I did a little questionnaire over on my Instagram a while ago and asked you guys what you wanted to see more of on my blog. Whilst the answers varied, a lot of you said that you wanted to see some more content about blogging itself, giving tips, advice, and my personal opinion on things in the blogging world. This is something I have delved into a little recently with my posts on Authenticity and Insta engagement pods, but today I wanted to cover something else that is a big topic for me in the blogging world, in fact, it’s practically the main important thing when it comes to being a blogger: creating photo content.
It’s been about a year and a half now since I first started my blog Instagram account. This is something that I was super nervous about doing at the time, for fear of people making fun of me, not enjoying my content, or thinking of me as simply a wannabe influencer. Starting right at the beginning with a grand total of 0 followers was quite nerve wracking, plus I was very new to this whole blogging thing. Fast forward to now, and I can confidently say that creating my blog Instagram has been one of the best decisions that I have ever made! Not only has it helped to drive traffic to this blog and get more people reading my posts, but it has allowed me to make friends, connect with other bloggers, and take part in some amazing brand collaborations!
It goes without saying that it takes quite a long time to build up your Instagram, and my content has changed A LOT since I first started posting. Initially, lacking the confidence to post photos of myself, I mainly focused on travel photos from holidays and my year abroad. After some months, I gradually introduced a few outfit photos to my feed, but I was very unsure of what looked good in terms of poses, backgrounds and angles. I felt extremely embarrassed taking photos in public and this is something that, looking back now, was obvious in my content. Over a year later, I have gained a lot of confidence, have learnt a lot from and been inspired by other bloggers on my feed, and I have a clear idea of how I want my content to look. I personally think that my photos have improved drastically over the last 6-8 months and I am learning more about content creating all the time!
A while ago on my Instagram I posted a comparison of an old outfit photo vs one that I took on holiday this year, and I wanted to add it in here to give you an idea of how much my content has changed and improved over the year.
This first photo was taken when I was on holiday in Barcelona in 2018. Not only is the setting dark and gloomy, but I feel like my awkwardness shines through in this photo. It looks more like I’ve been forced to have a photo taken by my mum than that I asked for the photo to be taken myself…
Fast forward to summer 2019, and I think this photo tells a drastically different story. First of all I have this gorgeous backdrop that not only shows a sea view but provides great lighting. Secondly, my posing in this photo is worlds apart from the picture I took in 2018! With a much stronger pose, better angling and far fewer inhibitions in front of the camera, I look much more confident in this picture and it makes for a really great photo (props to my mum for being my lovely photographer).
As you can see, I have learnt a lot in the time I have been blogging, and have made a lot of changes in order to improve my content. However, as someone who has very much started at the bottom, I know just how hard it can be to gain the confidence to shoot photos properly- especially in public places. So I wanted to use this post to give a few of my top tips for shooting content confidently, that will hopefully help you to get your feed exactly where you want it to be!
This is something that I have gotten so much better at this year. Before, I used to just shoot content whenever I could, and there was no cohesion to my feed at all. I went through a few different phases of attempting to organise my feed, trying different methods such as doing three photos of the same style, but I found that just wasn’t sustainable. Eventually, I decided that I wasn’t going to colour code my entire life just for an Insta feed, however I started to be a lot more organised. I downloaded an app called ‘preview’ which allows you to pre-plan your Instagram feed, so I can see what combination of photos look good together, plus it means that I am always ahead so I know exactly where my feed is going. Planning my feed makes me feel much more confident about my content and helps me to decide which colour schemes I am going to explore next, overall this has improved my content massively!
