. HOW TO TAKE GREAT OUTFIT PICTURES WITH A TRIPOD & REMOTE.
Two of the questions I most frequently get asked are ‘how do I manage to run a blog whilst working full time’ which I wrote a whole feature on here, and secondly how do I manage to take my outfit pictures (by myself). I touched on the topic in my photography post here, but thought it might be worthwhile dedicating an entire post to taking outfit pictures by yourself (this will also relate to beauty or lifestyle pictures / videos too). I’ve also written a whole host of photography tutorials since this post which you can find here.
As much as I can, I will try and get my sister or Jase to help me out with my outfit shots, I much prefer having a helping hand when possible as not only does it make the process a whole lot easier and a whole lot quicker it also generally makes for better quality images too (a human eye getting the perfect shot is far better than a tripod and remote). But there are times when I simply don’t have the option to lean on people to help, and in those times I have to rely on my tripod and remote.
When I first started my blog every picture was done with a tripod and remote, as I upped my focus on quality and started to improve my photography skills and knowledge I wanted to get a more of a ‘on location’ feel to my photos & really start using my kit to its fullest, which was obviously much harder to achieve with a tripod and remote. But over the last three years I feel like I’ve learnt a few tricks to ensure that even when I don’t have a helping hand, I can still get pictures I’m happy with & that are the standard I want on my blog.Today I wanted to share those 5 tips.
. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT BEFORE HAND .
Probably the most important tip of all is to prepare, there’s nothing like a little bit of pre-preparation to help make a quick, easy & smooth photography process. And that can range from listing out the outfits you need to shoot & the details of each look, to choosing a location or getting an idea of the picture styles you want to create.
I’m forever in preparation mode as I can do this during my commute or any down time I have (ha, who am I kidding, there’s never any down time). I’m constantly creating to-do lists for my blog, organising my upcoming outfit features and noting down the pieces I want to style within each look. I’m constantly updating my pinterest with images & shoots I love (you can find my pinterest here) and always look back at these when I’m planning an outfit shoot – working out what sort of images I want to create, or the sorts of location I want to hit up! Sometimes of course the location has to be outside the house, because there’s no time to do anything else, but whenever possible i’ll try and drive to a location I love and set up my kit there
. DEDICATE TIME.
Time, the thing I wish for more of! Time is my biggest limitation, i’m forever busy and just wish I could have a little more time to get everything I want to do done! But given there is only 24 hours in a day and I don’t have Bernards magic watch (god I wish I did) it becomes all about organisation and prioritisation. Doing prep so that you can be as optimised with your time as possible, but also dedicating time especially to getting the job done. For me this is usually two hours on a Saturday or Sunday morning to shooting my looks for the week ahead!
Find a time that works for you, and dedicate it to getting your photos. Make sure you give yourself enough time to set up your kit & get to your chosen location. And don’t forget if you’re shooting more than one look you need to allow time for a) getting your outfit on, b) getting your kit live, c) shooting your pics in the chosen location, plus then getting back to base to start the cycle again!
. CHARGE YOUR BATTERIES IN ADVANCE.
From experience, I couldn’t recommend any more pre – charging all your batteries, checking all your kit is working & making sure your tripod remote is charged. There’s nothing worse than getting to your location, in your outfit, with all your kit and finding out your batteries have run out. Literally the MOST annoying thing ever and something that’s happened to me a couple of times and just causes so much stress and frustration.
Technically it falls into ‘pre prep’ but i couldn’t recommend it any more highly … charge your batteries!!
. TEST SHOOT.
My second pet peeve when it comes to taking your own outfit pictures is doing a whole shot of outfit pictures and none of them looking good. there’s nothing worse than doing a whole load of pictures and getting home to realise they’re all out of focus, cutting your head off or just over / under exposed! And it’s from experience that I know how annoying, frustrating and gutting this can be! It’s taken three years of learning, but the key to getting a good set of shots is to do some test shots before hand & making sure everythings perfect before you crack on with business.
I always do a couple of lighting test shots, a couple of composition test shots & a couple of ‘depth’ test shorts (e.g. where i’m standing & checking the focus ‘finds’ me) before I do a full set of pictures. It does mean you need a little more time, but the results can change your images significantly! It’s also important to shoot as you ‘normally would’, and what I mean is not just reverting to auto because you’re using a tripod and remote. I still shoot on manual even when i’m shooting on my own!
Finally, and actually relatively hard to do, is to relax. When you’re creating outfit posts you want to look relaxed, happy and natural in your outfits. This of course is so much harder to achieve when you’re stood in front of a tripod and camera in the middle of a street on your own … but it’s critical in getting a good picture!
It’s definitely not easy to prance around in the middle of the street in front of people, so if you’re like me and a little embarrassed by having to do this, then time your pictures to when streets may be a little quieter or find a location which is a little more ‘subtle’. Whenever i’m shooting on my own i’ll try and find places I feel comfortable in and also places which aren’t too busy!
When you’re relaxed, your pictures will show it, and you’ll find yourself much happier with the results. Again, from experience i’ve had tons of outfit posts where i just look awkward, my eyes are closed or i’m frowning because i’m concentrating too hard … ‘live n’ let go. It’s the only way. Embrace the weirdness of taking pictures of yourself in the middle of the street!
Do you have any tips or recommendations for taking pictures of yourself for your blog? Do you agree with my 5 tips?