Many of us have gotten used to staying at home these past few months, making the most of things and finding different ways to connect with friends and family, entertain ourselves and settle into a ‘new normal’. This week cities and states are starting to ease restrictions and lift Stay at Home Orders, but it’s still important to practice social distancing whenever you leave your home. If you’re looking to get photos for Instagram, or stretch your creative muscles, here are some fun ideas for creative shoots you can do, while still being safe and responsible.
If you’re a homebody, a bit camera shy, or want to be extra cautious and wait out any messiness from the first weekend of eased up restrictions, it may be best to turn your house or apartment into a studio. Whether you’re a content creating pro, or just doing it for fun, the key to any of these photo ideas is to relax and enjoy the process. Make a day of it!
Ball Gown in a Bathtub: Go ahead, pull out your high school prom dress or the floral maxi you wore to your cousin’s wedding last summer and clamber into your tub! I have a Rent the Runway monthly subscription which helps me to create editorial fashion content. Read my review of the service here and whether I think the ‘closet in the clouds’ is worthwhile. For this shoot, I chose this gorgeous teal gown because it reminded me a lot of the Little Mermaid. I imagine Ariel would be spending most of her days at home in the bath, and if I could get away with it, so would I!
New Commute Who Dis? Have you ever noticed that glass showers look a lot like subway cars? I’ve written before about my guide to staying sane while working from home. If you have been feeling bummed out that you don’t have a reason to rock your power-outfits anymore, stage a working from home style shoot. You can do it in your bathroom, kitchen, or any space in the house- even hanging out of your window or on your fire-escape. It’s also a fun opportunity to experiment with a look that you might not yet feel confident enough to wear to the office IRL. This gives you a practice round so that when we eventually head back to onsite work, you already have your ‘first day back’ outfit sorted. Mine? A short-suit, so preppy and so fun!
Restaurant At Home: This one doubles up as a cute date idea or a special moment with your roomates. Cook yourself up a really beautiful dinner, I made Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Alla Vodka from Half Baked Harvest. I wore a red sundress from Reformation (similar here) and my favorite red lipstick from Stila (Beso is the shade). A fun outfit, pretty plates and any cool props you have lying around will help to set the scene. Don’t worry if you don’t have the most Instagram worthy kitchen table. I used a clean sheet (hung over my closet door), a wooden chair, a vintage suitcase and my retro travel calendar to create my “restaurant”. You could also do this for brunch and have a living room floor picnic, with pillows and blankets. The best photoshoots always end with eating delicious food, in my opinion.
Helpful hints for shooting at home:
If you have a proper camera, use it! Your phone will work in a pinch but is harder to use with a self-timer, so you may need to recruit your significant other / roomate to play photographer. A tripod is super useful if you’re taking the self-portrait route, but you can also use a chair, a stack of books, or a shelf if you don’t have one handy. The most important thing you can do is maximize is your light source. Shoot near windows for natural light, or for a warmer atmosphere, use lamps and candles. Avoid overhead fluorescent lights as much as possible. Final tip: turn on some tunes, music always helps to get me in a creative mood!
Out and About
First things first, you need some supplies and guidelines to make sure you’re being as safe and responsible as possible. Face masks for you and your photographer are a must, only to be taken off right when taking photos. You need to have a game plan as well, to get out of public spaces as quickly as possible and with no mishaps. If you can, go at off-peak hours, whether in the city or out in the countryside. Traditional golden hour is in the evening, when many will be exercising or walking dogs so it may be worthwhile to get up at sunrise. Finally, remember at the end of the day, this is supposed to be fun, and no photo is worth risking your health or the health of others.
Escape the City: Pack up everything you need for a day out at the coast or in the countryside. Straw hats and sundresses recommended for both. Go with family or people you live with and avoid anywhere crowded, boardwalks and markets included. Instead maybe stretch your legs and head for remote dunes, fields or mountains, where you will have plenty of space.
Wheels Up: If you have access to a car, turn that into your on-the-go photo studio. With traffic levels way down, this is the perfect opportunity to get some cool shots from your car out in the city. First, find street that isn’t busy but has a variety of different style buildings and a good skyline in the background. Your photographer can wear a mask while you stay inside the car, or you can roll the windows down all the way and lean out. If you want to capture the idea of wanderlust and the open road, head out to a remote area where the road seems to lead into the horizon. Play with taking photos inside the car and walking along the double yellow lines.
The Sky’s The Limit: Rooftops are a content creator’s best friend right now, and if you have access to one, you can really do anything with it. Turn it into an outdoor cinema with a laptop, cushions and fairy lights. Strut your stuff across a cityscape runway and throw a virtual fashion show. Carry a bunch of plants and flowers up to create your own secret garden. Just remember to have permission to be up there, and take care that in all of your creativity, you’re not intruding on any neighbors!
If you use this post as a source of inspiration, please tag me or message me the results on Instagram. It makes me so happy to creativity in action!