Sunday, 5 November 2017

Confidence tips for fashion bloggers when shooting photos in public

I first started my fashion blog four and a half years ago and what used to be shattered self-esteem has now sparked into something like contentment. One of my biggest worries when I started my blog was that I'd find it hard to constantly look through photos of myself, I knew there would be no hiding away from any insecurities I had. Thankfully it soon felt natural shooting photos and editing them, and it's given me much more confidence as a result. Now I'm happy in my own skin I can feel carefree when getting photos in public for my blog. That being said, I still get nervous before every shoot; it can be nerve-wracking, awkward and embarrassing at the best of times. Over the years we've shot in lots of different locations and we've had lots of different experiences; some good, some bad, most 100% fine with zero stress or hassle. You may have read my post on finding locations for fashion blog shoots, and I thought it was about time I shared some confidence tips for fashion bloggers when shooting blog photos in public. Of course this post doesn't just apply to fashion bloggers, hopefully if you're a bit unsure about photos of yourself in general, these tips might come in handy and give you a bit of a boost. 

I've heard people say "I wish I could shoot photos in public but my confidence holds me back..." and if you're one of those people I really want to try and change that. Hopefully you'll feel inspired and buoyed up by this post. It is possible and you can do it, I promise! It's not always easy but the buzz and excitement of creating something amazing to share on my blog with my readers makes it 100% worth it. 

START OFF IN "SAFE" PLACES 

Ideally you want deserted, quiet places where you can build your confidence gradually and get into the groove of things uninterrupted. Think spacious parks, lakes, castle grounds, beaches. Probably goes without saying, but go as early as possible to your chosen location and not during peak times. At the beginning we shot pictures out in public for the first time at a deserted lake which had lots of land and space, and we also regularly shot photos in my back garden, porch and then on my street. I wouldn't recommend shooting in a street (unless truly worth it); way too many nosy parkers who just can't resist a good gawp. It gets my blood boiling the amount of people who just stand there staring *bursts a pink blood vessel*. Graham also discovered a tucked away cove of a place which we still shoot at to this day. Due to it being quite secluded, often we go there in favour of more colourful eye-catching locations. 


DON'T ALWAYS THINK THE WORST 

People will always stare when there's a camera involved, and it can be hard not feel a lightbulb of self doubt flashing over you as they look and look and... yep, keep looking. It is rude and it is intimidating, but most people are probably just curious and wondering what's going on. A lot of people still don't understand blogging, and if they do, maybe they're just admiring your outfit (which is goals, of course). Most don't mean any harm but it can feel creepy when people stand there looking. I've called people out on their staring before, but now I just ignore them; you're just giving them the attention you should be giving to your photos and blog shoot. It isn't worth the hassle. 
I've had bad experiences before, a man once called my mum and I over to tell me I looked awful in my jeans which was pretty nasty and definitely ruined my day. There was also a time when a whole family stood watching us while we got the photos, a man in the group remarking bitchily "what's the point in them getting all those photos, they all look the same anyway". The kids kept running in our way and deliberately trying to photobomb us, and even though we'd overheard them saying they were making a move, they stopped by their car just to keep watching us. I felt so intimidated and it would have been easy to call it quits. But we kept going, and to this day it's one of my favourite ever photoshoots and blog posts. 
I've also had good experiences; one time a group of girls turned round and looked at us shooting photos. Immediately I thought they'd say something nasty but instead one of them put her thumb up, smiled and said "nice outfit". Another man said he liked my shoes (the pink glittery heels as well, what a total and utter babe!). Then there have been the funny moments; a guy asking if we were shooting porn nonetheless. Er, WTF? I was wearing a cardigan and tights at the time as well *ponders*. Another guy rolling his window down and calling out that it's November and I must be freezing. Yes, it was November and I was freezing. And a man walking two ferrets out on leads, the cutest sight ever!




DISTRACT YOURSELF 

If I find people are staring and it's getting a bit much, I just go over to the camera and pretend to be looking through the photos we've just taken. Anyone who's interested will soon move on, after all, who's going to stand there staring at you when you're looking down at a camera? I soon find people lose instant interest and hurry on and BINGO, time to get the rest of those outfit photos! 

