One of my biggest worries is that my boyfriend will one day see my Google Search history. It’s not that I have a bunch of dirty Google secrets – I’m not hiding things from him, but I fear the day when I’ll have to explain to him why I’m looking up weird stuff on the Internet like, “What kind of salads do the Kardashians eat?” or “How to get more followers on Instagram”. You know. Personal things. Things between me and Google.
This almost happened last week when I was showing him a picture of a nature preserve where I thought we should go hiking. “Oh!” He said, “I should show you” (some forest preserve that had mountains and stuff) “Hang on, let me Google it”, he said, still holding my phone.
Panic set in. “I’ll do it!” I said, yanking the phone out of his hand. Like – straight up, grabbed it. Ninja style. Like he said he was about to scroll through my photo album and see all of my selfies and screenshots of inspirational quotes (this is my second biggest worry, by the way).
“Geeez.” He seemed a little confused. I have no idea why, especially since I was being TOTALLY NOT SUSPICIOUS AT ALL. “What don’t you want me to see?” He asked.
“Nothing!” I realized by this point – you know, after the fact – that I was being super weird.Like, DEFINITELY-hiding-something weird. Great. He probably thinks I’ve been looking up porn. “I’m just excited to see the place you’re talking about! What was it called?”
“I was going to look it up.”
“I know! I just…” *Cricket* *Cricket* “What was it called?”
The thing is, my boyfriend is the kind of boyfriend who would probably let me use Google on his phone. He wouldn’t yank said phone out of my hand. Because he’s not looking up weird things like “What really happened with Corinne and DeMario on Bachelor in Paradise?” and “Is Corinne coming back?”
But, really. What happened?
We bypassed the awkward moment – he knows me well enough by now to know that I was probably just looking up dumb stuff about the Kardashians and not ‘how to smother your boyfriend in his sleep’ – and gave me the name of the forest preserve to search. As soon as I typed the letter ‘H’ – sure enough, another embarrassing Google search came up: “How to take photos like a fashion blogger”.
It could have been worse. It could have been that time I asked Google “How to vote for America’s Got Talent” (asking for a friend).
But, like, seriously. Taking pictures of my outfit? How do I stand? Where do I stand? Where should I look? Should I look away? What should I do with my hands? How can I make myself look thinner? These are important questions. You have to figure this stuff out if you want your picture to look like a #FashionBlogger picture, and not like something that belongs on your Myspace page from 2007.
Here are the tips that I found for “fashion blogger photography” so that you don’t have to add another embarrassing search to your Google history. I’ve been Googling tips like these ever since I started this blog over a year ago, because I was looking for a way to stop feeling ridiculous every time I asked someone to take a picture of my #OOTD. “Do people really DO that?”, I thought. “Like, they ask their boyfriends or their friends or whomever to take a picture of them while they’re posing like a model? No one thinks that’s weird?”
I live in Chicago. People do that all the time. No one thinks it’s weird. Promise. Which brings me to tip number one –
- Get over yourself. This one is more for myself than for you. I have to tell myself this constantly. Otherwise my boyfriend takes roughly 10-15 photos of me looking stiff and awkward and like I’ve forgotten how to move my all of my limbs. And why is my neck craned out like that? And why do I look like I’m about to cry? Is that my natural face? No. It’s not. It’s only my face when I’m feeling embarrassed and awkward because I just asked my boyfriend to take “model-y” pictures of me for my fashion blog. Am I a model? No. Am I *trying* to be a model – as in one who gets paid for her services? Nope. But I run a style blog and I’m trying to take it seriously – and style blogs have pictures. SURE you can find models – but where’s the fun in that? So if you have a fashion/style blog, and you want it to be taken seriously – then it’s time to GET OVER YOURSELF and pose for some fashion blog pictures. It’s twenty seconds of your life – you’ve done way more embarrassing things, I’m sure. Just let loose and go with it. It’s supposed to be fun!
- But if you’re still embarrassed, make up an excuse. If you don’t have the guts to say, “I run a style blog” (which I think is hard to say, because it makes me feel like I’m being judged hardcore), you can say that you’re taking a photography course. The majority of people won’t ask anymore questions, and it can be easier than explaining, “I’m taking pictures of myself to post on the Internet!”
