So you want to start a fashion blog, or you may well already have one and are one step ahead. Back when I started lydiaelisemillen.com it was all going down on my iPhone4 with blurry shots of vintage shop finds and awkward poses in front of the magnolia bedroom wall of my University apartment. It was so imperfectly perfect.
Now-a-days it’s all DSLRs & photographer hiring and as glam as that all is, I know that for some it came make the whole notion of starting a blog quite daunting. You will be glad to know that neither Ali, the man behind the lens, nor I are professional photographers, I mean as if you couldn’t tell right? But we try our very best. We’ve spent hours figuring out what all the nobs and numbers do, what the best editing styles and tricks are as well as ideal shooting conditions, poses, locations and much more. We don’t live on the grand white streets of Kensington in fact there’s nothing all that grand about Milton Keynes at all really but we work with what we have to ensure we are always able to create content that we are proud of. It got me thinking about just how difficult it must be to start a blog today when standards are so incredibly high, so I thought it was about time that I put together My guide to taking the perfect outfit shots in not-so-perfect conditions because it’s not as hard as you may think.
You simply do not need to spend thousands on a top of the range camera or hundreds a month on hiring photographers but you may need to save a little to get a good camera and learn to not give a crap so much. The latter I can’t really help all that much with but the camera I know a thing or two about thanks to my ever growing collection. Around £300-£400 will get you the Olympus PEN E-PL7, which these shots were taken on, and is the perfect bit of kit to get you outfit snapping away in no time. However, don’t expect to pick the camera up and instantly be a pro, as with anything learning how to use equipment properly instantly transforms the quality of content you will be able to produce.
If you don’t have access to an Instagram boyfriend right this second, there is absolutely no shame in buying one, and before you think I’ve completely lost my mind, let me tell you that he’s tall, dark and doesn’t moan when you tell him he got your bad side. His name is Tripod and he is the Instagram boyfriend that never says no, he can be collapsed down for easy transportation and erected, lol, wherever you need him to. I’ve been there, I’ve used him and I’ve also had the weird looks from passers by too, but all that aside I got the content that I wanted, spent as long as I needed getting it and I didn’t have to buy him dinner to say thank you afterwards.
Location, Location, Location
They are breath taking, The endless rows of white houses lining the streets of London’s most affluent areas and bloggers everywhere, myself included, have travelled to shoot along side them to the point where I’m sure we must be considered vermin to the occupants. For me it’s something I do on the odd occasion to either switch up my content or I’m simply in London for work. But the reality is, none of us live in those houses, few even live close to the area let alone in it so constant travelling to shoot outfit after outfit there isn’t feesible.
Ali and I have spent months scoping out locations where we live, we know what time the light is perfect, we know where to shoot when it’s sunny, where to shoot when it’s windy and where is best to shoot during each season. We really did our homework to ensure we are working efficiently and effectively during every shoot. We have made what we do work so well for us that people now travel far and wide to shoot in those same locations, in Sunny Milton Keynes, now that really is a compliment.
So do your homework and play around with locations and alternate them, of course when you’re travelling, for work or pleasure, that’s always a great time to switch up the content a bit and have a little fun with new surroundings but it’s a good idea to have a little mini portfolio of locations that work for you and are easily accessible.
Posing, it’s OK to do it!
I know my body and I know it’s angles, I know what works best for the camera and how to achieve images that I’m happy with in a fairly short space of time. I’m not afraid to prance and pose despite all those times I was scorned by my peers for posing in photos, it was almost a way for people to bring others down to some extent. However now is the time to forget all that and to put your very best Tyra Banks-esque foot forward… OK so you don’t need to go that far but if that is your jam, spread it. I just like to have fun with it, a hair flick there, a cheesy grin here and a bag swing everywhere. It adds a really nice touch of movement to the image and always makes my mind runaway with itself when I read others blogs, I can see them in my head twirling and dancing through Parisian streets, strutting down New York Side walks and laughing in London locations all from that tiny moment of movement captured in a split second.
Hands down the most fundamental part of the outfit post is obviously the outfit. Does it fit with the location, is it in line with your style or is it just plain hideous and not working for you at all, believe me when I tell you that the latter I have had my fair share of. I’ve come to realise that if you are doing it right “styling” as we normally know it isn’t really necessary, you are simply doing you. You are wearing an outfit that you wear, have worn or plan to wear. You didn’t have to think too much about it, you didn’t have to “make an item work” and it all just came together by it’s self. Those are the outfits that resonate with me, they are evident and they are original. They are the outfits that inspire me from blog to blog and I live for them.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is aim keep it organic, original and fresh. Just because you’ve seen the same item on 20 blogs, doesn’t mean it’s off limits. If anything it’s your moment to shine and show the blogosphere how you rock it in your very own way, so own it and get outfit snapping!