Yellow is my favourite colour. Seriously. This post has a tag on it for 'yellow'. Click on it and see how many wonderful outfits I've posted with the colour yellow in them. This one from last year is probably a stand out for me. When I first started blogging, I really wanted to get better at everything I was doing. Photography was a big part of that and I had to learn a lot, because I get other people to help me take the photos and I had to direct them. Initially I would often get frustrated not knowing what was going on behind the camera and not standing there changing it myself. I would often have photos I couldn’t use. It was a challenge to look through them and find some I could work with. Some shoots I organised haven’t ever made it to the blog. To give you an idea of how much work I put into the photos on my blog this a rundown of a typical shoot.
In order to capture what I want, I need to photograph an outfit in a location that lets the emotion and mood of the shoot show clearly. I think about what the feature of the outfit it. Is it the shoes? Is it my hair? Is it the delicate embroidery on the cardigan? Is it the location? Whatever it is I think about multiple things to figure out the ‘where’ of shooting it. I think about colour. I think about framing. I think about accessibility. I think about weather. I think about whom I will have to help me. I think about season. I think, most of all, about light. All of these things then frame the ‘when’. This shoot had to be done at just after 5pm because of the light, no later than today because of the season, and today because of the weather forecast. As the shoot was done so early I had to go to work dressed and ready to shoot as soon as I finished so I wore the outfit to work in the morning.
Once that is organised I need to organise a person to come and do the shoot with me. My usual defaults are my mum and sister, but I have used plenty of people in the past few years. This is a challenge in itself, because when you are working with another person you need to be flexible to their needs as well. I have had times where everything else aligns and I can’t get someone to help me with the photos.
I do mean help, too. I direct my shoots, so having someone who is responsive to what I need is important. Having someone who knows how to use a camera is a bonus, but not required. When I first started it was agony trying to direct a shoot, model, look happy and not totally flustered, and figure out what the photos on the camera will look like. I feel like I’ve only just reached a point where I can see the light falling on the camera and I can know how to move myself to get my shadow to fall just so over the lens. Or I hear the shutter go and I know that the photo will be blurry because the camera is compensating for something black in the shot.
I prefer to shoot on manual, but when I have someone help me shooting, I give them the camera on aperture priority (AV). That way I know what I want to be controlled is controlled, and the camera can automatically assist my photographer helper with anything else. The biggest frustration I have now that I’m used to directing, modelling and photographing vicariously through my many assistants, is styling details. When someone is really focussed on framing like I have just asked, or is just overwhelmed by pressing the capture button, they don’t see small things like my collar sitting funny or my skirt being caught up. I don’t see them either because I don't have a mirror. I sometimes pick it up when we check shots as we go, but it’s hard to see all the details on the camera screen. It’s gutting to get a good shot only to find that the bow on my necktie has come undone, or something similarly hard to ‘photoshop’.
Then comes the editing process. I import the photos and give them all keywords in their meta data. On an easy day, there will be about 300 photos. I’ve had do look through 1200 before. 6-800 is the average. I check every single one to find the best 15 or so shots to share on the blog. Once I have checked them all, then I edit them. It’s hard to sum up this process in a few short words, because what each shoot needs is different. I play with the photos, their colour, edit out things that need editing, and work to make the pictures ‘pop’.
Then comes the next technical part of the process. I save the pictures an export them in the right size, ppi etc. for posting on the blog in a filing system that will mean I can find them years down the track. Once that is done I can create a .gif if I want to (this does add in a few extra steps), or I can upload them to my blog. I put in alternate text for the images and set them at the right size. After all of this, I then need to write a blog post, edit it, add all the blog labels, put in the links to other posts and clothing items. It’s a huge task. After thinking about it so much, it probably takes about 6 hours per blog post with at least 5 hours of that dedicated to the photos alone.
Jacket: gift from Erin
Top: Review Australia
Skirt: Review Australia
Shoes: sold out Modcloth - similar
Brooch: Bok Bok B'Gerk
Photographer/shoot assistant: Goldfields Girl
Location: Federation University Mount Helen campus
Are you surprised by any of this process? Do you have a blog with images? If so, what is your process and how long does it take you?
If you love your photography as much as I do, I'm sure you'll agree that this brooch by Bok Bok B'Gerk is darling! They are hand painted in my home town and are really affordably priced. I got this one some time ago before I became a very proud brand ambassador for them. It inspired me to talk about my photographic process for you in this post!