Part 2: Photography
Last week, we cut all the way down to the bare bones of what made a fashionable OOTD. Now we’ll discover how to make that outfit come alive online!
Building on the foundation of solid fashion choices, we’ll look at bringing an outfit to life through photography, setting the mood during post-processing, and telling its story via well-crafted Instagram captions.
In the second half of this article, we ask style bloggers AJ Dee, Kryz Uy and Aria Clemente to take us step by step through their creative process behind shooting and processing their Instagram OOTD posts!
What’s important to you when you compose a photo?
AJ: I prefer [moody lighting] to strong light, close to [actual colors] than heavy filters. I have an obligation to my followers [in that] they need to see the actual color of the clothes I am wearing. The background…depends on my mood, but majority of my photos have textures.
Kryz: [I put] emphasis on the subject at all times – the content and quality of photos [always matter over] quantity!
Aria: I pay attention to silhouettes and colors, [though] if my whole outfit is seen and I don’t look too short in a photo, I’m usually happy with it.
What cameras or other equipment do you use for your photos?
AJ: I use two cameras most of the time: my compact FUJIFILM XT10 which is very handy and captures good quality images, [and] the other one is my ever-reliable Canon 5D Mark III. I usually use my 70-200 lens for my Canon as it…produces outstanding images, and I just love bokeh very much.
Kryz: My go-to camera for Instagram photos is the Leica Q. The camera spoils you because it’s so easy to use, and the lens produces sharp and unique photos with that creamy, soft-skinned look.
Aria: I own an Olympus Pen F, a Polaroid OneStep 2, a Lomo Instant Mini Automat, and an iPhone X…I have an iMac for video editing and sometimes photo editing – I use Lightroom CC – [and] I have an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil that I use as a graphic tablet to doodle on my photos. I had a 35mm rangefinder film camera…some of my blog posts are shot with a disposable camera as well.
What’s your editing process like? How do you choose a filter?
What colors do you typically like to bring out?
AJ: As I have mentioned, I don’t like using heavy filters…but what I usually do is bring out the colors and details. Then I use a moderate level of filter that gives a warmer feeling.
Kryz: I just use Lightroom – no filters and presets. I just do my own thing with exposure, contrast, shadows, highlights, then I like to bring up the temperature so photos look warm and happy. I use paid versions of Lightroom and Photoshop, so I have the Selective Edits option on my app, which allows me to edit isolated portions of an image. That makes all the difference because it helps me put more focus on the subject of the photo!Aria: I usually just use the Instagram editing options because that’s all I really need. I add grain when I edit from Lightroom. I don’t use filters at all. It’s important for me to show the actual colors of the clothes and shoes I’m wearing. There’s nothing that annoys me more than an over-filtered photo. If you can’t even see the original color of what you’re wearing then you’ve overdone it. (It’s such a subjective thing, though. If that’s what you’re into, by all means, do it!)
From a pool of pictures, how do you choose the final shot that makes it onto Instagram?
AJ: I look into many factors like if the subject is in focus, if the clothes drape nicely and tidily, if the background is in harmony with the subject, and if my face [looks proper].
Kryz: It depends on which photo [from the pool] matches my feed. [The whole grid] has to look aligned.
How do you write your photo captions?
AJ: This is the most time-consuming part of the whole process…the caption has to convey the important details of the photo. When it comes to my style or clothes, I specify important details of the outfit [especially because] sartorial menswear is very technical.
Aria: I…describe the photo as it is, quote lyrics, relate back to whatever reference I had in mind while taking the photo, or sometimes I try to be funny and quote memes. When I can’t think of anything, I just put emojis.
Follow our style bloggers on Instagram to see more OOTDs: AJ Dee (@thefilodapper), Kryz Uy (@kryzzzie), and Aria Clemente (@ariadaniella).