How Not To Take A Daily Outfit Photo, or Why I Don't Post A Lot, or What I Wore, 17/6/2009

I cannot take decent photographs of myself.

I am not convinced that I am going to fail at this forever, but in order to improve I definitely need professional coaching, or a brain upgrade. It may be just one of the Things I Cannot Do, like running, crochet, and strumming a guitar properly with the right hand.

I have only actually posted about two daily outfits on this blog before. I actually take photos of what I'm wearing fairly often. With the intention of making a post about them here. I'm in a good mood, I'm excited about what I'm wearing, and I take various photos in various poses from too-close distances without cleaning the lens or any mirrors involved, in bad light (today's example, see below). Every time I make a new mistake! I can have cleaned the mirror, only to have forgotten the lens. I can have started out trying to take photos on the stairs, as they have the best light in the house, only to have moved into my parents bedroom when I can't get a decent full-length picture, where the light is much worse.

I have several problems, none of which can be solved by the various "How To Take Outfit Photos" posts out there in the blogosphere:

  • The camera I use is really old. The batteries run out really quickly, so whenever I use it I am on a race against time. I also have to reset the self-timer for every photo, which eats into this time considerably.
  • This camera has no tripod, so I have to balance on it on various surfaces.
  • The other cameras are invariably either out or the batteries are low and I don't know where the chargers are.
  • There is basically nowhere in my house to balance the camera from far enough away.
  • I don't want to take pictures in my bedroom as it's a mess, but I don't think other people appreciate my taking photos all the time in their rooms. I usually take photos on the stairs. This is only good for closeups, and everytime I get a good looking one it involves far too much thigh than I am comfortable uploading!
  • I am really pale and absolutely cannot use flash. It makes me look scary.
  • There is no-one who will take photos of me for me.

In short, my outfit photos are crap. They will continue to be crap for the forseeable future. However, I would still like to talk about them, and I need to update this blog more. So I am going to try to bring myself to post what I can bear to (i.e. the photos where I look alright but the photo itself is dire), and as well as writing about the outfit, I will write about why the photos are bad and how you can avoid my innumerable failures!

Maybe, just maybe, I might improve. Maybe. Gigantic, huge, maybe.

What I Wore Today

I went to university for a couple of workshops (voice and creative writing), ate lunch number one (cheese and tomato sandwich) then I came home, made myself some soup for lunch number two (half a can of Heinz Minestrone + sweetcorn, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and mixed herbs) and watched Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, as research for my writing! I love that reading books and watching films and programmes about teenagers or with teenage characters counts as research for my writing and therefore my MA. If you know any good ones, recommend recommend recommend, in the comments of course.

To the left, an alright photo, parent's bedroom, you get the idea of the outfit. This is the stripy dress also pictured here, with a black skirt on top. Above, the bangles I wore. You can see them on the left of the other photo on my wrist too. Below, an image in profile, in which you can see the scarf, my watch, and the big ring I wore on the middle finger of my left hand.

Dress - Monsoon
Skirt - H&M via my sister's hand-me-ups
Tights - M&S, Autograph range
Scarf - hand-me-up from my sister that I think was original a gift from our parents, I have one in lilac
Bangles - some from The Changing World, some rescued from my sister's bin ages ago
Pictured but not visible on my rubbish photos:
A necklace that was a gift from a friend
Not pictured because I forgot about them:
Black cardigan, pink handbag, black ballet pumps

Why these photos are bad

Where to start? I'm spoilt for choice, really. They all came out too dark, so I had to turn up the brightness and contrast. My head is cut off in one and in profile in another, which is not a position in which I look good. The closeups are blurred - the bangles picture is one of the better ones. I thought flash would make them look too different from the body pics.

Things Learned From Today's Misadventures

Make sure you have good light! Charge your camera BEFORE you want to take photos, so that you manage to take them before the Earth moves you out of reach of enough sunlight.

Find a good surface to balance your camera on!

Use flash for close-ups if you have a shaky hand.

I may have to add "photographic ability and willingness to use it taking photos of me in outfits I like" to my list of desirable qualities in a potential romantic partner.

Some Posts I May Have To Memorise...and then feel sad because 70% of the advice I cannot follow

Take Better Outfit Photos @ Modlife

How To Take Gorgeous Self Portraits
@ Independent Fashion Bloggers

Thank you for enduring this! If you have any thoughts on how I might overcome my outfit photo issues, please leave a comment, it will be much appreciated!

1 comment:

  1. I'd totally take pictures for you, but there's sort of an ocean in the way.

    I have learned that for all kinds of photography, natural sunlight is always, always best. A flash simply cannot compare, and while it's not so bad for full-body shots and such, for closeups or self-portraits, the flash tends to completely wash the subject out.

    Dangit, now you have me wanting to write some huge blog post about photography. Urgh.


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