Shots You Never Saw and What They Taught Me

If you’re an outfit-of-the-day (OOTD) blogger, you know well the amount of shots that never make your blog for one reason or another. As I was trolling through photos on my hard drive the other day, I thought how sad it was that there are so many shots clogging up my memory, really, for no good reason. Some of them are totally fine…I just didn’t have enough good ones to generate an entire post about that look.

I decided to salvage a few from the cutting room floor to share with you, plus some things I learned in the process.

1. Sometimes your own past looks can inspire you.

I’m inspired to get my fitness and eating habits back on track after seeing this shot of me last year. I’m still active, but have softened up a bit more than I like. I’m using this photo for inspiration to get back in shape for summer, and beyond.

I love this shot. It’s ridiculous for the blog, and the outfit is, well, absolutely bland. But hey…I haven’t worn my hair like that in months! I need to revisit the wavy look, and soon.

2. Sometimes you get the shot, but not the outfit.

Last summer I had the rare opportunity for a beautiful backdrop and someone else to take the photo. Unfortunately, sometimes you get a great shot, but not a great shot of what you’re wearing.

3. Sometimes all you get is one good shot—and you should go with it.

For some reason I’ve got this idea in my head that I need perfectly crisp shots of an outfit, plus detail shots, to create a post. You know what? I think I need to rethink that approach. Sometimes all you need is one good shot, that you love. I mean, if Garance Doré can do it, why can’t I?

Here are some of my one-shot-wonders:

What do you think? Are one-shot-wonders OK every once in a while?


  1. says

    I totally dig this post. Half of the time the photos are nothing like I imagined they would be from being in from of the camera and then uploading them on my MBP. Then the other half I actually like the photos but the focus on the outfit is lost.

    And yes! I think one-shot-wonders are great. They are like teasers. Little bites of a delicious cupcake. Mysteriously deliciously enough to make you want to keep re-visiting the blog for more.

    I have been trying to hit the gym hard, too. I hate what winter does to my physique. Your photo is officially my new inspiration, too :)

    Erika’s latest post: Food &amp Fashion- Cinco de MayoMy Profile

  2. says

    I think one-shot-wonders are definitely okay. One of the (many, probably) reasons I’m not a routine OOTD poster is that I just don’t get enough pictures; it takes so long to get my self-timer properly balanced somewhere and finding the right backdrop, and feeling awkward and thinking people are watching me… And as the one posting the pictures I feel like it never takes more than one or two shots to properly document all the details of an outfit, so what’s the point in posting six or seven? Are the rest just posing? (Mind you, I don’t think that when I see OOTD posts by others, it’s just my own insecurities, I guess.)

    Anyway. Love the post, love every single look on here, love the wavy hair, love the beachy backdrop, love you.

  3. says

    I actually prefer less pictures when it comes to outfit blogs. I really don’t need to see 8 pics of the same outfit just with slightly different poses that end up looking like all the rest of the poses on the blog. I like that you make yours to the point and have an interesting story behind it.
    Christy’s latest post: What I Wore- Southern Fashion Bloggers MeetupMy Profile

  4. says

    I’m so glad you posted this, V, because I absolutely adore ALL of the pictures in this post! I think it’s okay sometimes to post pictures where the outfit isn’t totally clear, if you like the photograph. For the most part all your readers enjoy nice pictures as well as killer outfits, so I don’t think there would be any complaints! And you should definitely go with one-shot wonders sometimes, because those ones are stellar.
    Leia’s latest post: Couture Cinco- Childhood DreamsMy Profile

  5. says

    Honestly I dont think that the appeal of a (trendy or not) shooting (necessarily) stays in any form of clinical exegesis, according to me beyond all a way to catch a certain essence, temporary alchemy dedicated to be engrave for timelessness . . .
    ps: Frankly far to be ridiculous , this wavy hair stunningly suits you Dear V !!! I (shyly) must confess that I (fantastically) shall never cease to see in this “wild mane in motion effect” a possible capillary finery, an (utterly captivating) “neo Venus” vibrancy (“shy smile”) . . .

