Fashion photography is a combination of many genres
Fashion photography is a mix of product and portrait. It’s a genre that combines art and commerce. “Fashion photography means that a photographer uses their eye and perspective to highlight or curate the fashion industry.” Flo Ngala, photographer. There are many styles of fashion photography, including ecommerce with studio lighting, and outdoor shooting in the desert or streets of New York City.
Fashion photography is all about storytelling. There are many ways to tell it. Grace Rivera, photographer: “All the best fashion photographers have a story.” The best thing about this is that you can alter the story at any time. You don’t need to know any rules, except that you have a story in your mind. These expert tips will help you get started with this art form.
Before you buy a camera, research fashion photography
Start your journey by researching fashion photography. This will inspire you and help you create a vision of how your shoots should look. It’s important to plan. Ngala says that images look better when they feel planned and styled.
Be open to inspiration and always look for images
Ngala was a photographer before she started her career. She loved fashion magazines, not only Elle and Vogue but also lesser-known publications like Elle and Vogue. Ngala was always drawn to fashion photos and street style. Spend some time browsing through websites that feature interesting product photos and scrolling through Instagram to find inspiration. She says, “You need to look at images to find what appeals to you about image making. Then you can figure out how to apply that to your own work.”
Create a mood board with a shot list
Make a collage with inspirational images. Also, make a list of all the photos you wish to take. These images will help you to stay true to your vision throughout the shoot. Ngala says, “I like to write specific adjectives that can be referenced, such as ‘earthy,’ or ‘bright.’ Ngala also believes that color theory is very important. She uses Adobe Color as well as its Color Wheel function, to find complementary colors for shots.
Here are some basics of fashion photography
Fashion photography can have many subject areas. These include product photography for online sales, studio shots or lifestyle photographs of clothes being worn (like in a brand’s Lookbook), and editorial shots featuring supermodels or makeup artists (like in the Vanity Fair or Harper’s Bazaar). These photography tips are helpful regardless of the many goals.
To gain confidence, practice on your own
Begin with casual shoots using yourself or a friend to be your model. You’ll get better at styling and lighting with practice. You can experiment with different lighting settings and composition styles to find out how they look. You don’t have to worry about not having the right clothes at first. Rivera says, “Just drape fabric around the model and play with household items.” Rivera says, “If you can create something from nothing, then you’re a genius.”
Unique narratives outweigh perfection
Many fashion brands are not able to fit into the traditional mold of propriety and glamour. It’s more important than making things look fancy or perfect, to tell a unique story that piques peoples’ interest. Ngala says that brands are able to influence culture even though they don’t have to be trendy. “Creating a vibe is something worth learning.”
Make sure your models are comfortable
It’s essential to make fashion models feel comfortable when you work with them. This is the core principle of portraiture. Spend some time getting to know someone before you start working with them. Ngala says that fashion photography’s beauty is in the people who are themselves. Before you start working with models, practice photographing someone close. You will need to show them how to take the shots you desire. Try to capture candid shots while you are not in control.
You should place importance on product quality and styling
Images will show the quality of the garment. Ngala says, “Whether it’s your taste or not, the clothes influence the way an image looks and feels.” Pay attention to how the clothes are styled. How does it hang on the model? Are there wrinkles? Is there a better way to combine garments? Rivera warns that even the best lighting and the most beautiful location can’t guarantee success if you don’t have the right styling.
Tips for during your shoot
You only need a light source and a background to get started. Even a bright window or sheet is all you need. A tripod is helpful if you are shooting yourself as the model. These tactics will help you get started.
Set up your camera settings
Fashion photography is different from portraiture and fine art photography in that there may be less space for artistic focus. Ngala says, “I like to shoot fashion with a shallow depth-of-field. But, if my aperture is very low, the edges might be out of focus so I have it adjusted.”
It is important to adjust your settings as you go. Rivera says that a lot of my mistakes are made with my camera settings. Rivera also mentions that if I shoot too fast or get ahead of myself, I make a lot of mistakes. These settings can be used for basic studio shoots where everything must be sharp and focused.
Test shots are taken at every photoshoot
Before your models arrive, make sure you check your lighting setup. Make sure to take some test photos of yourself and a stand-in before you send your models. These will verify that your camera settings and lighting are correct.
Get out of the shadows
Remember to take a moment to breathe and look at your photos as you go. You can also look at the models or products for styling problems. It is much easier to fix a wrinkle or loose hair while you are shooting than to try to do it later. A stylist should be on the set if you are able to. Their job is to make sure you pay attention to all these details.
How to edit your fashion photos
While shooting photos requires planning and intuition, editing is all about precision. Ngala says that the selection process is crucial. Ngala says that while some photographers are skilled at selecting images, they often don’t know how to edit them.
Adobe Lightroom allows you to edit and retouch your images
Ngala suggests using Lightroom for making your selections. Take a look at your photos carefully and decide which ones are worth editing. It is possible to take 100 photos and only 40 of them will be edited. Lightroom can be used to make basic edits, such as Tone Curve. After that, you can move on to Adobe Photoshop and do more retouching.
Fashion is everywhere. It’s all around
Anyone can get into this ever-evolving field with the help of the internet and a camera on any device. Ngala says, “The beauty in fashion is that we all use it, regardless of whether it is intentional or not.”
Rivera says, “Look at images, find photographers that you like, then just start.” Failure a lot is the only way to get to where you want to be. It’s not difficult to do the research and put in the effort to capture as many photos as possible. You can still capture the moment even if it’s on your smartphone.” Schedule an at-home shoot, make time for editing, and watch your talent develop.