Photography is a high demand profession in today’s world, where first impressions mean everything. Fashion photography puts the lens on clothing and item displays in business to create a lasting impression on an audience. Fashion photographers also tend to mix in other elements to create memorable photoshoots. For instance, fine art photography can be sprinkled in with a fashion portrait to create memorable photos for posters and magazines.
Famous fashion photographers spend just as much time in the editing room as they do in shooting photos – metaphorically anyway because they mostly avail professional photo editing services to save post-processing time and maintain the deliverables’ quality. However, professional photographers need to follow these fashion photography tips to reach the post-processing table on a good note.
One area of photography that gets a lot of attention is fashion. When it comes to taking pictures, the general rules of photography still apply to all types of fashion photography. But here comes the crucial part: as a fashion photographer, you need to emphasise the subject and showcase what they are wearing at the same time. Fortunately, we have here some fashion photography tips that you can use in your next shoot.
Every genre of photography requires certain skill sets to highlight and emphasise the object of interest. But when we talk about fashion photography, there are always certain rules that apply to highlight the person and their outfit and accessories. Here are some noteworthy points that will get you shooting for fashion magazines in no time.
What Is Fashion Photography?
Fashion brands’ success is directly related to the quality of the photographs they place in their catalogue. This is a genre dedicated to showcasing fashion apparel, so photographers are expected to enhance them to evoke an emotional reaction.
Exotic locations, creative techniques, and well-written storylines all contribute to the success of a fashion shoot. With that in mind, there are four main styles of fashion photography that need to be kept in mind:
- Editorial Fashion Photography: Featured in most magazines and is a story-driven form of fashion photography. These shoots usually last a full day.
- Catalog Fashion Photography: This is the most common form of fashion photography, and these photos are featured in a brand.
- High Fashion Photography: This is a common form of photography used by top brands in their advertisements. Expressionism is generally used in place of realism in high fashion poses.
- Street Fashion Photography: This form of photography takes to the streets and captures individuals living their daily lives.
Professional Fashion Photography Tips
Even though advanced portrait photo editing services are always there to give digital fashion photo portfolios the required flare, still fashion photographers need to understand the industry inside and out. That’s always the first step to breaking into the industry. Several tips and tricks can be used to capture amazing shots.
Fashion photographers are essential to the fashion and modelling industry. Although photography skills are essential, let’s go back to the basics. Check these hacks out to help you take well-composed fashion images!
Build a Breathtaking Environment
Before looking at the technical requirements for a specific shoot, photographers should plan the environment. This will depend on the resources and scope of the brand. At a minimum, you’ll be working with a model, but top brands require exciting props, make up crews, and thrilling locations.
Catalogue fashion photos will be taken in front of a white screen or some plan set. This is so that they look professional when placed in a catalogue. However, more exotic settings would be advised for photos that are being used for advertisements.
Remember the Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is a common yet powerful photography technique that involves mentally dividing the frame into a three-by-three grid. Then the subject is placed on any of the lines that divide the frame to create what’s known as a balanced shot.
For better composition, you should know this crucial guideline – the rule of thirds. To apply it, mentally divide your frame into nine equal squares or use your camera’s grid-line function, then put your subject at any point of intersection for a balanced composition. Some cameras also have a built-in grid to help with this.
This technique is best utilised for those moments when you’re unsure of where to place the model. While it’s not always irons clad (as you’ll see in the next tip) when in doubt, go with what’s proven to work.
Know When to Place the Model in the Center
Breaking composition rules can sometimes lead to the most amazing shots. This tip has you ignoring the rule of thirds favouring placing the model directly in the centre. This style can sometimes work wonders in fashion photography!
Breaking composition rules
Just keep in mind that placing the subject centre can also make the photo boring, so reserve this for special occasions. The main focus needs to be the background when making the decision. For example, if you’re doing outdoor fashion photography in a forest, then having the model centre to a tree tunnel or a path would be a much better choice than using the rule of thirds, which would lose the effect of such a stunning background.
Sometimes breaking composition rules helps to achieve a good shot. Once in a while, putting your subject in the centre is perfect for fashion portraits. In photography, you have to direct your viewers’ attention to the subject, so placing it right in the middle will expose it immediately.
Be cautious, though, as this tip’s improper application will make the picture look rigid and uninteresting. The negative space around the model should provide curiosity to viewers. Make sure to consider the background, use appropriate poses, and ask the model to move around or lean to either side to make it look less static.
Provide Specific Instructions to the Model
When planning a photoshoot, it needs to be in writing, and everyone should be given a copy of this plan. As the photographer, you are in charge of the photoshoot so trust your creative vision. Communicate detailed poses to the model and anyone involved before and during the shoot.
One of the biggest mistakes that inexperienced photographers make is that they are vague with models. This will not work unless the model is highly experienced. Even then, capturing your creative vision requires you to give detailed instructions.
Produce an Amazing Photo Shoot
Remember that as the lead photographer, you’re essentially the producer for your creative vision. Always come to your photo sessions organised and ready. You’ll have a strong idea of how the shoot will go and a list of detailed shots, so work from those and try to stick to the plan.
Have a written list of props, settings, and poses that you can quickly relay to the model. For instance, if you have planned a windswept shot, it’s your job to make sure that you have a fan or leaf blower to simulate that look.
The Model Must be the Center of Attention
Yes, in fashion photography, you will focus on the model rather than the fashion item itself. Even though the story created for the shoot will be used to market the clothing, the model tells the story. Emphasise the story being portrayed.
The model’s expression poses, and body language all play an essential role in conveying photos’ human side. The goal is to evoke an emotional response from potential buyers, so always keep that in the forefront of your thoughts during the shoot.
