Shooting blog content with a photographer

Photography throughout by Rachel Day and Kaye Ford.

When I first started blogging, I never really considered how my content might evolve. I was happy writing about what I wanted, when I wanted and gave no thought to whether this would change. More recently I’ve seen a shift in how you stay relevant in the Blogosphere, and I think more than ever you need to put a face to name. Whilst I used to put the odd selfie on Instagram or share photos of myself on the blog from time to time, it certainly wasn’t consistent and I was primarily posting flatlays or product shots in which I didn’t feature. One of my blogging goals for 2018 was to feature myself on my blog/Instagram more, and I figured the easiest way for me to do this was to look into hiring a photographer.

This post is going to be a bit of a guide for anyone looking to get into shooting content with a photographer, from getting comfortable in front of the camera to finding a photographer you love and who fits your brand, plus just general tips and tricks for anyone new to the game. If you have any burning questions I don’t answer, feel free to pop them in the comments and I’ll get back to you asap!

I’d also like to preface this by saying I’ve only had two shoots so far, so there’s probably still a lot for me to learn too. That said, I feel like I’ve learned loads in my last two sessions and I wanted to share it all whilst it was still fresh.

Why shoot with a photographer?

Hiring a photographer was the obvious choice for me. Whilst my friends and family do alright at getting those candid shots for the ‘gram, I wanted something more professional. The whole premise behind my first shoot with Kaye was solely focused on my blog branding. I wanted new imagery to use across my socials and Kaye nailed the vibe I was after. When you hire a photographer, you know you’re going to get quality and professionalism which in my experience you just can’t get when you shoot with friends and family. Similarly, when you shoot with a photographer, you are literally paying them to take time getting the perfect shot. I don’t know about you, but if I make my boyfriend take a photo of me in front of a colourful wall he takes about 7 photos in quick succession and then moans that we’re wasting time. A photographer isn’t going to have the same qualms and they’re going to make sure they get a photo they (and you) are happy with.

Getting comfortable in front of the camera

This has definitely been a learning curve for me, and I’m still not quite there yet. I didn’t really give much thought to how I might look in front of the camera (other than the obvious worries about my chins coming out to say hello) but if you’re awkward or tense it really does show. Most good photographers will point this out to you and suggest ways to relax. If you build a good rapport with your photographer it comes more naturally, but it’s definitely something you have to learn! Try practising some poses in the mirror if you can to see what works for you. Props are definitely useful as they give you something to do with your hands – and pockets are also a lifesaver. Grab a coffee or a smoothie before you shoot, or even just bring a handbag you can swing around.

Finding a photographer

This has been pretty easy for me, but it defintiely depends what you’re looking for. My number one tip would be to do your research properly. Find out exactly what your photographer is offering; how long is a typical shoot? What does this include? Can you have an outfit change (or two)? What are their rules are regarding ownership of images and credit etc.? How many images you can expect to receive? How much do they charge? I cannot stress the importance of research enough as it will save you from being disappointed. An easy way around this is to ask other bloggers who takes their photos (though they should really credit them anyway!!) and then fill in the blanks with research.

Both Kaye and Rachel were people I followed on Instagram/Twitter prior to shooting with them, so I knew a lot about their styles beforehand and knew they’d be a good fit for my blog. I personally think the more research you do about a photographer the better as you’re less likely to be disappointed.

Outfit planning

I’ve never shot what I would consider ‘fashion content’. My shoots have been casual and my outfits have very much reflected that. However, that’s not to say I haven’t carefully considered what to wear, and how best to transport my outfits. Both my shoots so far have been in London, an hour on the train from my home town. I’ve found the best way of transporting outfits to be in a simple tote bag, but if you’re bringing things that crease easily this may not be the best idea. If possible though, I’d wear any outfit prone to creasing first!

On this note, you don’t want to be bringing too much stuff. When I shot with Rachel, she bought her sister Lauren along to help with carrying bags etc. (and because we’re long overdue meeting one another!) but you won’t often get this luxury. When I shot with Kaye I left my tote and handbag a few metres away out of shot, or just behind her as she was shooting, but if I’d had many more bags I’m not sure how easy this would have been.

Outfit changes are also worth considering, as they can be tricky depending on where you’re shooting. I’m sure there are loads of ways to subtley change in the street, but public toilets are a lifesaver. If possible, I’d recommend scoping these out before you start shooting to make life easier. You could also use coffee shop toilets too, or McDonald’s is always a good shout!

To summarise…

  • Hiring a photographer usually means better quality, professional photos
  • But do your research on the photographer to make sure their style suits you
  • Practice your poses in advance – try to relax!
  • Plan your outfit(s) – think weather appropriate, location appropriate and easy to transport

I think that’s pretty much it for my top tips for shooting blog content with a photographer, but if you do have any other questions feel free to leave them below.

Lazy Thoughts Signature -