The objective of fashion photography is to present clothing and fashion accessories in an enticing way to gain the interest of the potential buyer. These images are mostly used for advertising and fashion magazines and the setup styles vary from studio shots to exotic location shoots. Here is a compilation of useful tips to help you gain a foothold in the genre of fashion photography:
1. Explore what camera angles will work best to show off the garment or accessories – try moving around the scene instead of just staying in front of the model with the camera at eye level. A low camera viewpoint with an upward angle can have a different impression compared to a shot taken from a high angle. This may call for crawling on the floor, stepping on a stool, moving closer to your subject or working at slanted angles to achieve a certain effect. Ponder on what the intent of the piece is and emphasize it with the use of perspective.
2. Be in control of the photo shoot – fashion images give the impression of authority and confidence and to show this, you must have a firm grasp of what you want from the models so you can direct them with confidence. Signs of stress and hesitation from you can negatively affect the models’ performance. Keep them comfortable and assured that you are a capable photographer. When preparing for a shoot, organize a list of what you want to shoot beforehand and practice the compositions that you have envisioned. Plan the materials and clothing needed for the shoot, make sure the location is ready for you to use, and make sure you advise your assistant and models of what you want to achieve in terms of poses in a manner that would make everyone involved aware of the direction you want to take.
3. Use lighting to enhance visual impact- lighting is essential in properly presenting the garment. You can go for straightforward, well lit scenes that show each and every detail of the fabric and cut and you can also use lighting creatively to create drama or mood. You will have more control with studio lights but ambient lighting (such as sunlight) in a location shoot can also be effectively used to illuminate the scene.
4. Be familiar with model poses – be aware of the poses used in some of the more current issues of magazines to help keep you abreast of what’s relevant in the field. It may also inspire you to think of ideas you can use for your own work. Posing your models can be a difficult aspect to grasp and master but it’s always fun to experiment and try different poses. Body poses contorted in angles can add edginess to your image, not to mention emphasize the length of your model’s body.
5. Choose the ideal location – Studio shoots offer complete control since you can decide where everything should be positioned and how all it all comes together. On the other hand, location shoots can really add to the image such as by providing spectacular backgrounds or by including physical elements which the model can use to his or her advantage. For instance, if the garment is swimwear, you might prefer a location shoot at the nearby beach over a studio setup.
By Allan Peterson
photo by cahayafotostudio