My Top 10 Biggest Fashion Photo Shoot Blunders and How You Can Avoid Them

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My goals for the next year is to continue to step up the photography game around here.  I’ve been doing a lot of self learning but have also been try to scope out photography courses.  I think the biggest takeaway point I have learned and can instill on others, shoot on manual mode and practice.  There are three components of any DSLR camera, shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.  For a good cheat sheet here you go.

Fashion Photograpy Blunders

Manual-mode-infographic

Take these three settings, play around with them and practice, practice, practice.  I’ve tried to step up my instagram game.  I really like when Instagram profiles have an overall vibe.  When you click on a profile, all the pictures are aesthetically pleasing together and paint an overall picture and mood.  Everyone seems to be doing that overly white washed brightened theme right now.  Don’t get me wrong it looks cohesive but I have been all about the color lately.instagram

Have you signed up for like to know it yet?  I always try to preview my fashion blog posts the day before on my instagram.  You will get a sneak peek of the looks and an opportunity to get to those sizes before they sell out!  I always try to link things on sale, which means sizes are usually limited.  The concept is really cool.  Like the picture on instagram after you sign up for liketoknowit and you will receive an email with all the links of the pieces to directly buy.  I always try to link the exact thing I’m wearing and from multiple sources so it keeps your favorite stores covered.

I’ve been getting a lot questions lately of what camera I use, the lens, settings etc etc.  I was thinking of doing a mini series on blogging fashion shot tutorials.  Let me start with some very basics.  We all know there is a lot of time and effort that goes into taking blog pictures.  Also, there is a lot of coercion that goes along with begging someone to take them aka deal with us as we flip the hair, twirl and make them take it again because our “knee looks weird in this one“.  So I thought I’d share a few of my blunders that way you will never have to be at the end of a cranky photographer or less than ideal pictures in the end.

My Biggest Fashion Shoot Blunders and How You Can Avoid them.

Fashion Photograpy Blunders

Dress Amanda Uprichard here || heels Zara old similar here (majorly love!) ||

I know you want to pin that above picture…..just saying ;-)

Forgetting Your Memory Card or Battery

There is nothing worse than planning your outfit and driving to a beautiful location only to realize that you left your memory card plugged into the computer from  your last upload.  That happened to me when we drove to Sarasota and I had fab outfit planned in a gorgeous setting.  I went to check the lighting and realized my memory card was not in my camera.  Major bummer.  I’ve also left my battery charging before.  So do yourself a favor, triple check you always have your battery and memory card.  I now keep a spare SD card in my wallet.  I will never do that again.  It seems simple but it’s happened so I’m passing along that one.

 

Shooting in the Direct Sunlight

Unless you are a master of white balance, try to avoid shooting in direct sunlight for fashion shots.  You will constantly have to be adjusting your settings to avoid your clothes being washed out.  Also, it creates such funky shadows.  I loved this location but rookie mistake here, see how washed out the colors of this dress are?

Blush-heels

Look how my legs are different colors here.

IMG_9198

Try to shoot first thing in the morning or when the sun is setting to hit that golden hour.  I look at the weather and try to group my shooting when it’s cloudy out.  See how much more vibrant the clothes are when you aren’t battling with the sun.

Stuart-Weiztman-5050

Boots Stuart Weitzman 5050 here || mid range budget finds here and here || budget friendly under 40 here || Dress BB Dakota on sale! here || Purse Tory Burch old similar here || fur vest here || sunnies Karen Walker here|| lipstick c/o Stiks via here

Forgetting to Take Your Camera Off Manual Focus

When I shoot staged shots at home of products, I tend to work with a tripod and a timer.  It allows for crisp pictures.  When I do that I focus manually to get the most clear shot.  Well, the next day I had this fabulous outfit all planned and a happy husband.  I looked at the shots when he was taking them and loved them!  I got home and put them on the computer only to realize I forgot to take the camera off manual focus.  All my shots were slightly blurry and basically unusable.  At this time, Mark is a set the camera up for me and I’ll shoot kind of mode.  So make sure to have everything completely set so you don’t ruin an hour of your life.

