Thursday, January 12, 2012

Guest post from Fenn of Short Girl Blogs!

Today I'm honored to share a post with you from my friend and sponsor, Fenn! I love her hilariously brutal honesty. Read on for her tips and take on self-portraits and outfit photos... Enjoy!

Hello loudmouth readers! I was supposed to write this post for the blogiversary, but I didn't have my shit together. So, I'm writing it now! (I hope you enjoyed my giveaways, though.) I am a girl of many talents: Photographer, Stuffed Animal Creator (and other crafty things), and Blogger! I have had requests in the past for tips on better photography. I'm giving you the quick and dirty version. You can head over to my blog for a longer post with more detail.

All of these photos were taken on my iPhone with a free self-timer app. These are my examples on how to get better-than-average photos using a point and shoot camera or phone. In the future, I'll be writing more about what to do with a DSLR. I did very little editing, but did use Photoshop Elements when I did edit. (Editing was removing a few heavy lines from my face and a weird wrinkle from my shirt. I didn't alter the colors at all.) This is the quality of an iPhone, but a point and shoot would create something a little better quality. These were done at the very end of the day. More light would make for better photos.

1. GET OUTSIDE! This is imperative. Your house does not have good enough lighting. It's also full of distracting crap. So get your ass outside! (For a headshot, standing with one shoulder to a window will do. You'll face the camera with your cheek against the window. The lighting will be good, but the background might still be distracting.)


2. FIND A SIMPLE BACKDROP! Distracting backgrounds detract from the photo. If you want a great headshot for your blog, your website, facebook, or an online dating profile, then you want it to be SIMPLE! Don't be afraid to get close, either. If you want to showcase an outfit, it's even more important to have a simple background. Examples: A garage door, the side of a house, a fence (not chain link), grass (like sitting or lying down and shooting from above), a stairwell, the side of a building, an alleyway (without garbage cans). Places not to use: a parking lot full of cars, anything that shows your house (houses are distracting), playground equipment (too many colors), a wall that has a window or airconditioning unit or other man-made detritus.


3. SHOW US YOUR FACE! I know, I know, it's the fashion bloggers lament: how to look natural for the camera. What's unnatural? Looking down or away. When are you ever interacting with someone and not looking at them? NEVER! The image on the left is my fake smile. I don't like it. Even when I try to wait 'til the last second of my self-timer, I still rarely like my smile. What do I prefer? Making a weird face. I'd rather see that than nothing. Looking to the side, giving a straight profile, is acceptable too. But seriously, everyone wants to see your eyes and your smile, so just try to do it. Wait 'til the last second, think of something you love, imagine your fave person's face is there instead of the camera, and laugh or smile!


4. DON'T SHOW US YOUR FACE! For an outfit post, your face is unnecessary. You can show your body without showing your face. You also want to capture the details. It is acceptable to leave your face out sometimes, but remember that readers want to connect with you, and that includes your face. Also, for online dating profiles: I ALWAYS include a full body shot. I just want them to see my size. If you can stand next to something that gives an idea of your actual height, that's good too.


5. GET ARTSY! For these, I put my camera on the metal railing of the stairs. I had to stand with one foot on a stair and lean over. I knew I was going to be cut off, 'specially with the way the iPhone camera works, but that's ok. You can see the details of my coat and the color of my shirt and my face. And it's cool. Artsy can be fun. It is a little less awkward and forces you to think outside the box of your photos. It's less boring too. I always include one artsy photo in a blog post or online profile. Not usually more than one, though. Excluding when I can include ten photos, then two is ok. For the most part, it's easier to relate to something more direct. But something artsy can be fun and can show your personality. Like, jumping photos, artsy and fun...hard to get, but fun to try and good exercise while you're getting your photos!


Utilize these five tips and you will have better profile pic photos, hot personal ad photos, and good outfit photos!


  1. Great post.
    Great style blog:)
    I'll be back!

  2. I'll be working at utilizing many of these tips and practicing, practicing, practicing. I'm always uncomfortable on camera and you can see it in my face. I'll be working on it.

    Thanks for the tips :)

  3. I think that was the most fun tutorial ever. You should write for IFB, lighten things up a bit over there.
    A couple weeks ago I decided I wanted a jumping photo. Literally jumped in the air 50 times and didn't get one darn decent shot. Jumping is hard. Now when I see successful jumping photos I am impressed.


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