How To Train Your Boyfriend (Blogger Edition)

After posting a few of my latest shots on Twitter the other day, a handful of you have been asking how I got them to look the way they do, considering that my boyfriend is far from a professional photographer, and I’ve only had a profeshhhh camera for the last two months (almost).

So let’s say it how it is, I really hope that you guys picked up on the fact that the title of this blog post is just a tongue in cheek joke – replace *boyfriend with whatever suits your partner personally and the whole “training” thing is basically just a learning exercise for both of you. I feel like I need to put this disclaimer in here as some people get touchy about it, but obviously, it’s all down to what works for you as a couple, or as best friends, or as sisters/brothers, or whatever your relationship is – and more importantly what the other person feels like doing.

Missguided Mustard Blazer

ASOS Only White Peplum Shirt

Weekday Gold Wave Pendant Necklace

ASOS Round Gold Sunglasses

Topshop Petite Dark Straight Leg Jean

Public Desire Two Tone Ankle Boot*

Radley Black Millbank Bag*


Even though my lovely boyfriend, Alix, takes my shots – I sort out the camera shit. He wouldn’t know where to start, and he already gets a little stressed with my new camera as he’s still getting used to it compared to the easy snapping on an iPhone. As I blog full time I have plenty of time to research and test settings out so it works out well for us this way round. Also, I have a good idea of how I want the images to look which helps when I’m setting everything up.

I don’t have settings that I leave my camera on all the time because it really does depend on a lot of things, like lighting, or even the type of lens I’m using, but I always shoot on Manual (M). Generally, I never go about ISO 1000 as I feel like the image quality begins to suffer. Instead, play around with the shutter speed and f number to adjust the amount of light (exposure) in the shot. Make sure you have the white balance sorted too – it’s easier to shoot on auto when you’re out and about but you can try to do it manually if the white balance is still a little off.


After setting up my camera, I pop my boyfriend in the space I want to model in and take some test shots. A lot of the time I’ll fine tune the shutter speed and exposure here, so these shots are important so we don’t waste time on taking shots I don’t like or can’t use.

Secondly, get your partner to move within the space so you can take some example shots. These are so important for my boyfriend personally, as he likes to be able to see the look and vibe I want to go for. I can frame him in the shot in the same way I want to be framed and then all he has to do is flick through the photos to see how to capture me within the frame.



Generally, we’ll repeat step 2. for all the different types of shots I want, like full body, walking, portrait, close ups, detail, etc – Trust me, once you’re on a roll it wont take as long as it sounds. A lot of communication happens here, where my boyfriend give me feedback on anything from my body position, or out of place hair. Now that we’ve built up a good rapport, we’ll both just shout out ideas and roll with it. Sometimes they work and other times we both cringe, either way it’s a fab bonding exercise for us both!


I added this one last minute as I don’t want to seem like it’s always rainbows and unicorns when we’re out shooting. Sometimes I’m hormonal and think I look like a whale in every photo, and sometimes my boyfriend just needs a morning cuppa to pick him up before the shoot and is cranky af. Even though it’s business for me and experience for Al, it’s supposed to be fun – Remember that!

Fun fact – I actually hated these photos (yes, the ones in this post) when I saw them on my camera. It was a mix between being really self conscious and hormonal and it lead to me feeling totally not confident and cutting the shoot short. As soon as we got on the train home and I popped them on my phone, I started playing around with editing and turned round to Alix saying “You fucking killed it, babe wtf was I worried about?”….



I follow a lot of #bloggergoals on Instagram and I regularly save images that I love for a little shoot inspo. Before we shoot I show Alix the type of shot I want to go for, the look, feel, and vibe of it. If there’s something in particular that I’m looking for, like where to focus, background, angle, body position – I point it out. Then he knows how to direct me (and the camera!) when we shoot!

I also do the really extra thing of trying on my outfits days in advance before I shoot because there have been many a morning mishap with borderline breakdowns over an outfit not quite working, resulting in a v. serious “I have nothing to wear” moment. For me, prep is definitely key for peace of mind when shooting outfits, especially when they’re for a campaign, bulk-shooting, or if I have limited time to shoot in. 


Okay so before, during, and after a shoot I’ll ask for constant feedback from the boyf on my outfit, poses, lighting, etc – Just his general opinion. To be completely honest,  I’m not the best at taking it on the chin (especially if I have a spot of PMS, in which I’m like a fucking dragon, my poor boyfriend…) – But I am learning that not all criticism is bad criticism.

