A fashion photoshoot is not like any other photography session. For brand owners, they need to showcase their line of products in a way that would appear irresistible to consumers. You have to make it work along with the type of model and the makeup look.
Brands hire professional photographers as they know how to catch people’s attention from pictures alone. If you’re somewhere new to the game of professional photography, you may want to read the following tips that can help you on your way to success.
Prepare a Mood Board
A mood board will help you create the vision for the final photographs. It’s where you will create the concepts you want to achieve. Sketch the styling ideas you come up with, and brainstorm poses for the models—be sure you share it with your team. During the photography session, make sure that every pose is ticked out of the list. You may need to produce flat lay pictures, eCommerce shots, and style shots to get consumers excited for the fashion line. The mood board helps with the session’s flow as you won’t have to brainstorm on the spot.
Learn What You Need
After planning your concept, you must have what you need in place for the photoshoot: gear, lighting, and props. Your setup must also be organized and stick to the plan. The poses you have in mind should be easy to describe to the model. If you want to achieve a windswept look, have a fan or blower ready.
Other than your materials, you also need to learn about how to get your work noticed. Look for a guide on what’s trending today. If you have social media profiles, utilize them to promote your work. Use relevant hashtags to bring people or organizations who may want to hire you if they like what they see.
A photoshoot also displays the authority of the photographer. You must have confidence when directing models. Civilly talk to them so you can calmly give the instructions. Any signs of stress and frustration can easily be negatively translated by your team—your model may also pick up the energy you are giving off and manifest in their performance. It’s important to exercise control over your emotions so as not to affect the whole setting.
Remember That It’s a Collaborative Project
Designers or brands mostly initiate fashion shoots. When they hire you as a photographer, you are meant to bring their concepts to life. That means you must be willing to accept constructive criticism and suggestions. Your creative vision is also portrayed in every photo, so you must be involved in the entire process. While the entire photoshoot flow might not be as smooth as you want it to be, always be calm when relaying instructions to the models and everyone else.
Use Simple Lighting
A common beginner mistake is to spend so much on lighting gear and overusing flashes only to have a picture turn out not so good. Making lighting schemes overly complicated will only waste your time. The best way to start is to try the basics first. Use only one lighting source and a white reflector to see if you can get the outcome you want. It’s also good to work with the natural lighting of the location and see how you can work with it.
Make the Outfit Flow
One of the tricks of photographing fabrics in an outfit is to show its texture and how it moves along the wearer’s body. You need to create a vision for consumers how it would look on them and if it’s comfortable to wear. The best way to capture that feature is to ask the model to spin around so that the fabric goes along with the movement. It will form a triangle that creates a balanced picture. This technique will benefit long dresses that need to flow and fill negative space.
Make the Fashion Standout
Fashion shoots have one main goal—to show off the latest creative piece and its selling points. Most of the time, you don’t need props that will distract the audience’s eyes. Make sure that nothing will obstruct the view from the fashion piece. Show off every detail that will make people want this coat or dress. The color must be vivid, and it must look great on the model.
Find the Best Fashion Stylist
If you are fairly new to fashion photography, you may want to add a fashion stylist to your team. The fashion stylist has the expertise of mixing and matching outfits and accessories to help you bring your concepts to life. Stylists have a lot of ideas and can offer tips to practically anyone. From how to dress according to body types, what colors best matches your skin tone, and what’s trending today that will look best on you—the stylist knows!
They are typically connected with various brands and clothing stores. Fashion stylists are focused on monitoring the latest trends, have good fashion sense, and are patient when working with photographers. A stylist is your ally and will help conceptualize the outfits for the photoshoot. Many have unique expertises, so it would serve you well to connect with more than one stylist.
Create an Appropriate Setting
To create the best background for your fashion photographs, determine whether you’re shooting for a catalog or an ad. Professional photos for catalogs benefit from simple or plain sets to highlight the fashion piece’s best features. Natural and exotic settings will help pop out the outfit for advertisements.
Make Use of the Rule of Thirds
A powerful photography technique, the rule of thirds, is mentally dividing the frame three-by-threes. It is used when you’re not sure where to place the model. It is achieved by placing the model or subject at the center or any along the grid lines to create a balanced photograph. It can be a part of the experimentation process to find the best angles of the subject.
