Lifestyle: 5 Skills Your Instagram and Blog Photographer Needs To Have

Photographers: I haven’t worked with nearly enough, to say I’m a full-time blogger and one who has been in ‘this industry’ for over 8 years.

I’ve worked with a couple when I ran my dress boutique, and I’d book in for professional fashion shoots. I’d then use the photos to promote my dress shop, but also as fashion shots of myself to use on my fashion blog posts and Instagram posts. That was purely the only reason why I put myself as the model – to get more usage out of the shots.

This little blog post is written more for the blogger’s looking for a photographer, than for photographers already in the profession. I mean, if you’re serious about blogging and social media, you’ll get to the point where you’ll need constant help with outfit shots and those all-important lifestyle photos.

For flat-lays and selfies, hooray – you’ve got your trusty self. And you’ll notice that my Instagram is full of them, because I struggle to get help with my photography. So I had a good brainstorm about what I – a struggling blogger looking to utilise someone to help take my photos more regularly – looks for in a blog/instagram photographer.

There are a number of traits that a photographer needs if they’re going to enable the blogger or instagrammer to progress and constantly up their game. This blogger game is big business now and there are so many instagrammers who are totally killing it!

Here’s 5 skills needed…

1. Be open to honesty

It’s easier said than done, but don’t be easily offended by criticism. I can sometimes shoot 30 photographs before being happy with one. I tend to get my boyfriend to take ‘natural’ shots of me when we go out anywhere, and sometimes he’ll say “You look like you’re sat really stiff” or, “stop closing your eyes”.

Criticism is hard but it takes aaaaages to get the right shots sometimes – so just let your photographer roll with it! I’ll be scrolling through the camera photos saying what is my face doing?!  And then I go onto my body “My arms look podgy on that photo”, or “I look a weird shape” – you’ll find anything to pick at.

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Make sure that your photographer is open to you having a look through the camera roll of photos, because what they class as bad might not be what you class as bad, but what they think is flattering may not be your version of flattering. Be open to their comments and let them stop you, but make sure you stop them every so often and have a scroll through.

2. It’s all about the location

Whoever is taking your photos needs to be aware of location, and have a super keen eye for detail. For example. if you can’t get outside due to bad weather, and you have to shoot indoors (or you have access to a studio), background is everything.

Loose wires, cables, stains on walls, dirty mirrors… all the things you forget about, and more so, a photographer who doesn’t do it as their job won’t be cautious of. It’s useful to look at photography backdrops if you’re serious about shooting indoors – you can get so many in material or card/paper versions – take a look at Shop Backdrop for some inspiration.

You can get super arty too, as they have a range of themes, such as abstract and texture backdrops, brick walls, patterns and plain alike…

Remember a little tip: always shoot with yourself facing the window. This way, you’ll attract more natural light, your eyes will sparkle and your skin will glow. Have your photographer shooting with their back against the windows…

3. They need to have patience

If the photo’s don’t quite work for me, for reasons mentioned in point one… then I need to shoot again! And thats just that – no questioning. What you need from your photographer is patience, no huffing and puffing, or ‘these photo’s are absolutely fine.’

They’re not fine, or if I thought they were, I would be wrapping up the shoot and relaxing for the day with my coffee!  The blogger or instagrammer also doesn’t want to be shooting photographs in the street, with curious bystanders passing by, having a good gawp. It’s all about speed. If the photos aren’t work, lets just crack on and continue and get this show on the road!

And therefore it’s a collaborative effort. If there needs to be a reshoot, or the photographer needs to wait two minutes whilst you brush your hair or reapply lipliner, then they need to wait for you. If you’re not ready, the photographs will never work and then everyone wastes their time. A good photographer will wait for you if you’re paying them. If you’re not paying them, then at least buy them a coffee to say a big thank you and give them tons of social promotion!

4. It’s all about speed…

Sometimes, well actually most of the time, shooting for your blog or Instagram is far from glamorous. You’ll be dressed up, heels on, bag ready in your chosen location. There may be people around, cars bombing up and down the road, and heaven forbid it starts to RAIN!

Your photographer needs to be able to act on demand and in these pressured situations, get the very best out of that location. And also, you have to have that ‘don’t give a crap attitude’. If people are staring, let them. This is your shoot, and between yourself and the photographer, you got to be ‘on it’.  Stay collected and think of how cool the end photographs are going to be.

Also, make sure that your photographer knows what date you expect the edited shots back before you start shooting. Chasing up edited shots can be a nightmare, so make sure you have an agreement in writing (preferably email!) before you start…

5. If all else fails… be your own photographer!

Devices like iPhone’s are so clever these days, with their countdown self timer modes and all kinds, making it easier to do a bit of your own DIY photography if you can’t get a photographer/friend to help.

Plus, if you are really struggling, try and think of other creative ways. Can you turn your shoot into a flat lay? If so, make sure sure you again have relevant backdrops. You can get some fantastic floor backdrops these days, which you can roll out or place on the floor, and strategically present your items that need shooting.

It’s all about creativity, and although it’s much handier to have a designated photographer to hand, it’s not always the way. And if in doubt – MIRROR SELFIE IT!

If you’re a Manchester photographer and you’re reading this, and you think you can help a blogger out, don;t be afraid to hit me up! I’m always looking for photography help, and to discover new talent…

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  1. May 23, 2018 / 6:18 pm

    That blue dress is amazing on you! Btw, we have four hotels in Manhattan. Stop by one day when you get the chance! ✿


  2. maha
    January 1, 2019 / 6:50 am

    quite drawn to the idea of a refurb project and have been thinking about buying something with potential return extension. The refurb one was described by the estate agent as “very tired, if sound”, so I’m guessing probably needs to be worked on before moving in. Anyway, lots of very good, practical tips. Best bit is that it’s all about the detail. Can’t wait to see parts 4 & 5.

  3. mool
    January 1, 2019 / 6:52 am

    Hey,If you’re a Manchester photographer and you’re reading this, and you think you can help a blogger out, don;t be afraid to hit me up! I’m always looking for photography help, and to discover new talent…

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