You might be working as a fashion photographer, or you might just want to take photographs of your outfits for a fashion journal of your own. Perhaps you’re a fashion designer looking to put some of your fashions up on the web. Whatever your reason for needing fashion photography, these tips will help you take those great fashion photos.
1. Choose your models wisely.
You can take the perfect photograph, but it will still look wrong if your model is off. It might seem like common sense, but you wouldn’t photograph an adult model modeling baby clothes. For one, they wouldn’t fit. For another, even if you just have her holding the clothes it’s better to just get a squirmy little bundle of joy to wear them instead.
The same goes for styles too. If your model is a bouncy, excitable blonde use that to your advantage and put her in clothing styles that work with her personality. The photography will come off more natural instead of looking forced. Keep those emo and goth styles for someone who really shows off that personality.
2. Everything needs to match.
Are you doing a goth shoot? Go for makeup and hairstyles that match the clothing. Consider temporary hair dye or colored hair pieces you can clip into your model’s hair. Use dark makeup and jewelry that goes with the style. You’re not going to see a goth walking around with a bright pink flowered choker. So, why would you photograph a goth fashion shoot that way?
3. Pick your focus.
What part of fashion are you going for? Are you going for the hair, the jewelry, the clothes, or a mix of the three? If you’re doing a magazine shot about specific hairstyles, focus on the face. Use makeup to compliment but not distract from that gorgeous hairdo. Make certain the clothing goes along with the hairstyle, and again, make certain it doesn’t distract from your focus. The jewelry should be minimal but compliment the style.
4. Looking for that perfect studio, but can’t fit it into the budget? Try using your home.
If you’re just starting out in the fashion photography world, you might not be able to rent an expensive studio, and you might not have any other place except the outside world to take your shots. If you’re doing a casual, stay-at-home kind of photo shoot, you can make your own studio right at home. Make certain the room you’re going to photograph in is clean and tidy. Use furnishings and other accents in the shoot.
If your decor style doesn’t match the photo shoot, don’t worry – it’s a lot cheaper to buy some throw pillows and maybe a couple decorations to match the shoot than it is to rent a studio and furniture. If you have a friend who’s got the perfect setup for your photo shoot in their house, it never hurts to ask to use their place instead – especially if you’re offering to clean up the room before and after the photo shoot.
5. Don’t just shoot from one angle.
Consider nature photographs. They aren’t all the same angle. Usually, a nature photographer will shoot from numerous angles to get that perfect picture. It can take numerous takes, but it will be worth it in the end for that perfect picture. Try shooting from above,straight on, and have your model take different poses.Shoot from below, from the side, and any other angles you can think of. Pick the photo angle that makes the outfit or hairstyle look the best.
6. Get an assistant.
Family and friends are always your best bet for free or inexpensive help on a set. If you need an extra pair of hands while shooting, try asking around to see who’s willing to help out. Most people are willing to help those who are just starting out in their business. Younger siblings are usually willing to help out too in exchange for a twenty or perhaps a ride to a friend’s house. This way, you can focus on the shot and the camera while someone else tweaks lights and decor when you ask.
7. Be careful with your lighting.
Too much lighting, and you can wash out your model. Too little lighting, and you’ll create too many shadows and distract from your shot. Use the appropriate lighting for your shot and your space. If it’s just too bright, try using a softbox to diffuse some of that light and soften it a little.
8. Be confident and secure!
Your model is expecting you to lead, and if you don’t lead, they won’t know what to do. Take charge of your photo shoot. Tell your model where you want her to stand, what pose she should take, and even what she should wear. If you exude confidence and take control, your model will feed off of that energy for your shots.
Even the greatest fashion photographers had to start somewhere, and one of the best things you can do for yourself is just to pick up your camera and start. If you don’t have the money for a model and clothing, just start by photographing outfits of family members. Usually, family is willing to help you build your portfolio for free. If you need ideas for styles and poses, look through fashion magazines. All of the greats learn by copying those before them.