I hope your week is going well 🙂 There was such a great response to my Blogging Q + A post from last week and quite a few of you reached out asking even more specific questions (especially requesting more details about schedule and how I plan photoshoots) so today I thought I’d share my secrets for a successful fashion blogger photoshoot!
Eliza J Floral Dress c/o | Pink Bow Heels (old – love these!) | Kate Spade Bow Handbag (old – love this!) | BaubleBar Necklace c/o (old – love this!) | Kate Spade Cuff (old – similar here) | Rocksbox Ring | Karity Lipstick
First things first… I just have to tell you all how much I LOVE this dress! I’m an Eliza J girl through and through and this dress completely stole my heart. You know it’s a new fave when your husband asks how many times you’re going to wear it (in fact, I’m wearing it as I type this haha!)! But I can’t help it – I just loveee the navy floral print with the sheer polka dot pattern and the ruffles are incredibly dreamy! Plus it matches my wallet haha! I guess I just have a thing for navy florals 😉
Anyway…I was surprised that so many of you reached out asking about my photoshoot process! I’ve never really talked about it before but I’m super excited to share!
Organize my Clothing Rack
The first thing I do is pick out clothing. Sometimes these are items that I’m sent to shoot and other times, it’s outfits that I’ve worn that week. For the items that I’m sent, I put them on a separate rack in my office. I place them on the rack in the order that are received and adjust accordingly if there are any pressing deadlines. I’ve found that having them on a small rack that I see everyday not only keeps me more organized and top of mind, but also allows me to imagine what they would look like with each other or other items in my wardrobe. When I find other items to pair them with (ie. a skirt with a top I was sent), I’ll group them together. I try to do this throughout the week when I have extra time so when it comes time to shoot, I already have an outfit in mind.
Plan my Outfit
Once I have my clothing picked out, I spend time accessorizing it in different ways until I find one that I like. I will either do this throughout the week when I have time or the day before the shoot. For outfits that I’ve worn throughout the week, I’ll usually just style it as is or make some minor adjustments in accessories if needed. If I’m having a hard time narrowing down accessories (which is pretty often), then I’ll model them for my husband so he can help me narrow down and decide on which accessories work best. I like having his critical eye and he likes to help out 😉 Once I have my outfits ready, I group them together – clothing, handbag, shoes, jewelry, etc.
Plan the Shoot
Once I know which outfits I am going to shoot, I start brainstorming locations. In my town, we are VERY limited on locations that fit my aesthetic so while it makes it easier to decide, it can become a bit repetitive. For this reason, I am always scouting for new locations when I drive around for my other job. I have a running list of places that *might* work and when we have free time, we do a test shoot. We usually stick to the locations that we already know will work with the outfit AND with the lighting conditions, but if we have time, we will experiment with different locations. Also, the location(s) we decide on will determine if we will shoot in the morning or the evening just because they are either west-facing or east-facing.
The day before a shoot, I double check all of my outfits to ensure I have them grouped with the correct accessories. If I feel the need to change anything, I do this at that time as well. If anything needs to be steamed, I will do this and drape it over the box instead of folding it. All of my jewelry is placed in a portable organizer so it’s easily accessible and won’t tangle up. I charge the camera battery, delete previous photos and make sure the settings are correct for the following day. This is also the time when I give myself a manicure and pedicure. I try to find a color that will look good with all of my outfit choices so you can usually find me wearing some hue of pink or or a light neutral nail polish. If I have time, I’ll prep my skin with a DIY spa treatment 😉 I’ll also throw a water bottle or two in my clothing box so I don’t forget on my way out.
The majority of the time we shoot early Sunday mornings. I usually get up around 6am or earlier to take a shower, apply my make up and curl my hair. We try to leave by 7:30am or earlier because a.) it’s still over 100 degrees here and b.) any later gives us a very small window for good lighting. If we’re shooting in the evening, we try to leave by 5pm or a bit later.
We shoot one of two ways:
1.) We shoot the outfit that I’m already wearing for that day.
2.) We shoot a group of outfits at one time.
I get asked nearly every single who shoots my photos and it’s…my husband! Since we both work full time and he works normal work hours while I work in the evenings, it’s difficult for us to shoot each day during the week. He leaves around sunrise and I get home around sunset so it’s nearly impossible for our schedules to align. Because of this, scheduling weekend shoots has really been the only option. We try to shoot every other weekend, but if I have strict deadlines to meet then we shoot every weekend until those deadlines are met.
We typically shoot 4 outfits in one sitting and up to 6 in a day if we are doing both a morning and evening shoot. I have a box that I store all of my outfits in and since they are already grouped together, it’s much easier to style. Using a box is so much easier than taking hangers full of clothing because it’s portable and much less of a hassle. I change in my car and we have four blankets that we use to block out all the windows plus my husband stands guard to keep an eye out for creepers haha! It takes me less than 5 minutes to completely change my outfit, re-accessorize, reapply/change lipstick and change up hair if needed.
We used to take foreverrrr with photoshoots, but now I keep myself on a timer and I try not to look at the photos because I find that when I do, I tend to criticize myself and spend more time trying to get that “perfect shot.” We usually knock out each outfit in 15 minutes or less (full body, portrait and detail shots). If I have multiple campaigns, we’ll spend a bit more time getting various shots so I have plenty to choose from when editing. Depending on the type of things we need to shoot, we can usually get 4 outfits done in an hour to an hour and a half.
Afterwards, we normally head to Starbucks for breakfast and I usually continue wearing the last outfit we shot throughout the day 🙂
So the cat’s out of the bag and you know all my fashion blogger photoshoot secrets! I’m hoping that one day we’ll be able to just shoot each outfit everyday and not have to group them together but for now, it works! For more in-depth and conceptional photoshoots (not my daily outfits), I do quite a bit more work and research so I’ll save that for a different post 😉
Do you have anymore questions?
Let me know in a comment below!
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