I get asked all the time about the photography on Sugarlaws, and I’ve been sort of hesitant to post about it for a single reason:
It’s so dorky.
Because, see, I’m not one of those lucky-duck bloggers who has a professional photographer for a boyfriend/fiance/husband. When Chad has a Saturday where he doesn’t have to work, he’s not particularly interested in braving the elements to take 600 photos of me in different outfits (he’d rather play Starcraft — go figure). You guys all know that my friend Kristen pitches in when she can, but the fact is that busy people in New York have schedules that don’t always bend to the demands of fashion blogging.
- Light: I try to always use natural light because it’s much less work — the colors and shadows look realistic, without the need for a lot of expensive lighting equipment. I generally like the light to come from behind me when I’m taking photos of myself, and from the side when I’m taking food photos. I don’t use reflectors, but I try to never take photos when the sun is blazing down — a little bit of cloud cover or a translucent window shade does wonders to minimize some of the harshness of natural light.
- Exposure: Related to light, but different. I like to set the exposure higher when I’m taking photos of people — it evens out skin tone and just generally makes the light exceptionally flattering. You can do this on an SLR or a point-and-shoot in manual mode, just set the exposure to +2/3 or +1. Do a shot or two and take a look at them on the camera — depending on the available light, I sometimes expose them less than that.
- Timing: I use a camera remote to take all my non-food photos, so I don’t have to deal with that terrible auto-timer 10 second delay. My remote has a two-second delay, so I can start it and then move my hand so the remote isn’t in the photo (it slips in sometimes, though — you’ve probably seen it)!
- Try, Try Again: Last, of course, I take a LOT of photos — for any given outfit or recipe, I’ll take between 30 and 100 photos from different angles and with the light coming from different places, to make sure I have something I like.
For the photo above, I used all these tips, and then used the CinemaScope setting on Picnik.com (love this site). I think it turned out really well!
So… those are my secrets! Next time you’re taking a family portrait or your own food and style photos, take a look at these tips and see if they help!
On me: Club Monaco shirt, gifted Club Monaco shorts, Jessica Simpson platform heels, H&M leg warmers, gifted Tory Burch bracelet, Calyco necklace (available in the Sugarlaws Boutique).