This past Sunday, I was straight off a 10 day workout at Barbados Cropover and had exactly one day to chill before it was time for me to get back to the grind. I took Saturday to prepare and on Sunday woke up bright and early to shoot. Well actually I had to post a blog post and a video and then get ready to go and shoot (if I’m keeping it 100). Yall, I had not 1, not 2 but 4 campaigns due this week — two of which were due the next day. I actually had one campaign manager email me at 9am Monday morning asking for the deliverables when she knew I had shot them not even a full 24 hours earlier. Talk about a stressful situation. I happened to mention on Instastories that Rose, my photographer and I, shot 5 looks in 1.5 hours and I can’t believe how many responses I go to that instastory. People wanted to know how I did it. How I possibly shot 5 looks in that short amount of time. Well, I’m here to break it all down for you. I’ve been primarily a fashion blogger since 2010. I know a thing or two when it comes to preparing for a shoot. It also helps that I’m hella Type A and little neurotic. I also have some amazing support. Here’s how I Fashion Blog Like a Boss.
PLAN OUTFITS IN ADVANCE
I plan everything in advance. Every outfit I shoot for a campaign or for my blog has been thought out and tried on. I used to rip my room apart putting outfits together and modeling them in my full-length mirror. I no longer have to do that. I can put an outfit together in my head now. I still do try it on and see how it looks. I try on the entire look: clothes, shoes, accessories, jewelry and I even pick out an exact lipstick color. Once I put the perfect look together, I write the outfit down on a list of other outfits I want to eventually shoot. When I have at least 5-7 looks written down, that’s when I schedule a shoot with Rose. I like to shoot many outfits at once and then slowly post them throughout the next 1-2 months. On shoot day, I have my list of outfits I’m shooting which includes accessories and shoes for each outfit so I don’t forget. I pack everything nicely in my huge Primark shopping bag and head to meet Rose. I’ve actually gotten to the point where don’t need the list unless we are shooting more than 5 looks. I’ve actually shot up to 8 looks in 2-3 hours.
PLAN YOUR LOCATION ACCORDINGLY
A lot of new bloggers make the mistake of trying to shoot at very special locations, The Brooklyn Bridge, a Soho Cobblestone Street, a bustling corner in Chinatown and Central Park Fountain all in the same day. Trust me, it’s a waste of time. Even though I may have 5 looks, I shoot them all with 2 blocks of each other and every look still looks different. I find a base location where there is a nice bathroom like The Gansevoort Hotel in Meatpacking or Nomo Soho Hotel in Soho and go to town. Each look takes about 15 minutes to shoot and then I go in the bathroom and change into the next look. Don’t get hung up on the location. It really doesn’t matter. People are there for the clothes not so much the backdrop. This works even better if you have a car. Just pack your stuff in the car and change outfits in the car as well. I’ve done this both having a car and without and it’s pretty much the same but I loved the convenience of a car if we did want to do location changes.
FIND A CONSISTENT & SUPPORTIVE PHOTOGRAPHER
It’s really hard to find dependable, affordable photographers who are really passionate about their work but not so passionate that they think they own your creative images. I’ve been through 4 photographers since 2010. All of them were really amazing, super dependable and loved photography. They each taught me something different and helped me to get comfortable in front of the camera. Rose is now the head photographer for my website and for my independent digital and print magazine, Steele Magazine. She literally pushed me to another level and that’s the kind of supportive photographer you need to really make it in Fashion Blogging. You have to always be evolving and thinking of new ways to deliver content outside of a plain street style photo in front of a brick wall. Rose has me doing all kinds of things I used to be too shy to do. I also believe because I pay her, she knows that I value her time and her work. Honestly, she’d probably shoot me for free because we are like sisters but I want her to know that I value her work and her work has helped take me to the next level. Money is motivation but it’s also appreciation. Rose and I have been shooting together for over 2 years so we pretty much have it down to a science. I love how she knows exactly how I like my photos shot and once she says we got the shot, I trust her enough to say ok…next look. I rarely even spend time looking at the photos. We also try to take 50 photos or less per outfit to cut down on having too many choices and editing time.
