03.01.13

HOW TO RUN A BLOG OUTTA YOUR CAR / 2

today we tackle the topic of style shoots in our “how to run a blog outta your car” series. i started blogging about things i liked to wear casually, and it went from the simplest snapshots of me in outfits taken by friends (here’s my very first one!) to fully planned, styled and executed shoots. it’s been really fun getting to be more creative with it. i’ve done everything from creepy (this stanley kubrick inspired post) to ethereal (remember the underwater one?) and i’ve recently started to work with brands on some concepts as well (like jumping with lucky magazine or dream jobs with benefit!)

here are a few important things i’ve learned about shooting style posts:

• lighting is everything. this is true for every kind of post, like i mentioned last week. this is especially important when shooting people. i’m a big fan of the magic hour, just before sunset. you are going to get some nice flare action! see…

you don’t want the sun to be too hot – the subject would just be squinting the whole time. so i just avoid mid-day. for this shoot we woke up at 4 something in the morning to drive to the beach for the soft light. i like to shoot on days that are a little overcast. these two were both shot by a giant window in my loft on a rainy day…(this is also the best light for your skin!) angela, my friend and blogshop partner has shot countless style posts for me, and she gives the following advice: “finding a white wall that can be behind the photographer as they’re shooting creates a natural bounce from the sun that will often add light to the eyes and help clean up and perfect the face. you can also use a piece of white foam core to catch a bounce of fill-light. they make pieces with black on one side and white on the other. play with using light on the subject and see the difference it can make.”

• bring a lotta options. different color tights, different shoes, backups and extras. take a couple test shots to see what translates well on camera and what doesn’t. adjust accordingly. you don’t want to rely on post editing, especially if photoshop isn’t your forte. (let blogshop help you there) you want the shots to be as close to postable as they can be to save yourself work.

• practice different poses, but try not to go too posey-posey with it. by this i just mean learn what feels natural and comfortable to you, and what is the most flattering to your outfit. i’ve also learned to loosen up and embrace movement in my posts the most. cartwheels, handstands and jumping on trampolines have all happened in my posts. you might feel silly doing it, but a lot of the times those make the most memorable shots. i like to make it easy on the photographer and just move around a lot, give them a ton of options.

i find it easier to try to interact with my environment as much as possible. for instance, above…i could have just sat and posed on the diving board (awkward), but i thought it would be interesting to interact with the pool. again, seems silly…but it works.

• make a pinboard (you can make it private and share it with your photographer) i definitely do this if i am putting a lot of time or $ into a shoot. pin the hair and makeup looks you are going for. pin poses that inspire you. pin the photography style you are envisioning (is it a dark, grainy film look or bright and colorful?) help your team know what’s inside your brain. stretch your art director muscles! it’s good for ya.

• scout locations! this is something i should do more often. last year i drove around my town with a notebook and wrote down a bunch of streets that had colorful walls, interesting architecture…anything i thought would look great in a style shoot. sometimes all you need is a blank room though! so don’t think it always needs to be a big ordeal…to find great locations you just have to open your eyes and look around your neighborhood. go on a walk and snap iphone photos of possible places.

• a word on photographers and equipment too. these days you really can get away with a lot on your iphone, but there is something to be said about a great photographer. if you have any friends who are into photography, just plan a day to play around and get some great shots for both of your portfolios.

• it pays to study photography you like, too. what is it about the photo that draws you in? the lighting? the angles? one thing that makes the entire post more interesting is capturing different parts of the same look. details, details details. it’s important to get close ups of the accessories and interesting seams, patterns and buttons. try shooting from above, behind or below to get different effects. shoot through something. just experiment. says angela, “when shooting full-length shots, having the photographer shoot from waist-level will make the subject appear taller in the clothes.”

• and lastly, is there a concept? my style shoots went from “street style” to more conceptual over the past year. my goal was to make them more on the editorial side. throughout the process i have found that my main passion is art direction. i love seeing an idea come to life. yes, these take a lot more work. you have to find the perfect outfit – sometimes i rent them. like this dress for the shining i knew i was only going to wear that one time. figure out if there is going to be props – this one needed cocktail glasses, jewelry, and tulle. but i am telling you, these are very rewarding, so give them a try!

actually you should watch this video if you wanna see behind the scenes on our shoots!

do you have any tips on how you make your style shoots run smoothly? i’m sure you’ve got a couple up your sleeve…and hopefully you find these tips helpful!

(shoes & bracelet photo by: kimberly genevieve, all the others are from the style column! also, see the last post from “how to run a blog outta your car” right over here.)