    à Bientôt, Antoine
    Antoine’s latest post: VAINilicious Sylphid- Julie Ordon par Greg KADEL in PLAYBOY FRANCE décembre2007My Profile

  6. says

    What a great idea! I have loads of ‘one-shot’ outfits that never get to the blog but when I think of some of the sites that inspire me e.g. stylestalker, they only ever have one shot of the outfit (sometimes not evern the outfit – just a shoe or something!). Love your hair wavy and love the first shot of you – gorgeous! Sir Alfred sends licks across the water :) xx
    GawgusThings’s latest post: Lazy DaysMy Profile

  7. says

    Vahni – I was just thinking I need to go through and delete all the random pics clogging up my computer! But I love your take on this. One hit-wonders can be good for a day you are feeling a little uninspired. Sometimes all it takes its one picture to capture the essence of your look or mood for the day. And I LOVE your hair wavy! It looks stunning, especially since it is so long. – Katy
    Katy’s latest post: Tired Eyes and Exposed RootsMy Profile

  8. says

    Sometimes I don’t get why people need to post so many photos of the same outfit so one hit wonders are probably better in my eyes! The blog fashion snag was one i used to visit but stopped because she puts way too many photos of the same thing every day so it can get repetitive and uninteresting to me!
    I agree with you though, you definitely should have your hair wavy some more! :)
    Much Love
    Meg’s latest post: Get The Look For Less- DVF Spring 2011My Profile

  9. says

    Completely agree with the one shot wonders. I am always in this mindset that I need at least 2 pictures to create a post, but WHY? That one shot shows it all and looks fantastic. You look amazing in all of your one shot wonders and you should definitely start a series called “One Shot Wonders” :)
    Lynzy’s latest post: EclecticMy Profile

  10. says

    I am so glad you rescued them I love, love the second one from the top, and the second from the bottom, ahhhhhhhhhh Magnificent, my dear friend.
    Mil besos from Berlin.

  11. says

    Thank you for sharing these, they’re absolutely blog-worthy!
    Your hair in the second picture is stunning, and the one-shot-wonders are great outfits! You’re brilliant at wearing black in a multitude of ways!

    The reason I’m throwing away most of my shots is my ridiculous face. Honestly, if I look like most of my photos in real life, I must be one scary lady. :)
    Madeline Quaint’s latest post: Pálinka and Broderie AnglaiseMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you Madeline!

      I get those hated “I hate my face” shots. That’s why I hardly ever look at the camera! I feel like the biggest DORK when I do! Maybe try looking elsewhere some. I think it helps.

  12. says

    OH EM GEE…..V! *Shaking my head* – YES!!!!! You really do need to use these……like seriously Love. These shots one-off shots are amazing. It’s just like the quote you retweeted about earlier today using like 8 shots for one outfit – I agree. It’s like alRIGHT already! Haha. That’s overdoing it a bit. But every now and then if you just have one choice shot, that can really be amazing. Many times when I reference back to things in magazines, I am only focusing on that one page with that one shot that says it all.

    Besides, even if you think one isn’t enough to tell the whole story, it’s best to leave them wanting more than to beat a dead horse with 12-too-many of the same shots, right? These are gorgeous. PLEASE use them!!


  13. says

    Sometime less really is more. I know that is easier said then done first hand. I am the first one to scrap an entire photo session because I feel I did not get ‘the’ shot. I say to myself…when in doubt through it out. Not always a good thing. This is a perfect example of that. You saved some gorgeous photos that speak a thousand words.
    xo Mish
    Mish Dish’s latest post: My Favorite AccessoriesMy Profile

  14. says

    I think using one photo for an outfit post is perfectly fine especially if it is the only one you happen to be satisfied with. One is better than none right? I always post a handful though for many different reasons. One of them being I’m terrible at decision making! I have a blast taking photos though and enjoy sharing them. I try and show different angles and I like doing detail shots too so when you add that all up I post on average about 5.

    Love these shots of you btw! Your wavy hair is gorgeous!

  15. says

    I don’t even know where to begin to tell you how many photos never make it to my blog. I completely agree with you that sometimes looking back at old photos can certainly be inspiring!! I am loving your hair on the 2nd photo. You look gorgeous!!!

    modanista junkie’s latest post: Beauty CallMy Profile

    • says

      Awesome! With so many photos not being printed anymore, I think we forget to do that. It really can be very inspiring!

  16. says

    Yeah, I totally get a tad irked when someone has 10 pics of the same outfit and none of them are really showing me anything new about that outfit.

    Your cutting room floor is pretty HOT, you look totally stunning in all the pics. The list of what you’ve learned is totally LALM, I think it would be mega helpful for a lot of bloggers.

