Have you ever looked at a fashion blogger’s perfect photo and wondered “How do they do that?” Well, I’m about to tell you EXACTLY in a step by step fashion how you can produce your own blogger style photoshoot.
Over the last four years, I’ve produced most of my own photoshoots and even worked as a producer for the fashion section of a magazine. I’m really excited to share all of my tips and tricks so that you can create your own beautiful images to share on your social media platforms.
1. THE VISION
The first thing that I do every time I’m looking to produce a photoshoot is come up with a vision. For me a vision includes, the style of the clothing, the theme, the style of photography, and the overall mood. It is in this phase that I create a “mood board.” This board will become really important once you bring in the photographer and the makeup artist if you choose to.
Here is an example board that I’ve used recently:
Steps to make a mood board
Another option is just make a board on Pinterest.com and invite everyone on the team to be able to see and pin on the board.
Note: If you plan to hire a makeup artist / hairstylist I would make a separate board for them. I like to source images of models with hair and skin tone similar to mine so that I can communicate my vision to the artists as clearly as possible.
2. THE TEAM
Once you have your vision in mind, it’s time to find your team. You will need to collaborate with a photographer.
For photographers, I find all of my photographers on Instagram and Facebook. If you are a professional model: There is something in the business called TFP. Some photographers want to practice shooting for their professional gigs or they have new equipment they would like to test out. That’s where you come in.
You can find a facebook group that connects models (you), photographers, hair stylists, makeup artists, and stylists. You can simply just search for them in your area on Facebook. Please be respectful that not everyone wants to do TFP shoots. Some have prices that are very reasonable. If you are not a professional model, you should definitely pay the photographers.
Another way I like to find photographers to work with is on Instagram. I’ll search for photos that inspire me and see who shot them. I like to send out messages and words of praise to those photographers. Then, I set out a feeler to see if that person would be interested in working together. I’ve met a lot of really cool people this way.
The key is to find a photographer you really love working with and hopefully that leads to a friendship where you both can help each other create each other's visions mutually.
Makeup artists are a similar situation. You will likely have to pay your makeup artist, and I do recommend hiring one for your shoots. Pay close attention to what they do. I’ve learned so much from makeup artists and many of them have gone on to be my close friends after all the time I’ve spent in their chairs. You do have the option to do your hair and make up yourself and save some money.
3. THE LOOKS
YAY! This is one of my favorite parts! For any given photoshoot, you should have at least 3 “looks” planned out head to toe!
I’ve done everything from order clothes online, to partnering with brands to feature in the shoots, to going to boutiques and “borrowing” clothes, to thrifting, to repurposing, to everything I could possibly think of to get cool photos of my clothes. I’ve even gone to the mall and purchased a bunch of clothing and accessories and taken them all back after the shoot. All of that considered, 99% of the time, my shoots are of me wearing the clothes I wear everyday.
I like to lay out the “looks” on my bed and snap a photo of them. Pack your looks on hangers, put the jewelry for each look into a labeled baggie and secure it to the hanger with a safety pin. Put hats and other accessories in a larger bag and secure it to the look’s hanger. This way, when you’re shooting, your look will be ready and you won’t forget anything!
There is also the option of adding another person to your team and hiring a stylist who will then take care of this step for you!
4. THE LOCATION
The photographer is an integral part of choosing the location. The photographer is the one with the eye. The location is usually inspired by the vision board as well. Brainstorm with your photographer on where you can shoot that is a reasonable distance from both of you that still emulates the vibes you are working toward in your vision board.
If you are shooting outside in a public area: plan ahead for look changes. You can change in your car, in a public restroom, or invest in a changing tent. You can find the one I use here.
5. THE SHOOT
Be prepared. Be early. Be ready to go! Respect your photographer’s time. You should already have an idea of how you want to pose. If you’re a beginner and hired a photographer, ask them nicely to direct you. I suggest asking to see some of the looks in the camera to make sure you’re capturing things the way you want to while you’re still onsite with the photographer. The photographer can’t do anything for you once you all go home. The most important thing to remember is to have fun and let your personality shine through.
