Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ask LLYMLRS #4: Outfit Photographs

"If you have any questions you would like me to answer in detail, Please email me on LLYMLRS@googlemail.com, And I will try and answer it in as much depth as I can. Ask me about anything you want to know about, It could be art, fashion, beauty, blogging or anything you can think of! For quick/easy questions feel free to just ask me on Formspring!"

"Do you have any tips on how to take outfit photographs? Yours always come out so well, Do you use a self timer and a tripod or do you get someone to take them for you?"

good outfit photo
dress: mela loves london, cardigan: H&M, hat: H&M

Photographing outfits is something that really does take practice, effort and a little bit of time and patience. As you know by seeing my older looks, They aren't exactly amazing! And they are so different from the style I use now. Currently I do two portrait above the knee shots, and then 2-3 extra landscape shots to show detail, my accessories or just do a picture of my face. Im not saying this is the correct way to take your outfit pictures, But this is how I do mine, and it works for me. Alot of people opt to do full body shots, which also are great. But in my opinion as long as your reader can see CLEARLY see what you are wearing, Whats wrong with doing an above the knee shot?

example of a bad outfit photograph

First things first you need to think about your camera your going to be using to take your outfit images. I currently use a Canon 1000d but I used to use a FujiFinepix S1000 for months before. You dont need a good SLR to take a decent photograph with. You just need to understand HOW to take a good photograph. I recommend not using a flash as this can bounce off clothing and make them look harsh and weird! You need to make sure it has a decent amount of megapixels, I think 8-10MP are pretty standard when it comes to cameras nowadays. Its also worth learning a bit about cameras and the way they work before investing in more expensive ones. I did photography at college so I can easily work out how to use the cameras manual settings to my advantage. Always remember that automatic settings don't always mean they are the best settings!

outside vs inside images
credits: 1, 2, 3, 4

Location and lighting are very important factors in taking outfit photographs. I take my photographs in my bedroom, I used to take them in the spare room which was side lit. But since switching to my bedroom it means I'm away from my family so no one will be peeking in! And it means Im lit from the front, Which is much more flattering than being side lit! I try and take them in the mid afternoon when the sun is on my side of the house to give it some better lighting. Some bloggers opt to take their images outside, Personally I don't. But taking them inside or out is just about personal preference. Either work well! Under no circumstances take mirror outfit photos, They seriously don't look good, You can hardly see what your wearing and it really isn't that appealing is it? Would you like my blog as much if I took all my outfits like that? And you can see what I mean about the flash, It makes the image look weird and just isn't right!

my tripod

I use a tripod and a self timer to take my images, I take them myself because it means I can spend as long as I need trying to take my images! You could always get a friend, your parents or someone to take them for you, But in my experience I find it hard to get them to "get it right". I'm quite particular with the way the images are set out and how I take them. By using a tripod it means I can get it right in my own time! I use the built in self timer and continuous shooting mode to take about 10 images at a 2 second delay. This means I can get more images taken once I have initially set up the camera and got it into the style I like to have the images done in. I normally end up between 40-50 good shots too look through and decide which ones show off the outfit best. I got my tripod off my uncle, He said he had it lurking in his garage for ages. Its always a good idea before going out and buying one to ask around your family and friends and see if someone has one. They are the kind of things people tend to buy and forget about!

Working out how to take your pictures does take time. It may come easily to some, but it is hard to get it right. Somedays I take outfit pictures I hate and refuse to post them and then some other days I have loads of shots that look good. As you get more experienced you learn how to take them quickly and easily! I often get asked specific questions like "exactly how many meters do you have the tripod away from you" and "how high do you have a tripod" "what settings do you use?" again these are things you need to work out yourself! What works for me doesn't work for someone else! There are some great photography blogs out there which can help you, Reading the cameras manual will also help you understand it a bit more, and if worse comes to worse just google it! Google is the source of all knowledge!

I hope this helps people a little, I know its a bit blah saying work it out for yourself, But that's what you need to do! There isnt a simple formula, But once you do work it out you'll be able to keep going back to the same settings, environment and style with such ease!



  1. Thank you for sharing. You always look amazing in your photos. I plan to purchase that same exact camera. Thanks for giving out great pointers when it comes to taking photos.


  2. Hi Lily ! I'm Patricia, a spanish girl. I study english in school but i don't speak english very well. Your blog is fantastic for me, love this blog . I visit your blog everyday. Your looks are very nice , i love it! Your channel in Youtube is a good idea . I learn so much with you, thanks you for your advices :) I see you everyday :) A kiss and sorry, i don't write very well .

  3. love this post! i hate blog posts with bad outfit photos were you can't see the clothes at all. i think the lighting is so important in outfit photos, if mine are too dark i usually edit them slightly. do you have a remote or use the self timer on the camera? i love my remote!

  4. Superb post Lily! You definitely hit the nail on the head - practice makes perfect and there is no quick solution. People have to spend the time trying the settings out because their setup will be different to yours anyhow. Love how you are incorporating that H&M green cardigan into several different outfits!

