Tips & Tricks from Our Photographers
Want to be a fashion photographer? It can sometimes be a situation of easier said than done. Fashion photography is a tricky business to get into, and even harder to master. Being able to capture models or celebrities and the clothing that they are wearing in a way that makes a cohesive story requires a strong foundation. Here are a few techniques and tips we’ve put together from working with our own photographers that every beginner can use to start their photographic fashion journey.
Make a Mood Board & Photo List
When you’re workig on a collab, it pays to start off with a mood board. If you’re working with a stylist, they’ll put one together that you should discuss before the day of the shoot. You’ll also want to discuss a list of photos that are the goal of the shoot. If one hasnt been supplied, make sure you put one together yourself. It will help you find inspiration and clear direction and ensure that you don’t get stuck for ideas or their execution.
A photo list should be a collection of the different shots you want, as this will not only help you create a story, but also know what camera lenses to use to secure the result you’re after for each image.
One of the most important things to remember is to keep your subject at the centre of the image. While this may sound obvious, beginner photographers often try to overcompensate by having too many props, a loud background, or something similar.
Instead, your subject should be the focus of the photo and the thing that captures the eye first and the most. You can consider other approaches only after you’ve mastered this essential technique.
Practice on Yourself First
A great way to learn fashion photography is to practice on yourself. Most modern cameras will have a timer that will allow you to get into position and be photographed. This is a great way to test and practice so many different things.
You can change your lenses, zoom, apperture, angles, and add or remove movement. This is incredibly important in helping you to discover what does and doesn’t work. Practicing on yourself also offers the opportunity to learn something new: something many established photographers say they’ve been able to do through this process.
An essential aspect of photography is telling a story. Your photos should have a cohesive thread running through them, otherwise you’ll end up with a whole batch of images that don’t look connected.
This doesn’t mean they should all look the same, but they shouldhave similar themes, props, locations, etc.
Props are a brilliant way to add more dimension and fun to your photos. Whether it be a pair of sunglasses or a pool lilo for a Summer shoot, props can translate the message you are trying to convey.
Once again, don’t go over the top when using props as you don’t want to take focus away from your subject. Use them to compliment and enhance your subject and the clothing they are modelling.
Your environment can be one of the best backdrops for fashion photography. You can use it to portray a message, contrast or compliment, or simply as something accessible to use, especially when starting.
It’s a good idea to have a think about the environment or backgrounds that might be suitable. Not everything makes a great backdrop. But scenes lit up by city lights, the beach, a park, etc, can all work brilliantly.
Angles are one of the best ways to set your photos apart from the rest, and to convey your message better. You don’t have to take every photo front on, and changing your angle or asking your model to change theirs can add an entirely new level of dimension in an instant.
Experimenting with angles will also open you up to discovering new ways of taking photographs that you can use for future shoots.
While you may be the photographer and be the person trying to capture the best possible image, you should also be aware of, or take control of, the styling of the clothing. Styling is a vital part of fashion photography and the difference between an ok photo and a great photo.
For the photos to look their best, the clothing needs to look the best. You can also experiment with different ways to wear the clothes, as this can be something simple like holding a jacket over the shoulder instead of wearing it.
Taking test shots before every shoot and change of clothing should be standard operating procedure for you. You always want to ensure that your camera is at the right setting for the conditions. What does the light look like? Shoot and check, shoot and check!
Some shoots don’t have the luxury of taking all day to do. To be able to use your time effectively during a shoot, test photos allow you to dial in your camera and set up quickly and efficiently.
It’s About the Fashion
Finally, never forget that these photos are all about the fashion and its brand. The clothing should be the focus, the most eye-catching element, and the thing you want to look the best, no matter what it is or where you are shooting.
Don’t add props or include backgrounds tthat are too busy and take away the focus from the clothing. Only add or change something if it improves the look of the clothes.
Featured Image: Alexander Dummer, Unsplash