Blogging is an amazing creative outlet. For many, it allows you to share your thoughts on what’s stylish with a new community in a way that is typically reserved for cocktails with friends (or a journal if you have friends that look at you weirdly bc you swoon over flatforms).
I’ve been a fashion blogger for almost 4 years, and although I rarely dabble in personal style photography myself (one day maybe), I’ve worked with a few over the last few years (both consulting + photography), and I read them religiously. For 85% of the fashion bloggers out there, it’s a mostly visual medium, so that means that first and foremost, image matters.
Not only should you be showcasing stylish looks, but you also want to make sure that the images are clean, crisp, and do your outfit justice. There’s nothing worse than seeing a really blurry or dark OOTD post of an otherwise cute outfit-that kinda defeats the whole point, ya know? While that doesn’t mean that you have to have a $1,000 camera (psssh, who has that lying around?) there are a few photography tips and tricks to remember when you’re working on a style post that can make things much easier (aka have better photos, increase readership, then rule the world):
DITCH THE FLASH
Using a flash is the WORST. Seriously. Unless you’re taking pictures with a professional lighting setup, skip using the flash and go outside. Natural light truly is your best friend no matter what kind of camera you have. Think about all of your favorite bloggers: they’re typically shot on location, right? It doesn’t mean you have to travel to a busy city corner or a hillside, just go outside with a friend or your tripod and take pictures there.
The best time to shoot outside is early morning (about 20-30 minutes after sunrise) or before sunset. This is called the golden hour because everything is washed in a pretty warm glow. If those times don’t work for you, try to shoot on a day that’s overcast (the clouds act as a natural filter) or in a shaded area so that the light won’t be so harsh. Even if you’re indoors, never, ever, ever, use the flash. Just go by a window.
KEEP IT FRESH
Being a style blogger is aaaall about showcasing your personal style philosophy. This means, no copying other bloggers or following the same outfit formulas. The reason some of the top bloggers are so beloved is because they know how to incorporate trends into their wardrobe without looking like clones. You can definitely be inspired to try something (I want everything in Blair Eadie’s closet), but in order for you to build your own following, don’t be afraid to step outside the box and mix things up. You might even surprise yourself with some of the combinations you come up with.
STRIKE MORE THAN ONE POSE
You don’t have to have a vogueing session in front of the camera, but you definitely want to switch your poses up a bit. Practice in the mirror until you find 4-5 poses that work. Depending on what you’re wearing, figure out the best angles for your face and body (long + lean is the goal). You can even be a little animated or “busy” (walking, holding an umbrella or latte, and leaning on an object/wall are blogger faves), just do something to keep the photo interesting.
BUT DON’T FORGET THE DETAILS
That being said, make sure you also capture the details of your outfit that truly make it special. If you’re wearing a ton of rings, or have layered some fantastic bracelets, the latte/book/clutch/cupcake product closeup will work. Move your hair from your face to showcase earrings and even necklaces. Shoot your shoes from up top if you can’t get a closeup (an IG fave). In addition to your 3-4 full body shots, you want to at least have 3-4 close up/detailed shots as well. This gives your readers an almost 360 view of your look.
GO BIG OR GO HOME
Once you’ve taken all of your photos, edit them for any color correction (don’t over-saturate), and make sure that you save them as a large JPEG file. Small photos are a waste of time for everybody. Use your photo-editing software or find one online (picmonkey is fantastic for general photo editing; canva is my favorite to use for collages, worksheets + other social media flyers) and resize them. You want the pixels to at least be 500 x 500: it’s not too big, and unless your camera is really bad, it won’t pixelate them. You can even resize your iphone photos if they’re better than your camera’s (just do it via desktop and not any apps).
If your template uses feature images (like what mine has when you look at the main page), go through your template/display settings to find out what the dimensions are so that you can create one for all of your posts. This way, your photos will be consistent throughout your blog.
RENAME + KEYWORD TAG BEFORE YOU UPLOAD
Something that I learned late in the (blogging) game is to rename + tag my photos. But they’re big and pretty, so why can’t you just upload them you ask? Easy: SEO. When you rename your images with something relevant to the look/post topic (ex: polka-dot-shorts), if someone is searching for that item, it will make your images appear in the search results. That in turn leads to more traffic to your blog. Nobody searches for AO2498 and Google can’t crawl the actual image itself (only text), so renaming them makes them available under that search term for as long as your blog is up.
Keyword tagging (done on the back-end) does the same thing. This allows you to add your website and location info to the image file itself in addition to your blog’s top 4-5 keywords. If you have Adobe Bridge you can batch your images this way in no time but if not, no worries: windows photo gallery let’s you add tags as well. Just don’t keyword stuff with unecessary words-you can be penalized by Google for that.
BATCH IT OUT
Last but not least: if you have a busy work schedule/home life, you may not be able to shoot your outfit posts every single day. This can be a little discouraging, but the easiest way to fix this is to shoot your posts in batches. I learned many years ago that an OOTD post doesn’t necessarily mean it was taken that day. Many top bloggers actually schedule their shoots out anywhere from 1-2 weeks before they go live (unless it’s for an event), so don’t feel like you can’t do it the same way. Whether you’re working on a trend report or a 30 day challenge, your ultimate goal is to showcase stylish outfits, so plan your looks out, find an opening in your schedule and get to shooting!
I hope some of these tips help you guys with your style posts. If you have any questions or want a little more detail about something, comment below or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re a style blogger located in Memphis and need images for your blog, I do have a special blogger rate for services, so you can contact me as well to discuss.
What’s your favorite thing about being a fashion/style blogger? What are other blogging tips you’d like to read about? Comment below!