Wednesday, January 18, 2017

How to Take the Perfect OOTD Picture

Believe it or not, the question that I get asked the most as a blogger is how I take my OOTD pictures.  And if you’re not familiar with OOTD, it stands for outfit of the day.  :o)  Here's an example:


Since I get the question all the time, and I’m constantly emailing the tips to people, I thought I would just summarize it in a post and also let you in on a little behind the scenes. 

Last year, I challenged myself to wear something different every day for the whole year, so I took an OOTD picture all 366 days.  That’s a lot of pictures, so I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert now.  ;o)  Here are my tips!

O N E – Find the Best Lighting… Lighting is Everything

Natural light is the best light, and nothing indoors can compare to the great outdoors, so 99% of my OOTD pictures are taken outside.  The very best weather day you can ever have for these kinds of shots are overcast days when it is not raining.  They are an absolute dream.  That way you get the best natural light without the harshness of the direct sun.  If you live in a place where it is perpetually sunny, then the best thing to do is to find an area outside in the shade.  

In my case, our house faces north, so until around noon every day, our driveway is completely shaded by our house.  Therefore, I always try to take my pictures in the morning.  If I don’t get a chance to take them in the morning, I just head over to the other side of the house that is in the shade in the afternoon.  However, that side of the house is grassy, which isn’t my favorite backdrop, so I try to avoid doing that when possible. 

Here's an example of an indoor picture... while this one isn't too bad, my pants and shoes are so dark that they practically blend in with the carpet.


And here's an example of a picture outside on a sunny day.  While this one isn't in direct sunlight, it's definitely one that is a big no no because there are sun spots on my outfit where the sun was peeking through the fence.


T W O – Find the Best Location… Have a Clean Slate Under Your Feet

The last thing that anyone wants to see is a pile of junk somewhere in the background, or weird discolored ground beneath your feet.  I’ve found that our driveway works best for my pictures, because it’s a nice clean light grey.  It’s a different story when it rains, as the pavement darkens to an almost rust color (yuck) but there’s not much I can do on those days!  But anyway, my best advice is to try to find a place that’s open, consistent in color or pattern, and light in color so your outfit shines.

Here's an example of a bad picture.  It was pouring down rain on this day, so I took the picture in the garage, so the ground is filthy.


And here is another example of a bad picture... it was taken indoors on yet another rainy day, and I took it in my bathroom.  This was probably the worst OOTD picture I took last year.  Yuck!


T H R E E – Find the Best Pose for You

I use my right arm to hold the camera, and I always place my left hand on my hip so my left arm isn’t blocking any of the outfit.  When I'm posing with my little girlfriend, I like to hold her hand... when she lets me!  ;o)

F O U R – Stretch Your Arm as Far as It Will Go

This is the part where a lot of people who email me are stumped.  I have people tell me all the time that their arms just aren’t long enough to get their entire bodies in the frame.  I’m starting to think that maybe I have long arms?  I don’t know.  If you have this problem, you could probably remedy that by using a selfie stick, but I have never used one.

F I V E – Snap Snap Snap

I use my iPhone to take all of the pictures, so I simply hold it in my right hand and snap non-stop while slightly moving my arm all around because this allows me to get lots of different angles.  When it comes to this, practice makes perfect.  Since I’ve taken so many now, I can pretty much get the perfect shot in one take these days.  However, I still take anywhere from five to twenty pictures to achieve finding the best angle.  This takes all of about 30 seconds.  Believe me, if it took any longer than that, I wouldn’t have Olivia in so many of them!  Haha.

For this particular post, I took 16 pictures.  Here are a few of the unedited pictures (with the exception of the watermark that I added).






S I X – Choose the Best Picture

Scroll through all of the pictures you just took.  Delete the blurry ones, delete the ones that cut off part of your body, delete the ones that are taken at an odd angle, and then find your favorite of the ones that remain.  On this particular day, I honestly didn’t have any really bad ones, but I chose the second one from above because I liked the angle, and I liked Olivia's face the best. 


