September 14, 2016

7 steps for great outfit photo

Far from being a professional photographer, I nevertheless got much better in handling a camera since I joined the fashion. I'm particularly invested in outfit photos, to keep a nice memory of my dresses as well as to show friends what I like to wear. Here's seven basics to keep in mind while taking an oufit photo beginners could find useful.

1. Camera mode

Take a look at various settings of your camera. For a smartphone, its best to shoot using timer so you have time to move the phone and raise your gaze. Cameras tend to have time lapse mode where they automatically shoot a photo every x seconds. That is ideal because you aim, shoot first photo then go stand in front of camera and you can take pictures as long as you want to without having to go back behind the camera.

2. Camera settings

Look into camera's settings for these crucial options:

  • File size: the bigger the better, you can always make it smaller later.
  • ISO: Means chip sensitivity to light, but for our purposes its basically resolution. If your outfit shot is dark, high ISO will help, but the image will be grainy and there won't be details when you zoom your image. ISO set to Automatic is kept very high! Set a manual value (ISO 200 is good) and take outfit photos in good light for the best results

3. Light

Light is critical for good outfit photo. Lightbulb does not do, its not bright enough. Daylight is better. Light room with big windows on daytime is great, as it provides soft, bright enough light. Slightly cloudy day outside is the best. Generally, try to avoid

  • direct sunlight, it causes deep shadows on images
  • standing in front of window, it will make you become just dark                                  silhouette against the bright window
  • using flash, it makes face look oily beyond hope and the rest                                               of the picture is either too bright or in deep shadow

4. Camera position

The best height of camera for outfit photos is waist-high to chest-high. Put the camera farther away rather than closer, even if you have to zoom in slightly - it makes figure more flattering than closer photo. Lean slightly toward the camera in you want to emphasize your head, what is closer is bigger on the picture.

5. Clutter

Look at what else is going to be in the picture with you. Push the clutter away from the view, close the door. Untidy room can ruin the feel of otherwise nice picture! 

6. Pose

Practice your poses in front of a mirror. If you can turn the LCD of the camera to see it when shooting, do so, or you can install small mirror right behind to have a glimpse on your pose. Save picture of other lolitas nice poses to practice. Good pose looks easy, light and natural, but it may be slightly acrobatic feat of balance and angles. Here's an excellent guide on lolita poses I came across: Lolita Posing on Mintkismet's blog .

7. Adjusting the photo

There is a lot of apps available for finishing touches on smartphones. Some favorite among lolitas are: Decopic, Line camera, CunPic, PhotoWonder, or even filters of Instagram app. They usually allow cropping, adjusting brightness, contrast and color, beauty effect and different filters, and even  decorative frames and stamps. For a camera, you'll have to do finishing touches in computer (Photoshop, Gimp) or email the picture to your smartphone. I use Photoshop especially to remove disrupting items from background, Photoshop's Liquify tool is great as well.

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