Step-by-step guide on taking beautiful ootd shots using your phone

Taking ootd photos or should I say outfit photos are a common thing to fashion bloggers even before the word or hashtag #ootd became popular. Bloggers before update their website with beautifully taken and well styled ootds for the sake of inspiring their readers and followers on what to wear for a specific day and event. I love taking photos of myself decked in a beautiful ensemble, it's just my way of expressing myself (through fashion) and somehow, it developed my eye for photography, and good photographs are a must for fashion bloggers like me.

Instagram is a great way to showcase your taste in fashion and photography, by posting your own ootds. This application opened a lot of wonderful opportunities and doors to today's social media stars, and also to some independent clothing brands. Through Instagram, the interaction of brands to followers is so easy, and discovering new talents is just a tap away.

A lot of my readers have been asking my lately on how I take and edit my ootd shots on my Instagram account (@michaelmacalos).  Taking ootd photos are quite a pressure to fashion bloggers, because you have that reputation to maintain that all your photos must be magazine worthy or ready to be used by the brands you're wearing in your outfit. That's why I don't blame those bloggers who are so picky in their photos (coz it's also a business people!). I always tell to my readers to not over edit your photos, keep everything balanced, well-toned and crisp, also keep the composition of the photo must be on-point.

First things first, your outfit must be on point!.

Here's my working area. I always use VSCO in editing my photos
Follow me on Instagram @michaelmacalos hahaha

Before posing in front of the camera, I first find an ootd worthy place that is appropriate in what I'm wearing. For example, this place is perfect for what I'm wearing because the structure of it and the white walls complemented my look.

After scouting for the perfect ootd background, I then do my modelling skills (hahah kidding) and pose like there's no tomorrow!. Finding the right poses kinda take quite awhile, unless you're Naomi Campbell or Cindy Crawford hahaha.

After posing like Cara Delevingne haha, I now look for potential shots. Choosing from a gazillion photos usually takes time and also If I'm not satisfied with my photographer's composition, I always crop the photo, to see if it will look more interesting in this kind of cropping.

Cropping time
Here's the cropped photo. I'm now satisfied with this kind of cropping, time to move on to the exciting part (editing). 

Sharpening it up
Since I'm already satisfied with the lighting of this photo, I don't have to adjust anymore the brightness. First, I make the photo crisp by sharpening it. Adjusting the sharpness of your photos makes it clearer, plus the details of your outfit and the background are popping out once you adjust the sharpness. 

Contrast it like a pro
After sharpening it, I try to add a little bit of contrast to the photo. This is the separation between the darkness and brightness part of the photo (naks! feeling like a legit photographer here haha). This helps the photo to look more drastic and adds that pop effect to the whole shot. 

Filters, Filters to hide the reality
Now we move to the filter part of this tutorial. Filters can instantly make or break your photo, that's why choosing the right filter for it is very crucial and important. There are some filters where it elevates the quality and overall look of the photo, and there are some filters that aren't just working. I bought a lot of vsco filters just to make sure that I'm choosing the right filters for my photos. 

For my ootd photos, I always use the S2 filter. It cleans the overall look of the photo and adds that classic touch it, also it brightens your photo the right way. Aside from S2, I also love using SE3, A6, KK1 and M5 for my photos. 

Highlights or lowlights
Then I try to decrease the highlights just a little little bit. So that it won't be too flashy when my readers and followers see the photo. 

And the best photo for this week goes to (Channeling Tyra Banks HAHA)
Here's the final photo!!. See, you can take beautiful ootd photos by just your phone's camera. Though there are some bloggers I know who posts a lot of high quality ootd photos, but the fact is, it's not taken by their phone's camera. It's either their dslr camera or their fancy mirrorless camera. No shade though, I might try to buy one too to elevate the quality of my ootd photos. But for now, let's stick to the legit iPhone photography.

Here are more wonderful tips we can learn from our favorite fashion bloggers on taking beautiful ootd photos. 

Stairs are a nice touch

Keep the background busy

Go on an expensive trip and have someone to take your ootds

Look for a different perspective 

Also, it's better if you tell your photographer to bend like this, so that you will look taller and the proportion of your body on the picture will look great.

There you have it guys. All the things you need to know about taking beautiful and inspiring ootd photos for your Instagram. I hope this helps you a lot and improve your ootd photos. 

I want to thank Lorenz Kyle Wong (lkcwong) for making this tutorial possible!
Share the love to me guys by following me on Instagram @michaelmacalos . I promise not to spam you a lot of selfies of mine half naked and nonsense posts. 


  1. I love VSCO cam for editing my instagrams! You get far more editing freedom than by just using instagram alone. These are such awesome tips!


  2. Great tips! Thanks for sharing :)


  3. This is such a great tutorial! Great post Michael! :)

    Best, Albert | Palming Pebbles
    Palming Pebbles FB

  4. VSCO is such a life saver! No need for photoshop to edit some photos. Thanks for the tips!


  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Amazing tips! Thank you! :)


  7. thanks for the tips....


  8. Very nice tips! I will remember all of this :D

    Lets connect!

  9. I just downloaded VSCO cam right now. Thanks for the tips!


Latest Instagrams

© THE CONTEMPORARY BOY. Design by Fearne.