Friday, April 3, 2015

An Essential Guide to Fashion Photography

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For many aspiring photographers, breaking into commercial photography would be a dream come true. If you hope to make a name for yourself in the world of fashion, you need to learn about the art of taking professional shots. Some people spend their entire lives trying to master this fine art, yet never manage it. It's not just about taking pleasing photos; it is about making sure that they are commercial. That means that you need to please your client, as well as your model. Here is the essential guide to fashion photography.

Step 1: Create a unique concept
When you take a photo for a fashion magazine, the aim is to showcase something in the picture. You might be focusing on a brand new bag or the entire outfit. Either way, you want to make sure that the product takes center stage in your shots. You should think of a key concept for the shoot itself. For example, if your model is wearing a glamorous dress, you could shoot the pictures in a junk yard. The message there is that the dress will make people look incredible, no matter where they are.

Step 2: Talk to your model
Before the shoot, you should talk to your model. Explain to them what you want from the shoot and what you expect from them. You need to be 100% clear on your concept so that your model can grasp it and use it when they step in front of the camera. This briefing process should take no more than twenty minutes, but use your time effectively.

Step 3: Prep your lighting
If you have hired a photography studio you will need to spend some time prepping the set so that it is ready to use. One of the main things you need to focus on is your lighting. In fashion photography, lighting is everything. Yes, you can edit the shots later to make them look bright, but it is best that you get things right from the offset. You need to create the right atmosphere for your images so that they are colorful and bright.

Step 4: Get props and a setting
If you want your model to work with props, you need to get them ahead of time. Once you have decided what the concept for the shoot will be, you can try to source some props for it. If you find that you are working with a difficult model, introducing props into the setting might help them to relax into the shoot. You should tell your model to work with the prop and incorporate it into their poses.

Step 5: Direct your model
While you are taking your pictures, you need also to take on the role of director. You can dictate to your model as you go along. Tell them to try different poses or move around a little so that you can get the best shots. If you feel as though the model is not trying hard, you can take a break and talk to them. Perhaps something about the shoot is not working for them.

Step 6: Edit the pictures
The final stage is, of course, editing. You probably already have some basic photo editing skills, but you need to brush up on them if you want to get Vogue worthy photos. The point here is that you emphasize the best parts of the image. You might want to enhance the color of the dress or  get rid of minor details in the background. Of course, a lot of people use Adobe Photoshop to alter their pictures, but there are other programs out there you could use too.

It will take you a while before you get this aspect of photography right. Some people spend their entire careers trying to get the perfect shot. Stick at it and in time you will feel comfortable with your style and technique.

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