By Emily Jane
Dallas Photography for Influencers and Small Business Owners

Blog Posts

10 Actionable Ways to Make Your Outfit Photos Less Boring

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You've booked a photographer and planned a shoot to show off your style on your blog. You get all prettied up, drive out to your location, and get in front of the camera. Then your mind blanks, so you just stand there, with your hand on your hip, smiling. Every now and then you let out an awkward laugh and an uum...? ...And all your photos turn out more or less the same.

I know that feeling only too well, from both sides of the camera.

Let me tell you - this happens ALL the time.! Photographers can guide you, but the shoot goes much faster and the photos come out much more varied if BOTH of you have a good idea of what to do before you get there. And with the amount of time you spend at photoshoots as a style blogger, time is of the essence and diversity is key!

So what's the missing element in all those outfit shots in Instagram that make them shine? MOTION.

Sometimes the hardest part is just thinking of something to do when you're freezing up on location. So I'm going to spell out ten different simple tasks you can give yourself to incorporate movement in your photos (with visual examples!). They're uncomplicated enough that (with a little bit of practice and confidence-building) even those who are total awkward noobs in front of the camera like myself can do them. Let's dive in!


1. Don't just smile; laugh!

chakayla taylor laughing in front of graffiti wall
black woman in earrings smiling near pink flowers

Whatever happens to your body when you laugh naturally - let that happen! Do you lean forward, shrug your shoulders, scrunch your nose? Be organic. Helpful hint: tilting your head can look even more genuine and intriguing!

2. Get bashful: look down for a moment.

blogger in deep ellum looking at feet
entrepreneur with curly hair in deep ellum

Your feet have never been so interesting! It can be with your eyes or your whole head, but averting your gaze is a typical go-to for Instagram influencers. It adds just a bit more curiosity than the straightforward smile-and-say-cheese pic.

3. Pull an Ariana Grande: the Side to Side glance.

cute african american woman portrait
chakayla looking into sun

Have you ever seen a photo and thought: what are they looking at that's so interesting or funny? Well, 9 times out of 10, guys, it's nothing. Hate to ruin the magic, but looking off-camera is just an easy way to make it appear as though you're just living life, and someone happened to capture the moment!

4. Throw shade.

mommy blogger adjusting sunglasses
influencer holding her sunglasses

Whip out those cute sunglasses. We all need them anyway most days, and shades are an easy item to play with. Try just taking them off and on during pictures; fold them, tuck them in your shirt, place them on your head. This is good practice to keep moving during your shoot, plus it gives you something to do with your hands!

5. Strut your stuff.

black style blogger walking in white dress
fashion influencer walking by brick wall

Walking is more engaging than a stagnant pose, and oftentimes clothing photographs best with a little wind under its wings. If you're wearing heels, this can be especially beneficial in showing them off. Mind your posture when you're moving, though. Relaxed is fine for casual clothing; lift your head up and shoulders back for a dressier getup.

6. Werk that mane.

lady playing with her afro in dallas with eyes closed
chakayla touching her hair in white shirt

Shake what your momma gave you - and this time I don't mean your derriere. Muss up your hair a bit, run your fingers through it, tuck it behind your ear. Even go "crazy" and whip it, flip it, tug on it. This is definitely a versatile go-to when you get stuck!

7. Bend a leg; pop a foot.

woman in front of graffiti wall posing in outfit
woman in orange pants and boots next to motorcycle

Basically this tip is all about keeping the limbs and extremities fluid. You don't have to actually be walking to invoke a sense of motion into your photos. Small things like lifting your heel or toes off the ground mean you listened when Tyra Banks talked about modeling H-2-T. (HA.)

8. Let the clothes guide you.

black girl strumming air guitar in dallas
business woman with hands in her pockets

Once you pick out your outfit, before you go to the shoot, spend a few minutes in the mirror determining what shapes and movements best display your look. If your piece is flowy, for example, you could twirl, lift your arms, or sway. If the article of clothing is stiff, is there a collar you can pop, a sleeve you can roll, or pockets your hands can fill?

9. Shift your weight.

business coach in black flowy shirt and orange pants
chakayla taylor with hand on hip and legs crossed

Back to basics - there's nothing wrong with the hand on hip classic, as long as you're not using it 100% of the time! If you incorporate some of these other tips that infuse movement, your stance will appear more natural. Switch the leg your weight is on and pop that hip, while letting the rest of your body follow instinctive behavior. Try not to let any part of your body become too stiff during this action.

10. Let it all hang out.

lady by marilyn monroe mural in deep ellum
silly outfit photo of woman in her outfit

Once you practice a few of these pointers and get more comfortable, you'll realize that imperfect = beautiful. Your photos do not have to be these pristine, emotionless, cookie cutter stock images. The reason candid photography is so popular now is because motion implies life. You are a unique human being, not a mannequin, and you have a personality that people can relate to. Let it shine in your online presence!

I truly hope these ideas help boost your confidence in front of the camera, help you gain more interest online, and end up saving you time in the end. You got this, chicaroo!

Don't forget to tag your photos with #tipsbyemilyjane on social media so I can see your progress and follow your account!

Emily LeeComment