  5. Some really useful tips there! I love your style by the way and even tried this fringe thing that you do with rolling it to the side haha


  6. My brothers just given me a tripod he found in a charity shop so I can start taking outfit photos. Thanks for the great post :) xxx

  7. Really interesting and informative post! Can I just say from experience with working in a photography shop you DO NOT NEED at 8-10mp camera for good photos of yourself. Anything above 5mp will be great. 8-10mp is really only necessary if you're blowing up your pictures really big, like poster size!! Saying that, most cameras have 8-10mp these days anyway but don't worry if your camera has a lot less. Great outfit too Lily, loving the spots and the heart brooch x

  8. jackie- its a very good camera and i do reccomend it!

    miss pat- your too sweet! bless you! thank you very much! your english is much better than my spanish! so well done!

    helen- yeah me too! its my pet peeve! your lighting is really good! i love your outfit posts as they are so consitant, in a very geeky move on my part i love looking at your whole album on flickr and think oohhhhhh pretty!

    sophia- i wear it all the time! im thinking of buying another as i wear it so much! green is the new black!

    katy- thats good! tripods are the kind of things people buy once and never use again! chairty shops are a good place to look for them!

    hannah- i agree, on my old camera i took them on 2MP and they came out fine! its not like i was gonna blow them up! I was just saying that most cameras nowadays are around 8-10MP! but what you said is very true and im going to add it to the post!

  9. Nice little post (: "Google is the source of all knowledge" SO true aha! I read this (http://heartifb.com/2010/07/30/how-to-take-your-own-outfit-photos/) a while ago which really helped me. I need a tripod so badly, I broke mine a few weeks ago! xxx

  10. This sounds pretty dumb but i didnt think of using a tripod so big thankyou! xx

  11. Great tips! :) xo


  12. Thanks for this.
    I'd been struggling a little... I just recently bought the newer version of your old camera (a FinePix S1730) and I completely adore it!

  13. such an informative post! thank you for giving useful tips and sharing how you take your outfit photos. It's so helpful. You always look amazing in your photos! I also would like to buy a Canon EOS 1000D, but I need to collect more money.
    P.S great outfit, love the hat (:

  14. I doubt I will ever be able to negotiate taking my own photos... but then again that would require me having a far more professional camera than my mini digital number. Very cute outfit. Polka dots are growing on me more and more. X


  15. omg super cute! love it. im so into polka dots too! come follow me xoxo

  16. I'm sure lots of people will find this post very helpful & informative, so well done!

    Love your dress - I was wearing a very similar looking one myself yesterday :)


  17. I love that dress so much. The way you take your pictures is one of the things I like about you blog. I really don't like mirror pictures and I had to stop doing it especially because I didn't like seeing it on other blogs. You make me so excited to study photography, I seem to have so much more to learn about my camera. I might have a read of my manual tomorrow. X

  18. Wow, thanks this post was really helpful, and your blog is my most favourite blog EVER! You post daily and your outfits are always amazing. I really like the way you take your pictures and I've always wanted to learn about photography and stuff so Yeah, I think I'll be reading my camera manual today :) Well maybe tomorrow because it's a bit late now. :L And I see what you mean about other people taking your picture for you, Sometimes I get my brother to do it and it just doesn't look the way I want it to.
    Anyway, thanks for the help :)

  19. Thanks for sharing the tips! :) I've been trying to figure out what I'm going to do when I go back to university with no one to take my photos for me, but I think I have a good idea, thanks.

  20. this was a great post! you made some very good points and cleared up a few questions i had myself :) thank you so much for sharing your tips, now i can't wait to start taking better pictures for my blog! :)

  21. I LOVE YOUR blog:)your hair is AMAZING!!!

  22. really good post, ill be back to this blog!
    and hopefully you'll come look at mine too :)


  23. Hey there! Great style and blog! I just love this outfit - it's SO cute <3

  24. Thanks for the tips! I'm terrible at taking outfit photos!


  25. i love how u mishmash a few styles of dress together, and dont just stick to a genre or a decade :)
    gotta' love a Brit ,

    http://dothingsbackwards.blogspot.com/ 7
    ^^ only just up and running, :)

  26. Im trying to decide which camera I want to buy, I can't believe the quality of your camera =) I've had a look on ebay, but I'm a little worried to buy on ebay as it's a lot of money incase it's a scam. Did you buy from a company on ebay or a private individual seller??
    I love your blog it's so original and your outfit posts have given me style ideas, so thank you sooo much =)

  27. thanks for the helpful tutorial. .

    you've gained a new follower :)

  28. thanks for that,
    as i was thinking in investing in a camera, love how you dress and the fact you dont wear seemingly expensive, primark and H&M, thankyou >>

    my blog,


  29. I hate mirror photos! So annoying! x

  30. Really nice post and I'm flattered that my picture is on your blog!

  31. This post is so helpful to new bloggers like myself. My image quality has definitely improved but this really does help as I didn't know that whole 'no flash' trick :)



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