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Since returning to blogging about a year ago now (you can read a bit about my hiatus here), I've been working with the wonderful Anna from Pear and Bear Photography to create my blog's style or fashion imagery. I've always loved photography (I actually studied it for a while, although, you wouldn't believe that if you saw my camera roll) and I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so collaborating with a photographer for my outfit posts was quite a natural move.

Anna is an absolute dream to work with and has done shoots with a number of bloggers. She's also pretty chocca with wedding photography and portraiture. So I was super keen to lightly toast (not grill) her about blogger shoots and best practise when it comes to nailing that perfect insta-worthy shot.

I had so many questions before working with a photographer, so I thought this might be a useful read for others thinking about giving it a go! I know it can be hard to know where to start and, needless to say, a bit nerve wracking thinking about someone taking photos of you. Let's get cracking!

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Heyyy Anna! Tell us a bit about you! And how you got into photography...

I got my first DSLR when I was sixteen, after months of saving money from my Saturday job. Back then, I had no idea how to use it. I was convinced I had to go on a course to learn how to use it properly. It wasn’t until my son’s first birthday when I realised I needed to pick it up again. I bought books, watched countless YouTube videos, and four years later, here I am!

Right now, I specialise in wedding and portrait photography (*see Anna's website here. She's Nottingham based like me*). Blogger photoshoots are a nice change from very busy, very full on wedding days.

So, how do I find a photographer to work with on blog pics?

Instagram is a good place to start. If you search local photography hashtags, you are likely to come across some good local photographers. Check out other bloggers you follow too – the likelihood is they might work with a photographer every now and then, and you never know, they might be local to you!

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What's a blogger shoot like?

A blogger photoshoot isn’t the same as a portrait session. The focus is most often on outfits, but of course you want to make sure the person you’re shooting looks good too! The session is quite fast paced, to ensure we get everything done. I recommend that you bring four outfits, which can easily be done in a two hour shoot.

And where's best to shoot?

Any city centre is going to be a favourite for me – I’ve shot in nature parks before, but they don’t provide enough variety for the content we're aiming to create. Shooting in the city also means there will be plenty of cafes and places to change into the next outfit (*Robyn - cue lots of cramming into a bog cubicle with a suitcase full of clobber!*).

Is there a better time of day for taking the photos?

I tend to go for early morning, before town gets too busy. I normally don’t like to shoot in midday sun, but the city centre has enough alleyways and little spots to hide in, if the sun gets too harsh, so the timing isn’t that important I guess!

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Will a photographer tell me what to do in front of the camera?

It really depends on the photographer, as well as the blogger! Some bloggers know exactly what to do (I’m looking at you, Robyn! *Robyn interjecting again here - I just move around a lot to ensure we get variety of shots! Over and out*), others might need a little more direction. I always try to guide bloggers through the session.

Having a good idea of what you would like to achieve from the session, either by seeking inspiration from Pinterest or other bloggers you follow, makes for a good reference when trying different poses and looks.

How much should I expect to pay for a shoot? 

Rates vary massively, with London being the most expensive. Anywhere between £80-150 for a two hour session sounds about right!

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How do you select shots?

I go through all photos taken on the day, and select the best ones, aiming to provide the blogger with around 10 photos per outfit.

It’s important to really research the photographer’s work before you commit, to ensure that their style of photography, as well as editing, will fit your blog's brand. I always edit the selected photos, to ensure that they all look cohesive.

If I coax a pal into taking some photos for my blog / Instagram, what 3 tips could I give them to make sure they nail the shot?

  1. Pick a good background – the less people in, the better! Quiet alleyways always work well, or try shooting directly in front of a shop, doorway or wall. Bonus points if you find a spot where colours compliment the outfit! 
  2. Take lots of photos - alternate poses and change up the direction you’re shooting from
  3. Keep the set of photos looking consistent – a little editing might help along the way!

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Annnd that's it! Hopefully you've found this handy - if you do have any more questions, just comment below or drop me a message on Instagram and we'll try our best to answer. And of course, if you are eager to collaborate with a photographer, I'd absolutely recommend Anna. She's based locally to me in Nottingham, which is so perfect. And honestly, she's such a babe to work with! Happpppy snapping y'all!

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