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Blogging Behind the Scenes: Indoor Photo Shoot

Posted on 6 min read

A couple of weeks ago, I documented the process of this photoshoot on one of my Instagram stories, and, as I was doing it, it occurred to me that it might make for an interesting blog post, too.

I mean, not if you’re a fashion blogger, obviously – or any kind of blogger who regularly has to take photos, really. If you do that, then you already know what’s involved in getting those shots, so, you know, move along, nothing to see here. From the various conversations I’ve had with non-blogger friends, however, I know that the whole process of blogging can be a bit of mystery, so today I thought I’d set about de-mystifying a little bit of it, by taking you behind the scenes of an in indoor photo shoot…

(Oh, and before we get started, I should probably say that these photos were all taken with my phone, in extremely low light, so apologies for the quality!)

Blogging behind the scenes: setting up a photoshoot for your fashion blog
The clothes for this particular post arrived about a week before the post went live. In this particular case, I wasn’t given a deadline for the post which was a huge relief, because the day after the items arrived, I came down with a heavy cold/flu, and was totally out of action for the next few days. (Even if I had decided to force myself to shoot the photos anyway, I don’t think there’s enough makeup in the world to have hidden my red nose and under-eye baggage…) This kind of situation, however, is pretty unusual: most of the time, I’ll be given a strict deadline, and invariably a really tight one, too. It’s not unusual for me to receive items on a Friday, say, for a Monday morning deadline, which basically means I have to cancel my weekend plans to try to get a post together – not fun.

(Well, I mean, it IS fun compared to some other jobs I’ve had, obviously – this isn’t supposed to be a whine-fest about how hard my job is, or anything like that –  but you know what I mean…)

Boden statement sweatshirt
trying on clothes for a fashion blog photoshoot
Once everything has arrived, my first job (And this bit really IS fun, not gonna lie), is to try each item on, to make sure it fits, and is going to be suitable for the blog. In this case, I shop with Boden frequently enough to have a good idea of their quality and sizing, so there weren’t any issues, but if something doesn’t fit properly, or I just don’t feel it’s something I would wear, I would get back in contact with the brand at this point, and arrange to either exchange or return it: there’s just no benefit to either of us for me to take photos in something I don’t feel comfortable in, so I think it’s best to be honest if something doesn’t work out.

While I’m trying everything on, I’ll also normally have a little play around in my closet, trying different combinations, and working out how I’ll style the items when it’s time to photograph them. I don’t actually go as far as to write anything down here, and sometimes I’ll change my mind at the last minute, but it’s always good to have at least some idea of what I’m going to be shooting!

Next, it’s time to get ready:

doing hair and makeup for a fashion blog photoshoot

hair curled with a curling iron
(I like to listen to music while I’m doing my hair – helps ease the boredom!)

Most (although not all) of the outdoor outfit photos you see on the blog are taken when I’m on my way out somewhere anyway, so my outfit, hair/makeup etc are chosen with whatever it is I’m going to be doing in mind, as opposed to how well it’ll all photograph. When I’m wearing something specifically for the purpose of photographing it, though, I’ll generally make a bit more effort: I tend to find that, if I’m having photos taken, I need to wear a bit more makeup than I’d normally wear (or I just end up looking like I don’t have any features at all, basically), so here I am, plastering on the slap, while my long-suffering assistant (a.k.a. Terry) is down in the office, setting up the camera and lights, assisted by Rubin, who was absolutely fascinated by the whole process:

studio lighting for blog photo shoot

camera on tripod, ready for blog photoshoot

For these photos, we had some spare planks of the flooring we have in our bedroom lying around, so we decided to put them on top of the carpet, to create a better backdrop. That’s not something I normally do, and I don’t really think it made much difference, but I’m always looking for ways to make these indoor shots look a bit better, so it was worth a shot!

It was still light outside at this point, but it’s much too dark indoors to get decent shots without extra lighting, so I used one of my two studio lights (I would have used them both, but there wasn’t enough space in the room!), plus an external flash on the camera (Which is a Nikon D7000, if you’re particularly interested…), with a diffuser attachment on top of that. Er, yeah, I really wasn’t joking when I said there’s not much light at this time of year!

blog photography tips: setting up a fashion blog photoshoot

photography kit for fashion bloggers

external flash for fashion blog photography

Blogging Behind the Scenes
I talked quite a bit about my photography kit in my Photography Tips for Bloggers post, so go and have a read at that if you want some more info on any of this stuff. Suffice it to say that it’s a bit of a pain having to set everything up (I really, really envy bloggers who live in warmer/drier climates, and can take all of their photos outdoors in natural light!), but it’s really the only way I can get useable photos at this time of year – and sometimes in spring and summer, too, if it’s a particularly dull day.