Not Shooting in RAW format

Yes it makes the files that much larger, just buy a larger SD card they are so inexpensive now.  The problem when you don’t shoot in RAW and then do any editing to them, every time you make an edit and save it, the file gets compressed and you lose image quality. Also, try to keep the editing to a minimum.  The more you edit, the more it compresses and the image quality suffers.  I have noticed such a difference in the quality of my pictures by moving to WordPress and shooting in RAW.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, shoot me an email and I’ll tell you how to switch your images over to it when shooting.

 

Trying to Take Your Pictures on the Way to Something

I think this is the mistake that happens to a lot of people.  The only way they can convince their significant other to take blog pictures is to take them when they are out.  All that is going to lead to is rushed, uncomfortable looking pictures and an aggravated second party. Set time aside to take pictures.  Also, make sure to give whoever is taking your pictures a heads up for the plan.  “On Saturday between 8-930 we are going to take blog pictures“.  That way they are mentally prepared.  Nothing worse then when somebody is trying to get their own work done and you are begging them to take pictures of you in your Winter whites.  It’s not going to end well.

blogging blunders 2

 

Not Having a Fed Photographer

You laugh but it’s true.  I always make sure to have a protein bar in my purse for Mark when we are heading out to take pictures.  If he is hungry all I’m going to get is a cranky photographer who isn’t willing to take “one more shot because the lighting is just right“.  Another side note, if you need men to be in your shots with you like engagement pictures or what have you, make sure they are fed and have a few adult libations.  They really loosen up and are more willing to do those cheesy shots with you I promise.

 

Always Use a Test Subject

I never used to do this but have recently started and it makes such a big difference.  I make Mark stand where I want the shot to be and take a few test shots of him.  That allows me to check to manual settings and see how the image is going to be captured.  It allows for better composition as well so you can figure out where to stand to get that rule of thirds.  Perfect color for this one, able to see the contrast of the tights.

Floral dress and OTK boots

Over the knee boots Sole Society here || tights here || dress sold out similar here and here

Look at the difference this one shooting sunshine vs the above cloudy.Leopard ballet flats

Ballet flats on major sale here || distressed skinnies here (size down) ||  top sold out similar here

Watch Out For Distracting Backgrounds

Street photography is all the rage right now but you know what comes with street photography?  Street signs, cars and people.  Unless you have photoshop and want to be up till 3 in the morning photoshopping out stop signs behind you…..be aware of your surroundings. Tell me what is distracting about the background of this picture?  Ummmm, everything.

Back-of-Dresswhat not to do

The way to help this if you have no way of getting rid of the background is to drop your f stop down (the aperture) and that will blur the background and create that pretty bokeh. Now, you will have to adjust your other setting because the lower the f stop, the more light comes in and you will over expose the shot. See lower f stop = blurry backgrounds.How to create blurry backgrounds

See how much nicer this one is without all the background distractions and no direct sunlight.

sparkley dress

My last word of advice

Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself

I know I’m not a model, have no formal photography training, and everything I’ve learned has been by trial and error.  Don’t be too hard on yourself but you do have to practice.  It takes time to learn cameras and lighting but it is a fun learning curve.  I think the best piece of advice I can give you is find someone who is patient and close by.  If you have to coordinate someone else’s schedule who doesn’t live close to you, that means it will never get done in a timely manner.  I also have been scouring over pinterest and tutorials learning about lens, composition, and how to’s.  It takes time but I am really happy with the direction the photography on the site is going and I hope you are to!striped-sweater-dressred floral dress

How to avoid Blogging photo shoot blunders! Tell all today on the blog, a must read if you don't want to make the same mistakes! Click To Tweet

I hope you enjoyed this and took away some points that will hopefully prevent you from a blogging fashion shoot blunder.  What advice would you give when it comes to photography?  What lens do you like shooting with?  If you take pictures for your blog who is the lucky person who gets to capture the fashion blogging photography for you?  I you like this post you have to read this one, it’s an oldie but goodie.  Also, if you are digging this one, I would love if you would pin it or like it on bloglovin thanks dolls.

