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keiralennox.com and related social media accounts may contain advertising and affiliate marketing links from ShopStyle; I earn a small commission for clicks and/or purchases of linked items. keiralennox.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Any gifts or services that brands/companies send to be featured on this blog are clearly disclosed as “Courtesy Of” or “c/o” in each applicable post. All views and opinions are my own, and if I wouldn’t use/purchase a product or service myself, I won’t feature it on the blog. Because friends tell each other the truth. Cool?

How I Take My Own Outfit Photos With My Smartphone

09/27/2016 32 Comments
How I Take My Own Outfit Photos With My Smartphone | keiralennox.com

How I Take My Own Outfit Photos With My Smartphone

09/27/2016 32 Comments

For the first several years of my style blog, my husband took all my photos. We worked together in our flower shop, in a downtown historic district with lots of great places to shoot, so it was easy to pop out for 5-10 minutes each day to snap photos of my outfits with our Canon Rebel DSLR camera. I imported all the photos to my Macbook, picked my favorites in iPhoto, edited them in Photoshop, and uploaded them to WordPress for every outfit post.

When C started a new full-time job in 2013 and I took on all the daily operations of our small business, I had to get creative to keep the the blog going with much less time and no in-house photographer. Through some trial and error, I figured out how to take my own decent outfit photos with my iPhone and two affordable accessories:

  • A portable camera tripod with a smartphone mount. (Because propping your phone against a ledge just isn’t ideal.) I started with a JOBY Gorillapod Flexible Tripod but found that an inexpensive extendable aluminum tripod is more convenient and easier to use on-the-go. I bought an aluminum camera tripod with a universal smartphone mount for $15.59 from Amazon and use it all the time; I keep it folded in my car so I always have it on hand when I want to do an OOTD post.
  • A bluetooth camera shutter remote. This small handheld device is a game changer if you want to take your own outfit photos: it connects to your phone’s camera shutter via bluetooth, and snaps a photo at the push of a button. I like the Muku Shuttr – Selfie Remote / Camera Shutter: it works at up to 30 feet from your phone, fits nicely in the palm of your hand, and feels more durable than cheaper models I tried (and broke).

1. The Setup

The best photos are taken in natural light, so I try to squeeze in time to take outfit photos in the morning or in that lovely “golden hour” after work. I avoid shooting in places with harsh direct sunlight; shade helps minimize unflattering shadows and blown-out/unfocused shots.

Standing in front of a tripod and snapping photos of yourself can feel all kinds of awkward, so I have a few go-to quiet places near the shop where I can spend a few uninterrupted minutes moving around and snapping lots of photos. If I feel rushed or uncomfortable, it’s all over my face in photos; which is why sometimes I just post a headless shot and call it a day.

I like to use big neutral/light-colored walls as backgrounds. I set up my phone on the tripod about 8-10 feet away from my background, open the camera app, and think about what kind of composition I want so I know where to put myself in front the camera.

image

Tip: spend some time looking through style photos on Pinterest for composition and posing inspiration, and turn on the grid in your camera settings for extra composition help.

For full-length shots when I’m farthest away from the camera, I find a focal point — like a spot on a wall or a mark on the ground — and press and hold that spot on the screen until the focus square flickers and the “AE/AF lock” indicator appears. (This tells the camera where to focus and how much light to let in the lens so my photos are always sharp and focused with consistent lighting.)

I stand in front of that focal point and shoot, shoot, shoot while slowly shifting positions. If I hear a delay in the shutter release when I click the remote, I know I’m probably out of focus; I take a second to check things out before I keep snapping and adjust as necessary. For detail shots, I skip the AE/AF step, stand closer to the tripod, and center myself in front of the lens as I shoot. I’m not too worried about the perfect composition for these shots, because I can tweak it in the editing stage with some strategic cropping.

Tip: Don’t give in to the temptation to use the front-facing (or “selfie”) camera to see what you’re doing; it has a lower resolution and the small lens causes lots of distortion. You’ll get higher-quality shots with the back lens. With some practice, you’ll get comfortable with your favorite compositions and poses and you can knock out an outfit photo shoot in 5 minutes or less.

2. The Selection

I like to take a lot of photos in a short amount of time so I have plenty of options for a post. When I finish shooting, I quickly scroll through the photos in my camera roll, delete the terrible ones — about 75% of everything I shot — and mark the best poses/angles as favorites. When I get to the end, I go back through the favorites and narrow them down to the best 4-5 shots to use in a blog post. I delete all the leftovers from my camera roll; it saves on storage space and makes it easy to find and open the “chosen” photos in other apps.

3. The Edit

My current favorite photo editing apps for blog photos are PicTapGo and A Color Story. Both apps let you build and save custom “recipes” with your favorite photo tweaks, color adjustments and filters, which helps you create a cohesive look for all your blog (and Instagram) photos. Once your recipes are set, you can apply them to your photos with one tap for quick editing, which is a huge time-saver.

The left photo is unedited straight from my camera roll, and the right photo was lightened and brightened with one of my saved presets in A Color Story. I apply the same preset on every photo for the post and, fini!

