How to nail portraits every time…
While it was once perfectly acceptable to post cul-de-sac street style and back garden outfit shots on your fashion blog, times have moved on a little since then and we’re now in the age of professional-level photoshoots posted on Instagram daily. Oh crap.
My Instagram following feed is a bit of a mix, I do still love the more candid and relaxed shots from my favourite blogger gals, but wow some of those travel accounts really are incredible aren’t they?
I think there’s room for everyone to do their own thing, I adore a bit of everything so I’m sure that’s the same for the majority of readers!
A year or two ago I shared only the occasional photo of myself, I kept to flatlays and the odd selfie and didn’t really venture out of my comfort zone. Eventually, I knew that I had to keep moving forward with my content and I set about making some small changes to what I posted.
Now I share regular portraits of myself, whether it be as part of a paid campaign, an outfit snap from my recent travels or just a quick street style type photo because I’m feeling myself that day. I feel like my platforms have become more personal as a result, and over time the whole process has become quite effortless for me.
Of course, it didn’t happen overnight but it was a big change and I wanted to share some of the tips and tricks I picked up that helped me to get a good thing going with my outfit photos.
Find Your Style
It’s a lot easier to get a photo you love if you know what you want. It took a while for me to find my style, but I’m glad I kept trying ways to make photos of myself work for me.
Generally, I care more about the backgrounds than how I actually look. I avoid lots of greenery, any dark walls or shady spots and anything with too many street signs, bins, graffiti etc. – but of course that’s my personal style, I follow so many accounts that include all of these and make it work!
I use my camera screen to frame the shot first, and then show whoever I’ve roped in to photographing me exactly what I want, and sometimes I even ask them to stand in for me while I test the light (one day I’ll release an album of my loved ones looking sheepish in front of pretty walls). It takes a few minutes but goes a long way in helping to get the perfect shot.
The Candid Shot
I do love a good candid shot, the ‘oh, you were taking a photo?” look off in to the distance, or a cute faux giggle are both favourites of mine. To achieve this, I usually put my camera on to ‘continuous’ mode so it takes a burst of photos that pick up more movement than a simple click of the shutter. Then I just do my thing; I swish around, laugh at the camera or be a bit goofy while my photographer (I always just ask whoever I’m with, whether it be another girl on a trip, the friend I’ve met for coffee, or good old Jordie) holds down the shutter.
This also works with the iPhone burst mode, so get involved with that little feature and have a bit of fun with it.
Of course, there’s always going to be people who stare, people who stumble in to your shot, and possibly even a queue forming if others crack on to your cute location. It happens.
It doesn’t really bother me these days if I get an audience, it’s not ideal but the chances of me knowing or seeing them again are slim and I have a job to do!
I promise you the awkwardness passes after you’ve done it for a while, I can’t even remember ever feeling uncomfortable taking photos (even in front of a crowd of other bloggers!) but it must have happened at one point!
Go Easy On Yourself
One thing I used to find was that I’d really fixate on myself, whether my top was crinkled or I was pulling an odd expression or maybe my tan was a bit questionable around my ankles (when isn’t it?).
I’d ask my photographer (the poor sod) to take endless photos, despite them looking identical to everyone else but me. It was time-consuming and exhausting for everyone.
Eventually I realised that it was a waste of time, most people look at a photo for a few moments, double tap (if I’m lucky…) and move on – they’re (probably, hopefully) not zooming in and laughing at my weird grimace.
Luckily I got over this, and now Jordan likes to call me ‘one take Kate’ because I’m usually happy with the first batch of photos… providing the location is right!
I really think finding your way with photos comes with time and practice, but it’s worth every minute you spend on it. I don’t think I’ll ever stray from flatlays and interior shots completely, but I love balancing out my feed with photos of myself and my outfits.
Do you have any tips for nailing outfit shots? Share them below, I’m still learning little ways to be better every day…