Outfit photos really are the bane of my life sometimes. I mean, sometimes I'm just simply not in the mood to have my photo taken, let alone have it taken in a busy town centre with millions of passers by wondering what the hell it is that I'm doing posing by an office block in evening wear at ten in the morning. But sometimes..sometimes shooting can go really well. So well that I can look at those photos and actually feel excited about posting them. It's empowering. It's probably a bit vain too. But screw it - who doesn't like a nice photo of themselves?
Recently, I've been feeling more and more inspired by some of the photos Ollie and I take. I think that's the hardest part about this type of blogging. The words are always there - I mean, they're sat there in your head just waiting to pour out onto a screen. All you need to do is write them down, proof read and publish. But photos? Photos are needy buggers that demand attention. They need styling and planning. They need the correct lighting, the right location, the ideal equipment and - on top of all that - the need man power..and lots of it.
LOVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
Maybe you don't need to love your photographer like I love mine (who if you didn't know, is my boyfriend of four years #InstagramHusband) but having a relationship with the person/people that take your photos is really important if you want to both enjoy taking the photos and end up with a nice set of snaps to blog about. If you feel awkward around someone, it'll show in the photos. Sure, you might not have a photographer boyfriend or a family member that takes amazing pictures. Maybe you will have to go out of your way to find someone to take your outfit shots. And yeah, they might start out as a complete stranger, but that doesn't mean you can't form a friendship with them. The more at ease you feel in front of that person, the more at ease you'll feel in front of a camera (and the more smokin' hot you'll look).
HAVE FUN WITH IT
This again relates back to shooting with a person you, you know, actually like. If you're not in the mood to take photos, it'll show in one way or another. Fun generally results in smiles, which make any photo look a whole lot better. If, however, you're like me and appear to show zero emotion in all images, it'll at least improve your body language. If I stand still and pose, I'll look like I'm posing, so I like to keep moving whenever the cameras on me. I'm not talking one of those America's Next Top Model challenges where you have to strike a new pose every five seconds, but just move naturally. Joke about with your photographer. Try out new things and take risks. If you look stupid, you can laugh about it, but you never know - you could look kind of great.
DO YOUR OWN THING
I'm sure we've all done it before. We've seen something we've liked - whether it be an outfit picture, a hairstyle, whatever - and we've tried to recreate it ourselves to no avail. I could plonk myself in the same location as some of my favourite bloggers, wear the same outfit as them, use the same lens as them, everything. But would it look the same? Of course not. For months Ollie and I would try to take photos in a certain style, but they never looked quite right to us because - you guessed it - they weren't our style. Then one day we decided to just wing it. He did what he wanted to do and I posed in a way that felt natural to me. They turned out to be some of the best photos we'd take in months. Sure, you could take nice photos in the style of someone else, but why not take the best photos in your own?
HOLD OUT FOR 'THE SHOT'
If you live in the UK and you want to take outfit pictures then i really do feel your pain. One minute the weather might be perfect, the next the clouds will roll in and all your light will be gone - or vice versa. It's frustrating, but unfortunately unless you're a pro when it comes to rain/sun dances then you really can't do anything about it but wait. Waiting is the biggest killer with me and outfit pictures these days, but I know that when the time comes it'll be worth it. Waiting could mean going away and grabbing a coffee for half an hour, but it could also mean waiting days until circumstances change. Sometimes your ideal location (check out my post on the best places to shoot outfit pictures if you're lacking imagination) might be busy all week apart from a specific time on a Thursday morning. Sure, you could just work with what you've got that day, but if you really want to do your best, wait for the best situation.
DON'T FORCE IT
Most of us bloggers are not models in any shape or form, and so we can't always just switch 'it' on or off as and when we please. Sometimes I'll head out to take some photos and after a few minutes I'll realise that I'm quite simply just not in the mood to get my pose on. It happens. Just like waiting for the weather, it's always best to wait for a time that you feel like you actually want to have your photo taken as opposed to settling for some sub-par photos that you feel obliged to post online.
In my eyes, there's always room to improve, whether you've been taking photos for five weeks or five years. You can stock up on the most amazing equipment in the world but if you don't use it, you'll never get any better. The best way you can improve on anything in life is to just do it over and over and over again. You may suck for a little while, but every time you do it you'll suck even less until you get to a point where you're actually kind of good at it. Hustle my friends, hustle.