PAY YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER (I don’t care if it’s your best friend)
I do not believe in Instagram husbands. I actually feel quite sad for boyfriends and husbands who are trained to take their blogger boos photos especially if they aren’t already photographers. Now if your mans already does it for a living then yes yes, why not, it’s a win for you both. But if you’re dragging him all over town to shoot and every vacation is all about your content it’s an easy way to breed contempt in a relationship. I’ve seen even the strongest Blogger/Instagram husband couples crumble under that pressure. Do yourself a favor and pay someone to photograph you or if you ain’t got it like that, use a self-timer to take your own photos. Look, I don’t care if it’s your best friend or your cousin, you cannot depend on them to slave away to get the perfect photo for you just because y’all are family or friends. The only way I’ve actually seen this work is when mothers take their daughters photos. Just remember their time matters just as much as getting the shot does. PAY THEM. I’ve always paid my photographers even if it was a friend taking 30 minutes out of their day to help me shoot a last minute campaign. I find that people work harder and want to help you succeed more when you pay them.
USE TOOLS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER
I like to edit my own photos with presets I’ve created in LightRoom App on my iPhone. Thanks to this trusty SD Card Reader for iPhone, I get my photos right after the shoot. I don’t have to wait for Rose to edit them for me or any other photographer. I like having my photos right away. Most of the time I also bring my own SD Card so I have that as well for when I’m ready to edit my photos and outfit videos. If you wanna know some of the Tools I Use To Make Blogging Easier, be sure to check out This Video on my Youtube Channel. If you wanna know what apps I use to edit my photos and videos for my blog and for Instagram head over to my Etsy Shop and check out my Instastories Pro Ebook with 10 apps or my Insta-Grow Ebook with 33 Apps for Instagram, Video and Photo-editing along with 4 Video Modules. You can also check out my So You Wanna Be a Blogger Ebook with tips on starting a blog, plan content, networks to join to secure paid campaigns and more. Lastly, If you’re looking to make more money with affiliate networks especially with RewardStyle you can check out my brand new ebook 15 Tips For Making Money with RewardStyle. That’s really the best option for monetizing your photos for Instagram and for your website.
REPURPOSE YOUR CAMPAIGN PHOTOS
I’m at the point were I need to shoot every weekend or every other weekend because I have new campaigns popping up everyday. If I’m going to spend time creating and outfit or shooting a look for a brand just so I can post 1 photo on Instagram, I’m going to repurpose that content to make it go further on my blog or YouTube. Like I said I’m paying for these photos so why go through an entire shoot for just 1 photo for a brand? Make that content work for you. Think outside the campaign. Make those campaign images get more eyes on your site, get more attention from that brand, get more affiliate link commissions in your pocket. Yes, its cute for the gram but remember in a month, no ones gonna be scrolling back to see that photo on your timeline.
DO THE WORK
I said what I said. People have ideas all the time and never act on them. That’s the difference between wishing and hoping and becoming what you’re destined become. I know it might sound crazy but I know I’m Top 5 Fashion Bloggers in the world. I don’t have a million followers but I’ll get there and I blog like I know I will. If you want to be good at something you have to practice. I didn’t learn how to Fashion Blog like a Boss overnight. It took a few years for me to learn my angles, hone in on my style, learn what silhouettes work for me, learn how I like to be shot and how to edit my photos. It takes practice and it takes work. You can’t skip to the accolades without doing the work. You can sit back and watch other people do it and wonder how they do it and ask them for a step by step guide on how they do it or you can get out there and start learning the lessons for yourself. Don’t get caught up and overwhelmed in the minute details. Just do it. There really is no secret formula. I can shoot 5 looks in 1.5 hours because I practiced and prepared. Now that I think about it, I could have even squeezed in one more. But there’s always next week.
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If you have any other questions drop them in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer!