Editorial Outfit Shots and Catalog Living

There have been a few blogs that have brought up the topic of "documentation" outfit photos vs. editorial-type outfit photos and I thought you'd be killing for my thoughts on this matter. I aim to please.

Paul Stanley, in full makeup, come hithers me from my hotel desk

I've written about this before, and how I see this blog as more of an outfit log than anything else. Therefore I actually prefer a similar, unobtrusive and plain background repeatedly. I notice a lot of people are able to use their yards, and I think that's neat. I'd use my yard if I had one. I've also mentioned that I find the editorial/vignette style (pigeon-toed in the cornfield and seated on the abandoned freight car) to be a little much for my personal tastes, although certainly not enough to dissuade me from reading a blog and hey, they're your blogs.

What I realized when skimming blogs earlier is that my brain processes these editorial/vignette styled blog posts like Catalog Living processes catalogs. Except funnier. You should probably let me know if you actually live next door to a cornfield or abandoned house or abandoned freight train just to make me feel bad for mentally mocking it.

And I value my time. Like really value my time. As I wrote on Franca's post,

"I mean, seriously, I can't imagine taking the time out of my day most days to go pose outside somewhere, especially when it's cold! It's just not part of my value system with regards for time even if I really believed lighting and a varied background would be nicer. If I had to take the extra hour each time I wanted to go outside, walk to a spot where I could set up a camera to take a picture, set it up, take the pictures and come back home, I'd NEVER blog outfits."

Yes, I just quoted myself.

I know you've probably commented on any number of posts about this same topic but if you haven't gotten a chance to comment about this topic before, please feel free to let me know your thoughts, your time commitment to outfit photos and whether you live next to a cornfield.


  1. ahahahah- I was JUST thinking about this!!! I went to Point Reyes on Sunday - It is amazing there with ocean views, cliffs, hills- vistas galore. I've seen other local bloggers take to the CA coast in full on fancy duds. Why? how? WHO has the rime to do that? Plus, it's not realistic- really you wore those heels to walk around rocky cliff sides? I go to many photo editorial worthy spots- but I wear hiking clothes - or in the case of road trips -comfy practical clothes- hey I'm there I want to enjoy it, not be cold or in pain/in mortal danger due to high heeled shoes. Anyway- like you said I STILL read those blogs, but in the back of my mind I have to wonder why? Though maybe part of me is jealous that someone has all that free time! I'm lucky to get 5 minutes to snap a picture here and there. I do have some outdoorsy/out and about photos, from roadtrips and vacations, but it's just me in clothes I WOULD normally wear on such outings.

    Sadly, lately- I've been feeling less and less like posting outfits - it's a slump I think- but also I'm questioning why I do it in the first place. Though I love 'peeping' other people's clothes- I'm getting kind of sick of seeing mine : )

  2. i just wrote a long bitter comment about this....but to sum it up. I do query how does one have so much TIME to make such posts...and how much SUPPORT from their partner/hubs for endless pic taking and clothes buying? And I surmised that I'm jealous. I also think though that although this doesn't appeal to me - these blogs are really popular so they must appeal to some! I do prefer the less stylised but more approachable blogs myself.

  3. I am a yard picture taker myself.
    I have no desire to make a spectacle of myself posing in a public place, and besides...my kids would kill me anyway.Who would cook them dinner if I was driving around all dressed up and posing.
    I photograph what I wear to work in real life.
    I do adore an editorial style photo shoot, because I am a very visual person, I adore the aesthetics that complete a picture/image. What keeps me reading a blog regularly is either intense photography, style that I get, and/or amazing writing.
    I love this as a subject and I also think this:
    Most of those uber bloggers out there who get hundreds of comments per post I find boring (with the exception of a few) and if you ever read through their comments, it is mostly people leaving their URL's to gain some kind of popularity as well.
    Like in high school when girl's would gaggle around the most popular cheerleader...trying to hang on her coat tails to gain their 5 minutes.

  4. I HATE seeing grown women standing pigeon-toed. Ridiculous.

    The bloggers I follow all take pretty straightforward outfit shots. I'm not much interested in fantasy-editorial style. Even if I DID have access to interesting scenery, I'm uncomfortable with the whole idea of posing. We'll see how much that changes with my photographer out of town...

    I love Catalog Living.

  5. Ha, Catalog living is hilar.
    As for the editorial shots, I don't really have many bloggers on my reader that do this. I guess there's something a bit off putting about someone who attempts this look. I realize the most popular bloggers tend to do this, and more power to them, but these blogs are increasingly less relevant to me.

  6. they may be a bit much, but this picture is wonderful!

  7. When I did photos outside, they were usually self-timer photos in front of my building or around quiet parts of my neighborhood. I usually do only 1 or 2 rounds of self-timed photos (under 2 minutes) because it feels really ridiculous and laughable. Being a Brooklyn native also makes me terrified to set a personal item down and walk away from it. Thus, even my outdoor photos aren't always interesting or flattering. Since it's way too cold and gross out for me to take my coat off these days, I usually use the cleanest part of my apartment that gets natural light.

  8. I DO actually live RIGHT next door to railroad tracks that usually have a few rail cars laying around because I live right by a split in the tracks. But I don't care to go out there for outfit photos - I do go there to ride my bike on the trails though!

    I don't mind the editorial style blogs as long as they don't get too carried away. I found a new blog the other day I rather liked (as in, no F21, no UO, not all sponsored clothing) but she had like TWENTY photos of one outfit. LARGE photos. I like a shot or two, maybe a detail shot or two or one with your coat and purse on, but not soooo many! So I don't read her blog, even though I like her style. I have noticed a lot of the more editorial style blogs are girls who don't have jobs... I have three. I don't have the time or desire to make it that complicated.

  9. It seems amazing to me, too, that someone has the time and the energy to do on-location editorial shoots for a style blog. I have noticed that I don't read those types of blogs as often as I used to; yes, the pictures can be pretty and all that, but I don't find them inspiring. If someone wants to wear strappy high-heels to a walk in the forest, okay, but it really isn't going to give me any ideas about what to wear to the woods, or anywhere, really.

    I take my outfit photos on our back deck if the weather is decent. The only reason I do it is light. My indoor pictures always come out grainy.

  10. I think - to each is own.
    If you don't like a blog's photos or style...don't look at it?

    Like Futurelint, I have no interest in looking at blogs with TONS of basically the same photo of the same outfit on one post, so I don't follow those. But I'm not gonna judge them because they obviously like posting that many shots and lots of those blogs are very successful so others like seeing what they post.

    We are inundated from birth with editorial fashion images as what "beautiful" and "cool" style looks like, so it's no surprise lay people would attempt to recreate that imagery to display their own style.

    For me, blogging is a fantastic creative outlet.
    If I was independently wealthy and had loads of free time on my hands, I would probably seek out locations to snap neat shots.

    Instead, I get 5 minutes in my loft in the morning before work to snap a few pictures & create the world of the photo in my computer!

  11. Interesting question. I tend to prefer outfit logs over editorial-style, though the latter style can produce some beautiful pictures.

    For my part, I have neither the time nor the energy to go outside, find an interesting location, set up photos, etc. etc. etc. I do get my partner to snap pictures if he's around, but that's mostly because it's faster than setting up the tripod.


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