SHOOT PHOTOS WITH A FRIEND
I have dabbled in the idea of using a tripod for my photos before, and whilst I think this works well for some people, if you are already nervous about taking photos in public, whipping out a great big tripod in the middle of the street isn’t going to do you any favours. I have always asked my friends, family and boyfriend to take my photos for me which has been super helpful, but recently, I stumbled across an even better arrangement when I moved back to Birmingham for uni. I was added to a group chat of Birmingham content creators where people were encouraged to meet up for photo shoots and help each other create content. Since then, I have been meeting up with two lovely bloggers to take photos and it has done wonders for my feed! We usually pick a day to meet up and shoot a few different outfits in one sitting. Not only does this make you so much more organised, but by taking photos with other bloggers, you both have a mutual interest in what you’re doing, you both understand what makes a good photo, and perhaps most importantly, you both understand how long it can take to get that perfect picture. I strongly recommend trying to find other bloggers in your area to take photos with, because it takes away a lot of that awkwardness you feel when having your mum take photos for you in public…plus you can make some great friends who have similar interests to you!
KNOW YOUR ANGLES
This is something that takes a while to figure out, but once you know, your content gets so much better! It’s pretty much a trial and error process, but after a while, you start to realise which angles, poses and types of photos suit you the most. For instance, for me, I usually try to tilt my head up a little, have the photo taken from a slightly lower angle, and often, I look away from the camera. Once you find the poses that you know look good, you can start to pull them off more confidently. If you know that a pose is going to make you look good, then your mood is lifted, and in turn the photos automatically look better!
CHOOSE YOUR SPOT WISELY
Living in a big city like Birmingham, there are quite a lot of photogenic areas. However, finding a photogenic area that doesn’t have 10 million people in it at all times (particularly around Christmas time) is extremely difficult. If you feel nervous taking photos in public, I would recommend looking out for smaller areas you can take pictures in front of. Some places may not look like much at first, but if, for example, there’s a nice patch of a wall, a cute little railing, or a pretty street corner, then you could be on to a winner! Searching for a good location can be tiresome, but once you find a good spot it really pays off. You don’t always have to go to the busiest streets to take the best photos, it’s just about being clever with your choices and photo angles. So if you don’t like taking photos in public, try keeping an eye out for the quieter spots in your town.
PUT SOME SHADES ON
This is an extremely simple, but easy trick to gain confidence when taking photos. I have found that the majority of my outfit pictures simply look so much better when I style them with a killer pair of sunglasses. For some reason, the shades seem to not only make the photo look better, but they make me feel so much more confident. It’s almost like they act as a mask, and I’ve found that my posing ability gets so much better when I have them on! Next time you take photos, put on a pair of shades (whatever the weather) and I promise you, you will feel 10x sassier and cooler with them on, and this will shine through in the photos!
IGNORE THE HATERS
Last but not least, a very cringe but very important piece of advice. As time has gone on, I have begun to feel so much more confident shooting my photos in busy streets without batting an eyelid. The truth is, I do get people staring at me, and I do get people shouting things at me, these comments range from ‘yasss queen slay’ all the way to ‘basics bitches taking pics for Instagram’ (yes those are both real things that have been shouted at me). Once upon a time those comments would have made me want to shrivel up into a ball and disappear, but now I just tend to ignore them or laugh, because realistically, the comments say much more about the person shouting them than they do about me. Taking photos in the street is hardly a shocking event, but the fact is that there are some people that rarely get any excitement in their lives, so naturally, seeing someone posing sends them into a frenzy. It can take a lot of time to get over this and I still feel awkward from time to time, but you have to remember that you’ll be the one laughing when you get the killer end result.
These are just some of the things that I have started doing this year that I feel have really helped my content improve. I feel proud of myself when I look back at my old feed and can see how far it has come since then. Having a blog and creating content has made me into a much more confident person, and has unknowingly helped improve other skills such as organisation, decision making and work ethic! Shooting good content can be a very daunting process at first, but it is something that you gradually work out over time, and once you do, it feels great! I know I still have so much to learn myself, and I will probably look back in a year’s time and see that, but for now, I hope I could help some of you out there who are struggling with confidence!
I have set myself two goals for the Christmas holidays: I would like to reach 2,000 followers on my Instagram and 300 followers on my blog! So I would really appreciate it if you could give my Instagram a follow here and if you could scroll down to the form at the bottom of this page and subscribe to my blog via email! This would be the best xmas present ever xxx