How To Take Amazing Outfit Photos

Nov 04, 2013

Written By: lookmazing

After getting all dressed up, you often want to capture a photo of yourself in your amazing outfit and share it with others who were not able to admire it in person.  But, taking an outfit photo is often easier said than done.  We have seen boyfriends struggle to take photos for their girlfriends and friends having to do numerous takes before a photo is deemed ‘satisfactory’.

Since keeping photo diaries of your “Outfit of the Day” or OOTD has become a popular trend (a hashtag that has been used over 16 million times on Instagram), we thought it would be helpful to put together a list of tips for photographers shooting outfit photos:

Barbara, LookMazing’s photographer, shares with us some tips on how to capture a great style moment:

1. Put your subject at ease

Discomfort and awkwardness will show in a person’s body language and facial expression, so make sure the person is at ease and having fun!  Strike up a conversation to keep him/her comfortable

2. Find the light

Photography is all about finding the right lighting, so when you’re taking a photo of a person, be sure he/she is adequately lit. Keep in mind that you may have to redirect the person to a nearby location with better lighting. With all of the color and patterns in fashion today, we don’t want to miss any details! Here are some examples of different lighting situations:

  • Light is behind the person – if the person is backlit, you may lose detail in their outfit and capture the person’s silhouette and shadow
  • Light is in front of the person – if the person is frontlit, the lighting will be very harsh (brightness may be uncomfortable for their eyes).  However, you will be able to see all details in their outfit
  • Light is hitting the side of the person – if the person is sidelit, one side of the person will be more lit than the other
  • Neutral lighting – if the person is standing in the shade, the lighting will be more subdued and neutral. There will be no shadows, harsh lighting, or glares.

All of these lighting scenarios will produce different images. Depending on the environment you are in, you will have to assess the situation to decide which lighting most flatters the person. Typically, neutral lighting will produce the clearest image that best captures the person’s outfit.

3. Frame your person

The goal is to capture the person’s entire outfit, so don’t cut off his/her legs or feet in the frame.  Be sure to get the entire look in the shot (from head to toe). Center the person in the middle of the camera frame with equal spacing on both sides to ensure that the person will be the focal point of the final image.

Here are some examples of how NOT to frame the person in your photo:

  • Excluding the feet – sometimes shoes are a very important to completing the look, so don’t forget to include this detail
  • Cropping the legs – only do this if you want to draw attention to the upper body, but oftentimes you want to highlight the full outfit
  • Putting the person too far to one side – creates uncertainty as to what’s more important, the person or the background?
  • Including too much room above the person’s head – the background overshadows the person in the photo

Here is how you should frame the person:

Ideal Way to Frame The Picture - Person is Centered

4. Level your person

Make sure you are at an appropriate angle when taking the photo. For example, don’t take their photo from an angle that is too high, as this will distort their proportions. Instead, take their photo slightly lower than your eye level. Keep in mind this may require you to bend your knees.

Below is a comparison between taking it an angle that is too high (left) and taking it at a proper angle (right)

5. Focus on your person

No blurry pictures! Be sure your shot is well focused so the final image comes out clear and sharp. Take a couple shots just in case, so he/she can choose the best after reviewing them.

6. Be aware of the background

Keep in mind the background behind the person, as this will appear in your final shot.  Make sure the background is free from any distracting signs or other individuals that will detract from your main person. You may have to direct the person to a nearby location or wait for other individuals to pass before taking the photo.