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Do you ever wish you could get a decent picture of your outfit? Maybe you’re posting it online to a fashion group or on Instagram. Or maybe you’re just sending it to your friend with the proud message “I got dressed today! #babysteps”. Getting a great shot of your outfit can be harder than it looks!
How do fashion bloggers take pictures of themselves showing their outfits so well? When I first started taking outfit selfies for the blog it took practice and discovery to learn some of the best techniques and tools available. So today I’m sharing all the tips, tricks, and tools up my sleeve.
Here’s how to take awesome outfit photos without a photographer, or fancy camera, or big lights. Just by yourself with your phone.
just want to get the free photo checklist and go?
Types of Outfit Photos
#1 How to Take Good Mirror Selfies
Mirror selfies are probably the most common way to get a snapshot of what you’re wearing. The full length mirror I use is from Walmart and costs around $5. I’m not sure if they still have them in stock, but here is another one on Walmart.com for $15.
IKEA also has very affordable options (for example).
Setting up your mirror for good mirror selfies
As we’ll talk more about later, lighting is the most important factor with outfit selfies. You want to place your mirror next to a window to get as much natural light as possible.
Also hang your mirror at a natural height for you. I’m 5’6” and my mirror hangs 13 inches off the floor.
Clean your mirror and lens
Take a moment to wipe your mirror down to get rid of those cute smudges left by little hands. And EVERY time you take a selfie: use a soft, clean part of your clothes to clean your phone lens too. You want to remove the grease prints that accumulate between photos. It will make a world of difference on the clarity of your photo.
Playing with mirror distance
To avoid distracting from your outfit with too much surrounding your frame, move closer to your mirror. Simply stepping closer to the reflection will greatly improve the clarity of your outfit.
Note: Don’t zoom in, that will lower the quality of your photo.
Playing with phone height/distance
Depending on what you what to accentuate about your outfit, you might try placing your phone covering your face or only one eye, beside your jawline, or at your shoulder.
You can also bring your phone closer or farther from the mirror for different looks.
#2 How to Take Arm Extending Selfies
The second kind of outfit selfie can be taken no matter where you are, and it’s what we associate most with “selfie.”
The easiest way to take these kinds of photos is by flipping your phone camera so that you can see yourself in the frame as you snap the shot.
For crisper, higher-quality photos though, you can practice taking photos with your phone screen turned away from you. At least on iPhones, the lens pointing away from the screen is better quality than the one on the screen. This is trickier though as you don’t have the visual guide.
On iPhones, you also have the option to capture a photo using the volume buttons on the side. This is helpful when doing one-handed pics because tapping the shutter button on the screen might feel impossible when you’re pulling an inspector gadget move without the gadgets. Look for the volume buttons on the side of your device.
In case you’re lost, let me provide a visual. I can’t take a picture of my own camera, so I’ll demonstrate with my son’s toddler phone.
Single arm extension selfies: Side angle
Using one arm you can extend it farther away from your body and at an angle.
Love this mamas style on Instagram!
To demonstrate, I’m using my son’s phone again. Because I’m sure you have no idea what I’m talking about. This is such complicated stuff. Double arm extension selfies: Front angle For a more symmetrical look at your outfit, extend both arms to snap a front and center view of your outfit. And another demonstration with toddler phone. Hope I haven’t lost you yet. I know this is super advanced. Hang with me. Okay after that “captain obvious” section this scene from the movie Billy Madison is playing in my head. That’s the only part of the movie I’ve watched and it’s epic by itself! I have no idea how that guy got through his lines. #dying But back to outfit selfies. This IS a complete guide, after all.
#3 Selfie Stick Selfies
If you want to avoid pulling a muscle while trying to get your whole cute ensemble in the frame, you might try a selfie stick. Selfie Stick on Amazon I’m almost 100% sure this gal is using a selfie stick. I know if I got that angle of my entire outfit my mouth would be doing something crazy.
To go selfie-stick-incognito like her, adjust the camera’s angle on the stick to avoid showing the long arm in your shot.
