Bebe Taian: Photographing Yourself in Kimono?

November 26, 2010

Photographing Yourself in Kimono?

Photographing oneself in kimono- this is something I have yet to figure out. How do I do this? So many other kimono bloggers look great in photos! Even in their own living rooms! But I haven't been able to do this yet.

I dress in kimono fairly often, for a girl with nowhere to go. Obi are awesome- the makura supports my shoulders and the rest prevents me from letting my posture get too poor. I do have a few synthetic kimono, so I don't worry so much about doing chores in those. There are also one or two items so stained (albeit subtly)  that I really don't care if they get damaged because I can always dye them and make them into something useful.

But there are days when I dress up in a great ensemble, and yet... the photos. The photos are horrible.

I've already established that I HAVE to be wearing makeup in photos. Otherwise, the redness in my face is too apparent. x.x It also needs to NOT be in my apartment. We have virtually zero natural light in here. I think perhaps finding a place nearby that looks beautiful will be key. Perhaps I can begin taking photos at some of the Japanese restaurants around here? And maybe checking my posture more often could help. After too many neck and back injuries, my posture has always been pretty bad. And taking yoga and checking my posture might bring me better well-being overall!

What else could I do to get better photos in kimono?


  1. Hi there! For me personally, I always try to go out on a sunny day, preferably in the afternoon or late afternoon when the light is at its best for photoshoots. Makeup is also needed on me, but that's because I am so pale that I would look like a zombie in photos if I didn't lol.

    Posture is very key! A lot of people look very stiff and uncomfortable in kimono because they are posed weird, like they're afraid of the camera or something. I always take photos at 3/4 angle, never directly from the front. It slims you and makes it look more natural. I also usually angle my hips and slightly drop a shoulder down or something to make it more casual-looking. I have bad posture from having a bad back, but by angling myself I can manage not to look hunchbacked or anything. Hands are never by my side or just dangling- whether they're on my hips or holding up a kimono sleeve, or just simply folded in front they're always in action.

    Oh, and the most important factor: you need to be comfortable to look comfortable. Don't dress so tightly that you can't breathe or bend over lol. Relax, smile, and enjoy nature. Then take the photo. You have to enjoy being in the kimono....I think that if you're comfortable wearing it, that that translates into the photo itself.

    Hope these ideas help! Can't wait to see some kitsuke photos!

  2. It's a good question, and one I haven't quite found the answer to yet- one thing I have found, though, is that using a camera tripod + a timer on the camera can let you get a photo without a friend's help, if you're alone.

    I've heard that natural light is the best for photos, but I can't really compare, since there's no natural light where I live (in the middle of a deep forest.) All the photographers online seem to say natural light is the best, though, so I believe them.