  17. says

    I love your hair wavy, V! Is that how it is naturally? You know I’m the furthest thing from an OOTD blogger, but as a reader, I’m totally fine with one-shot wonders. If the photo is great and shows off the outfit well, it’s really all you need. Those last two photos are definitely worthy of their own posts, and I’m only excluding the third-to-last because we don’t get as good of a view of your outfit.
    Marissa’s latest post: In Bloom – A FTF Blog EventMy Profile

  18. says

    I’ve started taking outfit posts only the past couple of months and sometimes I think I overload my hard drive with unessesary photos, as I only use 3 or 4 for each post. I totally don’t understand why one has to post more. I get “tired” to scroll, scroll, scroll and only see more poses…what’t the point?! So hell yeah, one hit wonders would be very welcome! (and if I see an interesting detail, e.g. your top, then I’d add at a comment “would love to see a closer look of that top”)
    Anna’s latest post: Zara Pre-Fall CollectionMy Profile

    • says

      I think 3-4 is a good number, and you make a great point. Readers WILL ask to see more. They’re great about that!

  19. says

    Can I just say that I LOVE your hair with those waves!! Gorgeous!

    I have a bad habit of not deleting all of my pictures because like you said, you never know that the one you thought was awful one day can serve a useful purpose later on! Loved the spin on this! :)
    MJ’s latest post: Fierce OOTD- The Mommy’s Day EditionMy Profile

  20. says

    Beautiful V, I always love your photos, and the tone/contrast in them. The first one is just lovely. Though I’m quite a novice at photography, I do have quite a bit of one shot outfit images that I have not yet posted..Sometimes I like to reflect on them, (even if I was unable to use it because) they spark other inspiration for another post. Thanks!
    Madison’s latest post: Blue-Green Leaves- Floral and ChainMy Profile

    • says

      Aw, thank you Madison! I’m definitely not a photo expert, but I have learned that photo editing makes a huge difference. It’s good that your own photos can inspire another post, and you. It’s good to reflect on them, bring ourselves back to a moment or a day or an outfit with .so many memories attached.

  21. says

    I love this post, V. All of your pictures are gorgeous. I love your hair all wavy/crimped. Outfit shots can be difficult, but you definitely named some great pointers here. When I do my outfit shots, I sometimes take over 20+ shots, and end up with maybe 3 good ones, but hey, thats okay! :)

    Kirstin Marie’s latest post: Friend Friday- Oh my gosh- shoesMy Profile

  22. says

    First of all, your body is rocking Mama! Can you say owwwww! It ridiculous the amount of unused photos on my computer, sometimes you just can’t get a shot you like. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with only posting a singular outfit shot, quality vs. quantity.
    Fajr | Stylish Thought’s latest post: Want vs NeedMy Profile

  23. says

    Ah, the luck and luxury of a one-shot wonder! I’m not kidding- if you are lucky enough to get all of the needed info plus a great arty look in one photo- that is mastery! I like no more than 4 or 5 pics, and that’s only if I’m using a shoe and accessory close-up. That said, today I’m indulging in 5 shots but the focus is less on the (rather plain jane) outfit, and more on showing a colorful character in a black ensemble. Kinda like how you rock it.
    Bella Q’s latest post: guest post- Vanessa of Queen VIIs ReveriesMy Profile

  24. says

    absolutely! I just wish my one shots were as amazing as these.

    The wavy hair is fab on you, V! We (the people) definitely want to see more of it! Lol.

    I also need to start working out again. These arms are NOT begging to be exposed this summer. Lol.
    Eboni Ife”s latest post: UnexpectedMy Profile

  25. says

    You are SO beautiful, V! That last shot is my fave. I think it’s perfectly fine to post one amazing photo, or five decent ones!

    And I love your hair wavy — but as you know, I’m obsessed with your locks always.
    THE-LOUDMOUTH’s latest post: The sweetest surpriseMy Profile

  26. says

    YES! I absolutely think they are ok, and not only that I want shots like this. Fashion blogging is not only about the fashion for me, not the great ones, they are about the full package, the person. Shots like the stunning ones you have shared with us here convey a mood, a feeling, powerful stuff. I love your shots, I adore your blog and I adore you. You my dear are the real deal, blogging done at it`s best. Mwuah! xxxxx
    Anika’s latest post: FTF Community- Colouring outside the linesMy Profile

  27. says

    The 3rd picture, cropped leather trench, jeans, dark nails, you look amazing and the shot looks like something out of Vogue, I’m totally serious. It is divine! One shot wonder indeed!

