Where to take the best outfit photos: Style Panel shares the top Canadian spots
It goes without saying that a lot of prep work goes into taking a good #ootd photo. Aside from selecting the outfit, nothing is more time consuming than finding the right location to really make it pop.
If you take any of the biggest IG stars as examples, there’s one thing in common that gains consistent double taps: the perfect backdrop. And while traveling to exotic locales is a surefire way to grab followers’ attention, it’s not within everybody’s budget. Thankfully, Style Panel is here for some mad homegrown inspiration. From gorgeous parks to colourful walls, our Panel members reveal their fave spots in Canada and go-to backdrops for the best #ootd shot every single time.
Becky Kung, 30
Calgary | Velvet & Vino
My personal style is often feminine combined with edgy so my favourite backdrop to shoot my outfits is anything with a beautiful Victorian background or historical buildings. There are a few spots in Calgary that have that vibe I’m going for, so I often photograph there. I love beautiful white castle-like details, it’s a touch of Paris for me and gives that vibe that I feel my outfits are achieving, especially outfits like this girly lace polka dot top and blazer.
Becky’s wearing: Top, Anthropologie. Blazer, Anthropologie. Jeans, Topshop. Heels, Le Château.
Teresa Yoo, 24
Toronto | What T Loves
One of the things I love about Toronto is that there are so many wall art on the streets that make perfect backdrops for #ootd shots. I have to point out that it can get challenging to find one for the particular outfit that you are wearing because the overall colour, pattern or vibe needs to be in a good harmony, but I think that’s the fun part of the whole process. It almost feels like creating an art using another art, and I love it. Don’t hesitate to walk through small and possibly a little dirty pathways, because there might be an outstanding wall art just around the corner that will complete your outfit photo.
Amanda Montgomery, 29
Toronto | Latest Wrinkle
I love shooting in Toronto’s High Park. There is no end to the variety of backdrop, big beautiful a trees, fountains, lake and much more. We have managed to find some great spots with wonderful light. Plus it’s right by my house!
Kira Paran, 29
Edmonton | Northern Style Exposure
My favourite backdrop for photos is a natural setting: forest, mountains or fields. I love how romantic and magically nature can make a photo feel. Plus these spots are neutral, creating a uniform colour palatte of the season as a backdrop thus allowing the clothing to be the star of the photo. By far my favourite seasons are fall or winter to shoot in. Both create the two most extreme contrasts of the year; wildly colourful leaves or blown out white snow drifts.
Kira’s wearing: Cape, J.Crew. Blouse, Equipment. Pant, J.Crew Collection. Bag, Chloé. Boot, Tretorn.
Nichole Alabi, 27
Toronto | Nichole Alabi
My favourite place to take pictures is in front of the parking garage door of my apartment building. The fact that the door is the exact same color as the asphalt is so cool and it creates a slate gray backdrop to all of my images. I love taking picture where there are no distractions so my readers can focus on the outfit.
Nichole’s wearing: Coat, Zara. Dress, Zara. Boots, Stuart Weitzman. Bag, Fendi. Sunglasses, Prada.
Rhiannon Berthelot, 27
Calgary | Fit It Under Style
When it comes to capturing those amazing, awe-inspiring shots, I look no further than Inglewood in Calgary. With so many cafes, painted walls, mysterious alleyways and character, it’s hard to choose a spot that doesn’t look good. I’ve scoured each nook and cranny of Inglewood and I must say that the alley behind Gravity Espresso Bar has to be one of my favourites. With a plethora of different angles from which to approach, there is texture and colour everywhere you look. In a relatively small surface area there are countless different incredible locations to choose. Everything from the fencing surrounding the parking lot, to the brick and lion statues on the house next door, to the garage on the other side of the road with its orange wall, and finally to the walkway and seating area with adjoining storefronts. I just can’t get enough; there are too many ways to switch it up. Inglewood is also a great location when it comes to lighting. There are no tall buildings to cast shadows and it seems that around every corner there is something intriguing.
