When I first started blogging, I didn’t think too much about my photography. I had a simple point and shoot camera and would ask my co-workers to snap photos of me during our lunch break to capture my daily outfits. On the weekends, my friends would take over. And when I was in a real bind, I’d set my camera up on a tripod and use a self-timer (I remember many embarrassing moments as strangers walked by!). Times have obviously changed. Nowadays, the images you capture are just as important as the content you create.
I’ve often struggled with dealing with the photography aspect of my blog. So I wanted to share my experiences with you in today’s Sydne Style Real Talk column. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject, too. And if you have any questions you want me to cover in upcoming weeks just let me know!
Hiring a Photographer
Unlike many bloggers, I’ve never had an “Instagram Husband.” While my boyfriend often helps me with the business of my brand, I only rely on him for the creative photography portion when we’re traveling together. The best decision I made was hiring a photographer to shoot my outfit photos. At first I didn’t want to spend the money. But hiring someone means you’re allowed to be picky. They don’t complain when you ask them to reshoot a look because your top wasn’t tucked in correctly. They don’t whine when you decide you’d rather shoot in front of a white wall instead of a gray wall, only to return to the original white wall. It’s their job to photograph you. And since their name is attached to the work, they do an incredible job doing so.
One lesson I learned while working with different photographers, is you need to connect with that person. I tried out a few in LA and while I admire each and every one of them, I just clicked with Jodee. For the past couple of years, she’s shot the majority of my photos when I’m home. We shoot 3-4 looks per week and always chat the day before to figure out locations. In New York, I always work with Falcon. We have so much fun together and I feel like she just gets me. It’s amazing how different your photos turn out when you feel at ease.
Another pro to hiring photographers? It saves so much time with editing. All I do is pick my favorites, and crop them to my blog sizes. Paying that extra amount is worth each and every penny.
Figuring out Your Photography Style
When I started shooting with Jodee, we worked together to find the style I wanted for my photos. My personal style is feminine, polished and sophisticated. So I wanted my pictures to reflect that. I like for my photography to be clean, visually interesting but still accessible. While I adore the moody shots some bloggers take playing with shadows or the highly saturated images I see on other sites, I try to stick with what works for me. I didn’t realize until recently how much of a difference it can make with your overall brand.
Blogging While Traveling
This is a tough one. If you have an “Instagram Husband” like many of my friends, you get to travel the world with him as he snaps photos of your outfits in gorgeous locations. If you don’t, you have to figure out a different solution. I have two that I’ve come up with:
- Reach out to photographers before you travel.
When I was visiting Australia, I didn’t want to rely on my boyfriend to take shots of me for my entire Sydne in Sydney series. So I looked up bloggers in the city and reached out to them to ask them about the photographers they use. Most girls were incredibly nice and helpful and I ended up finding two photographers to work out there. There’s also a site called Flytographer that I’ve used, who has a roster of photographers around the world.
- Invest in a good but easy-to-use camera.
I finally took this advice over the holidays and bought myself a real camera. I told myself I’d take photography lessons, which has yet to happen. But when you’re traveling, usually the scenery is so pretty that shooting in automatic works just fine. My mom captured some stunning images for me in Hawaii while my friends did a great job during beach vacations.
What Camera I Use
I use a Nikon D3200 with a 50mm lens (I heard the updated D3300 version is amazing). I really do not know anything about photography but I looked on different blogs that I knew didn’t use professional photographers and found a lot of the girls used this camera. I’m very happy with it and have been shooting in automatic up until my Miami vacation. My friend shot for me in manual and I love how they turned out so I’m going to take her to drinks for lessons soon.
I also wanted to share an article I read on Fashionista, “The Business of Being a Fashion Blogger’s Photographer.” I found it very interesting. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject!
- Do you work with a professional photographer? What have you learned from the process?
- Any tips on photography while traveling?
- Do you know of any good photography classes online to get started?
Photo by Jodee Debes
I hope you guys are enjoying my new Sunday column and I can’t wait to chat with you about all these topics!