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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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