Once I’ve finished getting ready, I come downstairs, where Terry takes a few test shots to make sure the lighting and focus is OK, and Rubin sits and watches me, like I’m his favourite TV show EVER:

fashion blog photo shoot

fashion blog photoshoot
(He literally didn’t move from that spot the whole time I was shooting. It was flattering and, well, a little bit creepy, to be honest…)

After that, Terry hands over the camera remote, and I take the rest of the photos myself. If I’m just shooting a single outfit, I’ll normally just get Terry to quickly take a few snaps, but if I’m going to be shooting a few outfits in one go, I’ll just use the remote, rather than take up too much of his time. Quite apart from that, I get weirdly self-conscious having my photo taken indoors, for some reason: it doesn’t really bother me when we’re out and about, but when I’m standing in my own office, I get really awkward, and don’t know what to do with myself, so I will take most of the phoots myself, although Terry did have to take the camera for the jumping shots, because I’m just not coordinated to be able to jump AND click the remote at exactly the right time, apparently.

On this particular day, I think it took around an hour and a half to get all of the photos I needed.  My work still wasn’t done, though, because once I’d packed away all of the photography equipment, it was time to sit down and take a look through the photos:

blogger, blogging

camera roll from fashion blog photoshoot

There were a LOT of photos: a LOT of photos. Most of them, however, got instantly rejected, because, well, they looked like THIS:

outake from fashion blog photoshoot
OK, they didn’t ALL look like this, but, for any given set of photos, I can more or less guarantee that I’ll have my eyes closed, be pulling some strange face, or just generally looking awkward in around 90% of them: true story. As for the rest, it will normally take me another hour or so to sort through them all, and then edit them in Photoshop, to get them ready for the blog. Even with all of that extra lighting, indoor photos will still come out too dark to use without a bit of editing, and I also have to re-size them all before uploading, so that was my final task of the day.

Then, after all of that, I can actually start writing the post – which is actually the easiest part of the whole process for me!

So, I hope you enjoyed this little look behind the scenes of blogging life: maybe next week I’ll do a behind-the-scenes of my behind-the-scenes post, just to really confuse things. Or, OK, maybe not…


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  • heather
    January 28, 2017

    Thanks for sharing the process! Though I must say, even your shared “awkward” photo is not that bad, I am not convinced you take horrible photos 🙂 Is there a “trick” to taking jumping shots? I’ve tried and always end up looking like superman gone wrong. Or is it just to take a bajillion photos, ha.

    • Amber
      January 28, 2017

      It there’s a trick, I don’t know what it is! I just take tons of photos and hope that one of them works out!

  • Miss Kitty
    January 28, 2017

    Aw, look at Rubin! He is adorable 🙂 Thanks for the post, it’s interesting for us non-bloggers to see what goes on behind a blog post. I don’t know how you can write posts virtually every day – I hate essay writing, so much that I had to give ip a course I started once, because the essay writing was doing my head in! I guess blog posts are a bit different, but I still don’t think I could come up with that many words each day!

    I’ve often wondered how the collaborations with brands work. Do they contact you and offer you X-amount of goods, and you choose it yourself, or do they just send you stuff based on what they think you’d like to write about?

    • Amber
      January 28, 2017

      Different brands have different ways of working, but I will only accept items I’ve chosen myself, so I turn down any collaborations where I’m not able to do that!

  • Please do more behind-the-scenes posts! I love seeing the process behind those polished front photos!

    Charmaine Ng
    Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • ivana split
    January 29, 2017

    thank you for sharing your shooting process, it was really interesting to read…and how sweet is your doggie?!!!!

    you look fabulous in this outfit!!!! so pretty and feminine.


  • Ginger
    January 30, 2017

    That was really fascinating! Thank you so much for sharing. And Rubin’s attitude is hysterical. He clearly knows that a SHOW is going on and he will not miss a second!

  • Sian
    January 31, 2017

    It’s awesome that you’re showing the “behind the scenes” part of fashion blogging as it’s quite similar to mine but currently with a lot more effort (mine is very lazy right now!). I love the idea of putting down some old flooring to get the look just right 🙂 And I LOVE Rubin in these pictures (well, all the time really ;D)

  • Candace
    February 1, 2017

    I found this really interesting to read. It’s something I need to do more o this year; get myself in the photos and having brought a tripod and remote in the sales I hoping I can pluck the courage to take some photos of me

AD | We’re spending a few days at @highlandheatherlodges in beautiful Perthshire, for what Terry is optimistically referring to as his ‘birthday week’. (I say ‘optimistically’ - we’re only here for three days, and his birthday was yesterday, but don’t stop believing, Terry!)⁣
There’s a hot tub for us and a playpark for Max, so needless to say, we’re having a fantastic time, and I’m already dreading having to leave. Today’s big question: can I pass as an under-12, so I qualify for a pony ride at the nearby wildlife centre? 🤔 (On second thoughts, don’t answer that one...)⁣
#thetraveltag #scotland_ig #visitscotland #scotland_insta #scotlandlife #scottishblogger  #stayandwander #travelbloggerlife #travelblogging #tblogger #thattravelblog #travellifestyle #travelpreneur #perthshire #scotlandinsta #reallifeandstyle #wearingtoday #igstyleblogger #fashiongrammerv

AD | We’re spending a...

