Over the past 2 years of Fashion Slaves’ existence, the photography has grown from awkwardly posed pictures of my outfit taken against a door with a white bed sheet pinned to it, to prancing around the streets of London through rain, sun, and even one time, snow. But it’s never been a story of effortless photo-shoots resulting with Kate Moss-style images. I can't even begin to count the many photographic disasters, from rows with my photographer at the time (my Dad) to ripping a giant split all the way up the back of a skirt before daring skirt splits were even the look du jour. So here are my top tips for a successful blog photo shoot, all of them learnt by failing miserably and making many mistakes on the way.
Find a great photographer
Having a great photographer is paramount to looking like a mega street style babe. If you have an actual budget or happen to be a millionaire or something, then pay one. If you don’t, charm the ass of any photographer you can and work in collaboration with. Contact people studying photography degrees that might want the experience of working with a “highly esteemed fashion blog” (yes, package it just like that). If all else fails, get your boyfriend, mum, dad or sister to take the photographs, just anyone who loves you enough to take you yelling direction and photographing tips at them.
One of the most important things with a photographer is chemistry, trust, and patience. A photographer you have chemistry with will make you feel comfortable and bring out your best. I have bitch-face issues in my photos so I need someone to make me crack a smile on my miserable face from time to time so I actually look like an approachable human.
Confidence: Don't Feel Like a Dickhead
At least try not to feel like one. I know it’s hard when you’re posing outside of someone else's pastel house whilst the owners glare at you for being so super vain and narcissistic. The sooner you overcome this the better. I’ve had people stop and stare, photobomb me big time, and of course the little boy that said “Daddy, she’s not a model.” Correct observations child, but I have no time to bore you about the ins and outs of life as a fashion blogger, so excuse me whilst I continue to walk away from the camera and look back, swishing my hair, as if someone has just yelled “Sophie wait you forgot your Chloe handbag!”
Have The Right Kit
Charge your cameras! I wrote a LFW checklist post saying how important this is, and lo and behold day 1 of LFW I only went and showed up with just one bar of battery. Always bring a spare memory card with you in case you go overboard with the photographs too.
I try and shoot about 3 looks in one day to save the time and effort of actually getting changed out of my work-from-home uniform (aka, pyjamas) more than once a week. Do an online shop before or make sure you’ve spoken to brands and arranged delivery or pulled pieces a few days before your planned shoot so you have them all ready to go and you’re not waiting for the arrival of your postman (I guarantee he will be late.)
Location Location Location
An outfit can really come to life based on where it's snapped so find somewhere that works with the outfit. I try to go for a slightly gritty urban venue for more casual and streetwear looks (ooh, edgy). When I go for a more classically chic look I opt for the big white houses and beautiful streets around South West London. Chelsea and South Kensington are favourites, but are getting a little overdone now. Try be imaginative and explore different roads. Get a little lost and add more fun to the shoot.
Water and Snacks
Unless you’re doing pitstops in coffee shops and fancy spending a fortune on a limp, overpriced salad then take some food and drink with you. I have the kind of face that really shows my emotions so when you suffer from seriously bad cases of hanger (hunger-anger, for those unfamiliar) this is clearly a huge negative. How do supermodels do the whole not-eating thing and then look so great in their photographs? When I’m bitch-facing in a photograph, it’s not because I’m trying to do a blue steel look, it’s just because I’m hungry.
So you can control your photographer, outfits, and your hanger levels with a bit of mid-shoot refuelling, but the weather? Come on, it's the UK we're talking about. So for when the heavens crack open mid-shoot a giant umbrella should do the trick. Spring is notorious for brief on-off showers, so recently I've taken to sheltering under an umbrella for five minutes whilst the rain passes rather than wasting time dipping in and out of coffee shops or high street stores.
Happy shooting people!
Images via Tommy Ton, The Sartorialist, Designscene, and Pinterest.