Fashion Blog Photography – In Or Out?

Posted in Blogging.

I started blogging in 2009 as a way to share my more fashionable thoughts with a wider audience. The words have always come easily to me, but capturing images for a highly visual medium like a blog has proven more difficult. My earlier posts feature dark, dingy photos and although they’ve improved dramatically since then, I’m still no match for Carrie. Any photography skill I possess is instantly lost when there’s no natural light.

I’ve always operated under the assumption that outdoor photography on blogs is better than indoor. It’s definitely easier – there’s so much light, brick walls make great backgrounds and I don’t have to move two tables and an armchair to get a good spot. So I was surprised by the commenter on this post who said they much preferred my indoor shots.

The commenter mentioned that they liked the lifestyle/home decor element of indoor blog photography, which is an angle I’ve never considered. By far, my favourite posts on fashion blogs are those that give the reader an insight into the blogger’s life – I am terribly nosy and love seeing other people’s bedrooms/kitchens/closets. So do photographs that combine outfits with a more personal touch work better than generic outdoor scenes?

fashion blog photography

One thing’s for sure – it is much, MUCH less embarrassing to take photos indoors. I don’t have anyone to take my photos so it’s just me and the tripod trotting down the street and setting up among postmen, passersby and and once, a curious policeman. And maybe if I could master the ISO setting on my camera, my indoor shots could be light and airy. It’s definitely something I’ll be thinking about, and I’m really glad the commenter provided an alternative point of view to consider.

What about you – do you take indoor or outdoor shots? Which do you prefer, and why? Do you enjoy taking photos for your blog or do you, like me, find it a bit of a struggle? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

70 Comments

Lauren Canning

I often struggle with this for my blog. I live on the 4th floor of Clarence Dock so the only place for outdoor shots is my small balcony which is often interesting.

I mostly take shots indoors but end up getting hot and flustered running to and from the tripod to check the shot. There’s got to be an easier way?!
Oh and don’t even get me started on how to pose for the photo…

Lauren

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Jen

Hi Lauren,

You can get a remote for your camera so you don’t have to run back and forth to press the button for each shot… I’ve yet to invest in one of these though, so will join you in being flustered! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Charlotte

I struggle with getting photos, I can never find the right location indoors and I agree with the embarassment of outdoors! I also don’t have anyone to take my photos, which just adds to it ๐Ÿ™
I don’t have a preference as to indoor or outdoor, as I love both! xo

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Dolly

I totally agree outdoor shots can be tricky, I am just starting out and haven’t braved the outdoor shot but I am already dreading it due to embarrassment factor. I am not a natural poser so find hard to let my inhabitions go. I feel much safer indoors so I plan to master these first before venturing outside when the weather is nicer! Both your shots inside and out look fab! Xx

http://deardollyblog.blogspot.com

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Anonymous

I’m nosey too so indoor is good! If it’s a nice day outside probably tops it though! Don’t want to nag, but have you chosen the winner of the ghd give away? I’m dying with anticipation!!

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Jen

Hi Anon,

The winner is being chosen by me and ghd… will keep you posted and announce as soon as possible! Fingers crossed ๐Ÿ™‚

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Ria :)

i find it a bit of a struggle but i prefer taking my photographs outside now as my outfits stand out more against a plain background ๐Ÿ™‚ xxx

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Fiona

I like both in and out shots .. I don’t like the OVERLY posed shots .. an honest photo (in or outside) is far better than some show off shot of which I have seen plenty (not on this blog though!) – I wrote a similar piece when I started blogging late last year and I honestly struggle to take anything other than with a handheld phone in a mirror .. I think your mix of in and out shots is just pefect

Fiona
xx

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LV

I like outdoor shots because the lighting always seems so much better, but I do find myself loving a lot of the indoor shots I see on other blogs. I think doing both would be a great mix. It is something I am considering in the future.

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scientistchic

I love taking pictures outdoors, but I’ve ended up not being able to take ‘nice’ pictures indoors or under unnatural light! As you say, I’m sure there must be some mystic ISO settings that make it all better. I do love your indoor shots though – they look pretty good to me!

Hmm, I like the point about seeing people’s homes in the indoor photographs. Fashion blogging has become almost as much about the life of the blogger as it is about the clothes! Perhaps I shall take heart and start taking pictures in my cluttered kitchen.