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55 Comments

  1. January 19, 2016 / 5:39 AM

    Thanks for such a wonderful post! I recently got a nicer camera and I’ve been wanting to take a photography class. It’s so hard to get the picture perfect shot and your tips are so helpful!
    Christina :: Simple and Delish

  2. January 19, 2016 / 5:57 AM

    Haha you should see my outtakes…eek. It’s so hard finding time to not shoot in direct sunlight, especially here in FL (although it was WAY worse in NM) but cloudy days are definitely my favorite days to shoot! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  3. January 19, 2016 / 6:10 AM

    Love all of your tips, and the DSLR cheat sheet you posted! Although I still think all of your photos are great :)

  4. January 19, 2016 / 6:15 AM

    This is a great series, thanks for alllll the good info. I love my camera and am slowly getting better taking pictures. The fed photographer point made me laugh!

  5. January 19, 2016 / 6:29 AM

    I think shooting on the way to something is always a good idea – that way there is an end time for said hungry photographer LOL!! I really love that infographic at the start of the post!! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  6. January 19, 2016 / 7:39 AM

    Great tips lady! Shooting in the direct sunlight is so hard and something I avoid too! I typically do mine an hour before the sun sets. YES to the fed photographer. I typically bring a beer for Brian ;)

  7. January 19, 2016 / 8:24 AM

    We struggle with light all the time. Great tips! I’m pinning for future reference! Your Instagram feed is so pretty with all the color!

    Xoxo,

    Whitney & Blaire

    Peaches In A Pod

  8. January 19, 2016 / 8:30 AM

    These are killer tips, lady- and I need to talk you about shooting in RAW; this has been on my to-do list foreverrrrrrrr, but I haven’t made the jump yet!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

  9. January 19, 2016 / 9:06 AM

    Excellent photography 101 lesson! It really applies for almost all blog photography. It’s great to look back and see all you’ve learned, but some of the faux pas moments we’ve all endured during the learning process… oh, they’re rough. I can certainly relate.
    Your photos are looking really great though!

    ~ Shannon

  10. January 19, 2016 / 9:07 AM

    thanks for the tips! shooting makeup i’m comfortable with, but not myself, so i appreciate these!

  11. January 19, 2016 / 9:18 AM

    Thanks for sharing! Sometimes when Chris takes pictures of me the angle is weird. I also think that I might take them at work because we have a neutral background. I don’t know. Love that one with the lady and her dog in the background, she is totally looking at you!! :-)

  12. January 19, 2016 / 9:23 AM

    Awesome tips. I need to improve my photography and it’s definitely one thing I am working on this year. Saving this post. Thanks Amanda. Your shots are so good..I LOVE all the color lately!

  13. January 19, 2016 / 9:35 AM

    These are great tips and that chart is an amazing reference for how to use all the settings on the camera!

  14. January 19, 2016 / 9:37 AM

    Great post! I can totally tell that your photography has become really professional. I’ve been trying to watch lessons on using my DSLR – the right picture makes such a big difference!

  15. January 19, 2016 / 9:46 AM

    That’s crazy all the stuff you have to look out for! I am not patient enough to stage my photos properly.

  16. January 19, 2016 / 9:53 AM

    Love this! And my favorite tip is to make sure your photog is well fed, lol!!! So true I’m sure. Your photos are always beautiful!!

  17. January 19, 2016 / 10:00 AM

    Awesome post! I am totally going to make Josh read this too :)

  18. January 19, 2016 / 10:19 AM

    You’re speaking my language here.
    You get why I tell my clients that cloudy days are the best :)
    I dont know why everyone doesnt shoot in RAW – I was so hesistant to do it at first but man, I can virtually save any picture with lighting issues only because its in RAW format.

  19. January 19, 2016 / 10:21 AM

    I’ll be passing this post on to Mr. Cubicle Couture (aka, husband, aka photographer) so he can read up on your do’s and don’ts!! Make today work, Rachel CubicleCouture

  20. January 19, 2016 / 10:21 AM

    And this is why I could never be a fashion blogger. But… great tips as always! Maybe one day I will give it a shot just for kicks, my teen is a budding photog, I’ll put her to work!

