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How to Improve Your Blog + Instagram Photography

photography, blog photograpy, fashion photograpy, mixing metals, and other stories

photography, blog photograpy, fashion photograpy, mixing metals, and other stories

Skyscrapers. Traditional Brownstones. Posh coffee shops. Those famous shopping streets in every major city. They make great backdrops for outfit photos or that perfect brunch Instagram shot. You know what also makes for great photos & better stories? Your neighborhood. 

We get asked so much about the photography on the blog that I thought I’ll answer a few of the questions we get most. I want to preface this q + a by saying I believe photos should tell a story. This is why I prefer to make a plan before I shoot a new post. I write these down in the note section of my editorial calendar. If I need to do a more elaborate plan I use Evernote. The point being I want to know the purpose and narrative I want to convey. This makes it easier to pick a location, the right lens and what time of day to shoot. Which is why I love shooting right in my neighborhood most of the time because there are so many spots where I have a personal story or there’s a fun history that can tie into the post.

It’s all about finding a unique perspective that speaks to your brand and aligns with the message you’re trying to convey. It’ll make it easier for others to connect with you through your photos as well.

So before your next shoot take some time and craft a story.

Maybe that flower shop you’re shooting in front of is the same one who did your sweet sixteen and wedding flower arrangements. Create a story around that while showcasing your outfit.

If you live near beautiful mountains maybe try shooting some evening dresses there. The juxtaposition of the shot is going to be so stunning while giving you a unique perspective. It’s something say a blogger in NYC wouldn’t be able to do. It could be anything just find your own perspective that speaks to your brand. Then get creative.

I want to say I’m honored you all love the photography on the blog. It inspires us to keep improving. Now let’s get into these questions.


 

The Q +A

What do we use to edit the photos?

This is easy. Lightroom all the way. Sometimes I may pop a photo into photoshop if it needs a bit more retouching or I want to add a cool effect. Like the opaque border on the photo above.

I created presets for the blog and my Instagram which is the foundation of my editing process. Then I build on it from there. It makes it easy to keep all my photos on brand and cohesive. If this is something you need help with ask a photographer friend or you can check out, Dreamy Presets. She sells photography presets specifically for fashion bloggers.

How can I up my blog/Instagram photography?

I’m going to focus mostly on blog photography but if you want a part two all on Instagram/social media let us know.This is really personal preference. However, I’d say focus on lighting, composition, mood and the story. Finding good lighting is half the battle to taking better photos. My brother & I love shooting late in the day. About an hour or two before sunset, hence why the planning above is so crucial.

Really get creative with the composition of the photo. This is my favorite tip. Try taking photos from high angles, low angles, maybe play with how the light is reflecting off a surface. It will make your photos more visually appealing, show off the clothing better and give you photos that will work across all your social media. After we get shots for the blog my brother always snaps photos that will work great for Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. It takes a little bit longer but it makes for better content when you tailor your photos for each platform.

Lastly, think about what you want to convey and tell a story. Do you want your outfit to feel aspirational or attainable? Are you trying to teach your audience a few useful tips for styling bell sleeve tops? You can do this visually by shooting the outfit with multiple backgrounds, throughout different times in the day and your movement in front of the camera. For example, in this look, I knew I wanted to highlight how to mix metals/hardware finishes without them clashing. I communicated this to my brother and he prioritized highlighting the different metals in the blog photos.

What camera do you use?

We use a Nikon D3300 with a 35mm Nikkor lens mostly. I know a lot of bloggers use Canon but I just love Nikon. I remember being maybe 17 when my parents decided to get me my first camera. They said I could get whatever brand I wanted and me being me, I researched it. Well, I typed into Google “Best Cameras for Fashion Photography” and there was a camera by Nikon that was the number one used in the industry. I was sold and it’s been the only brand I ever used.

I want to end this Q+A by saying just keep switching things up, it’s the best way to grow.Try to stay with a consistent photographer because the more you work together, the better the chemistry and the better the photos. My brother has been taking my photos since 2014 he knows my best angles, how I like certain items shot and how to handle my perfectionist tendencies. We still bicker during shoots all the time but we always get the right shots. If you have more questions let us know and we’ll do more of these.

The color is what initially sold me on this sweater and how soft and non-scratchy the mohair wool is. I was itching to wear this sweater for so long. But we all know Fall has been late to the party so this gem stayed put in my closet. Which is unfortunate because now it’s no longer available but I do have my eye on a few other sweaters from this brand. If you’re on the hunt for more fall pieces you can shop my wishlist below.

 

Outfit Details

Jeans by Zara

Booties by Zara

Sweater by & Other Stories

Leather Jacket by Topshop

Bag by Danielle Nicole via Nordstrom

photography, blog photograpy, fashion photograpy, mixing metals, and other stories

Styling Tip ·When mixing metals or different finishes use accessories to balance it out and keep the overall look cohesive. I'm wearing a leather jacket that has chrome hardware and booties with gold finishes. So in choosing my accessories, I went for a bag with gold hardware and a couple rings in each finish. Lastly, I tucked in my sweater to show off the chrome hardware on my jeans. Choosing pieces with subtle hardware and evenly distributing the metals keeps them from clashing.

& Other Stories Sweater Wish List ( click to shop)

photography, blog photograpy, fashion photograpy, mixing metals, and other stories


Photos by Summers Photography

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