shoot.
So your perfect time to start my love, is NOW!
So Here's Your Toolkit
1: CAMERA BODY- You need a DSLR camera to create your images. As long as your camera has manual mode you'll be able to have full control over the images you create. I started with a Canon Rebel T6i, but I have since upgraded to a Canon EOS 5D Mark III. But there are a ton of options out on the market, just find one that suits your budget and preferences.
2. CAMERA LENS- The type of lens you use will help determine what your images look like. If you can only invest in one lens I would always recommend starting with a prime lens. Its great for outfit photos as well as portraits. The Canon 50mm f/1/8L Lens, also known as the Nifty Fifty, would be a great starter lens, and will run you around $100. I currently shoot all my bloggers with either my Canon 50mm f/1.4L Lens or my Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Lens.
3. EDITING SOFTWARE- Editing your photos is the icing on the cake of your creative process. I would recommend Lightroom and/or Photoshop, based on your workflow preferences and how detailed you want to get with your distractions. I personally use both. I use Lightroom for all my color adjustments and tweaking and Photoshop for any retouching or removing any distractions from my images. This will totally be your preference. With Adobe Creative Cloud, I pay around $120 a year for both software.
OH YEAH! YOU'VE MADE IT TO THE END!
Now is the best time to start shooting for your fashion blog so that you can engage with and inspire your followers, impress your brand partners and monetize your content (or make even more sales)!
So what are you doing still reading this?! Get out there and start shooting!
The images in this post feature my favorites from shooting with the lovely Savannah of Tierra Mar Lane