photography should convey an essence of authority, so your direction of the
model(s) needs to be confident and self-assured. Showing signs of anxiety,
stress or lack of direction will invariably be reflected in the performance of
your model so make the subject feel comfortable and involved. Organize a
shot list before the shoot and rehearse technique and composition for each shot
in your mind. Prepare the location, props and clothes ahead of time and for a
truly effective shoot be sure to communicate your agenda, objective and posing
directions coherently and calmly.
- Fashion photography is all about clothes and
beauty, so pull all the elements of the scene and the model together to reflect
this. For example if the shoot focuses on the clothes– use make-up and hair
styling to compliment the garment – and vice versa. If you desire a provocative
or seductive look opt for dark, heavy make-up and over styled hair;
alternatively for an innocent or natural feel choose subdued pastel tones,
gentle make up and soft flowing hair styles. Unusual looking folk bring
interest and personality to the piece, whereas female models with large almond
eyes, big lips, small chins and symmetrical faces are deemed “more commercial.
- Posing can be a tricky point to master but
browse through the latest men’s and women’s magazines to target a few inspired
suggestions as well as getting a grip on what is currently fashionable. Using
‘broken down’ poses or poses that require angular body shapes can add interest
and edginess to the piece – as well as help to elongate body length.
- A studio is an ideal place to perform a fashion
shoot because photographers can easily control lighting and stabilize
conditions. If you are shooting in a studio environment remember to meter all
areas of the scene to avoid unwanted shadows and the use of a separate light
meter rather than the one in your camera, will offer a more accurate reading.
- If you can’t afford to hire a
professional studio and all the pricey equipment there is a way you can cheat at
home. Clear a space in a room that benefits from large windows and peg a white
sheet, net or fabric across the window. On a bright sunny day you’ll have
yourself a homemade soft box – ideal for flattering even light.
- When shooting in low light or into the sun, you
may require an extra light source. If all you have is flash then rather than
shoot straight on, set it to bounce of a nearby reflector, wall or ceiling.
Experiment with angles to create an array of effects and discover what works
best for you and the scene you are shooting. Be careful to pay attention to
unwanted shadows that may fall across the face and body.
- Props are fantastic for telling a narrative
within a fashion shot, but one of the best props to use is a mirror. A mirror
can be a used to tell a story and act as an effective tool that allows the
photographer to display the front and back of your model. Take a spate reading
for the mirror and you may need to bracket your exposures here. Be careful to
position yourself, lighting equipment and anything not to do with the shoot out
of the reflection.
- Location, location, location! Getting the right
location is important if you want to convey a narrative within your shot. For
example if the clothing and beauty styling are edgy, hard or provocative you may
want to consider an urban setting , alternatively for spring/summer and natural
fashions find a rural environment like; a field, meadow, beach, woodland or
- Influence the image by moving around the scene
and exploring which angles work best to full expose the garment. This could mean
climbing a ladder, crouching low, working a slanted angle or moving closer to
the subject. Think about what the message is here and create a composition to
- Fashion photography is achievable alone, but to
step it up a gear rope in a friend, family member or photography student as an
assistant. Often photographers need an extra pair of hands to position
reflectors, angle and reset lighting equipment, tweak the positioning of
garments and clear the scene.