Take Better Outfit Photos

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[Originally posted by Jenna O. at Lookbook.nu]

We are all excited to start sharing our outfit photos on the ModCloth Style Exchange.

Keep reading for tips to keep your photos looking sharp.

Camera

We here at the Blog have been using a Canon Powershot for our daily outfit photos, however most digital point-and-shoots or dSLRs will do the trick. Make sure to have your manual handy because you will need to know how to change a few settings (turning off your flash, setting the white balance and self-timer).

Lighting

[Originally posted by Brook at lookbook.nu this is a great example of soft natural light from a window]

Please Please Please turn off your on-camera flash; this type of lighting is flat, unflattering, and washes out the color and detail of your fabrics. By turning it off, you also avoid bright distracting spots on the wall behind you and that annoying glare when you take your photo through a mirror. Instead, find a well-lit room; the best results are going to come from natural light, but it is possible to get decent results with artificial lights– just be sure to change your white balance appropriately. Some great places for natural light are near large windows or screen doors; you can even open up your garage door and take a photo right inside. The goal is to find soft, even, natural light (think of the lighting on an overcast day), not bright harsh light.  Pay attention to the light coming into your rooms at different times during the day. I find that in the early morning, the light in my kitchen is perfect, but by noon it is too bright and contrast-y.

Self Timer/Tripod

To avoid blurry photos when taking a picture using natural light indoors, you will probably have to use some sort of tripod (there are some inexpensive mini tripods available on eBay for under $10), but you don’t have to purchase anything.  Pile up a bunch of books, or stack some boxes and place your camera vertically on top of them at about waist-height. Unless you have a remote to operate your camera from afar, just set your self-timer.

Backdrop

After you have all of the technical stuff down, start to think about where you want to take your photos. If you have found an area where the light is fantastic, but the background is blah, think of creative ways to improve on it. To start, you may want to stand in front of an open front door, where the light coming in from outside is perfect and the door will be a simple non-distracting backdrop. If you are going to try the garage door method, you may have to be a little more creative. At least move some boxes and shovels out of the frame. Be creative here; think of it as branding yourself.

Posing

[Originally posted by Nano W. at getnanoismed]

Posing can be intimidating for anyone posting their photo online. Follow these steps for better results:

· Listen to music.This will help  you relax and not take yourself too seriously.
· Don’t look at the camera. I tend to not look directly at the lens when taking my own outfit photos, because I always end up making some type of goofy “camera” face when I do. By not looking at the lens, you can concentrate on your overall look and not worry about your facial expression.
· Place a mirror behind the camera. You can see if you need to change something before the shutter snaps.
· Keep on snapping. Even if you are too shy to post your images online, keep taking them for yourself – 20 years from now you will be ecstatic to have these images in your personal time capsule. If you do end up posting your images online, you will find the comments that you start getting to be super-motivating.

Outdoor Photos

[Image above: Tai W. ducked under the cover of a porch for his outfit photo, originally posted at lookbook.nu]

If you are lucky enough to live somewhere the weather is above freezing, go outside. Look for areas where the light is soft and even; overcast days are perfect, but if the sun is out, you can wait for it to go behind a cloud or find an area of open shade. When a sunny day is your only option, go out in the early morning or in the evening, when the light is coming from the side and not directly over you. (This will help you avoid deep shadows under your eyes.) You can even duck under the cover of a porch, forcing the sunlight to hit you from the side.

[Image above:Shin K perfectly hides from the bright sunlight by stepping into the shade, originally posted at lookbook.nu]

If you aren’t a Photoshop pro, you can bump up your exposures, adjust colors, retouch, resize and upload your images directly to Flickr and Facebook using Picnik, a free online program that works within your browser. We can’t wait to see you at the ModCloth Style Exchange!

9 Responses to Take Better Outfit Photos

  1. Nadia 01/31/2009 at 10:20 pm #

    thank you!..that was pretty helpful :)

  2. lucie béluga 02/02/2009 at 3:45 am #

    Thank you so much I know I haven’t been participating a lot on the flickr group but being French it’s kinda difficult for me to follow such technical assignments as the first one… I’ll try it but I need more time, still these tips above are going to be really useful, I have now a lot of modcloth stuff that I need to show to the world!

  3. Ang 02/03/2009 at 1:03 pm #

    this is so vintage and adorable! i love this!!!:)))

  4. Jenny 02/09/2009 at 12:40 pm #

    Thank you for the tips!!!!

  5. Haylee 11/19/2010 at 11:01 pm #

    This was really really helpful. Thanks so much!!

  6. Sunita 12/01/2010 at 7:55 pm #

    Thanks for the advice!

  7. JayMarie 12/07/2010 at 1:05 am #

    Thanks for the advice. I posted this link in the ‘Lovely Links’ article my blog! Thanks!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    [...] but not least, as Dani recommends in her Take Better Outfit Photos post, Susan was creative when selecting her background. The plain backdrop does not compete with [...]

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    [...] tips on how to take better outfit photos, check out Dani’s Photo School. You can also view our previous Outfit of the Week blog posts for [...]

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