Images by Kayleigh Gresty Photography
About 18 months ago now I decided to take the leap and invest in some proper photos for my blog. Prior to this, for my first two years of blogging, I relied on friends, my boyfriend and even my grandma, which was fine but it came with its struggles. Finding the time with everyone was very difficult and the motivational level just wasn’t there. I could see everyone’s content on Instagram just getting better and better, and I knew that having very good images was my next step. I luckily found someone very quickly, a friend of a friend and was thrilled at finally being able to produce content that I was proud of. Since then, I have worked with a number of different photographers and I do very much feel like I have got my blog and social media to a level now where I could now not go back. Every shoot I do is getting more and more creative and I really am starting to enjoy all aspects of blogging again. Obviously, it has taken me a while to get to this stage, as lots of things have made me anxious when it comes to working with someone and being behind the camera.
The blogging industry and working with photographers is a very new, hence why we are all still learning. It is also something that is very unique to the individual, which is why working with a good photographer for me, may not be the right choice for you.
Having worked with a few different photographers and struggling greatly with feeling comfortable behind the camera, I wanted to put together a little post on my experiences and how I have started to overcome this anxiety. It has taken a while, but has been so worth the process. This post is very much for other bloggers, as from talking to a lot of people over the last few weeks, this seems to have also been a struggle for everyone else I know who has worked with a photographer.
Working with a Photographer
First things first, my main piece of advice for choosing the right photographer is that you have to appreciate that the working relationship isn’t going to happen straight away, and you may land up working with a few different people before you find the right one for you. I learnt a lot from working with my first photographer, and I also learnt a lot about what I actually wanted for my blog. Originally, in my head all I could think about was what everyone else is posting and their style, without actually really thinking about my own. My style is very much in keeping with the bright and white theme of a lot of other Instagrammers, however in terms of my blog and website shoots I do very much like to try out different looks. I will never be a very dark or moody kinda gal, but I do love to explore new places, colour tones and a more original style of imagery.
My best piece of advice when first working with a photographer is to sit down and chat. Each time I have worked with someone we have met up for a coffee to discuss everything. This way we are both on the same page, have a chance to go over the logistics and can discuss the different types of shoots.
If you are anything like me, you will understand how difficult it can be sometimes when working with someone so closely when it comes to having to be confrontational. Not in an awful way, but I can find it quite difficult sometimes if I am not happy about something. Whether it be a few photos I don’t like, the way in which we are working together or even the money discussion. There is nothing that I can say to change your character, but the one thing I can say is that ultimately the service and final product that you are getting is only worth your time and money if it is right for you and your content. You have to be strong and make sure it is worth your while.
Before Shooting Always:
Agree on a rough time and stick to it.
Ask for a pro-rata invoice, so you know before hand what the approximate cost is going to be.
Be organised with your content and locations and have this all finalised with your photographer beforehand.
Always ask for a brief time frame for when you will be getting your photos back.
Always ask for an invoice, and pay it in a reasonable time frame.
Never forget to say thank you for the images.
Being Behind the Camera
So now going on to being behind the camera. I have never felt that comfortable having my picture taken and I found it really difficult to begin with when shooting for the blog, especially with someone I loved behind the camera. It felt incredibly awkward, unnatural and a waste of time. This feeling very much came through in the final images and as you can imagine it made putting content together incredibly difficult. I had to push through, as I was enjoying all other aspects of blogging and knew that it was a great hobby to keep. Eventually, with time, my confidence grew and my photos were starting to look a lot more natural.
Will people stare? One of the most difficult parts of shooting in public is obviously people looking. Even now this still bothers me, but ultimately there is nothing you can do. It is just a case of fasing them out focusing on the finished product.
When starting to shoot with a professional photographer, I felt like I had taken a lot of steps back, as it was a whole new level of feeling nervous behind the camera. Even though the images are for me to use and only ever created with my intentions in mind, shooting and paying for someone to be there felt like a lot of pressure. The first shoot was obviously the hardest, however I do think this is the biggest obstacle to overcome when you start to invest in your photography. When I got my first round of images back, I was so over the moon with the results and found a whole new love for blogging. Eventually, with time and practice, I found it much easier to shoot with someone and now feel entirely comfortable getting all these images done. It has been a lengthy process, well over two years now, and I am so happy that it has become an easy task to complete.
My biggest piece of advice when shooting with a photographer is to accept that you need to be bossed around. My talent for this job is putting the outfits together and completing a finished blog post. I trust and rely on the photographer to create the perfect images to use within these posts. They are the ones behind the camera and they are the ones who know what looks good and what doesn’t. So often I get asked to pose in a certain way, that feels very uncomfortable, however these are usually always my favourite photos that I get back. You have to put all your trust in them and completely hand over the control. They are the ones who know what they are doing.
How do you feel behind the camera?
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Blazer – New Look
Top – New Look
Boots – Zara
Bag – Gucci
I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.