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Rebecca

I prefer to take indoor shots because it’s easier with my small camera. Maybe if I had a willing accomplise to hand, I would head outdoors. I agree with Fiona above, I like your mixture of indoor and outdoor shots.
R xx

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Elise

I always think you’re inside pics look lovely and bright compared to mine, but I don’t really have anywhere to take pics outside so I’ve not been brave enough to venture outside with my tripod yet… ๐Ÿ™‚

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Belle du Brighton

I generally take my shots in the kitchen against a closed door, but the bloody thing is brown! I do have a little flat roof which is okay when it is not windy or raining, both of which it seems to be frequently here in Brighton! I dont use an overly snazzy camera, and cant be bothered to faff with with in an editing program, they just get cropped and uploaded.
I personally don’t mind seeing peoples ‘lives’ in the background of their pictures, as the best blogs are the ones where you get a feel for the writers personality, and I think that if dragging your tripod and getting weird looks is a hassle, then don’t do it! Outside shots are great as they generally show colour and fabrics slightly better, but perhaps you could invest in a daylight bulb and a floor standing angle poise lamp or similar set up, although I think your inside pictures do your outfits justice and you look just as lovely in or out! xxBelle du Brightonxx

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Jen

Thanks Belle! I’ve been thinking about a big lamp and a daylight bulb for a while, think I might need to make the investment to improve my indoor photography. I feel your pain on the brown door too – all our doors are dark brown wood which makes them rubbish backdrops!

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Tor

Personally, I prefer outdoor shots, like you said for better lighting and different backgrounds.
I think a mixture of the two is nice though… I generally only take my outfit photos inside, purely out of laziness, it’s just easier and quicker. When I do take outdoor ones, it feels like a treat!
Tor @ That’s Peachy Fashion Blog xx

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Alice

I like seeing both- but I guess the indoor element is always interesting like you said, seeing peoples home surroundings as such. I’m not keen on completely plain walls, where you can’t even see skirting boards and sockets etc., for me it’s a little too plain and manufactured.
I do like breath-taking scenery now and again, you can’t beat trees and brick walls, but a good mix of both means it doesn’t get boring and predictable xxx

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Jen

Interesting point about the plain white walls, Alice – I always think a simple background works for showing off an outfit but you’re right that they don’t show any personality and can be quite plain. I think a mix of locations is best!

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Kylie

I like both to be honest. I find blogs boring when it is just them and their bedroom wall for every post, but that is just my personal preference. Variety is the spice of life. Just keep doing what you are doing, you are obviously doing a grand job. I am so self concious outdoors even had an old man basically tell me to bugger off because I was taking a photo on the public footpath opposite his house. I am a blogger not a criminal haha x

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Jen

Oh Kylie, that sounds awful! I’ve had so many odd looks and lots of people have asked what I’m doing (I usually say it’s for a uni project! Whoops) but haven’t had a telling off… yet!

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Fen

the best tip I know for indoor lighting is to use a diffused flash on your camera – it lightens everything up but without the harshness of a full flash! I love both your indoor and outdoor shots! I like the variety ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

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Dreams That Glitter xoxo

This is SUCH an interesting post as I’m actually so undecided. I personally think my outdoor shots come out a million times better than my indoor ones, but actually more than embarrassment, I find it too cold at the moment to go outdoors without showing my coat in every single post, which I don’t want! haha.

xoxo

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Jen

Oh, it’s absolutely FREEZING isn’t it? And yes, at the moment outdoor shots consist of a coat and boots!

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Char!

I use my parents bathroom to take a lot of my pictures as the lighting is the best in there but if I was to take any outfit posts outside it would have to be sunny for them to be done in the back garden. Taking pictures indoors means you are more likely to be able to take them because living in England, it’s gloomy alot! X

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Lolo

I’ve only done a few outfit posts on my blog but I shot them all outside… not sure why when like you said it’s quite embarrassing if any one spots you!
The next ones I might do in my house. It’s too cold to look good outside! I’d have a red nose on all the photos!

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Helly

I live in your local area, looking at the photos, it is great to see the Yorkshire brick and things in the Photo’s.

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Maria

I prefer outdoor photography, merely because I feel more inspired and I have NOWHERE indoors where I can take them… Natural lighting is much nicer too although your indoor shots are great!

Maria xxx

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Kelly

I love both, it’s next to have a mix, I like seeing an interesting backdrop that compliments the outfit, posh frock on a graffiti background. That kind of thing.
x

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Harriet

I’m an outdoor girl when it comes to photography. I’m lucky that my parents have a nice garden that’s good for photos in relative privacy, but the house is quite dark and turning up the iso on my camera just makes them too grainy for me to stand as it’s not got the best sensor ever ๐Ÿ™

I do love to peer round people’s homes though, so I have to admit to enjoying indoor photos as well!

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chiaweb

I like indoor photos because I love seeing other people’s bedrooms/kitchens/closets, too!
I like to share pics taken in interesting places ๐Ÿ™‚ but my blog is not only about fashion so it depends on what I’m blogging about!!!
Chiara
chiaweb.it

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Ella

I like a mix of both on the blog. I agree that it can be so awkward to get pictures with passerbys wondering past and I get people to take pictures for me xx

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Milly

I don’t have a tripod or someone to photograph me, so I’ve had to use the classic ‘mirror shot’ thus far – I’m working on different options. I like a mixture of backgrounds I’d say, in different locations both in and out of doors! x

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LilyLipstick

In an ideal world I would take outdoor shots but as I live in a flat the idea of carrying my tripod out onto the streets of London terrifies me! I have a special blank piece of wall for blog photos which works out well when I’m running late for work and need to snap a few outfit shots.
I like how you have a mix of outdoor and indoor shots, I think the indoor shots focus you more on the outfit but the lighting and colours are always going to be better in the outdoor ones. x

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Lowri

This is my biggest problem with my blog… I live in an attic which has one measly window and I also had an awful camera which actually was worse in natural light.. I’d love to have the confidence to go outside and take pictures but would feel like a right idiot to be honest lol! I now have the Canon 600d so am hoping that will make a massive effect on better pictures.. I think your photos look great indoor or out!

