The sensory overload is real when you visit a beautiful country for the first time. Concerns would include which outfit to bring, which places to visit, and what are the best ways to document this particular trip. The pressure is doubled when you set your sights on documenting and visiting world-famous museums, landmarks and architecture. You will certainly want to do these places justice when you go and take that #OOTD.
When it comes to composing breathtaking images with art, we look to fashion stylist, Andre Chang for some much needed advice. In our Q&A, Andre shares how he captures fashion editorial-worthy images while he’s on the go.
1. When you travel, how do you plan your outfits? Do you make it a point to match the mood of the location?
"To be honest, I hate packing clothes. I am the type that decides on what clothes to wear as soon as I wake up. I treat packing as a form of styling to get things done.
"For me to decide what to wear, I randomly gather clothes and edit them using a particular color story. Like, from which colors I want to use from the start 'til the end of the trip. That way, it visually looks cohesive. Also, I make sure a large percentage of my clothes are from young Filipino designers because I support their talent and craft. It’s always good to support and love local designers."
2. Your outfits tend to be structural. Any tips for packing high fashion looks for travel?
"I love structural clothing, but it’s a pain in the butt to pack. Here are my tips to packing those ginormous shoulder pads:
"One, pick lightweight fabrics that have volume. Heavy fabrics add weight. The lighter, the better, so it doesn’t bulk up [your suitcase]. Fabric with volume gives the garment additional body. Two, I like non-crease fabrics. They’re easy to wear and pack without worrying too much about steaming."
3. How would you describe the perfect OOTD?
"A perfect #OOTD involves very good lighting, no people in the background, and the clothes seamlessly match the location. Lighting is important because it sets the mood and that’s the best filter ever. If maganda lighting maganda ka. Haha!
"I prefer to have no other people in my photos, other than myself, of course, because your photos will look good if you have the background all to yourself. In reality, it takes so much effort to shoot without other people in the background, most especially if you’re in a famous location. You have to patiently wait for the crowds to really clear the area. Sometimes, it never runs out of people. The moment the area clears up, you have to be ready to shoot ASAP!
"When clothes match the location, it’s like fashion serendipity. That’s why I bring extra clothes to locations because you’ll never know when there’s a bongga spot to shoot."
4. What makes a perfect backdrop for taking an OOTD?
"I like dramatic backdrops. When you say dramatic, it usually involves bold and colorful patterns, grand staircases, grand arches, grand architecture, as well as breathtaking natural landscapes and scenery."
5. Any tips on taking outfit photos with art and architecture?
"I choose an art piece or architecture that will match my outfit. In certain cases, if I bring extra clothes, I’ll match it with the art or architecture. That’s why always bring a set in black and white as well as a colored option look. Also, pick an art piece or architecture also that speaks to your style."
6. Do you scout for artsy backdrops when you travel or are these serendipitous moments?
"A lot of them are serendipitous moments, a few we intended to really visit. I leave the city to surprise me. It’s more fun that way because I like flexibility."
7. Name one magical angle that works for any OOTD.
"For me, I like a slightly lower angle with a center-aligned photo. Why? Kasi ikagaganda mo. It visually balances the image. Plus, it lengthens the subject. Who wouldn’t want to have a photo that makes you look taller, right?
8. Could you share a few of your favorite poses?
"Honestly, I favor full-frontal poses because I want the clothes to be seen properly. Since I love supporting the designs and work of young designers, I want their designs to be seen without any obstruction. Ang arte ko diba? Then again, if you’re wearing a backless dress, why not show the back."
9. What apps and equipment do you use for editing your photos?
"A lot of bloggers like presets, but for me I just do minor tweaks to the photo. Most of the time, I play with saturation to enhance or desaturate colors. Snapseed is a cool app to do that."
10. Are there any particular guidelines we should follow when editing IG photos?
"You can do minor and major retouching to the photos. That’s totally up to you, but for me it’s more of staying true to who you are. Meaning, you’re not copying anybody and you are presenting an original voice or idea."
11. What are some of your favorite filters or editing settings?
"Currently, I like using the Instagram filter called Reyes. It dulls out certain colors in the photo and it makes it more interesting."
12. When taking photos, are there any image composition rules you follow?
"For me, so long as the outfit is visible, keri na. Still, I like to play with closeup shots and distant shots so there's variety."
13. Care to share tips on how to make the perfect caption?
"I’m not the master of captions, I just keep it real. Whatever is my mood when I post, I match it with a thought. That’s it!"
14. What are your top three styling tips for OOTDs?
"A. Accessorize thoughtfully. For me, good eyewear, a good pair of shoes, or a good bag can totally elevate an outfit.
"B. I like my looks to have longevity and to be not bound by seasonal trends. You know how certain looks are defined by a year or era? I don’t want that. A lot of the streetwear peeps wear clothes the same way. I mean, if that’s their thing it’s fine. For me, as a stylist, I look for another way to wear certain garments. It’s more fun that way. Try experimenting.
"C. Find signature pieces that represent you. In my case, people can identity me because of my eyebrows, beard, eyewear, and that’s apart from the structural clothing."