Tips for Taking Your Own Outfit Photos

For some ladies, they're lucky enough to have a friend, boyfriend, or husband who takes their daily outfit photos, but for the rest of us, we're stuck doing it ourselves with the help of a tripod, self-timer, and maybe a remote. I personally have never used a remote, since the beginning, I've always just used the self-timer, so I can't give any advice on using a remote. I've never liked the idea of having to hide the remote and it's already hard enough to "act natural" in front of a tripod, so I felt like adding in the hiding-the-remote factor would just complicate things further. I've been taking outfit photos with a tripod & self-timer for almost 4 years now, so I'll let you guys in on some tips and tricks I've learned over the years.

1. Use the auto and manual focus on your camera.


I get a lot of questions about how I get myself in focus when I'm using a self timer. Here's what I do: I autofocus on something at the distance I'll be standing (sometimes this is a tree, a garbage can, etc), and then once that focus is set, I switch the focus to manual, so the focus won't change when I click the shutter. If you don't put your focus on manual, the camera will autofocus to something in the distance and you'll be all blurry and out of focus. If you can't find something to focus on where you're taking photos, use a purse or something to set where you'll stand and focus on that.


2. Find places that are relatively unpopulated.


I don't know about you guys, but taking photos of yourself with a tripod & self-timer is kind of weird. Especially if you're trying to do it in a public place. I personally have found I have a really hard time taking photos that look natural if there are people watching me, or walking by. I get all stiff and the photos just don't look good. Try to find places that are vacant so you can feel free to be silly and do whatever photos you want, without feeling awkward. I do a lot of jumping and spinning type photos, and those are even weirder to try doing with people around!


3. Don't be afraid of rough terrain.


I've found that my favorite place to take outfit photos is the woods. Unfortunately, oftentimes the forest doesn't have a flat floor, but lucky for us, tripods have adjustable legs! If you find a great place to take photos in the woods, but the ground is uneven, just adjust the legs to make the camera level. I've taken lots of photos on some pretty steep hills, but because the legs adjust on my tripod, I can make it work!


4. Remember, you're working on a "school assignment".


I always have a phrase to use if someone comes up and asks me what the heck I'm doing. Mine is that I'm working on an assignment for a photography class (a self portrait assignment, maybe?). I find that it's easier than trying to explain the whole, "well, I'm a style blogger and I take photos of what I wear every day" thing. I figure that would just perplex most people and maybe make them ask me more questions when what I really want is for them to move along and let me take photos. Kind of silly, but it's nice to have an answer ready so you don't panic and start rambling on to a stranger about your odd behavior.


5. Take lots of photos.


The thing about using a self timer is that you can't always check after every photo to see if they're turning out well, or if the pose you're doing is a good one, like you'd be able to if you were behind the camera. The more photos you take, the more likely you are to have a few good ones to choose from for your post! My camera has a self-timer setting where it takes multiple shots once the timer goes off, so I like to set it to take 6 photos each time. This is especially helpful for taking in-motion shots, like jumping, walking, or spinning, because it catches a lot of shots of you in-motion and you can pick which one looks best. This is a lot easier than trying to catch yourself, say, jumping at the exact right moment with just one shot.


6. Know your best poses.


It's nice to know which poses you can do which usually yield good photos. Sure, sometimes it can get repetitive, but outfit photos in general can be relatively repetitive and it's nice to have poses you know well that result in photos you like. I like to always do some "normal" shots with your regular outfit poses, but then also try out some different things that may not result in good photos, but can be fun if they happen to turn out.


7. Don't forget detail shots.



Remember to get shots of the details of your outfits, like your shoes, some cute buttons on your dress, or fun jewelry you're wearing. I find that shots like this add variety to the images in my blog posts and are visually interesting.




8. Use Movement.


I love getting photos that capture movement because they show more of how your outfit reacts to motion. I like to see how fabric looks when it's in motion, as well as seeing how an outfit looks when a person is stationary. I think it's interesting that almost all fashion shows are done with the models walking, in motion. Seeing clothing move can be a lot more interesting than seeing it just sitting there motionless. Plus, clothes are designed to move with us, so it's nice to see it actually doing that!


9. Don't always look at the camera.


And not just in the pigeon-toed-look-at-my-feet blogger pose way. While I for sure take plenty of those kinds of photos, I also like to look off in the distance (corny, I know!), or turn my back to the camera. It adds variety to your photos, and also gives you a chance to show of different angles of your outfit!


10. Use interesting angles.


I'm not a big fan of seeing 10 outfit photos of someone standing in the same place with slight variations on the same pose. Granted, I'm guilty of it at times when I'm not feeling very creative or am being more lazy, but I love outfit photos that are visually interesting in addition to showing my outfit. One way to help your photos be more interesting is to use some different angles. This can be a bit more difficult if you're using a tripod, but the more you get comfortable using a tripod & self-timer, the better you get at making it work to get the angles and compositions you want!


Sometimes using a self-timer and tripod and be really frustrating, but don't give up! True story, I've gotten so mad trying to take photos that I've thrown my bike and screamed after trying to get shots of myself riding it (I think PMS may have contributed to that incident...). It can be hard to take outfit shots with just a tripod & self-timer, and there will for sure be times you wish you could just have a professional photographer boyfriend to take your outfit shots every day, but I love the independence that taking my own outfit photos has given me. I don't need to have someone around to do my photos, I can take my own! Whenever, wherever!

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