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!