Express ("Pink Ribbon".) / Jeans: Express / Sandals: Nordstrom (Similar) / Necklace: Old Navy / Bracelet: Express (Similar) / Watch: Fossil / Bag: Target (Similar) / Nails: Essie "Blanc"
First, I would never have gotten started with sharing outfit pictures on Instagram without the help of Carylee. She gave me lots of help behind the scenes before she could convince me to start my own account. And once I did, I encouraged her to share her helpful techniques in a blog post, which you can find here.
There are a few basic things I do with each picture
- Square Root: Set your camera to square before taking the picture. Otherwise the proportions of your body and outfit will look "off" even if you crop it to a square after the fact.
- Outward Bound: I'm lucky to live in a climate that allows for this, but outdoor lighting is always best so that's what I do now, rain or shine. I also try to find a spot completely shaded or out of the sun to avoid washing out some detail of my outfit or my fingernails. I ended up not sharing the outfit below because I thought I was out of the sun, but my fingernails and the glare on my necklace told a different story.
Top: Express / Necklace: Express / Pants: Express / Shoes: Target / Belt: Express (Current) / Watch: Fossil / Bracelets: Express + Nordstrom / Sunglasses: Firmoo
- What's the Hold Up?: I have to make fun of myself for all the cliché things I hold in my pictures now (flowers! coffee cup! sunglasses!), but as Janet said here, your free hand just needs something to do! Feel free to join me with #noshameinmypropgame and hold up whatever you have on hand (no pun intended). It just looks and feels more natural, even if it's overdone.
Hold the Phone:
Carylee and Janet have both done a great job of showing how to hold your phone to take a picture using the reverse facing camera and how it looks from a third-party perspective. In this picture, notice how Carylee is holding hers out to the side, which gives the side-view angle on her outfit in the final pic on the right:
And here's Janet holding her phone out in front at an angle, with the resulting front-facing angled view:
And a side-by-side of my early attempts at each of these angles, front view vs. side view:
J Crew Factory / Black Cami: Express / Chevron Necklace: Express / Shorts: J Crew Factory (Black & White) / Silver Tassel Necklace: Target / Pink Bag: Express (Similar) / Peep Toe Booties: Forever 21 (Similar) / Black Sandals: Sam Edelman
Unfortunately it's no exaggeration to say that it can take a few dozen attempts to get just one outfit picture where my necklace is hanging right, my shirt is tucked right, my pants don't have a weird bulge at the button area, etc. I took a screenshot of my camera roll after one afternoon of attempting an OOTD pic and this is how it looked:
There are always an embarrassing number of selfies on my phone, so I guard it carefully and live by this meme:
But it pays off to have as many options as possible, and all of those options above lead to the one picture I like enough to share:
Express / Jeans: Express (Similar) / Necklace: Express / Bag: Forever 21 / Watch: Fossil / Bracelet: Express / Shoes: Calvin Klein "Dolly" (Similar) / Nails: Essie "Blanc"
After selecting my best photo from the dozens I just took, I start editing to get my picture share-worthy. In the beginning I loved using all the different Instagram filters, but now (just like Tatiana said here) I try to achieve a more natural-but-enhanced look. (You know...like Bella after she became a vampire in Twilight!)
If you still want more on this subject, here are a few other links you might like:
- I'm a broken record here, but Carylee's post on how to take selfies is really comprehensive and has a great list of other helpful apps she uses for Instagram.
- This Song of Style video has some good visuals and tips, especially for other types of pictures (that I haven't even attempted) like food and accessories.
- Each of my past three Coffee Date/Spotlight guests shared more great tips on taking outfit pictures, so check out these posts with: @tatisbonilla, @janet.lowe and @teacherfashionista for more!
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