Create a Theme
Photoshoots aren’t just point-and-click sessions. It would help if you also decided on the story of your sessions. If you observe magazine spreads, you may notice that each photo is following a theme. There is a connection to each photo, and they can grab attention. Telling a story through pictures without captions can be challenging. But if you can include a cohesive concept that can be compelling, readers will spend more time admiring your photos.
Experiment with Different Angles
A good photographer doesn’t get caught up with eye-to-eye angles. Try to move around and use the environment to produce shots in various angles. Shoot from above and below, or even tilt your camera. If you’re working on a particular emotion or feeling, use different elements to convey it in your photographs. Shoot from low angles if you want to highlight your model and the outfit. Intimate looks are created by shooting from above. Try different angles to find the effect you want.
Scout the Location Beforehand
A fashion photoshoot is not always shot indoors with a setup. If you’re working with a brand with suggestions on locations, you may want to explore the area to find the best places for shooting before the day of the session. Some photographers would pair the outfits with the area that they like to produce creative images. It’s a way of mixing or matching patterns that go great together. Mapping out how the session would go will be easier on the actual day of the shoot.
Play with the Environment
While you can prepare for poses for the models to do, you can also allow spontaneity and have them play around to get the environment’s feel. It will help them become more comfortable with posing. It can also give you interesting photos. If you’re shooting by the beach, have the model play with the waves. Are you shooting on a street? Ask the model to pose by a car or inside of it. Manmade structures may also complement the subject. You can direct the model to sit a few steps up.
Begin with Studio Shots
Those who want to explore fashion photography should begin with studio shots first. It will help them experiment with lighting apart from what they can get from the cameras. Starting in the studio also helps them spot and eliminate shadows. Studio sessions also prepare the budding photographer for the busy atmosphere of a professional photo session. You can move from the studio onto various environments that give you options to work on.
Retouch Your Photos
The post-production of the photo is important if you want to get stunning photos that you can be proud of. Some photographers may or may not have the time to retouch photos. You can choose to use a software or pick a service that can work on your photos like magic. Retouching may involve corrections, airbrushing, enhancing backgrounds, editing creases, or stray hairs, and more. Editing by an experienced artist will help produce the outcome you need.
Adjust ISO If Necessary
Digital photography is becoming popular because of the many tools that are available even for amateur photographers. You can earn money from digital photography and, with its cost-effectiveness, it’s no doubt that even fashion photographers are using it to capture fashion elements. When using digital cameras for photography, it’s essential to set your camera at the proper ISO. The setting can be from 100–400. If you are shooting indoors, in low light, or under a shade, opt for ESO 400. In poor lighting conditions, you can raise the ISO to 1600. At this sensitivity, if the camera’s shutter speed is fast enough, it will help reduce the blur if you’re using a tripod.
Plan the Schedule of Your Photoshoot
Depending on the season and the location, you may want to check out weather forecasts and when it would be the best time of the day to do it. If the brand is introducing a summer line, make sure that your location is sunny. If you’re in a location that gets very humid, it would be ideal to set up and finish early well before noon—you don’t want to be uncomfortable while shooting. Makeup artists should also be carrying blotting papers to keep the models from looking sweaty.
Try CGI Integration
Computer-generated imagery (CGI) doesn’t just belong in films. Some photographers are experimenting with this feature to take photos onto a whole new level. It can add more to the already creative photo and set you apart when you know how it works. Some of the eye-catching editorials you may see in magazines today are the product of CGI and photography. It’s been opening up a whole new game to fashion editorials, proving that art and technology are coexisting beautifully.
Be Bold and Break the Rules
There are official and unofficial rules to photography, but nobody says you can’t exercise your freedom to bend or break them. You’re a photographer that must have the creative freedom to produce photos in various ways. You may have to use unconventional lighting, experiment with colors and shadows, and move out of the path you follow. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes because they are a part of the process. Sometimes, the most beautiful photos are created not by being professional all the time.
A photographer must have the eye and the skills to create wonderful and captivating photos. They use concepts and elements that also apply to fashion photoshoots. They must create visually inspiring images that can sell products. They do it by highlighting the garment’s best features even though the consumer can only see it through photos. A fashion photographer should know how to make the models, the setting, and the props work with the subject without overwhelming it. Following these tips may help you expand your creativity and develop ideas. Also, by expanding your skills as a photographer, you’ll be on your way to being a successful artist in a lucrative industry.