Back To The Beginning
With filters, apps and excellent phone cameras at our disposal, there’s no good excuse not to take a great picture of #WIWT. But before everyone was toting smart phones, we relied on fashion blogs such as Face Hunter and The Sartorialist to show us what people were wearing on the streets around the world. Back in 2007, Yvan Rodic of the Face Hunter told The New York Times that the popularity of these street style snaps was indicative that “people are becoming their own style curator, picking up ideas everywhere rather than just following the trend”. Since then, technology has come leaps and bounds, but the sentiment that fashion is a celebration of self-expression remains the same.
Thanks to a little app called Instagram, the popularity of a fashion selfie has sky-rocketed. Now everyone and anyone can pose, snap, click and upload immediately without the hassle of creating blog posts. The accessibility and the ease at which pictures can be viewed and liked only spurred the increase of images in the #OOTD category. Plus, there’s now also a multitude of apps to brighten, sharpen, and even liquify any unwanted details away – who needs Photoshop when you can edit images on the go? With the digital phenomenon showing no signs of slowing down, we see no signs of this trend ebbing away.
Putting It To The Test
As someone who 1) doesn’t have a professional photographer on hand, 2) isn’t particularly photogenic, 3) feels awkward if I have to be alone in front of the camera, I decided to put all these tips from the experts to the test to see if I could pull off all their suggested tricks. Check out the results on the page before – and here are my thoughts on the overall experience.
Tip 1: Good style speaks volumes
There’s no point in taking a beautiful photo but you’re dressed down in denim shorts and a tee. If you’re looking to capture a fashion moment, make sure your outfit is doing the talking.
“I prefer OOTD pictures that showcase styling. The outfit, hairstyle and makeup should be more important than looks, so instead of just throwing on a new dress, try to make it a ‘look’ by layering or accessorising.” – Xueli W., Visual Artist (@livingonsweets)
“Be more daring – everyone is so safe in Singapore. It doesn’t matter if you have bad taste – it matters if you have no taste. Have an opinion and post it.” – Kenneth Goh, Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar (@kennieboy).
Tip 2: Get the right photographer
Let’s face it: some people are better at taking photos than others. Ask a friend whom you know takes great pictures to help you out – in my case, it was our web writer Grace, who had to constantly talk me through it so I would feel less awkward.
“It’s best to always have someone take the photo for you whom you’re comfortable with, and who knows what style of photos you usually take.” – The Shentonista Team (@shentonista)
“It’s hard to choose between good photography and good style. It takes good photography to showcase good style.” – Christable Chua, Fashion, Beauty & Travel Blogger (@bellywellyjelly)
Tip 3: Tweak and adjust
Unless you’re brave enough to have a #nofilter moment, even great photos can benefit from a little touching up. VSCO is my personal favourite, but sometimes I use the LINE app to sharpen the images as well.
“Limit them to contrast, brightness and warmth – try not to use the ready-made filters on Instagram as they look rehearsed and less authentic.” – Kenneth Goh
“Filters are essential to polishing up a beautiful photo capture. Just like makeup on a girl’s face – it enhances the beauty captured.” – Christabel Chua
Tip 4: Remove all distractions
Avoiding locations like bathrooms or trashcans is common sense, but you don’t want to choose a backdrop that’s so beautiful that it overshadows you. Since my outfit was mainly white, blue and red, I wanted to stand against some green so the colours would pop.
“The location should serve to etiher complement or act as a backdrop to the outfit; it shouldn’t be competing for attention. It might sound silly, but it would make a better photo if you plan beforehand.” – The Shentonista Team
Tip 5: You better work!
Looking pensive or smiling to yourself can get tired – plus you want to be more than just a clothes hanger for your fabulous outfit. For me, I had to fake it to make it: to seem more natural, I found that pretending to speak on the phone offered a good excuse to be caught laughing on camera.
“I prefer something that looks a bit more candid. Try walking down the street, or be caught checking your phone so it’s more in the moment. People need to step away from this emo ‘staring into the distance’ pose and have more energy!” – Janice Pidduck, Fashion Director of CLEO Magazine (@cleo_singapore)
“The most important aspect of the image or the subject is always personality. Sometimes, someone may not have the most stunning outfit, but personality always shows even in OOTD images.” – The Shentonista Team
Main image: Vladimir Nikulin / 123RF.com
Text: Clara How