The first time you shoot any photos with someone else is bloody scary. You probably have no idea what you’re doing, you feel really exposed and a bit like an idiot tbh. But it’s all good, it’s totally normal and your photos and poses will probably suck to begin with. Unless you’re really amazing and super confident already, which is a lot of people. But not me.
It took me a while to actually be confident in front of the camera, it’s totally out of my comfort zone and i really didn’t like it at first. I told myself i would never be a fashion blogger because i didn’t know what i was doing and that just wasn’t what i wanted. Turns out, that suits me better than any other kind of blogging. Except maybe lifestyle, because i really like rambling about my life.
I remember the first time i ever shot an outfit was in my back garden. I was sent some clothes by a company that wanted me to shoot some photos for them. Long story short, it was a huge scam and i had to actually pay for the clothes and promote a company with less followers than me. But it was the first opportunity i got as as a very new blogger, i jumped at the chance to have some brand work under my belt. The way i see it is, at least it got me in front of the camera. I was trying something new and different and although the photos weren’t AMAZING, it was the start of a long journey into creating fashion content.
After that, i started toying with shooting more fashion photos seeing as they proved so popular on instagram. This was back when i was part time in retail and had 2 days off a week – plenty of time to shoot some half-assed content with my instagram boyfriend. I really wish i’d used that time more wisely, because now i only have weekends free and can never shoot with Max in winter. Full time work kinda sucks, huh?
I’ve gathered a list of some of my top tips for finding your confidence in front of the camera – i’ve been blogging for over 2 years now and i’d like to think that i’m no stranger to being photographed. I try to shoot multiple outfits every single weekend and i’m extremely proud of how far i’ve come. I’ve shot with friends, family and photographers – all bases covered here!
Shoot with someone you know really well, your best friend or boyfriend.
I started off shooting with my little sister, which was pretty awkward but she likes being asked to use my camera so it’s alright. I don’t feel awkward getting all pose-y in front of her because we’re related and she’s gonna think i’m weird anyway.
If i don’t shoot with her, i shoot with my boyfriend, Max. We used to have a lot of free time together to shoot some content but nowadays, we’re both so busy that we don’t see each other during daylight hours.
The person i shoot with most is Louise – at first it was a little awkward because we didn’t really know each other, but the more time we spent shooting and eating together, the more comfortable we got. Now, we take the best photos of each other every single weekend. My insta feed is thriving thanks to her. We have a lot of the same “visions” for our photos so it’s always really, really easy to shoot with her.
Shooting with people you know really well will probably be the best thing if you’re just starting out with fashion content – pick someone who won’t judge you for experimenting a little and help you loosen up. Max will always crack a joke or tell me to do something stupid and make me laugh, so we get a lot of good candids. Louise and i will take about 700 photos of each other every weekend, knowing that at least 10 of them will make it to the ‘gram. The more comfortable you are with the person behind the camera, the more that’ll translate into your photos!
Don’t be afraid to be a little stupid. The best shots i get are when i’m dancing or laughing. Not so much when i’m doing my “i feel so awkward this is horrible” squat.
My favourite photos are the ‘outtakes’. The ones that aren’t conventionally pretty or like your ‘average blogger’, nice and posed. It’s pretty much guaranteed that at least once per shoot, i will get bored and start being really stupid. Sometimes i’ll squat or dance or just start jumping, because posing is a little tedious sometimes. We don’t want to scroll through endless perfectly posed outfit shots, i wanna see some personality and get to know the person behind the camera. So just go with what you feel like doing, even if what you feel like doing is lunging.
Pay no attention to the other people. They don’t care. You don’t care. When you stop caring, that’s when you come alive.
I get tunnel vision when i’m shooting – all i see is the camera and all i’m focusing on is what i’m doing and how i’m gonna look in the photos. At first, i refused to shoot in public places and would make Max stop if someone was coming. We’d go to the woods because it’s really quiet there and we’d never see anyone else. I remember having a huge crisis once because i was so bored of shooting in the woods, i wanted more variety but didn’t know how to find the confidence.
The trick is genuinely to just ignore them. They’ll be gone in a minute and so will you, when you’re done taking photos there. Someone laughed at me the other day for getting some photos taken but you genuinely just have to ignore it. You won’t remember it in a week!
I do still get a bit awkward, especially if someone is stood watching me have photos taken. Then i clam up a little and the photos all look really stiff and uncomfortable. There’s no finite way to make sure you never, ever care what other people think because it’s a trait engrained into most of us. The more you shoot in public places, the more comfortable you’ll feel and the less you’ll care about anyone else.
Practice practice practice. The more you do it, the better you get!
I used to find posing the hardest thing, i had no idea what to do with myself and it showed in the photos. The trick is genuinely to just take as many as possible and work out what looks good, where your good angles are and what you should never do again. I’m still learning how to make my nose look smaller and what angles to avoid unless i want to look like i have a beak – so it’s a constant learning process.
Don’t be afraid to try some poses that are a bit more “out there”, taking outfit photos should be fun and nobody wants a feed full of photos that all look the same. I’m pretty bad for always standing with my left side facing the camera, left hand on my hip or in my hair. It was all starting to look a bit same-y, so i take inspiration from other bloggers on instagram. Have a scroll through some of your favourite feeds before you shoot and get some inspiration for poses – they might work for you, they might not, but at least you tried something different!
Don’t stand still. Move around, move your arms, walk, dance, run, anything! If you’re stood still, it won’t feel natural and the photos won’t look natural.
This is probably the most helpful tip you could hear because it makes a huge difference. Photos can sometimes look a bit awkward and stiff, and that’s probably because you’re stood in the one position for a minute, unsure if the photo has been taken or not because you can’t hear the shutter.
Do some walking photos, sway from side to side, move your arms around. Basically, never let yourself stand still. There will obviously be a few ridiculous outtakes and some photos where you don’t even look human because your proportions are all out, but in-between those will be that gem you’ve had visions of for the past week.
Get a tripod and take some by yourself first. You can determine what poses look best and which ones to use again, making it an easier job when you’re out shooting with someone else.
When i was first getting started taking photos of myself, i would stick to the safety of my bedroom and use a tripod. With my Olympus Pen, i can use the remote control feature and use my phone to take the photos. It was really helpful being able to see what my camera was seeing; i could adjust myself to fit better or change my background if it didn’t look right. So much better than taking photos and having to change everything after.
It’s also a really good way to experiment without feeling stupid – if it’s just you in the room, there’s no-one there to judge you! I’ll also use my back garden if i need a change of scenery. I’m yet to take the tripod out in public because i feel like that’s a bit too much for me – even i have my limits with what i’ll do to get the shot. Tape boxes to my ceiling? Sure. Shoot by myself in public with a tripod? Not a chance in hell.
Being in front of the camera is pretty difficult, i gotta say. It takes a fair bit of confidence and you need to look like you know what you’re doing for the photos to come out all nice and instagram acceptable. It just takes a little bit of perseverance and help from those around you, and you’ll feel totally confident and fine when shooting photos.