AD | Time for a quick game of “Where’s Amber?”⁣
It’s another rainy Monday, so I’m throwing it back to our trip to @universalorlando ‘s amazing Volcano Bay water park last month. I’m a bit of a scaredy when it comes to water flumes, but this park had tons of stuff for pretty much everyone: plenty of rides for me, and an amazing splash pad for Max 👶In fact, I’d still be on The Fearless River right now if I possibly could be. Still, doing the laundry and turning the heating on will be just as good, right? Right?! 🌋 🏊‍♀️ .
#universalorlando #volcanobay #waterpark #lazyriver #vacay #floridavacay

AD | Time for a...

Good news! We took Max to hospital this morning, and saw two different surgeons, who agreed there was no need to go ahead with the surgery as his lip is healing really well on its own 😅  He’ll definitely have a scar, unfortunately, but that would’ve been the case whether he’d had the surgery or not, and if it turns out to be worse than anticipated, we’ll have the option to have it corrected under local anaesthetic when he’s older. ⁣
I’m still really upset that this happened in the first place, obviously, but so relieved that we don’t have to put him through a general anaesthetic, and just incredibly grateful that it wasn’t anything worse. I know some parents have to deal with much more serious stuff than this, and my heart goes out to you all: it’s been a rough couple of days, and I’m really grateful to everyone who took the time to comment on yesterday’s post - your stories were so comforting when I was panicking yesterday ❤️ ⁣
(Old photo, obviously: every time Max sees the selfie camera, he thinks it’s going to be one of those filters where you open your mouth and something happens 😂)⁣
#pbloggers #mummybloggers #mummybloggersuk #ukmumblog #mumblogsuk #mumblogs #mamablog #ukparentbloggers #parentbloggersuk #ukparentingblog #parentingbloggers #motherhoodblogger #motherhoodblog #ukblogger #ukofficialblogger #happyblogger #mummyblog #bloggerclubuk #instamum

Good news! We took Max...

Totally unrelated photo, but we’ve just spent the morning in Accident & Emergency with Max, who fell on the path outside the house and split his lip open 😥 ⁣
They tried to stitch it up at A&E, but it was totally impossible with him awake, so they’ve booked him in to have it done under general anaesthetic tomorrow ... Max is absolutely fine: the bleeding stopped quickly, he doesn’t seem to be in pain, and is just his normal, happy little self. I, on the other hand, am a complete wreck: the plastic surgeon he saw today reckons if we don’t have it fixed, his lip will be crooked when it heals, but I’m absolutely *terrified* of the thought of my baby having to have a GA. ⁣
If you’re a long-time follower, you might know that I have a full-blown phobia of general anaesthetic (I literally had an elective c-section in order to eliminate the possibility of an emergency one, which might have had to be done under GA), so I just can’t get my head to accept that it’s safe and he’ll be fine 😥 ⁣
Positive stories and advice very welcome: I’m just so terrified, I can’t even imagine how to get through the next 24 hours 😥😥😥

Totally unrelated photo, but we’ve...

#throwbackthursday to last week, when I needed a sunhat and SPF 50 to leave the house, rather than the current raincoat and wellies situation. Can you tell the post-holiday blues are still in full swing over here? 🌧 .
#whatiwear #30plusblogs #everydaystyle #realoutfitgram  #scottishbloggers #fashionblogger  #fashionblog #fashionstyle #whatimwearing #stylegram  #outfitoftheday #personalstyle #todayiamwearing #styleinspiration 
#stylediaries #styleblogger #over30style

#throwbackthursday to last week, when...

I posted this on Stories over the weekend, but he looked so cute in it I figured it deserved a spot on the grid, too! This is Max all ready for his friend Eleah’s 1st birthday party on Saturday: despite the jetlag and his continuing obsession with doors of all kinds (He had an entire soft play at his disposal, but he mostly just wanted to open and close the gate into it...) he had an absolute ball, and spent the whole drive home shouting, “HAPPY! HAPPY!” Thanks to @thestirlingstyle for a great party 🥳 🎈 🎉 . (Oh, and that’s his hairbrush in his hand - boy likes to look his best 😉)
#littlepiecesofchildhood #cameramama #chikdhoodeveryday #childofig #celebrate_childhood #babieswithstyle #ootdkids #fashionbaby #trendykids

I posted this on Stories...

Three Things Friday | The Little Things
Blogging Behind the Scenes: Indoor Photo Shoot