Sunday 10 May 2015

Outfit Photos For Beginners

Today I shot some outfit photos for my gorgeous friend Beth (her post is coming soon) and she kindly offered to do the same for me! These photos were intended for something else I'm working on but after this post idea popped into my head, I couldn't wait.

Cardigan, top and bra - Urban Outfitters | Watch - Daniel Wellington | Macbook Skin - Sighh | Jeans - Topshop | Necklace was a custom gift | Bracelet - American Apparel

I thought I'd start this with a little disclaimer: I'm not pretending to be an expert. I'm simply here as an awkward beginner, comforting other awkward beginners. It's difficult to know where the hell to start, and easy to be put off after an unsuccessful first try. This is me going through what I found hard, and possible solutions.

1) You can't see what you look like. This is a problem. We can all take a good mirror selfie, alone in a changing room, with 20 minutes to lean around in various flattering positions... but blindly positioning yourself for the perfect shot that someone else is taking is a whole other deal. Beth, bless her, was taking a load of photos of me looking like a robot that needed the toilet because I just didn't know how to hold myself. I got too insecure and couldn't make it work (I forgot where my hands naturally fall) so had the idea of flipping up the view finder so I could see myself. This left Beth totally oblivious to what the photo looked like, but I got into a pose I liked and told her when to take the shots. Not all cameras have this feature, but if you do I think it's good for practicing! It got me back into my comfort zone.

2) Good photoshoots need planning. How did Beth's shots turn out so great? Not only does she have the gift of beauty but she knew exactly what she wanted for the photos. Going into a shoot blindly, hoping for the best, is unlikely to result in a blog post's worth of high quality photos. We sourced a nice, clean background, and know a couple of pretty doorways for the future. I think matching a colour in your outfit to something in the background looks incredible, but that can take a lot of foresight. In the beginning it's a good idea to look at how other bloggers take their photos, but having a unique style is the ultimate goal.

3) Communication. As the photographer, it's important to listen to what the subject wants before you begin, and then have the confidence to take over and direct them ("lift your arm up" "look that way, no the other way" "wait for the wind to pass, your hair is attacking you"). I specified I wanted a few landscape, neck to middle thigh photos and some up close of my chest to lips. This makes it easier for them to help you out and direct your posture. However the photographer should keep talking, telling you what part of your body they're focusing on so you can concentrate on that and not worry about your hair blowing over your face etc etc.

4) Body confidence. We don't all have it, I thought I did but it's hard to keep up when you see yourself from unflattering angles! For this you should probably posey pose in front of the mirror at home to learn your best angles, so you don't waste time during the shoot. Notice I haven't taken any full length photos -I don't think you need to! Maybe a shot of my shoes would have tied it together nicer but they were a bit muddy, so let's forgive. Full body shots are for pros who know what they're doing. Maybe one day I'll manage one!

5) Take your time. If you're a beginner, you're probably not going to take your best photos within the first minute. Me & Beth took just over an hour to hang out, experiment with shots and retake until we were happy. I have DOZENS of outtakes and managed to find the above spread throughout them!

So that's what I've struggled with myself, and I hope the post was kinda useful to anyone going through the same, or wanting to. I think I prefer being behind the camera but who doesn't want decent photos of themselves every now and then? Do let me know if it was as hard for you in the beginning & how you got over it!

Polly xo


  1. This post is amazing polly. The pictures are such nice quality and your style is amazing. Im now considering blogging myself as I'm taking a gap year xx

  2. Your outfit photo's are lovely! I felt so self conscious when I did my first fashion post & I've only done two so far so I know how you feel. I love your outfit though, The jeans & top are exactly the kinda thing I'd wear :) xx

    Gemma Louise | Just Little Things

  3. such an amazing post, gorgeous photos <3 thanks for the tips xx

  4. this post is so relatable! I'm hoping outfit posts become easier with time! xx

  5. This is such a great blog post - I'm hoping it'll come in handy when I attempt some Autumn-outfits next month!


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