Guide to Fashion Photography

I am a newbie at photography. I want to chronicle what I have learned in the past few months of researching and using my camera. When I first started blogging, I used a Nikon Coolpix point and shoot. Now I have upgraded to a Nikon D5100 Digital SLR camera.

Blogs and Sites on Photography
1. Please visit for camera settings and button by button definition. He’s great and his guides are dead on. He’s in no way affliated with my site. I used his site when I first got my camera and I was thrilled to go page by page and adjusting my camera settings based on his input.

2. Pretty Shiny & Sparkly – Kristina runs PSS and is well known for her Secret to Successful Fashion Blogging. Part 2 of her SSFB is all about photography.

3.– Photographer Jenna Cole takes you step by step on transforming your photos into a work of art. She also provides classes in Chicago, IL.

4. IFB – Independent Fashion Bloggers is a great community with lots of tips and helpful articles.
Some Articles I found helpful:
How To Take Your Own Outfit Photos
How to Take Gorgeous Self Portraits
How To Make Your Images Pop
6 Methods for Perfectly Focused Self Portraits
5 Photo Gadget for Bloggers

5. If you take your own photos, visit this site: How To Pose for Portraits

How to take beautiful blurry background photos
During my research, I wanted simple directions on how to adjust my camera, the lens, and where to stand. Here are my findings:

1. The type of lens makes all the difference.
The kit lens (that came with my camera) is a 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6. I also splurged and purchased a 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens, because I had read that the further away you are from the subject the more in focus the subject looks when you zoom right in. It is true however not when you take your own pictures and the wireless remote only works up to a 15 feet distance.

After more researching, I found that most bloggers use a 50mm f/1.8 lens. I purchased mine and it made a whole lotta difference. However it is a manual focus, so you have to adjust the focus yourself.

For a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens, go here.
For a Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens, go here.

2. Aperature Priority/ Manual mode
I have been keeping mine on the A (aperature priority). The pictures are crisper with the dream like backgrounds.

3. The F-stop Number
On my Nikon, there is a dial to the upper right hand side. This dial is used to change the F number. The F-stop number is the depth of field. The higher the F-stop number, the more narrow opening that lets light in. This causes everything including your background to be in focus. So if you don’t want that, and you want the blurry out of focus backgrounds, you need to adjust to a lower F-stop number. I usually adjust mine to 1.8.

7 Quick Steps to Bokeh
Aperature and Shutter Science

4. Bokeh – the fuzziness of photos to get that dreamy look.
Adjust your lens to the point where you’re in focus while the background is gradually fuzzy. It will take several (or numerous) adjustments but it will be well worth it.

Directions on getting Bokeh on a Nikon D5100 DSLR:
1. Follow general camera settings on for your camera.
2. I set my lens a little to the right of the yellow 20. (picture below)

3. Place Tripod with Camera on top to about waist level. Some bloggers place their tripod as low to the ground, with the camera tilted up. Changing the perspective of your subject adds a charm and vibe to it.
4. I mark my spot to stand. Usually with the lens setting in #2, I would stand about 10 feet away from my tripod.
5. Adjust the tilt of your camera and/or tripod as needed to get a full body shot.

One last website recommendation:
Mom and Camera – Gayle is an amazing mom and photographer. I love her site and was so happy to have found great info and an inspiring blog to follow.

I hope this guide serves all others well. I’m open to any comments and criticisms. I am not an expert at photography, just getting into it so I know I have a lot more to learn.


Author: dietingfashion

I'm a mom of 2 girls. I struggled to lose the baby weight the second time around and by blogging my struggles helped me deal with a lot of the stress. During my struggles, I had random strangers ask me "How far along are you?" or "When are you due?" I was embarrassed. Most of the time I told them the truth, that I had given birth X months before. There were a couple of times I lied and said what they wanted to hear. When I was at a normal weight, I then struggled to find what clothes fit me. Everything about fashion went out the door and I had to re-learn what clothes and sizes fit my post pregnancy body the 2nd time around.

2 thoughts on “Guide to Fashion Photography”

  1. Wow thanks for the concise and helpful list of pointers! Pretty Shiny Sparkly’s guides are really great but this is even more helpful. I’m terrified of doing outfit posts, although I hate “wasting” good outfits (and my refusal to get an iPhone precludes me from taking too many BlackBerry Mediocre Camera self-portraits). I still need a tripod and a couple of lenses, so I am wayyy behind on things. Once I have more free time I will definitely come back to this post to start my research! 🙂
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  2. Hi Helen, thanks for this post you´ve convinced me to purchase a Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens for my Nikon camera. I love the dreamy background of your latest photos. Photography is something I need to improve too.

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