 

Now that I’m used to on-the-go DIY photography for the style portion of my blog, I can knock out outfit photos in about 15 minutes, from shooting to editing to uploading (which I also do from my iPhone now). I’m happy I found a way to keep this fun creative hobby going as the flower shop grows and demands the majority of my time and energy, even if I do look like a total weirdo to passerby while I do it. ;)

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Keira Lennox

I'm a small town lady from the sunshine state with an affinity for bookstores, beauty counters and unfussy style. I spend my days running my flower shop, and my nights blogging about what I love and what I wear. (Or watching Netflix and drinking wine.)

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32 Comments

  • Jess @ Silex in the City 07/05/2017 at 5:33 pm

    This was handy advice and I just came back to it because my blog is all iPhone photos as well, mostly to serve as an online scrapbook for myself. However, they get so pixelated and such..Yours never look that way for being iPhone photos..do you think A Color Story is the main thing to give credit to for this? Does it help pictures transfer well for the blog? Thanks!

  • […] moment when you upload some self-shot outfit photos for your first blog post in over a month, and realize there’s an abandoned fast food […]

  • Style Files – Keira Lennox 02/21/2017 at 12:44 pm

    […] I’m enjoying these “real-life” style blogs and I don’t have much time to take my own outfit photos these days, I started to snap quick photos of my outfits in our foyer mirror before I run out […]

  • Azubuike Christian Nwankpa 12/02/2016 at 2:15 pm

    Smart way of catching all events live

  • Whenpassionmeetslove 11/04/2016 at 12:20 pm

    I like this tips , thanks for sharing ! 😘

  • joveebaroma 10/13/2016 at 2:03 am

    You are so creative. I am following you just now. Great discover.

  • heelsnheals 10/12/2016 at 4:41 pm

    OMG! Thanks for the hack! My husband takes pictures of me too, but sometimes you just dont want to bother him lol, this will work for me!

  • ItMustBeSauce 10/04/2016 at 1:41 pm

    Your Blog is awesome! #inspiration

  • Roxy Online 09/30/2016 at 12:22 am

    This post for me was god sent

  • CJ 09/29/2016 at 8:35 pm

    Good information !!

  • Fa 09/28/2016 at 11:50 am

    Love this post, it’s really interesting :)
    Kisses from fashionfromfa <3 . here you have the link to my last post in case you like to read it ;) https://fashionfromfa.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/los-pintalabios-para-este-otono-lipsticks-for-this-fall/

  • Elizabeth 09/27/2016 at 8:18 pm

    Thanks for sharing your tips! I’m very glad you found a quick and easy method so you can keep bringing us your great style! :-)

  • Emily 09/27/2016 at 7:41 pm

    This is so helpful!! It’s nice to see blogging photo advice that doesn’t include lots of expensive equipment. I am definitely going to get that tripod!

  • kaptivatingthoughts 09/27/2016 at 7:00 pm

    These tips are all so helpful, I absolutely loved this post! Learned soo much!
    <3 Kelly | KaptivatingThoughts.com

  • Amanda Bella 09/27/2016 at 1:57 pm

    Super helpful! I’ve been wanting to get a shutter remote! I’ll have to check this one out. Thank you so much for sharing! XO

    • Keira Lennox 10/01/2016 at 9:49 am

      I’m so happy it was helpful for you, Amanda! I definitely recommend spending a little extra to get a good remote that will last.

      • Amanda Bella 10/01/2016 at 10:14 pm

        You’ve inspired me, I’m already on it!! :)

  • Sarmistha Goswami 09/27/2016 at 1:25 pm

    Very helpful tips to a take blog photos real fast. Thanks for sharing them.
    http://styleovercoffee.com

  • Annette Quinet 09/27/2016 at 1:08 pm

    Great blog post….I will have to try this!

  • Silex in the City 09/27/2016 at 10:37 am

    Thanks for sharing your tips! I loved reading about your process & am glad you were able to adapt to continue the blog!

  • Halee Pagel 09/27/2016 at 10:36 am

    Your post convinced me to download “A Color Story” and guess what? The Google Play Store had it as one of my recommended apps…..too creepy! Or was it convenient?

    • Keira Lennox 10/01/2016 at 9:50 am

      Ha! I feel this way every time I google something and it pops up in an ad on a completely unrelated website. Creepers. ;)

  • KimandMakeup 09/27/2016 at 10:32 am

    I needed this post!!

  • Amy 09/27/2016 at 10:17 am

    Thanks so much for sharing these tips. Have a great week.

    http://www.amysfashionblog.com/blog-home/

  • Daniela Soriano 09/27/2016 at 9:40 am

    Great to know all of these tips!!

    https://danielasoriano.com/

  • astylishchoice 09/27/2016 at 9:40 am

    Your post is really usefull! 📸✅

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    keiralennox.com and related social media accounts contain advertising and affiliate marketing links from ShopStyle; I earn a small commission from clicks and/or purchases of linked items. keiralennox.com is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

    Any gifts or services that brands/companies send to be featured on this blog are clearly disclosed as “Courtesy Of” or “c/o” in each applicable post. All views and opinions are my own, and if I wouldn’t use/purchase a product or service myself, I won’t feature it on the blog. Because friends tell each other the truth. Cool?

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