- You can smile if you want. I think NOT smiling when someone is taking my picture feels like the most unnatural thing in the world. I smiled for my drivers license photo. I smile any time I see a camera. I’m a ham. But these crazy fashion bloggers are like models. They know which faces to make. *Serious*, *Looking away*, *Fake laughing*. Since I physically have trouble NOT smiling – I try to be more natural with it. Even if I’m doing a “looking away” picture, I sometimes do one of these “no teeth/Taylor Swift” smiles. It works for me. And the more natural I feel in the photo, the more natural the photo is going to look!
- Look away (the sideways glance), look down, look over your shoulder. Ah, the classic “OMG I was just walking and turned around and there you were with a camera!” #HowConvenient. The key is to move around. This isn’t a “First day of school” picture that your mom is taking of your new outfit. Don’t be afraid to look like you’re actually having fun. Pretend you’re a model for ten seconds. It’s okay! The other fashion bloggers who actually see these photos are NOT GOING TO JUDGE YOU (unless you look stiff and uncomfortable). The more you move your body and loosen up, the better!
- You can sit. Guys. I literally thought this was groundbreaking. I know that sounds like I’m being sarcastic, but I’m not. This was a tip that I found when I scrolled through the #FashionBlogger world on Instagram, I was like – “Oh my gosh, why didn’t I ever think of that?”. Standing in every single picture can get redundant. Like, how many “looking away” poses can you do before it gets boring? It honestly never occurred to me that I can sit down. In a chair. On the ground. Next to a wall. On some stairs. Whatever.
- Pretend you’re walking. I thought this was the dumbest thing. “Pretend I’m walking?” I thought. “Won’t it come across that it looks like I’m PRETEND WALKING?” No. It doesn’t. It looks way more natural (even though it may not feel natural) than just standing there with your feet together. This isn’t your yearbook photo. You don’t have to stand like that. Plus, having one foot in front of the other makes your legs look longer and thinner.
- Don’t forget about your posture. This seems like common sense – but I always forget about this. I didn’t realize until starting this little project that my natural stance is pretty terrible. I slouch. I may have a hunchback when I’m older. So my boyfriend will take five or six pictures of me (and because he’s not my mother, he doesn’t say things like “Stand up straight!”) and after I look at them – well, I delete them and start over with a better stance. I read somewhere that if you pretend someone is pulling you up with a string, from the center of the top of your head, your body will look elongated. (I realize how weird that sounds as I type it out – but just trust me. It’s supposed to make you look like a ballerina.)
- Move around. Models move around in shoots all of the time. I mean, I’m not a model – but I read that somewhere on the Internet. It makes them look more candid. If you move slightly and slowly in each picture, it comes across as much more natural.
- You can use a selfie stick! This was actually a tip I read from one of my readers! She puts her camera on a timer and props it up with the selfie stick. This is a great option for taking photos alone (which can sometimes make you feel more comfortable, since it’s just you), and a much better idea than trying to prop your iPhone up on the hood of your car (not that I ever did this or anything… more than once). Thanks for sharing! 🙂
- Take pictures everywhere. The world belongs to the fashion bloggers, folks, and we’re just all living in it. Just kidding. But get creative with it! I’ve seen pictures in alleyways, in front of garage doors, brick walls, walking down the middle of the street – just about anywhere. The picture above was snapped after my boyfriend and I walked out of a restaurant and I said, “Hey – can I be weird for a second? Will you take a picture of me looking out into traffic? For my blog? Just one, I promise.” (Of course there ended up being more than one, but you get the idea.) Don’t be afraid to try something new. The more locations you have, the more interesting your blog will be!
And that’s it! Most of all, don’t feel embarrassed about what you’re doing! This is for your BLOG! Remember that if you’re trying to be taken seriously, then you need to take what you’re doing seriously. If you feel awkward, it’s going to show in the photographs. Trust me. Do you guys have any other tips for fashion photography?! Let’s hear your stories in the comment section!