6. THE EDITS
I like to ask the photographer for the proofs to choose my own images for editing. If the photographer is cool with that, they’ll send a link and I’ll usually choose 5-10 images for edits.
If the photographer does not want to edit the photos for me, then I choose my images and send them to my retoucher. I always pay my retoucher. You can find retouchers on Facebook or Instagram. You can also use the Lightroom App or VSCO to do some fast fixes.
That's it! Now you're ready to post your beautiful photos! The outcome of this shoot is posted below.
** For this shoot, I posed for www.shutterspeednetwork.com which is an amzing online platform that will connect you to many photographers all at once. I highly suggest signing up for a shoot with them if you are new and want to get some good practice in!
Let me know in the comments what the most valueable take away was for you!
To be honest, I hesitate to write about the quarantine on this blog because the intention is for the blog to be evergreen. I want you guys to be able to come back here indefinitely and read about whatever you want and for the information to still be applicable to your lives. Posting about the quarantine felt strange because it felt like if we talk about it too much it won't go away. But the reality is that this is really difficult and really scary. I figured if I'm having a really hard time with it then other people are too, so let's open up the dialogue and talk about it.
We will get through this, though. If you're reading this from the future on the otherside, then hopefully these practices will help you navigate through your daily life in a way thats more kind to your mental health. My intention is to share the few things that have helped me in hopes that they will help you too.
A lot of what I’ll be talking about are mental health practices that I’ve implemented in my daily life in order to help improve my own mental health struggles. None of these things are considered treatment or alternative to talking to a mental health professional. So yeah, you know the deal #DISCLAIMER & please talk to your doctor.
Okay, let’s get into it.
The biggest shock of quarantine for a lot of people (it me) is the lack of structure. One of the easiest ways to regain a sense of stability is to implement a structure around your day. Schedule it out like you did when you had places to go. Here’s an example schedule:
9AM - 10AM: Morning pages, coffee, news/social media, stretching
10AM-11AM: Home workout
11AM-3PM: Work from home, writing, personal projects
4PM-5PM: Work from home
5PM-7:30PM: Video chat with family & friends, go for a walk, read a book.
8:30PM - 10PM: Movies, TV Shows, etc.
Morning pages are a free writing exercise I picked up from a little book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. To do it correctly you have to have at least THREE sheets of paper and a pen. You start writing and keep going until you fill up three pages. The key here is not to censor yourself! Just write. Write all the mumbo jumbo of an inner monologue that plays incessantly in your head. Put it on the page and see what you discover. Please don’t stop until you’ve reached three pages. It really takes a while to fully let go.
Meditation is scientifically proven to help improve quality of life. There are so many free guided meditations available online and through apps that you can easily find beginner guided meditations. We are in quarantine now, but once we are safe again, I highly recommend meditating in a temple or in a group. It's an amazing experience.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
There is no denying that this quarantine is really difficult on us mentally. So much changed so quickly and it is definitely worth acknowledging that things feel out of control. It is important that we focus on things that we can control. Therapy still has this negative stigma - something is wrong with us - but that’s not true. Therapy has helped millions of people and has worked wonders for many. Especially a new form of talk therapy - called CBT - cognitive behavioural therapy. A technique developed by Aaron Beck in the 1960’s that looks at how we interpret events to change our views and ways of thinking to get happier and better behaviours. I’ve recently started using an app called BLOOM that allows me to move through CBT exercises every morning in the app. It's very affordable, and even has some free features. You can set goals and track your moods over time. It is more than worth the small investment.
I hope some of these things help you feel better during your quarantine. If you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments section. I want to hear how everyone is doing during this difficult time, please let me know in the comments or feel free to send me an email via my contact form!
National Suicide Prevention Hotline
National Domestic Violence Hotline
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