41 COMMENTS

Add your own

    rachael says:

    i always enjoy your style shoots so much. i can really see what you mean about the magic hour — i always worry about having enough light, but in this case it’s most about having the light create a mood in your picture. 🙂

    Thank you for these tips! I just sent them to my husband, who takes my photos for me. My outfit photos are more ‘daily style,’ so we don’t really set up elaborate shoots, but the window light and interacting with environment tips really resonated with me!

    🙂 Sarah

    Ces says:

    This makes learning about blog photography much easier with the visuals. Thanks so much!

    Abbey says:

    You are seriously my hero. I love the editorial aspect of style shoots, but my problem is I feel silly asking friends who are photographers to go out and shoot with me. What are your tips and suggestions for reaching out to people to collaborate (for fun and professionally)? I am just such a wuss! Would love to step my game up artistically on my blog though and you are such a huge inspiration! Love everything about your aesthetic. Will you please start your own magazine someday? 😉

    such great tips bri. i love your style photos, and smiled because even your first was just fabulous 🙂

    This is an awesome post. Super helpful for photographers too – I’m definitely going to forward it along to clients! Thanks Bri!

    Kimber says:

    One of my learned tricks is to always allow more time than you think. If say, you’re just starting out with styled shoots- double the time you think it will take. Let your team know to allow for that time and you can all feel well accomplished if it is done sooner. The worst is telling people you’ll be done at a certain time and running an hour over! Also, ask people if they are willing to help or loan items because getting props can be hard. Bri gave me the advice that people are usually willing to help if you ask. It is SO true. And be willing to say, “hey, cupcakes are on me!” Everyone loves a something sweet in return. Simple things go a long ways.

    Brittney says:

    Awesome tips, Bri! I’ve loved watching your style posts evolve over time. Props are a VERY big deal for style shoots! Last fall, our magazine did our fashion section at the county fair, and we had everything from cotton candy to actual horses in our pics. I’m working on the spring fashion photo ideas right now, so this came at a great time! Another tip: Always have a backup in case of rain or wacko weather!

    So helpful – love this – thank you!

    super helpful and great timing! xoxoxo

    Mina says:

    Thanks for the tips! Can’t wait to try some of these out. : )

    alicia says:

    Thanks for making this post in so much detail! It’s really helpful. I do quite a bit of photography myself but all these little tips are great reminders. I think it’s also super helpful for bloggers who are not familiar with photography. It’s crazy how BIG of a difference little tips like these can make, like you said, it’s all in the details!!

    You are such an inspiration – thank you for sharing your tips and not keeping them all to yourself! Lighting is everything, for sure! I am trying to learn more and more about what times of day are good to shoot in, which is really hard when you work a 9-6 job!

    xx Ashleigh
    http://www.ashflynn.blogspot.com

    Erica says:

    I’m so glad you posted about this. I’m just starting to get my blog up and running and definitely plan on some style posts. You are so fabulous and I am ever so jealous of your pretty mermaid hair.

    Chloe G. says:

    This was a great post, these tips will really come in handy!
    xox
    Chloe

    Sarolta says:

    Thank you for sharing! I’m thinking about starting style shoots so these tipps come in veeery handy.

    Elle Ramirez says:

    This is such a helpful post I’m still trying to figure out what poses, lightening, etc are best when I capture my cooking adventures on my blog. Thanks Bri! – Elle from http://EnglishbELLE.blogpsot.com

    Ali Mackin says:

    Once again a GREAT post and full of helpful and inspiring information. One tip I do have and I can not recall for the life of me where I read this. But if you are shooting items/products you can use a roll of white paper towels to bounce light. I applaud you for having the drive and follow through to make these shoots come to life. Your passion is to be an art director and as you probably know, these jobs and especially when in comes to fashion editorials are EXTREMELY hard to get. So you went out and created this for your self. You did not wait for it come to you, or wait for it to be given to you. Bravo! This should be an inspiration to all that seek to create and authentic life.

    Ali of

    http://www.dressingken.com

    Latrina says:

    I’m really enjoying this blog column, Bri! So informative — I’ve always been curious to how your work process is. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this!

    Ceranna says:

    This is so inspiring for me as photographer (and occasional outfit-photographer of my fried). Thank you!

    jamie says:

    wow… i love this! i’m going to have to go back and read the whole series, as I’m about to hop into a car, and move across the country! what a perfect thing to stumble upon at this time in my life.

    thank you for sharing your experiences, and tips!

    jamie
    inconsistency rang the horse

    Shirsha says:

    I don’t even write about fashion on my blog but your style posts really make me wanna try out some fashion shots… With these tips, I might actually get around to taking some shots just for fun! 🙂

    Jane says:

    You are so on top of it! Not only are these tips great, but the way you presented them is visually appealing in and of itself.

    Best,
    Jane

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