#4 Using the Timer or a Human Tripod (aka Hubby)
There’s always the good ole’ “set a time, run to your spot, pose, and smile self-consciously.” I do it all the time for my blog. So shallow right?
Hopefully your phone has a 10-second setting like mine. Cause ain’t nobody gonna get in place AND strike an epic pose in 3 seconds.
If you have a willing spouse or child, you can get glamorous shots on-the-go like this one:
Yes, those pants are for real. And they’re selling like hot cakes. So if you’re liking your outfit (whether or not it features plastic knees) and you want to share it in your Facebook Group, trade a candy or smooch for a quick pic. My hubby knows the routine. On Sunday before leaving for church he snaps a photo of his dear wife. We’re already running late so what’s 10 seconds? Still working on my 2-yr-old… for now he goes straight to the excavator video on my phone and giggles when mommy stands there frozen in a smiling pose.
This is where it’s at, ladies. With poor lighting it doesn’t matter how perfect your mirror is or how long your arm is. Your outfits will be hard to see. There are a couple of things that will help your lighting immensely.
#1 Natural Light
Aim to get as much natural light in your photos as possible. That’s why you want to set up your mirror by a window. You can also take non-mirror selfies outside (in the shade to avoid direct light).
#2 Camera Brightness Setting
If you tap and hold the screen on an iPhone, you can adjust the brightness. You probably knew that. But isn’t it annoying when it keeps switching back to the old brightness when you try to snap your picture? Here’s what you gotta do: Simply tap and hold a darker part of the screen to lock the brightness setting. Bonus tip: Point away from subject to a slightly darker part of the room to lock an even brighter setting. Then return to your outfit and be amazed by the brilliance.
#3 Photo Editing (Recommended App)
Brightening If the natural light available is limited (such as on a cloudy day–I have a TON of those where I live), you can easily brighten a photo without distorting color. My favorite app to do this is A Color Story (Apple | Android). It’s free and the best I’ve used. My go-to effects are:
- Lite Bright (Filters > Essentials > Lite Bright)
- Pop (Filters > Essentials > Pop)
- Custom adjustments (Tools > Adjust)
When you save a photo, you are given the option to save your editing steps. I recommend doing this as it will save you time and keep your photos uniform. I have a few pre-saved filters that I use over and over.
Getting a hang of Color Story takes a bit of time, but once you figure out the navigation it will become your best friend! I use it to edit all my family photos… not just outfit selfies.
Some other apps that have been recommended (but I haven’t played with too much yet) are: Snapseed, Afterlight, and Facetune. Cropping You can also crop your photo with your photo editing app to help focus in on your outfit.
Bonus Tips About Capturing Awesomeness
Smile. Or at least smirk a little. Seems obvious but lots of outfit selfie takers forget their face as they’re trying to get in the frame. I have one of those faces that look utterly bored when it’s not engaged in a smile. So I smile to make it pleasant to look at my outfits. No matter how many outfit selfies I’ve seen, the serious faces always make me ask, “is she doing okay? I wonder if she’s had a bad day.” When in reality their day is probably just peachy. They LOVE their outfit, they just forgot to show it with their face. Smile, smirk, light up your eyes. It makes all the difference! Because we’re human. (P.S. If you feel cheesy smiling, at least think about that funny thing your kid said and show amusement with your eyes.)
Play with poses. Find one that expresses YOU best. Whether it’s popping your knee out, turning slightly, placing your free hand high on your waist, or pushing your hair behind your ear. It adds a bit of “motion” to your looks. “Motion.” Smart right? I’m pretty impressed myself. Poses to try:
Hand on your hip or waist
Tilting your head/looking away (especially if you have a cute hairstyle)
Popping out one knee
Pushing hair behind ear
One leg further out, pointing your toe
No more tips. All done.
Bet you never guessed there was so much to taking outfit selfies. But hey, when you title something “a complete guide” you gotta say a ton of stuff, you know? So there you go.
Download the free printable checklist
Instantly improve your outfit selfies by following these steps!
Now it’s your turn to share! Did you learn anything new you want to try next time you take an outfit photo?
Have you tried any of these apps: Snapseed, Aviary, Afterlight, or Facetune? How do you like them?