  21. January 19, 2016 / 10:34 AM

    So let me start by saying a lot of these “how-to” blog posts kinda erk me. I feel as if behind a keyboard, it’s really easy to take experience and turn it into a lecture. Let me explain, the posts that harp on and on about the “right” way to blog. Those posts. When clicking your link for this post, I held my breath in hopes this wasn’t one of those posts. Like always, you totally didn’t disappoint. You’ve presented experience and tips in such a pleasant way. You aren’t lashing out and saying “anything else is wrong.” I totally bookmarked this page, and wanted you to know how much a of relief it is to read something that sounds like advice from a friend rather than a low down of “how to use a camera for dumbies.” ALWAYS stay true to yourself Amanda! You are so genuine!

  22. January 19, 2016 / 11:12 AM

    I’ve always found it funny that the sunlight is not your friend when taking pictures, love cloudy day pictures! And LOL at the fed photographer tip, sooooo true! My husband sure gets hangry, and the shoot can go all kinds of wrong if he’s not properly fed. Awesome tips gurlie, I know almost nothing about photography and editing pictures. Definitely pinning :)
    Green Fashionista

  23. January 19, 2016 / 11:20 AM

    These are such great tips!
    I don’t do a lot of fashion blogging, but makeup photos can be SO HARD. My next step is to get a backdrop so I can control the background a bit more since the only place I have in my home to shoot is our “office”/game room/my closet. Ha!

  24. January 19, 2016 / 11:58 AM

    Soooo, you’re fabulous! And it’s clear to me that I’ll never be a fashion blogger or photographer – not that I’m trying! I know my place and I’m totally fine with that! I basically had no idea what most of the camera stuff you were talking about was – clearly I’m so fancy! Great post though!!!

  25. January 19, 2016 / 1:16 PM

    Your blog photography definitely is some of the best out there right now! These all are great tips – I know Ryan and I will benefit from several of them!

  26. January 19, 2016 / 1:17 PM

    I forgot to take it off manual the other day and it was the WORST! I was so mad. these tips are SPOT on!! love this.

  27. January 19, 2016 / 1:34 PM

    I so love this post! So many great points! Especially about the memory card. The one time I went to shoot pictures, I was all dressed and left the memory card at my house an hour away! It’s the worse!! Happy Tuesday!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde’s Moment

  28. January 19, 2016 / 1:40 PM

    This is an AMAZING post! Nick and I did one fashion shoot/post one time and it was kind of a disaster because I didn’t prepare/neither of us knew what we were doing. Hopefully it didn’t scar him for life so we can try again sometime lol!

  29. January 19, 2016 / 3:02 PM

    Bookmarking this! Such a fantastic, witty and easy to follow guide. You actually inspired me to pick up the camera and play with it. Thank you! x

  30. January 19, 2016 / 3:40 PM

    I pinned your image but need to pin the whole post. I don’t ever do the fashion photography you do but I want to up my photography game and this helps. Need to upgrade to a DSLR from my point and shoot but I just can’t pull the trigger, its such an investment!

  31. January 19, 2016 / 5:20 PM

    So many great tips that I have never even thought of. You always have the best pictures, I never notice any flaws. I think having a well fed photographer, shopping partner, well fed anything is important! haha!

  32. January 19, 2016 / 5:24 PM

    I loved reading this and definitely pinning so I can reference it! I still don’t fully understand how to set my camera correct for manual shooting and how to get that blurry background which is key. The direct sunlight does show a big difference so thanks for pointing that out.

  33. January 19, 2016 / 7:49 PM

    Girl, we’ve all made the same mistakes, I still do sometimes. I hate when I love the pictures and then they are all blurry when I get home and put them on the computer. I think that’s the worst. I also stopped taking pictures while on the way to something unless I know it’s more of a casual relaxed shindig because I have the grumpy “why are you taking so long” face haha. Personally I always loved your pictures but I have noticed your Instagram is so different from before and your pictures are the bomb!

    http://www.jerseygirltexanheart.com

  34. January 19, 2016 / 8:47 PM

    These tips are just fabulous! And the pictures are just as great – seriously they look fantastic to me!

