I don't do photo shoots often for Amanda Cross Blog (that means not ever), but I do them a lot for my other blog The Happy Arkansan. I have learned a lot about this process as I have been doing it for a while now. Today I wanted to share a couple of tips that will help you shine in your blog photos.
1. Have A Plan For Your Photo Shoot
Okay, first things first, have a plan for your entire shoot. Plan what outfit changes you are going to make (and how to make them efficiently), plan what products you will be showcasing, plan the content that you will be sharing around the photos so that you can get all the shots that you need, plan everything.
Since I film something about every weekend, and I film with my lovely dad who is willing to do more for me (and doesn't charge me) I don't have to be as planned--but I still like to have some semblance of a plan before I ask him to get on board with a shoot. This is definitely the case if I am asking him to do multiple shoots in one day. it would be rude not to plan to the best of your ability.
2. Shoot With Someone You Are Comfortable With
Speaking of my dad, he is the best in the world for doing all of my photo shoots, and I am very comfortable around him. When you shoot with someone you are comfortable with, it really makes the entire photo shoot experience much better.
If you are getting a new blog photographer, this can be difficult, we can't all do photo shoots with our parents. But, just try to get to know your photographer the best that you can before the photo shoot. How do you do this? You talk with them. Talk with them about their photo shoot process, talk with them about how you want the photo shoot to go, and try to do this via a Skype call or a phone call. Texts are great, but when you meet them in person you won't communicate via text message. So, if you can, try to actually see their face and/or hear their voice before you do a photo shoot session with them.
3. Wear Clothes That Don't Make You Feel Self-Conscious
When you are self-conscious, it shows up on your face. It doesn't matter how much you think that isn't true. So, you need to wear clothes that you feel comfortable in.
As you are deciding what clothes to wear for your photo shoot, I would try to include a few things that you have already worn before (if possible) as this will help you feel more comfortable when it comes time to do the photo shoot. So instead of piling on all your new clothes, add some old shoes or an old pair of pants.
Obviously, if this is a sponsored post with a fashion brand, that may be quite difficult.
When it comes to sponsored shoots with fashion brands I would encourage you to wear the clothes you are sharing at least once or twice before the photo shoot takes place that way you are aware of how the clothes make you feel and you can adjust them accordingly.
4. Play Around With Different Textures, Accessories, Etc.
Play around with the types of items in your shoots. Accessories are great in many types of shoots.
For fashion shoots, accessories can hide problem areas, add depth to your outfit, add a pop of color to your photo, and so much more.
For flatlays, accessories can really change the dynamics of your photos and help you create bigger and better photo shoots.
You can also add different textures to your shoot like velvet, brick walls, cobble stone, murals, etc. All these textures in your background and even on your body can change the way that the photograph shows up for the better (or worse if you don't know how to use it.)
One of my favorite places to film is on this wall in my town that has a wall with some exposed brick coming through it. The wall itself is a light pink wall, but there are some spots where an old brick wall comes through. The different textures really help the photos in front of that wall pop (pictures of that wall to come in tip #5!)
Products I Use For Filming
These are a few of the things I use for filming. All of these shots were taken outside, but If I am inside I love my lighting kit that Lindsey from Hazel Haven recommended to me.
I have both the Canon T5 and T5i. I like the screen of the T5i, but my dad usually films on the T5.
If you are taking a lot of photos, having a huge memory card is important. I have the PNY card in a 256 GB and I never run out of room, but I am also a memory card hoarder so I have a lot more memory cards around the house in different sizes.
If you ever get shaky, a tripod is a must. I love this one because it is very sturdy, cheap, and I can use my camera with it! I love most for when I am creating videos.
Taking beautiful blog photos isn't cheap, so be prepared to shell out some money for a great camera. I have heard some people use their phones, and while they do create great photos, I am too attached to my actual camera for blog photo shoots. Also, if you are a student, you may be able to rent camera equipment from your university, I have heard of some bloggers doing that before they could afford their own equipment.
5. Switch Up Your Poses Throughout The Shoot
You should always be striving to switch up your poses throughout any shoot be it a fashion shoot or a flatlay. Why? Because, if you end up not liking a particular pose, it won't be good to have an entire photo shoot full of that pose.
So, instead of one single pose, have a list of poses in your head that you can go through as you are working your photo shoot.
Don't be afraid to make slight changes to your look either. It doesn't always have to be a huge change and you may end up with slight better photos because of that.
As you can tell, the images in the above pictures were taken around the same time. Some slight changes in my background and pose made for some excellent images in this photo shoot.
Play around with your shoulders, hair placement, hands & arms, etc. to get new and interesting shots in a quick succession.
For some extra posing tips try this article from Techradar called How To Pose A Portrait: 54 Creative Ideas. It's always good to have different posing techniques up your sleeves.
6. Don't Be Afraid To Test & Check Photos As They Are Being Taken
This might be a perk of filming with my dad but I am always checking the photography throughout a shoot. I usually check at least a couple of times during the photo shoot to make sure everything looks peachy.
If you can, I would suggest taking some time to look at your photos while you are filming. It's really hard to recreate looks or add to looks after you have wrapped filming so I would encourage you to do it while filming so you can adjust your look or change things up.
7. Stay Hydrated & Know Your Bodies Limits
I am such an awful waffle at doing this, but it's definitely necessary. Your body can only accomplish so much, so you need to make sure that you are listening to your body and making the necessary changes to keep it happy during your photo shoots.
Before you go outside or to a studio to do a photo shoot eat something that will help you stay sane during your shoot.
Then, once you are on set, stay hydrated and bring a bottle of water along with you to drink in case you feel bad during the shoot.
Find shade or some spots where you can stand to get out of the sun when necessary.
Lastly, always listen to your body, and stop when it tells you to stop to avoid passing out while on a photo shoot.
I have to follow these steps often, especially being from Arkansas because more often than not it's warm or even hot outside.
8. Don't Be Afraid To Change Your Environment
Switch up your filming location. I have a couple of different haunts around town I like to cycle through when it comes to my blog shots. It definitely depends on the purpose of your shoot and what you are trying to capture.
With the above shot, I started by holding these items in my hands, and I quickly realized that I wouldn't be able to get the most detailed shots that way. So, me and my dad decided to sit these items on a bench in the place we were filming to see if we could get some awesome detailed shots from that.
Obviously, that's because we were filming a product. If I were filming a piece of clothing, the same thing wouldn't be possible.
So, switch up your environment: include new props, film on new things, film from different directions, and use your environment to your benefits. Most environments are robust and include SO many different elements. Every mural you film in front of has a ton of background possibilities depending on how you set up the shot.
Use the locations you like to go to and find different ways to integrate their backgrounds in your photos.
9. Play With Light
Last, but not least, play with light.
This is true whether you are creating light using a lighting kit or using light outside.
Play around with shade versus no shade. Do photo shoots at different times of the day. You can even play around with flash versus no flash.
It is important to try to capture different kinds of light and then once you have a light setting that you enjoy for that particular shoot, keep at it.
I hope that you enjoyed those 9 quick blog photo shoot tips. I love creating beautiful images for my blog with my dad and these are some of the tips that I have learned over the years as I created photos for the blog.
I would love to know, what are your blog photography tips?