8.27.2014

but are you getting my afro in the shot?



There's a lotta talk going round the sewisphere about tips & tricks for taking photos. I've said it here and there in response to comments and other posts, but have never put it up on le blog... so here's my best tip for a great photo.

Bribe whoever is behind the camera to get on the dirty dirty New York ground and shoot up at you like you're seven feet tall.  Especially of you are of the five footish variety.  Which I am.  Suzanne tried it. I'd say she's a convert. (I'd also say she should watch her super cute cut-out back in her technicolor dress when I'm in the general vicinity.)

This shot was snapped moments before a man carrying several large camera bags passed us on the street. Nice backdrop, he said. Eyeing Ruggy's standing position, he offered: Get low on the ground and shoot up at her. The angle will give her more height. 


After. 'Fro included!

That was just about a year ago.  Since then, Ruggy made that advice law.  In fact, no amount of begging and pleading will get him up off the ground for a straight-on shot anymore. Truly. Apparently it takes away from his creative process... and who am I to take away FUN.

What baffles me is: why don't red carpet/paparazzi/fashion mag photographers consider this a golden rule? To wit, a shot of me and The Rugster at an event last summer...


Same dress. Less height. 

(Side note, as we walked down the block to the conveniently located shindig, an older gentleman saw us coming and started to full on holler. I'M SORRY BUT I GOT TA SAY Y'ALL HAVE FLAVA. FLA. VA! This dress has magical powers.)

Of course, it begs the question: why do we need an extra foot of height? What you really want to see are the seams and the pattern and the print and all that good stuff, right? Again. Because it's FUN. But, equally important, all of the hard work we put into a garment deserves a good shot. Angle notwithstanding, you don't need to go full on ground level, whether it's a quickie by the garage door with morning light before you head off to work, or going hog wild over the weekend with props and backdrops and the whole shebang-- try something different! It could be fun.

60 comments:

  1. I love it that you wear hand made clothes to red carpet events! Go girl!

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    1. it's kind of the most appropriate place i CAN wear my handmade stuff! which will not stop me from going to a BBQ this week in full gown.

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    2. What? Full gown is overdressed for a BBQ? Hardly. Not in my world anyway. Frock Up. Always Frock Up.

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  2. Ooona you're awesome! Great tip - now to convince my husband to hit the deck!

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  3. Fabulous tip, fabulous dress! Another solution is to always bribe six year old child to shoot photos for you...guaranteed extra height without trying...if you can get them to hold the camera straight so you don't look like your walking up a wall.

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  4. Well. Now I'm going to tell Mr.Man to crawl for me next time we are going to take photos of my makes. Yes, grovel at my feet, man! Heheheh.

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  5. My trouble is convincing people to take the photos, much less take them from fun angles. So many unblogged clothes!

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  6. If someone takes photos of me from below my boobs overshadow my face like a monumental double lunar eclipse...... :D

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    1. HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA JENNY! i so do not haz this problmem.

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  7. Awesome tips, have you tried shooting from above? I took an online photography class and that was one of the tips, shoot from above. The instructor said it was a better angle for many. You, Oonna, can do any angle!

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    1. i've heard that for seated or portrait shots, going from above is great!

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  8. BAAAAHHHHHHHHH that first shot!!! Love it so much! I love going through photos and seeing all the ones where I'm clearly saying, "No, don't do that!!!"

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    1. Oh man! Last night we did a photoshoot and there is the funniest outtake pic of me yelling at Phin to stop shooting on the landscape setting (!!!!!!!!) and one of me literally sticking my tongue out at him. Ha ha ha.

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  9. Hello Oona! That's a very useful tip, I could use a few more centimeters on pictures :-). You look fabulous on that night out photo!

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  10. I was totally thinking of you when I made my husband stand down a steep hill from me for my latest blog pics. Not sure I look taller though, but it's a fun change of angle! ;)

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  11. I want that coat!!!!! And yes y'all have FLA-VA

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  12. I have a theory that the reason sewing bloggers look so stunning/extra sparkly in their photos, is because the photographer is their partner - someone that loves them, they feel comfortable with, and finds them beautiful.

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    1. So true, my favourite pictures of people are made by their partner, but my mam hate taking photos so he takes the worst pictures of me possible. Works if they enjoy the process. I have a few pictures shoot from my chin height and I look gigantic lol... I guess looking tall isn't something I got to worry about lol.

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  13. I'll have to remember that tip, and bribe my husband to oblige! I LOVE that you wear your handmade clothes to red carpet events.

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  14. OK, not to contradict, but shooting up rarely works for me. Here's the problem: I carry more of my weight in my lower half than my upper half, by a lot. And whatever is closest to the camera will appear largest. So, any shot of me from below accentuates how thick my thighs and calves are. Camera angles from above, however, often make my figure look more balanced, like this:

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LXIrNe7BMQ8/U0sWOcOckGI/AAAAAAAAJR4/DuZU4vYpwWU/s1600/2014-04-13+13.12.01.jpg

    So, I think it really depends on the subject - it clearly clearly works for you and Suzanne. But I suppose I don't need the extra height anyway.

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    1. head like a sieve! i meant to mention that extreme angles are friends or foes depending on all our glorious shapes... i love that shot of you.

