A dress displayed in a store might not convince people to make a purchase, but a dress worn by their favorite actress will. We all look up to celebrities and influencers for styling ourselves, but what makes them so influential? That’s where fashion photography comes in.
Billboard on a street, Courtesy – Behance.net
Fashion photography is a captivating and dynamic field that requires a blend of creativity, technical skill, and business acumen to present the latest fashion in front of the public. The photo you see – the perfectly dressed model in a captivating background – is the result of photographers, make-up artists, and a full team working hard in the background. In this blog, we’ll talk about tips for fashion photography. From capturing the latest fashion trends to working with models and makeup artists, there are many aspects to consider when embarking on a career as a photographer in fashion photography.
We spoke to Indrajeet Bhonsale, an experienced photographer from Mumbai, to get some insights into the fashion industry. He’s been working in the fashion industry for around 9 years, collaborating with different brands and companies. Here are some tips for fashion photography that we gained from our discussion with Indrajeet.
Tips for Fashion Photography
Plan the Shoot in Advance
Before the shoot, make sure you have a plan in place. Consider the concept, location, wardrobe, makeup, and props. Think about the mood or emotion you want to convey and how you can achieve it through your images. Discuss your ideas with the model, makeup artist, and stylist to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Indrajeet suggests that you keep a reference or sketch to help you explain yourself better. In most cases, the client will provide references or requirements, you should discuss that with the team to make everything sync with each other.
Study Fashion Magazines
Study fashion magazines and observe how professional photographers shoot and pose models. Take note of the lighting, composition, and angles. You can use these ideas as inspiration for your own shoots. Remember that taking ideas and copying are two different things. Nowadays people are busy following trends. They try to recreate the work of someone else that went viral. It’s great to do that to learn and experiment, till you find your own style.
According to Indrajeet, you should be creative and think outside the box to get the best results. Keep your eyes open and research well.
For example- If it’s raining, you can capture the reflections under a streetlamp, which look beautiful. If you go to a beach, you might capture normal photos in golden water but if you wait till dawn, you will get to see the orange glittery water which is perfect for silhouettes.
Silhouette of a man standing in front of sunset at beach, Courtesy – Vishal Shinde
Know your gear
You don’t need expensive gear if you are starting in fashion photography. Indrajeet started with Nikon D40, a basic camera and 18-55mm lens. He says that people believe that cameras are the reason for good photos but no, it’s the photographer’s point of view that makes simple shots amazing.
And if you want to invest, buy a 50/40/35 mm lens
Use Proper Light
Natural light is one of the most flattering types of light for fashion photography. You can use it to create soft, beautiful images that are perfect for showcasing clothing and accessories. Try shooting during the golden hour, which is the hour just after sunrise or just before sunset. The light during this time is soft and warm, creating a beautiful glow in your images. You can also use a camera with a diffuser for soft light.
Indrajeet is thankful for modern technology; earlier he had to carry heavy reflectors for outdoor shoots, but now there are wireless flashlights and other easy ways to remove shadows.
Experiment with Lighting
Experiment with different types of lighting to create unique and interesting images. For example, you can use a ring light to create a soft, even light on the model’s face. You can also use a spotlight to create a dramatic, high-contrast image. It depends on what kind of mood you want to create for the shoot. If you want to use natural light well, you can read more here about blue hour and golden hour photography.
Use a Tripod
Using a tripod is essential for creating sharp, clear images. It stabilizes your camera and eliminates camera shake. This is especially important when shooting in low light or when using a slow shutter speed. Also, you will click like 200-300 images for one shoot. You can’t hold on to a camera for that long.
Direct the Model
As a fashion photographer, you are responsible for directing the model to achieve the desired pose and expression. Communicate clearly and give the model specific instructions. Use positive feedback to help the model feel confident and relaxed.
In one of Indrajeet’s shoots that he did with Nyra Banerjee, the location was not that great, but she brought her own props to add elements to the photos. If you communicate well with the models, and explain what you’re trying to achieve, they’ll help you out!
Nyra Banerjee (actress) posing for a photo, Courtesy – Indrajeet Bhonsale
Shoot from Different Angles
Experiment with shooting from different angles to create unique and interesting images. Try shooting from a low angle or a high angle to create a different perspective. This can add depth and dimension to your images. Especially, if you are doing product photography.
Indrajeet says that if you’re doing a product shoot, then the product is the primary object of focus; the model comes second. You have to focus on the product; for example, if it’s a bag, we’ll ask the model to pose in such a way that the bag gets spotlighted, and we’ll also use light and angle settings to highlight the bag.
Managing Crowd on Outdoor Shoots
Studio setups will be much easier to manage than outdoor, open shoots. Indrajeet says that studios are better than other places because you don’t need to worry about permissions or crowds. They’ll handle it, you just have to pay the rent. They can arrange shoots for you in Rajasthan, Kerela or even Italy.
If you want to shoot somewhere like Gateway of India, try to reach there early in the morning to avoid the crowd. If you have gotten permission then the authority will help you to shoot in a crowd. While you might be able to remove extraneous elements in post-processing, it can still get quite painful. So it’s better to just try to be there when the place is likely to be empty.
Woman standing on a beach, Courtesy- Indrajeet Bhonsale
Coordination with The Team
Coordinate with the makeup stylists and dressers because they are the ones who’ll prepare the model for shoots. Talk to art directors to let them know what you need- the color of clothes, background drops, props, etc.
Though clients will have their own art directors, try to get in contact with some of them. Indrajeet mentions that you should build your own team comprising of models, stylists, make-up artists, and art directors. Then you can handle projects easily.
Keep it Simple
In fashion photography, less is often more. Keep the focus on the clothing and accessories by using a simple background or a neutral color palette. Avoid clutter and distractions that can take away from the overall aesthetic of the image. Color is a very important aspect of fashion photography. Use contrasting colors unless you have a decided monochromic theme. Indrajeet adds that you should know and understand the location before deciding on colors, so that you can match the model’s outfit, jewelry, etc. You can also read about the power of color in fashion photography .
After the shoot, edit your images carefully. Choose the best images and edit them to enhance their beauty. This can include adjusting exposure, color balance, and contrast. Be careful not to over-edit your images, as this can make them look unnatural.
Woman in a saree standing in a forest, Courtesy- Indrajeet Bhonsale
Building relationships with models, makeup artists, and other professionals in the industry is essential for building a successful career in fashion photography. Attending industry events, networking with other professionals, and being friendly and approachable should be your attitude.
Now you know how to begin in fashion photography, so start working on your portfolio. You can work as an assistant with someone well-known in that field. This way you’ll get practical experience. Indrajeet says that people can learn from YouTube and Online courses, which is great, but you should do a basic course in photography. Through the course, you will learn about the fundamental technical requirements, and with experience, you will be able to explore your creative side.
Don’t be afraid to try new things, and let us know if you have any questions! We are at firstname.lastname@example.org.