S E V E N – Edit

I use PicMonkey or the built-in Instagram editor to edit my photos.  I always zoom and crop them into a square, lighten, adjust the color, and sharpen them until they look just right.  Look at the difference between the unedited photo and the edited one.  So much brighter and crisper after the edits!

Unedited:

Edited:


Believe it or not, this entire process from start to finish takes all of about five minutes for me since I do it so often.  The more you do it, the faster (and better) you’ll be, too!

And for fun, you normally only get to see this:


But this is what it looks like from the outside:





And that’s it!  And a special thanks to my Instagram Hubs for taking the shots of Olivia and me as I took our OOTD picture this past Sunday.  

If you decide to give it a shot, be sure to tag me in any of your pictures on Instagram @lindsayssweetworld.

And if you want to see how I wore something different every single day last year, the post is here and the links to all 366 looks are below. 



*Linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I What I Wore, Life in the Green House and Taz and Belly for Wardrobe WednesdaySydney Fashion Hunter for Fresh Fashion Forum, Pumps & Push Ups for Oh, Hey Girl! Link-Up, The Mummy ChroniclesTucker UpShopping My Closet for Style Me Wednesday, Classy Yet Trendy for Trendy Wednesday Link-Up, The Blended Blog and Jessi's Design and Going the Distance for What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday.

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54 comments:

  1. I keep practicing! I still can't seem to get it just right! I was thinking that you flipped the camera to the "selfie" side...but you don't?? I will have to practice again today!!
    Thank you of the step by step instructions!! and that Olivia is just precious!!
    Have a great day friend!

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    1. Nope, I don't flip the camera to the selfie side because the resolution is lower and therefore it's always grainy! Instead, I just flip the phone around and guess where to aim! Haha.

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  2. Such a great tutorial! I love how bloggers have their signature style of taking selfies! So interesting to see how you do yours!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

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  3. Love the behind the scenes picture. I need to give these a try - great tutorial!

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  4. Love this! You definitely have long arms! I have tried this. And I get all of 1/2 my body in it hahaa. Does picmonkey have an app? I'm always doing it on my computer but would love to do it on my
    Phone sometimes too! You and Olivia always look so cute!

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  5. Such a great post!!! Have always struggled with ootd pictures because I just feel like the pictures never come out right but you are a master at it - thanks for sharing your tips! :)

    Sarah Bell
    Trendy & Tidy

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    1. Thanks so much, Sarah! After taking 366 of them in one year, I think I have it down pat!

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  6. This was great! I've always wondered how you do it. I always assumed you used a selfie stick. Maybe I'll give this a shot with an outfit of the week as I'm trying to actually get dressed here and there and not wear my usual black yoga pants all the time. Thanks for sharing your tricks!

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  7. Such great tips Lindsay! I am going to give them a try next time I wear something worthy of capturing LOL!

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  8. This is so helpful! I always struggle with my ootd pics! I'm pinning!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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  9. This is awesome.... and now I want to try it.... but I am in my gym clothes and slippers. I am so freaking tall I always seem to struggle with this, but you'd think I have really long arms too? That's it, I'm trying it.

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  10. Thanks for this great walk through! I've gone back and forth between the arms length shot and the mirror shot for mine.

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    1. For some reason I just cannot get the mirror shot down pat. I think it's just because the lighting in our bedroom where the full-length mirror is is so bad. I really need to work on that one!

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  11. oooo I secretly have wondered how to capture this angle, no joke!!

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  12. What a great idea! A different outfit everyday! I love that! Kind of makes me want to do it! I totally agree about editing! Worth the extra minute or two to make your photos pop!

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    1. You should totally try it! It was tough toward the end because it was hard to remember what I had already worn, but it challenged me to think outside the box and make up some new combinations that I would have never tried otherwise!

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  13. I love this! I've tried to take similar shots on occasion and I can never get my neck to my feet in the shot like you do!

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  14. Scheduling this on Pinterest!
    I have never tried this angle...but I'm definitely going to give it a try sometime! I love your OOTD pictures and I'm glad you included a behind the scenes look.
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

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  15. I'm seriously the worst at these...I find that I always cut something important out LOL! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  16. You are just THE BEST at taking these outfit pics! But I love how you went back and explained what you've learned - like the bathroom floor photo, lols!! :) Also, I couldn't agree more about natural light!!! Best thing ever.