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    2. I also usually prefer the from-above shot because I have wide hips. I think it depends on how far away your photographer is and how much zoom they are using. I would experiment a little more (if your marriage can take it!)

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    3. Clio, that is some LBD hawtness!

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    4. There really is no magic answer except take a boat load of pictures! LOL

      Thanks, Leigh!

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  15. Is Ruggy wearing a guitar belt buckle?! Or am I just looking at clouds? Either way, you two rock.
    My hubby towers over me and takes photos from an above angle; I can say for certain this is an unflattering angle! I just use a tripod anymore since he's not photog inclined. I will surely lower the pod for my next photo session tho--I want to do the towering!

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    1. he is. it is awesome. he found it in dallas...

      and i've had success with the tripod at super low height when ruggy's not manning the shutter...

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  16. That's exactly what my husband does! I'm a huge 5 foot 4 but he's 6 foot 6 so if he shoots me standing up I transform into a garden gnome!! People are surprised when they meet me how short I am - oops....

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    1. i seriously keep forgetting you only have an inch on me!

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  17. I'm sorry, excuse me, but what was that tip again? Because my mind got boggled at the part about Mr. Obviously Adorable lying on the ground next to a NYC dumpster for a year to take your fab make pics.

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  18. Thank you for the tip. My 9 year old takes my photos and I always try to get her standing on a stool so she can be on the same level as I. She would love this new tip, and hopefully we will have better photos too. Lovely dress by the way.

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  19. Interesting! Maybe this is the trick I need to make myself look leggy (I'm 5'6", so pretty tall, but almost entirely body). I've got a photoshoot involving a swimming pool (or the edge, at least) planned for the weekend, so Ben can enjoy some further instructions about crouching down as well as not falling in, and making me look like a normal human being.

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  20. So true! At 5'3 I need all the height I can get, even virtual height! After seeking some of my big head, foreshortened body shots, I've asked my hubby to squat down to take pics, but never to lie down on the floor. thanks for the tip. Next time, I'll be taller!

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  21. I hate being shot too low - I look like an out of proportion GIANT! But your low shots always look great - too each their own I suppose!

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  22. Wow! Oona! Ruggy is the hot! You two definitely have flava. :)

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  23. The dress is gorgeous. You look amazing in it. The two of you are adorable together. And don't you just LOVE it when people yell out compliments?! Since I began sewing my dream pieces - things I really love - I too have had similar experiences. Some woman shouted at me from a moving car when I was in Seattle, "WHERE DID YOU GET THAT SKIRT?!" I was shocked, but proudly replied, "I made it!" To which she was shocked. Yay for magical powered dresses & skirts! I really love how you used the fabric. I wouldn't have thought to use the pattern and have princess seams in the skirt, but it works perfectly! LOVE!

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    1. yelled compliments from strangers are the weirdest and the BEST.

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  24. Only in NYC will it not be seen as odd to be lying on the sidewalk to take photos. Not only that but get a tip from a pro along the way. Keep up the good work!

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  25. It is so hard to get a good shot! I am small and well it shows, will ask my very tall husband to go on the floor and get those shots going!

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  26. Thanks for this tip/advice. I got to share that with my DH or my tripod!

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  27. Oona, honey, that Rugster is HOT!!! And you two look totally gorgeous together.

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  28. you two look like movie stars, really

    can't get over your pretyprettypretty hair

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  29. I'm loving all these photography post! I need the mister toptake more pictures from the ground up! I jumped into a deep rabbit hole when I was searching for wedding photographers. I found one I liked, but couldn't afford her. :( I've decided to take her tips (she has a blog too) and hopefully make my blog pictures amazing!

    I wonder, can I use this technique, from the ground up, with a tripod? I gotta try that! You two are adorable!

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  30. Unfortunately for me this tip would not work - I would end up with the same effect as Jenny. But you always look great! Your photos always scream: FUN! LOVE LIFE! Love your dress.

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  31. I agree that you always look so amazing in all your posts, I can really see NYC when I come to your blog, Your photos have such personality. I got my husband down on the floor for my latest blog post. http://seamsoddlouise.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/dress-c-sweet-dress-book.html Sadly I don't think it adds much to my pictures. My 8 year old wants to learn photography so he can take my blog photos. So things may improve one day!

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  32. All I gotta say is...

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VlNVQITIjDc/TuxD5O84vYI/AAAAAAAACl4/sIQYYYOKcio/s1600/oonaimpersonation.jpg

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  33. My friend is a professional photographer and her fave piece of equipment is the DCR....the Double Chin Remover. It's a stool and for those of us not blessed with your bone structure its a great idea. Must convince the hubby to use it. ;-)

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  34. Don't some people give the best compliments? It's not always the expected person who gives you a compliment you remember later on. Once a guy, total stranger, walked past me and just said, "Damn" (with the up-and-down glance). I still feel elated when I think of that.

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  35. Wow, I think that's th first time I've actually seen Ruggy in a post of yours (not how I pictured him, for some reason in my head he had awesome dreads... dunno why!). And by the way, that dress is GOR-GE-OUS!!! I love it!

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  36. Brill tip! I found this out the hard way, I gots the other half to stand higher than me, and instead of looking my magnificent 5ft3ish I looked 2ft nothing and twice as wide!!!
    Love the dress and the coat! You definitely got flava and bags of it :)

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i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!