‘My photographer doesn’t understand blogger photography!’ I can’t even count how many times I heard this sentence. Is photographing bloggers really so different from other kinds of fashion photography? Well, I’ve been thinking about it and I found a few major differences. If you understand them, it can help you create better pictures for your blog. In this post I describe what is blogger photography.
Where does the blogger photography come from?
To understand the differences, let’s focus for a moment on the roots of blogger photography. It all started with pictures taken with the phones, showing everyday clothes and everyday situations. This means pictures should look naturally, as if they have been taken just like that, by a friend. So even if there is the whole team behind the shoot, the main aim remains the same: the picture has to seem like it has been taken casually during everyday life situations. Here’s where all the differences come from.
What is blogger photography?
1. Natural vs flash
This is one of the biggest differences. Many fashion pictures, even taken on a street or in another, naturally looking location, often are taken with flash. It is partially a part of a specific of this kind of photography, partially to make sure all the details of the clothes, accessories, make-up etc are visible. However, many photographers simply got addicted to a lot of equipment and tend to use flash as often as they can. This approach may work for fashion editorials and campaigns, but not for blogger photography.
Pictures of bloggers should look naturally. No matter how much work you put into preparations, they should look as if they’ve been taken with the phone. You don’t use a bunch of flashes taking a picture of your friend eating ice cream. Of course, flash can be used if you’re shooting at night, however it should never look like a studio lighting, but rather imitate the ambient light or a small, phone flash.
Another thing is that taking pictures of bloggers usually demands quite a lot of walking. You have to find nice looking locations. You can create nice background in your house, but most blogger photography happens outside, on the streets. Carrying heavy equipment around isn’t very comfortable, especially that it’s not really needed. If there is a need to add some light to the picture, you can simply use a photographic reflector.
2. Natural vs posed
As mentioned above, blogger pictures should look as if they were taken in everyday life situations: girl walking on the street, drinking coffee, reading magazine, etc. That is why traditional model posing might not work here. The blogger should look natural and casual. Of course, she will be posing for the pictures, but the poses shouldn’t look like from a fashion editorial, but more like she’s in the middle of doing something.
3. Natural vs photoshopped
As the blogger pictures should look naturally (I know I repeat it continuously, but this is really what it’s all about), they also shouldn’t be edited too much. Yes, there are numerous filters and apps that allow editing on the phone. A professional photoshoot, however, would be still retouched in Photoshop. The images just shouldn’t be too perfect, the skin to smooth etc. Blogger pictures are perfect in their imperfection.
4. Lifestyle vs studio
Sometimes bloggers pose for campaigns and that’s when the photoshoot can take place in the studio. This, however, usually happens at a further level of their careers, and still is quite rare. As mentioned, bloggers and influencers show how to look great in usual situations, so their most common locations are streets and coffee bars, sometimes also a cozy home.
5. Models vs girls
Most bloggers are not models. They become ones with the development of their careers, as taking numerous pictures they learn how to pose. Still, however, their posing style is different than the one of professional, agency models as they pose for different kinds of pictures. Models have to look perfect, bloggers learn how to look natural and effortless.
6. Magazines vs Instagram
Traditional fashion pictures are published on billboards and in fashion magazines. Blogger pictures are published on blogs and Instagram. This makes a huge difference in the audience expectations: in magazines they want to see glamour, spotless make-up and amazing clothes – an impossible dream they can fantasize about. On Instagram they want to find inspiration and learn how also they can look, feel and live good every day.
7. Showing clothes vs showing a person
Fashion editorials and brand campaigns have one, main goal: to show the clothes. The model is there to expose the clothes, not herself. Of course, a famous face adds value to the campaign, but it’s still about the clothes. Blogger pictures show the girl. Yes, she’s wearing brand clothes, she’s visiting amazing locations, but it’s still about the girl, who inspires you to do the same. She looks good, she’s cool, she’s happy and she can show you how to achieve the same. Brand campaigns and fashion editorials show you WHAT you need to be happy, bloggers show you HOW to be happy (using amazing clothes, of course. What, you don’t know that new shoes are pure happiness?).
What do you think about these characteristics? Do you have any other ideas? In your opinion what is blogger photography? Let me know in the comments and share this post with everybody who doesn’t understand this kind of photography.