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  17. Great tutorial!! Thanks!! And thank you for linking up at whatcha wearing wednesday!

    l,
    Vicky
    TheMummyChronicles.com

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  18. Thank you for the tutorial. I feel like I could do it now and not fear those photos. Mine usually come out awful.

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  19. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I always admire your outfit of the day pictures so much and I am so terrible at it. My work outfits I don't really have an opportunity to take them outside but I'm going to use these tips for all my others. I feel like you're a pro at it so I love that you gave this tutorial.

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    1. Thank you, Andrea! I figured I should probably just do the tutorial since I've already typed it out over and over for individuals who had contacted me. Haha.

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  20. Great tips! Lighting is definitely everything!

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  21. Ok I always wondered how everyone takes these great outfit photos. I want to try now! You always look precious in yours. Thanks for sharing!

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  22. Okay, so this doesn't work for me. :( I have the shortest arms ever. Seriously! Nate calls me T-Rex. Great tips though! Your pictures are always perfect.

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  23. Yay love this! Exactly how I take mine too, but I'm not as good and have to take like 500 of them! :)

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  24. Thank you so much for the tips!!!! Your daughter is so stinkin cute, I love her face when your hubs is taking the pictures. Just precious!

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    1. Thank you, Karen! Yes, she was hamming it up for the camera! I don't ever get to see her face when I normally take the pictures so I thought it was hilarious that she was actually smiling.

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  25. Woo! Thank you for writing this post. Your ootd picture game is STRONG so it is awesome to learn how you do it! Thanks for sharing!

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  26. My arms must be super short they never come out like urs lol

    Life is just Rosie
    Instagram

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    1. Haha, yeah, based on what others are telling me, I'm starting to think I have really long arms!

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  27. Awesome tips, and yes to lighting is everything! Love your cute little co-host <3
    Green Fashionista

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  28. Great tips! I am totally going to try to wear a different outfit every day in February... wish me luck! :)

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    1. AAAAHHHH good luck! That is so exciting! You definitely need to document it!

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  29. Lol- this is awesome! I'm going to feature this as one of my faves on the Blended blog on Friday, cool?

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  30. That's so awesome that you managed to do 365 outfits. Kudos to you! That's such a great and challenging way to make the most of your wardrobe.

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  31. How cute are both of you!! I am horrible at taking these pics and my legs and the rest of my body always look weird and stretched out (I'm blaming it on my short arms). I do agree that lighting is everything! Beautifully Candid

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  32. Thanks for this post. I need so much help in this area and you always have the best pictures!

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  33. Great post :-) the pictures at the end are especially helpful! I don't know why I always hold my phone up and down, but maybe that's part of why I can never get the whole outfit in the picture! I am going to try with the phone on its side!!

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    1. Thank you! And yes, I figured that those shots at the end would be the most helpful because nobody ever gets to see that side of it. A special thanks to my blogger hubby for taking the pics! Hehe.

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  34. You have definitely perfected this. Lighting is super important.

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  35. I do think you have long arms because I can't get my entire body in shots but I like the details in our steps so maybe I'll give this OOTD more attempts.

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  36. Great tips & lovely pics! I love that your hubby took snaps of you and your girl in action too! It helps show the angle you're taking them from and it's just super cute too! :) This post also brought it to my attention that I'm not following you on IG so I'm going to head over there now and remedy that! ;) Have a fabulous upcoming weekend! xo - Brenda // ChattingOverChocolate.com

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  37. Such great tips!! I love your outfits and am going to have to give your methods a try. I agree 100% that finding the best lighting is HUGE. I feel that way about my food so now I need to do work on my outfits. Love your plaid top with the red.

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  38. I had no idea about holding the camera backwards! You're also holding it horizontally rather than vertically! Do you email yourself the photo to use picmonkey or can that be done on your phone too?

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  39. This is so helpful and I have yet to post any OOTD pics because I'm a little unsure of the best way (and this is my first week of blogging)! I'll have to try this! :)

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    1. I'm glad I could help!! And welcome to blogging... it's so much fun!!

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