Instagram makes taking photos look so easy. All you have to do is pose and take the photo and BAM! Your photo shoot is done right? Well that’s one step in the process. The truth is there’s actually a lot of planning that goes into photo shoots. So today I wanted to share a behind the scenes look of what actually goes into planning/having a blogger photo shoot.
Blogger Photo Shoot Step #1 – Plan your outfits (1-2 hours)
I typically will shoot 3-5 outfits in one photo shoot and I’ll share the outfits throughout the month. So a few days before my photo shoot, I pull all my outfits, pick out my shoes, bags, and other accessories. I try on almost all my outfits before I shoot in them.
Time: Depending on your style and what type of pieces you tend to wear, the time planning your outfits will vary. I tend to fall into the “everlasting spring/summer” style. I gravitate to colorful, interesting pieces.
Location: As I style and try on different looks, I’m thinking about what setting would also work best for them. If I’m heading to a lavender field, what type of dress or romper would I wear? If I’m heading into downtown Seattle, how would I style a business casual look for a career post? How would I bring color into my outfit or the scenery? Because even if I wear a white top and jeans, I intentionally bring color into the photo with greens, a blur sky, or colorful walls.
Tips for planning your outfits:
1. Pick out the key pieces in your wardrobe you want to build whole looks on. Maybe you have a fabulous pair of suede boots or a wicker bag you want to highlight. What colors or textures would help stand out that item in your look?
2. Also think about where you’re going to have a photo shoot.
I personally think your outfit will be more impactful if what you’re wearing and wear you are taking the photo at match. For instance, if I’m heading to New York Fashion Week, I would probably pack more interesting, forward pieces to dress for the occasion. But if I’m heading to Hawaii, I would probably pack and shoot in flowy shorts, crop tops, and short dresses.
Exploring the Miami Design District – the Plant Wall and this matching two piece tropical set go amazing together!
Blogger Photo Shoot Step #2 – Pack your outfits (30 min)
I typically pack two bags – one shoe bag and one outfit bag. I put my accessories and bags in whatever bag is less full. I also iron out blouses and dresses before neatly packing them up. I personally like to prepack because I don’t want to forget anything.
I’ve also had a few photo shoots where I’ve gone from work to meeting my photographer’s right afterwards. So having everything packed really helps me when I’m rushing from one thing to the next.
Tips for packing your outfits:
1. If you decide to hang up your dresses or pants after ironing, make sure you write yourself a sticky note or something to remind you to bring it the day of your shoot. I left two blouses hanging in my closet and scrambled to buy another shirt during my photo shoot for Most Instagrammable Places in Capitol Hill!
Blogger Photo Shoot Step #3 – Plan your photo shoot location (30min – 1 hour)
It can be really fun picking out a new location and it can also be stressful.
The three things I keep in mind when picking a new location for a blogger photo shoot are:
- Is it easy to get to? (whether it’s on a busy city street or an hour away from the city)
- Is there plenty of parking? (because I typically change in my car if there isn’t a coffee shop I can stop by)
- And what’s unique about this area?
I always ask myself the third question because there’s so much content out on Instagram and the internet that you always have to think how you’re going to differentiate yourself. I personally try to make sure there’s something about the setting that’s either going to help my outfit stand out. Whether it’s a palm printed wall paper, a pink wall, or a city street, I love elements that make photos pop.
Are you looking for photo shoot location ideas?
I’ve scoped out so many places over the years that now I have go to places to shoot if I don’t have any new ideas on where to shoot. If you’re visiting Seattle or a fellow Seattle blogger, here are a few ideas of where you can plan your next photo shoot:
Seattle’s Most Instagrammable Walls
8 Unique Instagrammable Spots in Seattle
Most Instagrammable Places in Capitol Hill
If you’re traveling to a new city, I always use Instagram or Pinterest to figure out where to shoot! Asking a friend who also lives in the area is a great way to find recommendations!
Blogger Photo Shoot Step #4 – The actual photo shoot (1-2 hours)
Typically my photographer and I will meet at a central location and I’ll share with her the agenda of the shoot. Here are a few things that Instagram doesn’t tell you about what actually happens in a photo shoot:
- I’m usually changing in my car – which means I have to wait for strangers to walk the other way on the streets or have my photographer be a look out.
- If I’m not changing in a car, I’m paying for a coffee or cookie to use the bathroom at a coffee shop.
- Sometimes the locations don’t work out – they could have closed for the day or they’re super crowded. If your planned location doesn’t work out, just have to go with it and improvise. I had originally didn’t have Frankie & Jos on the agenda of my Seattle’s Most Instagrammable Places and actually had two other locations planned. However the two cafes I planned to shoot at already closed by the time I got into Capitol Hill after work. But since we were in Capitol Hill, we had lots of backups!
Additionally, I didn’t come into blogging knowing how to position myself in front of the camera. Learning how to pose and pose in front of strangers took practice and confidence over the years. If you’re looking for how to post for a blogger photo shoot, here are 12 poses you can take with you. Additionally, if you need to some tips with what to do with your hands in photos, I’ve got you covered!
Blogger Photo Shoot Step #5: You receive the photos YAY!
I used to go through and pick which photos should be edited but that was way too time consuming. Both Holly and Karya do a great job picking the photos to be edited for me.
Typically, not every single photo makes it to the blog. I’ll post anywhere from 5 to 12 photos and typically only 1-3 pictures will make it on Instagram. I try to select photos that highlight the products or trends and also help me tell a story.
What other questions do you have about preparing for a photo shoot?
For more blogger tips and tricks:
How long it actually takes to produce one blog post
Branding for Instagram: Defining Your Brand
Branding for Instagram: 7 Tips to Help You Determine Your Instagram Aesthetic
Thank you for reading!
Photos: Annabel Meija
Friend featured in photos: @sonyaxblade