Tuesday, 6 March 2018

How I Became Confident Shooting in Public

Jumper - C/O Miss Patina | Skirt - Old (Similar here) | Shoes - Dune | Bow - Free People

I'd like to begin this blog post with an anecdote. 

While I was shooting these photos, there was a group of people in the house opposite who were quite literally pressed up against the window staring at me. I suppose it was quite funny really; a girl who had clearly dressed to match a house in London, wearing an extravagant skirt and holding a bouquet of roses was twirling around the street, while her boyfriend pottered around trying to get her from every angle.

After a couple of minutes, one of the men came out of the house and called across the road to me;

"Is this a famous house or something?! Or is it just because it's pink?!" 

"It's just because it's pink!" I called back, half giggling. It felt like one of those moments that pretty much summed up my whole career in blogging.

I'm often asked how I am confident enough to take photos of myself in public, especially considering how out of place my outfits normally look. I mean, some chick basically hogging the front of Peggy Porschen's in 5 degree weather and bare legs and something that could pass as a bridesmaid's dress is bound to attract some stares. 

Let me just start by saying, I've been doing this for a very long time (god I sound old), and I've found that the main way to gain confidence is really just through practise. My first ever outfit shots definitely left a lot to be desired. I looked awkward, uncomfortable and downright moody in some of them! Simply put, I was doing something a million miles out of my comfort zone and I felt weird about it. Fair enough. 

Over the years, I got more and more used to taking them. I began to develop a set routine of poses and experiment with different ways to position my body so that a shot would look better. Fashion blogging is in a way a form of modelling, so I always think about how models shape their bodies to highlight clothing (imagine Tyra Banks whispering, "but make it fashion"). Once you crack down on poses this also makes a shoot much quicker.

I do believe that taking outfit photos is something that requires a certain amount of indifference, especially depending on how far you want to push it. Some of you might remember a few years ago I got chucked out of a lavender farm for taking photos on the property and I was so embarrassed! If you're going to stand on people's doorsteps, hog floral store fronts or pose with a doughnut in front of a pink wall, you have to know that people are going to get in your way, get annoyed at you or both. 

As for the staring...well that's something that never really goes away. I got stares back when I first started and I get even more now. I find the best way is to just laugh it off, ignore it and keep going. Having a certain amount of tunnel vision also helps. Most people (especially somewhere like London) won't even bat an eyelid at you burying yourself in a flower wall or standing looking up at a closed door, but depending on where you are you might get a few more confused looks. If people comment, I usually just have a laugh with them. 

A lot of people message me and ask for advice in taking outfit photos and honestly, the biggest piece of advice I can give is get out there and do it! You're never going to improve if you don't keep practising and if you never try then you'll never get better. 

I wouldn't describe myself as a particularly confident person, but I have come leaps and bounds over the years mainly through taking photos. I have learned to love who I am and how I look; I've learned to embrace my personal style and share it with the world and I would 100% encourage you to do the same.

So get out there and just do it! And if the owner of that famous pink house catches you on her doorstep, tell her Jordan said hi. x


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