Tips for taking your own outfit photos
Lately I've been getting more questions about how I do my outfit photos and any tips that I have, so I thought I'd share what I've learned so far today! About 99% of my outfit photos were taken by me, with just my camera, tripod and remote. A few times I've had my brother or my mom snap photos for me, but I actually tend to prefer to do it myself. I'm a huge perfectionist, and even though I definitely don't always do them perfect, I'd still rather be able to blame myself for them not being quite right.
I certainly don't consider myself any sort of expert on the matter, I'm still learning a ton, but I have definitely picked up on a few important things over the years!
GET TO KNOW YOUR GEAR
I don't think you have to spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy camera to get really nice photos. On the same note, I think even if you do spend a ton of money on really good equiptment, but don't learn to use it properly, then you're wasting your money. With the internet these days you can probably find a dozen in-depth tutorials on whatever camera you have - it's awesome, and everyone should take advantage of it! If you haven't already, I suggest spending some time reading up on your camera and getting aquinted with things like ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Then spend a whole afternoon just playing with all the settings and taking a ton of photos.
I use a Nikon D5100 (prior to May'12 my camera was a Nikon D70s) and I almost exclusively use a Nikkor AF-S 50mm 1:1.4 Lens for all of my outfit photos.
TAKE YOUR TIME
Whenever I'm in a rush and try to take photos I almost always regret it and usually end up just trashing the photos anyway. Especially if you're not doing it everyday it can be a little akward and takes more time to get relaxed infront of the camera. Take your time and take tons of photos. We live in the digital era where you don't need to worry about running out of film or spending money to develop all of it, you can shoot as many as you want and trash the ones that aren't great when you get home. So relax and don't forget to try different angles, and even change your location if it's just not working!
I usually spend 20 minutes doing my photos and take 50-75 photos for each outfit. It's often that I also have to change locations because the first one I picked just isn't working for some reason - I don't let it bother me, I just relax and find a new interesting spot!
FIND YOUR GROOVE
Everyone has their own preference for doing their outfit photos. There are remotes available for most cameras, and almost all also have a few different timer settings. Before you buy a remote you can try out how you like the timer setting and see how it feels to you, just know that you may have to use a prop to focus your camera before you set the timer so you're properly in focus. Finding what works for you is important, so spend some time figuring it out!
I love my camera remote. Most of my skirts and dresses have pockets in them so it's pretty easy for me to hide it once I set it.
SETTING THE SCENE
Most of us who take our own outfit photos feel a little shy about doing it right there in public for passersby to see. Not only is it awkward to constantly be asked why you're taking photos of yourself and whether you want them to just take a photo for you, but it's really hard to relax when you feel like people might be watching you. So keep your eyes out for quiet local spots you can take your photos without being oogled at. As for where to take them, it's great to find a space with a little going on, but won't be over-powering. Personally, I'm not usually a fan on having cars in the background, their reflectors and chrome-y bits tend to be distracting. Wherever you take them, just be conscious of what will be behind you. Also, try to change things up and not take photos in the exact same spot all the time.
I've gone through phases where I used the same spot constantly, but now I try to find new interesting spots to change things up at. I also cannot take photos with other people around. I'm very conscious and totally feel "the eyes" on me, which does not make for relaxed looking photos!
Hope these little things help those of you who are maybe new to the self-portrait world, or who are still struggling. I know my personal struggle is still with lighting, I tend to err on the safe side and shoot in shadier places to avoid having to fight with the lighting too much, but I definitely plan to start working on that:)