  28. says

    You are a stunning woman, and the picture with your hair in curly waves is soooo pretty. I struggle with outfit posts so much especially now that my camera is dying on me. The amount of casts-off is incredible, and the amount of good shots is minimal, but then I am really not photogenic, and I am my worst critic, so that doesn’t make for good outtakes. Today my dog ruined a moment when my camera decided to work, but even though it wasn’t a good pose I just went and published it, because it was the only one that wasn’t out of focus! I really need a new camera :P
    Fashion Limbo’s latest post: Outfit – The Maxi Dress ConundrumMy Profile

  29. says

    I agree with the one-shotters. It is all about a feeling. Well, that is what I like about an OOTD post, that it creates a parallel world. But you will need a good camera to pull that off.
    Mode Plus’s latest post: ContrastMy Profile

  30. says

    I have so many perfectly nice outfits on the cutting room floor because I don’t feel I got enough good shots. You are totally right and isn’t it refreshing to post just one, good, solid photo? Less is more. As long as it captures the look, who cares? You get something in your mind and it gets stuck, for no good reason at all! New goal for the blog. I am always so inspired after reading your posts!
    noelani’s latest post: Louis Afternoon Part IIMy Profile

  31. says

    These are gorgeous. Your one-shot wonders are better than many of the photo-overload images I see on other bloggers sites. Sometimes all you need is one angle to capture the essence of an outfit. It’s not that I mind multiple photos, I don’t at all, but AT MOST, one photo of the whole outfit, maybe 2, plus a couple close-ups of accessories are all I need. Some go completely overboard and post every possible angle imaginable!

    I love the first shot, and your wavy hair is so pretty. I wish i was on that pier right now, and I think I own the same pair of jeans.

    On a side note, I love the idea of this post. You should do this a couple of times a year and share some shots that were originally on the cutting room floor!
    Beautifully Invisible’s latest post: LINK LOVE with a TWIST- May 10- 2011My Profile

  32. says

    OK, it’s decided: one-hit wonders are OK! I’m so relieved!

    Thank you all for your comments, thoughts, and perspectives. I hope to see some cutting room floor shots on your blogs too. Give us a peek!

  33. says

    Here are my thoughts:
    1) OMG your arms are amazing in the first shot! I’m inspired to get back to the weights too!
    2) I’m not sure what to think about one shot wonders. I think I would do it, but maybe as an extra random post during the week. I think you could do it for sure, but you have a very loyal following.
    So glad to see you back!

    Heather Fonseca’s latest post: Lace tights and date nightsMy Profile

    • says

      Aw! OK…

      1. Thank you! I figure while Hubby’s having a visit back home, I’m going to whip myself back into fighting shape!
      2. I don’t think one-shotters will affect your level of readership…I think you could totally do them if you have one really good one for a post!

      Thanks again, sweets!

  34. says

    Hell yess!! ;) You look absolutely beautiful in them all!! Remember that it’s YOUR blog we’re talking about, so at the end of the day the only opinion that matters is YOURS… :)

  35. says

    Firstly, I ADORE the second image and would kill for natural hair like yours. Or at the very least spend a whole ton of money chasing it down. Secondly, I would not find it incongruent for that particular shot to be included in a series of OOTD images. I fear that many feel the constrain of what counts as or not (OOTD). I love a story so an image might not reveal the full ensemble but it gives me a better glimpse into another aspect of the outfit & personality wearing it – does that make sense. That image reads because your eyes are speaking to me, so why not showcase it alongside the others that read purely for the outfit worn. I think we should all feel able to mix it up as we see fit!

    And lastly, you know I am more than happy to include just as SINGLE image to illustrate an outfit if I feel that a) it is really the best of the bunch b) is representative of what I do and c) shows off the outfit perfectly.

    Keep doing your thing V. I, personally, continue to be a fan ;)

    Mulika’s latest post: Portraiture- FuroreMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you so much, Mulika…was a sweet comment!

      I agree that I’d much rather read the story with only one photo, than read nothing and see a bunch of shots of the same thing. It’s overkill.


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