Example – I was originally going to pair this shirt with a skirt, and then tried it on with jeans when my boyfriend suggested it might look a little more casual like I wanted it to. Hey presto, he was right and we shot with the jeans.

Sometimes it’s best to take a moment to remember that whoever you’re shooting with wants you to do your best, and wants to do their best for you – Their input is crucial to the shooting process!

Who do you shoot with and how do you nail style shots?


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  1. Lucy Cole
    January 12, 2018 / 9:37 AM

    This is such a handy post! Luckily for me my boyfriend is quite into the whole photography thing, but he works weekdays so it can be a nightmare trying to fit lots of outfit shoots into the weekends sometimes. I think I might head out with my mum one day and try using these steps with her! Can't be too hard, right?!xxLucy |

  2. Ren Breaux
    January 12, 2018 / 9:55 AM

    Love this, so accurate! My boyfriend takes all my blogger pictures for me and bless him we literally just point and shoot a lot of them. Definitely feel you on the feeling hormonal and hating pictures, it happens more than I'd like to admit! Renny|

  3. Kathryn Williams
    January 12, 2018 / 11:03 AM

    *Sends this post to boyfriend* I really want to do more lifestyle and outfit photos and this has really helped!Kathryn /Cherries in the Snow

  4. Rachel
    January 12, 2018 / 12:38 PM

    This is really helpful advice, including lots of things I've never considered before! My boyfriend and I have many an argument before, during and after shoots because there's still part of him that really doesn't know what to do. These tips are definitely going to come in useful, here's hoping we can take as beautiful photos as you and your boyfriend do!P.S this outfit is absolutely divine! That blazer is definitely going to slip and fall into my online basket hehe xxRachel |

  5. Lisa McLachlan
    January 12, 2018 / 1:37 PM

    I LOVE this post, it's fab. Sadly, my husband would never get involved in anything like this in a million years, although if I'm still blogging in a few years time my daughter might be up for it. There are some brilliant tips here but I also love the humour and common sense you've written into the post. Lovely read, Holly, I really learned something here and I really enjoyed it too! XLisa |

  6. Lauren Victoria
    January 12, 2018 / 2:26 PM

    This is such a great post! I actually really love these shots and that yellow blazer is gorgeous. I'm planning on shooting with my boyfriend over the weekend, so this has come at the perfect time!xxLauren |

  7. Melina
    January 12, 2018 / 4:09 PM

    Great post, It's so informative, and also helps! My sister helps me with shots for my instagram and so I'm definitely going to try these tips next time we go out shooting xxxMelina |

  8. Rosie Ireland
    January 12, 2018 / 4:11 PM

    This post is amazing! My boy does pretty well but with these tips he’ll be the best blogger boyfriend going!

  9. Rosie Ireland
    January 12, 2018 / 4:15 PM

    This post is amazing! My boy does pretty well but with these tips he’ll be the best blogger boyfriend going!

  10. Cam Ham
    January 12, 2018 / 10:49 PM

    this was so helpful omg! also ur outfit is adorable

  11. Jessie-Ann Lewis
    January 13, 2018 / 9:32 PM

    Such a fab post hun – my boyfriend and mum help me with blog photos so I'll definitely be showing them this post! xxJessie | allthingsbeautiful-x

  12. Molly Rose Wood
    January 14, 2018 / 7:48 PM

    Love this post, having recently returned to blogging I’ll definitely be using these tips with the fella when we go to shoot!

  13. sopharsogood
    January 15, 2018 / 5:14 PM

    SUCH a helpful post – my boyfriend is pretty good with a camera but he is rubbish at directing me and I feel like that's something I really could do with because I lose my head a bit while shooting sometimes. Communicating and trying not to stress is definitely key…I'm going to have to try using him for some test shots and also making time to prep and find images to show him the mood/vibe/look I'm going for too, that's something I never do but it sounds like it will really help. These shots are beauttttt, well done to you both for smashing out another great set of photos xxxSophie | Sophar So Good

  14. Mel Eaglestone
    January 21, 2018 / 5:54 PM

    This is great advice! I took my husband with me the other week to try taking photos of me, he did a great job and I took photos of him in the poses and framing I wanted as well to show himMel ✨

  15. Toni Clarke
    July 7, 2018 / 6:52 AM

    Love this!! I’ve definitely been trying to get into more lifestyle/fashion shots recently and whilst I still need to boost my confidence in shooting in public places having a supportive aid behind the camera definitely helps. I too usually shoot with the boyf so I’ve lowkey just messaged him this link haha! Definitely taking photos of your assistant first is usually my go to when setting up the frame I want for my shot, great tips! Toni x

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