Sasha Xiao, 25
Toronto | Sasha’s Satisfashion
I used to go nuts when hunting for the perfect backdrop. I wanted it to either have a nice architectural building or a beautiful symmetrical background. Of course, Paris or London would have all the dreamy places to snap #ootds. However, nowadays, simplicity is the key. I found a simple black, grey or white backdrop would actually help the outfit to stand out more and to create a more cohesive theme on my Instagram feed. But I don’t mind snapping some moments in the middle of the street to get that “busy on-the-go” kind of shot as long as I’m keeping an eye on the traffic.
Sasha’s wearing: Fedora and vest, Need Supply. Turtleneck sweater, Zara. Skirt, Aritzia. Bag, Kate Spade. Shoes, Zara.
Shauna Dean, 27
Windsor | Quentin & Co
My favourite spot for nailing that #ootd shot is the adorable Willistead Manor. The carriage house there features a door in the dreamiest shade of blue, and it always seems to echo the feminine and classic style of my outfit. Whether I’m keeping it casual in distressed denim and a striped tee, or twirling in one of my prettiest dresses, this door is as close to a gorgeous Parisian backdrop as I’ll get locally, and it works every time.
Shauna’s wearing: T-shirt, Club Monaco. Jeans, Frame. Boots, Topshop. Bag, Aritzia.
Amy Nelson, 19
Calgary | Amy Flying a Kite
My go-to spot for photo taking is a trip to the forest. I go here because it’s endlessly inspiring and nobody gets in the way of your photographs. I feel like I am free to be spontaneous and move around however I wish. The forest also makes for a beautiful scene to showcase both your outfits and your world!
Amy’s wearing: Sweater, Banana Republic. Skirt, Chicwish. Boots, Value Village.
Stephanie Koch, 27
Kelowna via Calgary | Inherited Jeans
I think that whatever city or area you live in you get attached to certain sights and backdrops that never cease to make for a good photo or to remind you how much you love where you live over and over again. Seeing people’s favourite places showcased through blogging or Instagram is the best part of social media; travelling through your country via photos from another’s viewpoint.
So for our family, we spend a lot of time at wineries taking photos and enjoying the grounds because they always provide inspiration and a great mix of architecture, history and agriculture. Here we are at Hester Creek: one of my favourite wineries just outside of Oliver, B.C. I try to look for colours in the landscape or the scene that compliment what I’m wearing to make it pop or stand out. Here’s hoping the weather holds so we can enjoy the colors for a few more weeks before starting to think about the holiday season!
Stephanie’s wearing: Hat, Urban Outfitters. Sunglasses, Missoni. Blouse, Wilfred Free by Aritzia. Jeans, Topshop. Coat, H&M.
Kayla Short, 26
Halifax | Short Presents
When shooting photos I like to choose a very minimalist backdrop so that the outfit is the focus. You can never go wrong with a big clean white or gray wall. This one is my favourite, and it’s kind of hidden away, so no one whistles at you.
Kayla’s wearing: Poncho, c/o Mayberrys. Sunglasses, Céline c/o Smart Buy Sunglasses. T-shirt , Old Navy. Shoes, Chucks. Bag, Sneha Varma. Tights, c/o Silver Icing. Duffle, c/o Swims. Watch, c/o Daniel Wellington.
Laura Mitbrodt, 31
Victoria | Laura Jane Atelier
One of my favourite spots to take the perfect picturesque photo is Fort Rod Hill in Victoria. I love coming here because of the Fisgard Lighthouse, which reminds me of something straight out of a postcard. There is something so dreamy and nostalgic about this lighthouse and it gets me every time.
Laura’s wearing: Jeans, Old Navy. Sweater, Marshall’s. Vest, Marshall’s. Hat, H&M.
Jameela Ghann, 25
Calgary | Jam and Tea
My favourite place to take #ootds is outside in the afternoon. I look for a spot that has indirect sunlight and a background with texture. A great background ensures that my outfit is the centre of attention!
If you are looking for a great spot to take a photo of your outfit, look for a quiet place where people won’t be walking by all the time. This will give you the freedom to try different poses without feeling rushed. Another tip is to take pictures in the early morning or late afternoon. Direct sunlight will give you unflattering, harsh shadows.
Jameela’s wearing: Jewellry, Alora Boutique. Skirt, Zoharous. Blazer, Thrifted. Leggings, Target. Crop top, Sirens.