Our ultimate guide to fashion portrait photography for beginners

Fashion photography is everywhere. Whether it lines the streets of busy cities or is on the front cover of your favourite magazine, it’s a vital visual source for fashion houses. It is one of the biggest and most profitable areas of photography. So to help you out, here is our ultimate guide to fashion portrait photography for beginners.

Choose the right equipment

photograph of camera by Imansyah Muha, photography, fashion photography, portrait photography
photo by Imansyah Muha

For fashion portrait photography in particular, having the right equipment is just as important as having the right model. Think about equipment such as a tripod for stability or a monopod if you are restricted for space. In addition, equipment like diffusers, external flashes and a battery grip will be a great help too. In terms of the camera, it doesn’t matter if you’re shooting with a $100 or $1000 camera, as long as you are comfortable and confident with using it.

shine bright

photograph of set by Alexander Dummer, photography, fashion photography, portrait photography
photo by Alexander Dummer

Lighting is essential for the quality and aesthetic of the final photo. Using studio lighting may be the best option to guarantee excellent lighting during your shoot. Alternatively using reflectors is a great cheap and easy to use option for adding more light to your photoshoot. If the brief states the need for natural sunlight then head outdoors during sunrise or sunset for amazing hues.

hit the brief

photo of model by Elise Wilcox, photography, fashion photography, portrait photography
photo by Elise Wilcox

There are multiple types of fashion photography including; editorial, high-fashion and street. If you’re focusing on fashion portrait photography, you’ll likely to be shooting an editorial or high-fashion campaign. Depending on your budget and knowledge, experimenting with these different types of fashion photography can be an excellent way to develop and widen your skills. You need to ensure that you are clear on the genre so that you can hit the brief and please the client. Doing research and gathering inspiration before the shoot will be a great way to hit the brief.

props and sets

photograph of set by Ross Sneddon, photography, fashion photography, portrait photography
photo by Ross Sneddon

Using props is a great way to add height or include complimentary colours to the photoshoot. Depending on the brief, you don’t want to add too many props otherwise it will take away from the main attention of the clothing. In terms of choosing the right set, having a plain and simple background will be the best option so that the focus is mainly on the model. If you want to get creative, why not create your own backdrop or prop for the photoshoot.

collaborate and communicate with the model

Photograph of model and photographer communicating by Nadeena Granville, photography, fashion photography, portrait photography
photo by Nadeena Granville

On set, it is vital that the photographer and model communicate. The model will look to you for direction, advice and guidance on what to do next. Maintaining a friendly and warm atmosphere on set will also ensure that the model is relaxed which will foster a better working environment.

Prepare as best as you can

photograph of fashion model by Khaled Ghareeb, photography, fashion photography, portrait photography
photo by Khaled Ghareeb

We recommend doing lots of research and brainstorming prior to the photoshoot so that you have a clear idea of what you want on the day. You will be limited to a few hours so make sure you are capable of achieving everything within the time frame. Take a look at work from well-known fashion photographers such as David Bailey for inspiration on angles, shoot sets and poses.

focus on the model, not the clothing

photography of fashion model by Luo Bulkina, photography, fashion photography, portrait photography
photo by Luo Bulinka

This may sound surprising, but make sure you focus on the model and not the clothing. The clothing or accessory will speak for itself. In order for people to connect with these images, the model needs to tell a story so focus on their body and facial expressions. Sometimes you may find that the best images are the ones in between movements.

If you’re looking for more innovative ways to boost your fashion portrait photography then click here

We are Klaud9, an on-demand photography and videography platform based all around the world. We can help you create your desired fashion photos using our network of talented and experienced photographers. To learn more about our service, click here.

Leave a Reply