Why is fashion photography a lucrative business?
We always see them anywhere and everywhere: on the runway, in advertisements on television, and in magazines. They are the beautiful and slender women showing their stuff or stunning looks. They are the models flashing their dazzling smiles while donning the freshest styles from the hottest brands and designers.
We’re talking about none other than the fashion supermodels of today and tomorrow. They are ubiquitous, and everywhere we look, which sometimes makes us wonder, who are the talented shutterbugs who make their photos stand out from ordinary pictures? The models’ images are captured with precision and care, patience, as well as that special eye for style, lighting composition, and different hues. I am, of course, referring to fashion photographers.
What are the Stakes in Fashion Photography?
Glamorous lifestyle, big paychecks, and elbow-rubbing with the rich and famous may be the ultimate dream of a lot of budding fashion photographers. Nevertheless, it isn’t that simple to climb up and reach the much-coveted golden Staircases of famous magazines and fashion houses. For each talented fashion photographer, hundreds are left waiting at the sidewalk, merely dreaming about the day their photos get chosen.
How to Do Fashion Photography
Here are some tips for the novice photographer in carving his or her own niche in fashion photography:
Study the Industry
Keep this in mind: you shouldn’t stop learning. Keep reading and looking at fashion Magazines you could lay your hands on. You could also look into excellent books on fashion and fashion photography. Amazon.com has a fountain of knowledge—if you look hard enough.
This is a no-brainer, but still worth noting: you would need a kickass camera and another one as back up. You would also need a quality tripod and an excellent lighting system. Ensure that you always have a lot of batteries and memory space available. Digital cameras take different pictures, so you need to make sure that you have the best kind of camera suited for fashion photography.
Show Off Your Portfolio
When you submit your photographs, make sure you have your portfolio on hand. You’ll never know if the fashion magazine editor wants to see other samples of your fashion photography. The best photos to include are the ones with sharp, bright images. Ensure that you have at least twenty photographs in your portfolio, preferably shot in different styles. You would want to display your fashion photography skills in full figures or partial body parts.
Fashion includes accessories and jewelry. Sometimes a stunning necklace around the neck of a model or an expensive watch on a beautiful woman’s slender wrist is workable enough for a good fashion shoot.
Let Yourself Shine
Since the internet has opened doors for more opportunities in the digital realm, it is good to exhibit your skills as a fashion photographer online too. Create a fashion website; enter fashion photography contests. Submit your photos to a fashion gallery site online. This could help people to see what kind of work you do and could do for them.
Show Your Personality
A lot of fashion magazine editors are searching for a touch of your personality in the photographs you shoot. Every photographer captures the essence of the model and fashion in general, differently. Let a bit of your personality shine through your photos and add a little personal touch to them, too, with your client’s consent, of course.
Lighting is Key
When capturing photos in low light, you might need an extra light source. However, if flash is all you have, it would be better to use a nearby reflector, like the wall or ceiling, to bounce the light rather than shoot straight on.
Test with different angles to create different effects and see what fits your standard and what would work best for the scene you are shooting. Be mindful of unwanted shadows that could unflatteringly fall across the model’s face and body.
Posing could be tricky to master, but you could browse through the latest fashion magazines to get inspiration, as well as to get a grip on what is currently trendy and chic. Nevertheless, using classic poses that call for angular body shapes or “broken down” poses could add intrigue and interest to the scene. It could also help to elongate your model’s body.
Props are useful for telling a story within a fashion photography shoot. Mirrors are a great example of those props to incorporate in your fashion photography. It could be used to tell a story and serve as a dual-purpose tool that lets the photographer show the front and back of the model.
Focus On the Model, Not the Fashion
This concept might seem counterintuitive, but in reality, fashion photography is as much about the narrative as it is about, well, fashion and clothing. The clothes of your models will speak for themselves, particularly with a well-directed model. However, you would need to focus on the human element for the audience to connect with your photos.
Now, what this means is always focusing your attention on the model’s face and body, the idea or message that they are trying to convey, as well as how their presentation of the clothes shifts the tone of your photos.
Some of your greatest work might even be captured from those in-between seconds, being sidetracked by an off-camera event or shifting from one pose to another. Don’t miss these opportunities.
Break the Rules *Gasp!*
Yes, this fashion photography tip might seem conflicting, but it is crucial to recognize when not to do things by the book and break the rules. When it comes to lighting and poses, there are many rules, and it is essential to know them all by heart to get the right shots.
Nevertheless, when you begin to break those fashion photography rules, you just might discover how your creativity pays off. Capture your safe shots, but also try to experiment. Unless you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, there is absolutely no reason not to test new techniques or setups.
There is a lot of room for creativity and resourcefulness when it comes to fashion photography. And in the Instagram era, there is undoubtedly a greater interest in fashion now than at any other time in history.
Spectacular fashion photography does not only take place in posh and high-end studios. Likewise, it is not just seen in between the glossy pages of Vogue and Elle magazines. It is something even budding shutterbugs could do. Explore the world of fashion photography and give it your best shot.
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