REACH OUT & ASK 

Once Graham and I had planned to shoot outside a colourful shop in the dead of the winter. We'd assumed it would be quiet and everything would be shut, yet once we pulled up (after an hour and a half drive just to get there) the owners were doing a stock take outside with lots of boxes piled up. Gutted, I assumed we'd just have to give up on our blog photos; I'd chosen an outfit that I knew would look amazing against the aqua blue backdrop and the thought of leaving without getting those photos was devastating. I said perhaps we could talk to the owners and ask if they minded whether we got some photos, but I just assumed they'd probably say no. Graham kindly went to speak to them and they were the loveliest people ever, I don't think they knew too much about blogging but they took my card and happily let us take photos outside their shop. They even joked afterwards that we should come back in the summer (it was February and I was shivering in a glitzy pink dress, naturally). If we had given up without asking, I wouldn't have got the gorgeous blog shoot I'd been dreaming up for ages! 



GO THE EXTRA MILE & SEEK OUT AN AMAZING SHOOT 

A lot of people assume I live on or near a beach (which is 100% acceptable and I always take it as a major compliment) but I don't by any means; we live in greater London/Kent and to get to the nearest beach is an hour or so on a good day. In fact, one particular beach we love and often get blog photos at is two hours away. Don't let the thought of a location being miles away put you off, sometimes we've found locations whilst on holiday that have made for the perfect blog shoot location. It's always worth travelling a little further if and when possible - if I just shot pictures around my hometown and near where I live they'd all be grey, dull and more than a little colourless and F*CK that! 

THINK OF YOUR BLOG & READERS 

If I'm feeling a bit nervous I always ask myself "what's more important, the strangers staring at me for a short space of time or creating content for my blog and readers?". The answer being, of course, my blog and my readers! I try and think of the bigger picture, it might sometimes be nerve-wracking, uncomfortable and intimidating shooting photos out in public, but I'm prepared to take that risk because at the end of the day I know the photos will bring joy to my readers, my blog and make me happy. It's the end result that matters, and who cares about strangers you'll never see ever again? They aren't important.

GO FOR IT, EVEN IF THE ODDS ARE AGAINST YOU 

Once mum and I had planned to get some photos but on the day of our shoot I woke up and there was heavy snow spiralling down outside. My heart just sank. I assumed we'd call the blog photos off but when she said "shall we just go for it?!", I hurriedly pulled on my gemstone jeans and off we went. My outfit was hot and tropical and the temperatures were frosty and glacial so we didn't hang around for long but the backdrop of sparkling snow made it such an unexpected and enjoyable scene for my shoot, it actually worked so well with the outfit and has become one of my favourite blog shoots. If we had let the snow deter us, the pictures would never exist! 






I hope these tips will help you out if you're wanting to take the plunge and shoot some blog photos in public. Even if you don't think you've got a photographer, it's worth asking a friend/relative/colleague and seeing what they say, you never know they might be up for shooting blog photos for you and you can make it a fun event afterwards (my mum and I always go to Frankie & Benny's for a hot chocolate after a blog shoot and Graham and I often fit photos in around a fun day out). Go for it, everything to gain! 


Where do you shoot your fashion blog photos? 
Have you had any good/bad experiences? 
I'd love to know your thoughts below! 

👙

17 comments:

  1. Inspiring post! I’m new to fashion blogging myself, and I still get so nervous when my bestie and I go out for photos. We’re in deserted areas right now, but I’m like... what do I do with my face? My hands? Ah! I was always camer shy, so snow I don’t know what to do. I’m getting there though. I think it’s great I’ve found this post because I’m going to be doing a shoot in San Francisco next week. There will deffo be plenty of people around! I’m going to keep your advice in mind for it! Thank you xx

    Breanna Catharina
    toocuteforlife.com

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  2. Great tips Sophie! Shooting outfit photos at a great location always gives me my favourite blog content but they're also the most challenging to get. I have a few failsafe places where I know there won't be too many people around, now all I need is for my husband to be available 24/7 to take them for me all the time! x

    Kate Louise Blogs

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  3. Thid post is so helpful for someone like me who never takes pictures outside her home.really inspiring �� Thanks a lot

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  4. Wow! Such an inspiring post! I get so nervous shooting photos too, so this has really helped reassure me, you could never tell you are nervous as you look so fabulous in photos!

