How to Prepare for a Blog Photoshoot

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How do bloggers take good pictures?

That’s one of the most common (among a few others) questions that I get from other people, friends, or people just starting out their blogging career. And I do believe, Instagram makes taking photos look so easy. Just wear a cute outfit, post, and BAM, that’s all you need to do for a photoshoot. When in reality, there’s a lot of planning that goes along with the shoot. 

Here’s my behind-the-scenes of a blog photoshoot!

Girl laying on the beach in a pink bikini

#1 Have an idea of the pictures you want to take

I always always always have some inspiration saved on what the pictures I want to take are. Whether that be a beachy scene, or if I am working with a brand for a collaboration, or just capturing lifestyle shots. Take a look at Pinterest, stock photos, or scroll through Instagram to get the creative ideas flowing. 

Make sure you share this with your photographer or whoever is going to take the photos so they know your vision and what you want the end result to be. 

#2 Plan your outfits

Depending on the shoot, I like to wear at least 5 outfits. That way I can share the different poses with the same outfit throughout the month to keep my audience engaged. I will always try these on before my photoshoot, I pull all my outfits, pick out my shoes, bags, and other accessories and pile them together so when I’m ready for them they are all right there. 

Keep in mind the location for your outfits. When I try on different looks and go shopping I’m always thinking about the setting I’m going to shoot in and what style/outfit would work best for them. If I’m heading to the flower fields, what type of dress would I wear to make the flowers pop? If I’m heading into downtown San Diego, how would I style a business casual look for an entrepreneur post? If I’m going to the beach, what would I wear over a bikini? Because even if I always would just wear a white top and jean shorts, I can’t keep an audience engaged with the same ‘ol same ol. 

#3 Plan out your shoot location

This is one of the most fun, yet most stressful parts of planning which is why having your inspiration is always so helpful when you get to this point. One of the most important aspects of picking a location is scouting for changing. Is it near a bathroom? Or is it near where you park so you can change in your car? I always have one of these portable changing tents that help a lot if it’s not near the car or a bathroom. 

Instagram and blogging are so saturated nowadays, which is why you really need to think about how you’re going to differentiate yourself from everyone else out there. I love elements that make a photo pop, a wall mural, beautiful scenery, a blank area so my outfit shines through. 

If you’re traveling to a new city and doing a photoshoot there, I always use Instagram or Pinterest to figure out where to shoot! Asking a friend or fellow blogger who also lives in the area is a great way to find recommendations or the best photo op spots. 

And now for the actual photoshoot. 

Here’s what Instagram and the blogging world doesn’t share with you about a photoshoot. 

90% of the time I am changing in my car or putting an outfit on top of the other than taking off the bottom one. This means I have to wait for people to drive/walk by so I don’t give the whole world a peep show. 

Sometimes the outfit just doesn’t look right or the inspiration doesn’t fit the mood. You have to go with it and improvise. Sometimes this will kill my whole mood, and I have to keep in mind that it’s OKAY and maybe my pictures will turn out better than I could have planned for/imagined. 

I’m not a shy person at all, typically very outgoing. But posing while people are passing by usually turns into people watching. It took me a while to literally not even notice or care. You’ll gain a new level of confidence and the more you practice, the better you’ll get and I promise the less you will notice. 

And now for the moment we wait for, receive the photos.

What no one scrolling through Instagram or reading a blog post never sees is the hundreds of pictures that get deleted before they even make it to the editing phase. I’ll post anywhere from 5 to 12 photos and typically only 1-3 pictures will make it on Instagram. I try to select photos that highlight the products or trends and also help me tell a story but keeping Blonde out of Water and my vibe/style/brand on point. 

Questions to ask yourself during the initial planning phases and some things to keep in mind during every step:

  • What is the key piece I am shooting? A specific clothing item? Full outfit? A hotel or a location? A sponsored product? Just sharing a moment/insight into my life? Knowing what you will be shooting is always the first step so you can work everything else around it.
  • What mood am I going for? Happy? Moody? Fun? Exciting? I know I never want to come off angry, bored, or bummed out which is why I try and act just as I want my mood to portray during a shoot. 
  • Where will I be/during what time of day? This is important to keep in mind for the lighting purposes first and foremost, but also if you’re shooting a location – you don’t want a lot of people in the background. 

Pro top: Make sure for every step of the planning you are keeping your story and aesthetic in mind. 

What other questions do you have about planning a photoshoot? Let me know! 

~ XOXO, the girl who loves shooting content, Amanda // Blonde out of Water

S/O to my fab photographer, Crystella Photography, who helps me make my visions come to life! 

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Hey there!

I’m Amanda, the blonde behind the blog a twenty-something year old with a love of wine, weekends, and traveling. You’ll find bits of my life, travel guides, beauty, food & of course, my pup Gatsby. I’m so happy you’re here & I hope you enjoy the blog as much I as I enjoy creating it! Cheers!

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