Ever since iPhone portrait mode came into play, I have found myself relying on my DSLR camera less and less. My phone is essentially attached to my hand so any moment can be a mini photo shoot much to the chagrin of my Instagram/real boyfriend. Most importantly, the quality (even without portrait mode) holds up. The key is follow a few simple rules.
Find your light
You know what ruins a good picture? Lighting. Look up and see where the sun is facing. If you’re indoors check the light around you. Your light should always be in front of you, not behind you. When it’s behind you, a shadow is created. Your background may be poppin’, but you’re just a shadowy figure. This is especially true for my melanated friends. Light is our BFF!
For example, let’s say you’re on a beach vacation and you want to take a fun shot. If the sun is facing the water your back should be turned to the water. If it’s facing the palm trees your back should be facing the trees. Light should always dictate your background. Never turn your back on the light!
PS – shooting on cloudy days is unavoidable sometimes, but try to lean in on those sunny days to shoot looks whenever you can.
Clean your lens
You know what else ruins a picture, a smeared lens. Every time you take a picture, and I mean every time, wipe your lens with some cloth (i.e. your shirt, pants, dress etc). This will lead to a clear high quality photo each time you shoot with your phone. It’s a less than 30 second thing that makes a world of difference. Don’t believe me? Take a photo, then wipe your lens and take another of the same thing. It’s night and day.
This rule should also apply to video! Sometimes videos aren’t blurry, the shooter’s lens is just dirty.
Perfect your pose
Before I shoot an outfit, I stand in front of a full length mirror and practice posing. We all have our go-to poses, but each garment requires different movement. How I pose in a mini skirt is different from how I pose in something longer. Jeans require a different stance than a flowy dress. It might sound silly, but I like to make sure my outfit has maximum effect on my feed. This really comes in handy for formal and semi formal occasions when you know you will be taking a lot of of photos. Lock down that pose.
Pro tip: Always face out and put your hand on your waist (not your hip). There’s a go to girl pose from college (probably due to everyone squeezing into one photo) where we turn completely to our side with our hands low on our hip. When you turn to your side you hide you outfit and distort you body in a odd way. Turn your entire body out to the camera. Don’t put your hand on your hip, that cuts off your shape. Put it on your waist to accentuate your figure.
This is probably odd advise from the queen of RBF. Especially since I spent the majority of my time as an influencer not smiling (even a little bit), but I’m here to tell you I was wrong! I started making a conscious effort to smile in my photos and I see a world of difference. Why? Smiling, even when you don’t feel like it, is an instant mood booster. Your face will relax and so will your body. Leading to a better photo.
Now there are plenty of photos that I want to be a little fierce so I forego smiling a big toothy smile. Even then, I will try to smile with my eyes and maybe give a little smirk. Gone are the days when I have a stone cold angry face!