Find a Counterbalance
Balance is key to good photography composition. But sometimes, you cannot do anything but place your subjects in unconventional positions. In such cases, a counterbalance can be used to rectify your composition. The counterbalance concept is simple: you use another component in the frame to make harmony in the picture.
Every image credits its composition to balance. Not too much negative space, not overcrowding. However, if you are required to place your subject at unusual angles or places, you can always create a counterbalance. To maintain the rhythm required, sometimes additional objects or subjects need to be introduced to the frame.
Put the Fashion in the Spotlight
One skill unique to fashion photographers is the ability to highlight the clothes in their photos. Regardless of the theme or story, you must prioritise how to present the clothing. Avoid using props that could distract the viewers’ eyes and make sure to emphasise the product’s selling points.
Let It Flow
Photos are static, and one problem in this field is it can be hard to show the viewers the texture of the products. Without movement, an outfit may look rigid, even when, in reality, it is not. To address this problem, you should create movement whenever possible. Ask your model to turn around, run, or simply move to let the fabric flow. If the outfit fits tightly on your model, it is impossible to let it flow. Instead, use her body form – curves and lines – to suggest movement. Direct them to pose in a way that highlights their form.
Make your photos Vibrant.
When your clothing is in block or poster colours, a great way is to have highly colourful and vibrant photographs. This demands attention and catches the eye immediately, and among several other photos, a person will subconsciously only always look at these first and longest.
Remove all noise
Another good idea is to eradicate any background noise, just the opposite of the previous trick, where we create a lot of it. Sometimes, when one wants to highlight just one particular aspect of any fashion, this trick works wonders. When a person looks at the picture, they automatically only pay attention to the model, and even more so to what they are wearing. The eye does not waste time or get disturbed by anything else.
Using props fills up an image while becoming a part of the subject itself. Umbrella, tea/coffee cups and Books are some of the most common props. They help give the models motion and help them to pose effortlessly. They can also be used to create or justify a background.
Make the viewer wonder what the model is looking or doing. Why are they so happy? Where are they going? Why are they turned around? Creating a curiosity point makes the viewer look longer – to try and decode the unexplained.
Add emotions to your images. Is the model sad? Confused? Happy? Angry? Content? Give your subjects, emotions and expressions. This removes the ‘fake’ and ‘still’ aspect of your photograph, making it look more candid and, thus, real. It also shows how the outfit or ornament looks even when you are not your best or, in your most comfortable state – not posing.
Create a story
Make your model interact with the environment. This way, you can make use of the otherwise noisy background. This is a step ahead of giving emotions and creating curiosity. This generates a story.
Make sure that nothing is added at the cost of the subject’s fashion. You see them in comfortable positions and wonder what brought them there. Your eyes slowly move to every aspect of the image, looking at the details and objects within it. Now you know how fashion feels in real life, how it works and acts. Such a story trumps even the most vibrant images at times.
Above all these, it is most important to use the materials and situation at hand to create a scenic photograph. And always remember, if all else fails, go with your instinct.
Potential of the Fashion Photography Business
Starting a fashion photography business comes with a lot of potentials, but only if you plan accordingly. An important distinction to make is whether you want to have a fashion photography business or if you want to simply create a job for yourself. A business implies that you’ll eventually employ teams of photographers with equipment and build marketing teams.
Creating a job for yourself means you are advertising and building a personal brand to get yourself photography jobs here and there, but you’re doing it all yourself.
If you want to start a business, figuring out the costs is the first step. You’ll need equipment, a license, a website, and many other things that all cost money. Although a business will start with just you, there needs to be an expansion plan. Eventually, you’ll even have your fashion photography studio.
Then you can estimate income based on the average salary of a fashion photographer, which is USD43,000 per year. With a business, you’ll have overhead costs and other expenses taken out, so you need to base your prices so that you are earning at least that amount after expenses.
Photo Editing Should be Part of your Fashion Photography Package
Editing is just as important as the photo session, so it should be part of your photography package. Find a professional editing company to partner with and include it as part of your package. In short, make sure all pricing is done with this cost in mind.
While it’s possible to do your editing, it requires expensive software and vast knowledge. The truth is that most photographers will find it extremely difficult to edit their photos. Here are some of the advantages of offering editing with your photography package.
Fashion photography models will use makeup to cover blemishes, but sometimes this isn’t always flawless. So, editing can be used to remove these blemishes from distracting the viewer from the subject of photos.
Enhance the Background
Backgrounds play an essential role in photographic storytelling. Editing provides experts with the opportunity to enhance those backgrounds or remove parts that might distract from the story being told.
Editing Can Correct Colors
Colour deformities and lighting issues are common in a photoshoot. Editing tends to cover up these issues and creates a more natural look for photos. Even photos without blemishes can be enhanced further through the editing process.
Masking is used to remove small blemishes in the props and fashion attire used in photography to become a distraction. For instance, furry fabrics can sometimes have displaced strands that need to be corrected through masking.
What Mode do Professional Photographers Shoot In?
There are many modes to choose from, but generally, professional photographers shoot in aperture priority mode. Aside from being simple and convenient to use, this model is powerful as it allows the photographer a wide range of creative choices. Most skilled photographers prefer to use aperture priority mode every day or shoot.
How do I Take Photos Like a Pro?
Here are some tips to take photos like a pro:
- Use your longest lens when possible.
- Set your camera to aperture priority mode and set the aperture as low as it can.
- Place the subject far from the background. Make sure to allow for proper depth-of-field.
- Go as close to the subject as possible, but don’t forget to allow the lens to focus.
- Set the focus point on the subject.
Being a fashion photographer, you should first know the basics of fashion photography. As the name implies, it simply means taking photos of fashion-related products and highlighting their selling points. The general rules of photography apply to this genre, with some fashion photography tips and hacks for you to adapt to any situation and place the outfit in the spotlight.