  35. January 19, 2016 / 11:50 PM

    I love these tips. Most of them were reassurance of some of the changes I need to make. Problem is my husband HATES taking photos. and convincing him to help is super hard. Any tips for that? haha. Also I am so jealous of the beautiful areas you have to shoot. I live in MN and it is freezing here so outdoor shots are basically out of the question. I am going to take some of your tips about adjusting the camera to see if I can make my indoor shots look a bit better. Thanks!

    http://mymonochromaticlife.com

  36. January 20, 2016 / 12:15 AM

    Wow, so much I hadn’t thought of! Thanks for the tips!

    ivyholly.blogspot.com

  37. January 20, 2016 / 6:04 AM

    These are all such great tips! My favorite one I need to start doing is to use my husband as a test subject to frame photos! So many times both of us get frustrated because we don’t see the same vision. I also had to laugh at “Trying to Take Your Pictures on the Way to Something” – we did this in Spokane often and I was always looking awkward and uncomfortable in them!

    Annessa
    http://www.seekingsunshine.com

  38. January 20, 2016 / 9:19 AM

    Such great tips! Love how your photos have evolved!

  39. January 20, 2016 / 9:59 AM

    This post is SO helpful! Not just for fashion photos, but for using a real, big girl camera all the time. Seriously, that cheat sheet at the beginning of the post is golden!

  40. January 20, 2016 / 10:36 AM

    It’s definitely a learning curve with photography! I feel like I’ll never understand it all!

  41. January 20, 2016 / 10:50 AM

    These are great tips girl! Luckily I live in Seattle so the sun isn’t usually an issue. Most of the time I can’t find enough light.
    And I so wish we had some better places to take photos around here. All those colorful walls are awesome.

  42. January 20, 2016 / 12:01 PM

    Amanda, this post is AMAZING. I definitely agree with the well-fed photographer or trying to “squeeze in” photos before something. I am pinning all of this right now!

  43. Amy Ann
    January 20, 2016 / 12:01 PM

    Not having a fed photographer. Lol that made me laugh. So true! I’ve learned a lot but still could use more. I want to work on an overall Insta theme too.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  44. January 20, 2016 / 12:07 PM

    Totally saving these tips for when I have a real camera!! Thanks for the insight :)

  45. January 20, 2016 / 2:19 PM

    Love this post! Photos on the way to something inevitably turn out poorly — I’ve had a couple that I just loved, but more often that not, it’s a no go. Our guys are troopers, aren’t they?!

    Zelle
    Southern Style

  46. January 20, 2016 / 8:31 PM

    I am THE WORST at the battery/memory card thing. I just can’t be counted on to remember to check that before venturing out… it’s always amateur hour… so I have extras of both. Pop one out, put another one in.

  47. January 21, 2016 / 9:34 AM

    Haha, fed photographers! It’s so true though. I always do morning shoots – if it’s after 10am the light here in the South is way too harsh and will do just as you said – wash out your colors. And your face. Super important to have a “calm” background too, all that stuff like stoplights and cars etc are noise taking away from you and your OOTD!

  48. January 21, 2016 / 9:57 AM

    Great tips, but even your bad shots look great in comparison to mine, lol. I wish I had more fun backgrounds and street art by me.

  49. January 21, 2016 / 5:00 PM

    Holy cow I love this post so much. I NEVER have time to spend getting all ready then going to take outfit pics but that is going to change now that I’m DONE with school. Hubs better get ready hahaha. I imagine many awkward pictures (and arguments) in our near future ;)

  50. January 21, 2016 / 8:05 PM

    Oh man this post is GREAT! I just got a Nikon DSLR for Christmas and am still very much in the learning stage… Thank you for putting it together!

  51. February 3, 2016 / 1:54 PM

    It’s been a long time since I blogged (and took pics for said blog) but I definitely remember having trouble with getting someone to take pics (or video), even when then previously offered. So these are great tips on getting around those issues.

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