The Deer Head

x

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Cassandra

I struggle with taking pictures too. We don’t have any blank walls in the house i could use as a back drop… might have to borrow my dads tripod and venture outside, but like you said less embrassing indoors! xx

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Vix

I think both are lovely. I mix mine up a bit, garden if it’s not raining, indoors if I can find a clear space or down the pub just to prove I actually wear my clothes in public. x

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Charlotte

I struggle with photography a little.. for a start I don’t like to put pictures of my face up so that’s already out, and then there’s the tripod problem..as in, I don’t have one

Mine is more of a lifestyle blog so most of my photos are either taken when I’m out and about/chilling at home of things like cats and food.. or I get shots from weheartit.com

However, to try and help with your predicament.. I think your outdoor shots are very very pretty, but definitely agree that the indoor shots give a better glimpse into who you are and how you live.. it would be fun to see ones of you just hanging out at your kitchen table or sitting on your sofa.. but maybe that’s just me?

xx

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Jen

Love your suggestion, Charlotte – unfortunately I don’t have a kitchen table (not very domesticated!) but I can definitely look into getting some more ‘action’ shots of real life ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sophie

I would love to exciting photshoots here there and everywhere but i’d feel like a bit of a numpty! I am no way in means a model and feel quite silly posing like one. I tend to go for the awkward face! I usually take them indoors as by the time I get home form work it’s so dark but I do try to venture out to my garden at the weekends! I really think I need to invest in a tripod then I might get better photos. The boyfriend is unwilling to travel haha!
Sophie
x

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Piper Alexander

Personally, I like the tone & color of the indoor shots, as well as the outdoor. I take most of my shots indoors because I just don’t have the time to lug my tripod to a location before or after work + I would have to worry about someone running away w/my camera. But I think I actually prefer inside fake light to natural light. Ha, I’m weird.

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Jen

Oh yikes, I didn’t think of that – now I’m gonna be extra alert for potential thieves who could run away with my camera and tripod while I’m doing my looking-at-the-floor-intently blogger pose! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Kb

I am definitely a fan of outdoor photography, the lighting is usually perfect and it’s just a lot easier when it comes to seeing details. If I lived in the ideal, clean minimal apartment with white walls then it could be different, but I definitely prefer interacting with outdoor surroundings. I do admire you for self-timing your pics on the street though, don’t think I could manage that! I always find posing a struggle and can only relax if I’m by myself or with a trusted and understanding friend.

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Carina

I like indoor photography when the lighting is good. The photo tends to be more focused on the outfit itself rather than its background. I like to shoot indoors when I’m at uni, (too scared to set up the tripod outside!) and outdoors whilst I’m at home. Although I have recently upgraded to a muchh better DSLR camera and I’m yet to try out its potential for low light indoor photos!

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Winnie

Ah that’s really interesting, not given it too much thought before. Generally for myself, I am a fan of the brick wall too because it means colours come out better. Indoor ones are ok but since I don’t own a good camera, they never turn out very well. Still, I can see where that commenter is coming from, because I do like indoor shots too, the personality element really does come across. Food for thought!

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Emsipop

I really like the indoor shots too – mostly because I am nosey and like seeing snippets of peoples houses! I would be too embarrased to go take photos of myself outside, but I don’t know why! If I saw someone else doing it I’d think “….cool!” so there’s no reason to be!
x

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Helen

I like both but for me I usually stick with indoor because it’s so cold at the moment! I might try some outdoor ones in our yard though as it gets warmer although that will involve trying to find my tripod hmmm…

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Kimberlee

I like the outdoor if there was a little more scenery. But the wall color of your room really plays well with some of your outfits. I say mix it up ๐Ÿ™‚ I shoot indoor because I don’t have someone to take a pic for me so it’s just easier.

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xchristybx

I prefer outdoor shots because I think they make for better backgrounds! However I take most of my photos indoors for easyness! I get the whole “insight into bloggers life” thing but, I live in a small 1 bedroom flat which doesn’t have much space. Plus it’s not decorated to my taste as I haven’t been able to afford redecorating since I moved in – so I’m kind of embarassed by the awful wallpaper in the background! It’s not showing my personality at all! ๐Ÿ™ xx

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Lisa-Marie

I think a mixture is great – of course insight into how people live is quite nice, but people are allowed privacy, and just to not tidy if they don’t feel like it. You are definitely right about outside light too. I take photos of food for my blog, and almost all of them are taken near a window, particularly in winter.

Also, outside shots are an insight into peoples lives too.

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