    Can't believe how nasty people have been to you during shoots, it just shows how amazing and strong you are that you haven't let it stop you doing what you love!

    Loved this post as always!
    Anna
    http://www.madeupstyle.com/
    xxx

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  5. In the past I couldn't have photo session in public places, because I was to stressed and my confidence was at zero level, but it has changed, now I adore taking photos for my blog, a few weeks ago we made the pictures in the full of people town square so it great progress for me:)
    Great tips, these pictures and outfits are beautiful!

    jointyicroissanty

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  6. This is the best post, we can all relate! I still find it hard but taking photos in public doesn't bother me quite as much as it used to, definitely gets better over time. I often try to think that getting good blog content is more important than caring about what strangers (who I'll never seen again) think. Distracting yourself is good, I like to look through the photos on the camera while too many people walk past. Really helpful to hear some of your personal stories and experiences. Good on you for continuing in some of the more complicated circumstances.

    Imogen
    http://tiacherie.com

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  7. This is pretty nice article. I myself experiences it too. Sometimes some people will judge you because of posing and even doing extreme things to capture the perfect shot.

    Much Love,
    Zarrah | The Bandwagon Chic

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  8. I’m always in awe of fashion bloggers who get those photos that seem very public and always think it seems crazy. I feel like it’s actually a really hard thing to do, so this was really interesting to read! I don’t do fashion posts myself but I feel awkward even taking a cheeky selfie in public, let alone a photo shoot!

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  9. Great photos :)
    Have a good day!

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  10. Such a great post - its always nice when people say nice things to you when you are shooting.

    http://ohduckydarling.com

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  11. I remember your shoot in the snow - totally worth freezing your butt off for babe haha, it's fabulous! Love your tips Sophie, relating to so many of them. I also look through photos when too many people start noticing a blog shoot is going on haha. Also, chatting to people who are staring tends to work really well too; 99% of the time they can be SO lovely and turn out to be genuinely curious!! Such a great blog post to discuss babe, had a lot of fun reading! Have a lovely weekend! :)

    aglassofice.com
    x

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  12. I've always been curious about bloggers who take photos in public places and wondering how they do it. Just the thought makes me anxious. I'm not a fashion blogger, nor do I have anybody to take photos of me. Still, I just go on my porch sometimes to take photos of myself/my makeup, and I always feel awkward because I feel like I'm being stared out by the neighbors.

    http://surrealistique.com

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  13. I'm so glad you've powered through all the struggles during your shoots, they have all turned out amazing, gorgeous!! Every setting and outfit combo has been stunning, and you never let your readers down! You're a true inspiration, sweet Sophie!!! XOXO

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  14. I loved reading this...and I found it an even more strong message after watching your Instagram story. Your images are amazing and I love how you reach out further to get amazing shots! Your tips are great too... I have gone beyond my back garden to try and take pics and that was a big step for me!

    Some people can be bitchy and judgmental but unfortunately there's always going to be people like that. Rising above it is the best thing and I'm sure that's what you do every time :D

    Keep up the amazing fashion shoots - your readers love them!x

    LAURA ­| Laura Thinks About

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  15. When I first started shooting fashion photos I was so nervous, I'd always go to the safest, most hidden places I could find but I'm so much better now! I find when I bring out my bigger Canon camera I oddly seem to get more respect as people think it's more 'professional' whatever you must be doing. Also, when people are staring I totally do that thing you mentioned as well where you just walk over to the camera and have a look at the shots you've taken, it works like a charm ;)

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

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  16. I actually adore your snowy photo shoot - it worked out perfectly so I'm really glad you decided to go for it! I'm sure your tips will help a lot of other bloggers out in the future! I'm sorry that some people were so rude to you, but who cares what they think when your photos turn out so amazingly cool! xxx <3 <3 <3

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