DIY fashion shoot spurs new life in quarantine

Fashion photography is one of my hobbies. I have always loved going out to different locations around South Florida and shooting photos of my friends or models. I primarily work outside in natural light, but in quarantine, photographing people in different locations is not an option.

These days, I spend a lot of time on social media, particularly Tik Tok. There are many trends on Tik Tok and one of the most popular ones is self-portrait photoshoots at home. Users have been turning their bedrooms, living rooms, and backyards into photo locations and studios. One of the biggest trends is the newspaper photo trend. For this, you take a bunch of newspaper, tape it to the wall as a background, and then take photos in front of it.

I decided to put my own spin on this idea.

I had a bunch of fashion magazines lying around and decided to use those instead. I went through the magazines and chose a lot of high-quality photo pages with minimal text. I also tore out high fashion brand logos. This process took quite a while because I wanted a very specific look for the background. I chose each page very carefully.

Once I had enough pages, I laid them out on the floor so I could see what I had to work with. Then, I got to arrange them on my wall. This portion of the project took much longer than expected. I arranged the pages in a way that made some type of visual sense, alternating different colors, styles, and text.

After I felt satisfied with the arrangement of the wall, I chose a few outfits and got ready to take the photos.

I rarely take photos of myself, especially with a tripod. I had to figure out the right angle to make it look like I wasn’t in my bedroom. The space was very tight. I started out shooting with a light on a stand but quickly realized that just using flash was better.

I spent about an hour shooting photos and did three different outfit changes.

After a certain point, I decided to switch from my camera to my phone using an app called Dazz Cam, which gives the photos a vintage, Polaroid-like effect.

The photos surprised me. I did not expect the DIY background to look so good. I was very satisfied.

This is a difficult time for many of us. There is so much uncertainty, especially for students. Our lives have essentially been put to a halt. However, doing this project really helped me see that there are ways to work around this. There are ways to get creative and make something special.

Despite the negative aspects of social media, it has definitely helped inspire me to try new things at home. Social media keeps us all close together during this time of social distancing.

This has also been a time to try things you didn’t have time for. I am going to try to make the most of this quarantine and essentially come out of it with new ideas and skills as a photographer.