Through The Lens: How I Capture Images

Through The Lens: How I Capture Images

An introduction on how I take pics for the Gram or a fashion model's portfolio...

Tim Vo
Tim Vo

In the day and age where Instagram reigns, it seems like everyone is a "photographer". Truth be told, although I consider myself to be a (fashion) photographer— that term should be taken lightly considering how I am by no means pursuing it professionally (at the moment). Today, I will be sharing with you guys how I capture fashion-inspired images (for the nature/landscape lovers out there, sorry) in the hopes that you can implement some of my techniques for that next Instagram post.

In pursuing fashion photography for about 7 months now, what I can tell you is that I have learned a heck of a lot through my experiences with the camera and modeling industry. From posing to lighting, a lot goes into a "good" image and realistically— the smallest details matter. Rather than boring you to death with some camera tips that you may have learned from YouTube or your dad/uncle (who purchases the latest camera gear, yet hardly knows how to operate it), I will just give you a fun list of what I do in my personal productions for friends and modeling agencies alike:

1. Lighting

You guys, lighting is EVERYTHING in photography. As a matter in fact, it's so important that without it nothing is possible— even if you have the best camera gear, best makeup artist, or hottest model. Bottom line is that you really need to understand how light BEHAVES. For most of my shoots, I usually have my models point their entire face towards the direction of the sun (yes, it hurts the heck out of their eyes but the results are usually worth it!). Another key tip is to always encourage the model to keep their chin up, which ensures even lighting to be distributed across their face. Trust me, these little techniques have enabled me to produce decent images without the need of any lighting assistants or strobe lights on set!

2. Pose

The most fun part of every shoot— the pose. Posing is tricky because there are so many variations to work with, some being more aesthetically pleasing than others. As a rule of thumb, the "thinking pose" where you cross your arms and raise your right arm up to your chin makes for a very simple yet beautifully composed portrait pose. However, it is good to play around with the poses (something that I need to work on more) and integrate various facial expressions as well. There is no right or wrong way to pose, but one interesting tip that has always resonated with me is this: The more uncomfortable the model is with the pose, the better it’s going to look on camera! Not convinced? Then be the judge and give it a shot for yourself! You'll be surprised!

And voila, there are the two most quintessential components that I really feel like most people should prioritize when capturing images. Nowadays, it's so easy to get fixated on the idea that buying the most expensive and latest gear makes for a better picture, however, it is such a toxic belief to even begin with. I encourage you all to constantly shoot and shoot to the point where your voice and personal aesthetic is articulated through your images! I have a long way to go as well, so I am really just as much of a learner as anyone else is. Above all, the most important thing to treasure is the creative and collaborative process that photoshoots entail. Have fun with it and don't be afraid to take risks!

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10 VSCO Presets That Make You Look Tan As All Heck

Because come on, we can't all be sun kissed while also working 40 hours a week.


I don't know about you, but I cannot seem to get to the golden shade that I so desperately want. Think I'm silly all you want, but being tan makes me more confident. Now, working 40 hours a week, during prime sun hours doesn't exactly help this dilemma, so I have taken the matter into my own hands. These are a few of the VSCO Filter pre-sets that make me feel just as sun-kissed and stunning as I aspire to be, from the comfort of my cubicle.

1. E8 +8, Contrast +1, Temperature -1, Saturation -1, H. Tint Magenta +3

2. HB2 +7, Contrast -1, Exposure -1, Temperature +0.5, Saturation +1, Fade +1.5, Grain +4

3. C8 +12, Exposure -2, Saturation -2/+2, Grain +3 (Optional)

4. C1 +12, Fade +4, Contrast +2, Exposure +2, Saturation -2, Tint +3

5. A4 +7, Exposure -2, Contrast +1.7, Temperature +1.7, Tint +1.0, Saturation -2.0, Skin tone -1.0

6. M3 +12, Temperature -1, Contrast +2, Saturation -1/+1

7. E3 +12, Temperature -1, Saturation -2, Skin -2

8. HB1 +8, Exposure -1, Temperature -1

9. C1 +12, Exposure -1, Contrast +2, Temperature +2, Saturation -2, Skin Tone -3

10. G1 +8, Exposure -2, Contrast +2, Saturation +2, Temperature -1, Fade +2

Cover Image Credit:

Erika Glover

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