Everyone knows that photos for a blog of this type is essential to its existence. Because of this, the photo question/issue is one of the most discussed topics there is when it comes to blogging and the complaints are endless, “I don’t have a live in boyfriend, husband or roommate to take my photos,” “good quality photos,” “to photoshop or not to photoshop”, “I don’t photograph well,” “I don’t have a DSLR,” etc, etc.
I have some of those same challenges too and I am going to tell you how I got over them. By the way, I realize the potential danger in admitting this and I sincerely hope that the die hard style diary people will appreciate my honesty. I also hope by admitting this, that it will inspire bloggers who also have those same issues above.
Do you have a photographer friend or a Guy With Camera (GWC)?
I didn’t start my blog for 3-months after registering my URL because I didn’t have a clue of how I was going to take the required photos for my blog. I asked several people that I knew, but when money and “favors” started coming up in the conversation I stopped asking. When I ran into Robert last year, I didn’t think of asking him 1) because of his schedule and 2) because I assumed that he would have asked me for money. In lieu of asking him about taking pictures I asked him if he knew of any great point and shoot cameras that I could use with a remote (there aren’t any btw). After explaining to him what I wanted to do, he volunteered to take my photos.
When I started, Robert, showed up daily at my job during lunch to take the pictures of whatever outfit I was wearing that day. When I became too self conscious with taking the photos in public, we used his studio. I knew my cousin had dabbled with photography, but again, I assumed that he was still using film cameras and I really didn’t want to get into the expense of paying to develop film. When he found out what I was doing, he also volunteered and when Robert became busy (girlfriend and photo assignments), I asked my cousin, a retired Correction Officer, for help. I didn’t want to wear out his generosity so to let peace reign (between Ossie and I and between Ossie and his family), I developed a strategy. I pick out what I plan to wear for the entire week and on the day that he is available (usually on a Sunday), I pick my best 3 outfits (usually what I am wearing to work Monday and Wednesday and what I am wearing on whatever day he takes the photo). Yes, all of the photos that I post on the blog within a one-week period are shot on the same day, usually during a Sunday afternoon.
Ok, I have a camera, now how do I pose?
Getting in front of the camera is still one of the biggest challenges for me with this site. For those of you who have been following my blog, since day 1, you might have noticed that I’ve really cut back on the Voguesque poses (come on now, I am not the only one who is trying to live out their ANTM dream through their blog). This is because I realize those posey pictures may not necessarily make me come across as relatable to other women. I am going for girl, excuse me, woman next door and not ANTM these days. To cut down on the time of the “photo session”, I stick with the following tried and proven poses: hand in hair, look down at feet, squat (depending on what I am wearing), the goof, and if all else fails the ear to ear, look how happy I am in my outfit, cheshire cat grin – all of which in my opinion are poses that come across as natural.
I look great in my photos, do I need to do anything else with them?
Robert is a technical genius when it comes to editing photos. When I started my blog last year, I still had the tell tale scars from an acne breakout and I didn’t actually mind the editing then. However, as my face cleared up, I thought some of my pictures looked… too photoshopped. For example, See WIWT: Brights an Print for Monday and is Leo a Neutral. Ossie doesn’t have a clue about photoshopping and although I have gimp and access to other photo editing sites, I didn’t have any interest in learning after realizing how time consuming the process is. See: 5 Alternatives to Picnik. After Ossie takes my pictures, he gives me the SD-card and I do basic edits on the ones that I plan to use on my blog. Of lately, I’ve been using PicMonkey as a photo editor. However, my edits is limited to auto color correction, ( if it is required) re-sizing my photos and if I have time, I play with the filters and borders. For example, See: Famous Jamaicans and Basic Black From Head to Toe.
This plan works for me, however, there are some challenges that you really can’t anticipate and that’s what happened on Monday. It rained on Sunday so the photo shoot was rescheduled to Monday after work. I had the weight of work issues, a sinus and ear infection, hunger, tiredness and Aunt Flow on my shoulders so for the last outfit I relinquished some of the creative control and turned it over to Ossie. First, everywhere he suggested as the backdrop made me feel like my mugshot would be plastered on the front page of our local paper the next day under the headline “Local Blogger Arrested for Trespassing”. When we finally decided on a location, the sun was long gone. I also decided, during crunch time and with all that was on my shoulders to mix things up by trying new poses. It was a total and complete FAIL…. It took 58 frames to get to the shot that I am posting below and it happened when I stopped and just crashed on the bench.
In summary, you can get over the photo challenge of your blog by:
1. Love yourself or you’re gonna end up with a site where you only post polyvore sets or photos from other people’s site (Seriously, I can only take so much of wondering who is actually behind the blog.)
2. Find a GWC that you can work with or you’re gonna end up shooting crappy pictures with your camera phone and (repeat last half of reason 1–polyvore–taking photos from other sites.)
3. Plan (day and time for shoot)!, Plan (outfit)!, Plan (location) and stick with plan!
4. Find poses that are relatable to your intended audience and that are flattering to you. Don’t try too hard. Coco Rocha is so inspiring, but leave the high fashion posing to the high fashion model.
5. Go easy on the photo shopping. Aim for clear photos, not deceptive.
6. If you really aren’t feeling up to it (mentally and physically) reschedule so the session doesn’t become a waste of time for you and for the generous GWC. If you can’t reschedule it, stick with your posing plan or imagine that you are eating something wonderful like turtle cheesecake.
Well, I hope that you all found this information helpful. As always, I welcome your thoughts, reactions and suggestions which benefit not only me, but others who are here to learn.
Still counting down to Jamaica’s big 5-0. Today, August 1st, was another big day for the island, Emancipation Day. Jamaica and most Caribbean islands still celebrate Emancipation Day the end of slavery on the island.
I am wearing:
Long yellow skirt, worn as a dress under moto leather jacket. This is what I wore after work on Monday.
Ossie took these photos.