Fashion Photography: 9 Tips and Techniques

Style Photography: 9 Tips and Techniques

fashion photography tips and techniques

Looking to level up your fashion photography? You’ve come to the right place.

As an experienced style photographer, I’ve spent many years developing tricks and tips for gorgeous images – and this article, I share everything with you, including:

  • The best way to light your fashion portraits
  • How to choose the best poses
  • A simple prop that will looks amazing in fashion photos
  • Much more!

So if you are ready to start taking pro-level style images, then let’s dive right in, starting with my first tip:

1 . Confidently direct your model

If you would like great fashion photos, you have to be prepared to confidently and self-assuredly direct your model.

Models reveal the direction they’re given, so if you show signs of stress and anxiety or stress – or you give them a lack of direction – this will inevitably come via in the final photos.

fashion photography tips and techniques

Instead, action confident and personable. At the start of the shoot, communicate your own agenda. Then, as you function, talk to your subject. Explain what you want to see, and offer plenty of compliment when you get the shot you are after (and even when you do not! ).

If you’re feeling anxious concerning the shoot and you’re worried you won’t be able to provide confident direction, then it will help spend extra time getting prepared. In fact , if you’re nervous, then over-preparedness can be a good thing! Arrange a shot list, and mentally rehearse technique and composition for each image. Prepare the place, props, and clothes ahead of time. That way, you’re free to concentrate on your model during the actual shoot.

fashion photography tips and techniques

2 . Determine an overall concept

The best fashion photography isn’t just about photographing a fashionably dressed model; instead, it’s about conveying an overall appear and a specific mood .

So before you begin shooting, identify the particular impact that you’re after, whether it’s dark and dramatic, bright and airy, or even a specific narrative or idea. Then make sure that everything concerning the model, the scene, as well as your photographic approach reflects this particular.

fashion photography tips and techniques

Make use of makeup and hair styling to fit the clothes and the model. If you want a provocative or sexy look, opt for dark, heavy makeup and over-styled locks; if you want an innocent or natural look, choose demure pastel tones, gentle makeup, and soft, flowing hair styles.

You should also gentle the scene accordingly. Sidelight produces dramatic, moody, three-dimensional images, while frontlight is definitely eye-catching and energetic but has a flattening effect.

And you can pull in specific props to add ideal final touch.

3. Inspire yourself with sample poses

fashion photography tips and techniques

Posing is one of the most difficult elements in fashion photography to master. Fortunately, there’s a simple trick you may use to level up your posing skills, fast:

Create a file with postures you like, and look at it constantly .

Start by looking at the latest fashion magazines, and when you observe a pose that fits your design and interests, take a photo (or a screenshot). You may also browse through the portfolios associated with top fashion photographers, appearance on Instagram, etc .

fashion photography tips and techniques

As you gather poses, add them to a file on your phone. Then take a look at them frequently – if you get the chance. Study them. For each shot, ask yourself: What makes this pose work? So what do I like about it? What would certainly I improve?

You’ll soon have a psychological repository of poses you can draw on during your photoshoots. And if you forget the information on a pose or you’re in need of inspiration during a session, feel free to pull out your cell phone and swipe through a couple of collection items!

4. Work in a studio

Yes, it’s possible to do outdoor style photography shoots. But studios are so much easier to operate in because you can easily control the lighting and strengthen the conditions – so unless you’re extremely assured in your skills, a facilities is the place to be.

Prepare the facilities ahead of time with the backdrops, stage sets, plenty of space, lights, and modifiers that you anticipate needing. Set up your camera so it’s tethered to your laptop (that way, you can see each image on the computer screen after you fire the shutter button). You might even take a few test shots before your model arrives just to ensure everything is working properly.

fashion photography tips and techniques

When you can rent professional facilities space, this isn’t always necessary, especially if you’re just starting out. Rather, create a home studio area – basements are great for this! – and furnish it with a backdrop stand and your lighting kit.

Professionals tend to use studio strobes, but these can get pretty expensive. Speedlights are a good substitute, and if you’re strapped for cash, you can even create a basic studio setup without any fancy artificial lights; simply work in a room with a big window, then hang the white sheet across this. On a bright, sunny time, you’ll have yourself a homemade softbox , which will produce flattering, even lighting!

five. Carefully light your design

Lighting will be a major part of fashion photography, so that as you practice, you’ll create both an eye for lighting and your overall lighting kit.

fashion photography tips and techniques

For every new photoshoot, I’d recommend starting with a single light. This should be your main light, or key light, and you should position it to create the effect you’re after (here, the standard portrait picture taking lighting patterns can be helpful! ). Don’t be scared to experiment with different positions and angles until you find one you prefer.

Then, after you have your key light ready, go ahead and build the rest of your setup. Take a few test shots, then identify areas that are shadow-heavy and require fill up. Move additional lights or even reflectors into position, after that continue to take test pictures so you can gauge the effect.

Pretty soon, you will end up with a result that you like. Plus pro tip: After each session, draw lighting diagrams to help you remember the setups that worked. That way, you may use them again at your next shoot!

6. Use props (including the mirror)

Stage sets are a great way to create a narrative within a fashion shot, and I recommend them. It helps to acquire plenty of props ahead of time, and then – after you identify your shoot theme – you can select the props that seem to work best.

fashion photography tips and techniques

Of course , don’t overdo it. Props should enhance the model, but they should never draw the eye away from the primary areas of interest.

One of my favorite props will be the humble mirror, which every fashion photographer should continue hand. A mirror can tell a tale, plus it is an effective way to display the front and back of the model.

To get the mirror exposure correct, you may need to bracket your images . You’ll also need to be careful when positioning yourself and your lighting equipment; a person don’t want a lighting remain, your computer, or a strobe to be reflected in the final picture!

7. Select a background to match your theme

Beginners often forget to think about the background, but it is a mistake. A good background can complement the main issue and unify the image, whilst a bad background will distract the viewer and may really feel out of place.

fashion photography tips and techniques

If you’re working in a facilities, you can purchase backdrops and suspend them behind your design. Solid colors are a good starting point, but as you get more serious, you may want to invest in some high quality hand-painted backdrops. (If you’re very artsy, you might try out painting them yourself! )

And if you’re shooting outdoors, be sure you choose your location carefully. If the clothing and styling are edgy, hard, or provocative, an urban setting – with a worn brick wall in the background – works well. On the other hand, if you want a spring or summer look, you may work in a field, a field, a beach, a wood land, or on a river financial institution.

8. Test out different angles

Your vantage point can make or break a fashion image.

So when you’re working with your model, be sure to shoot from plenty of different angles.

fashion photography tips and techniques

Try getting out of bed high (here, stairs or perhaps a ladder can be helpful! ), crouching down low, getting on the ground, moving around the model, and so on. Make sure you always keep your overall theme in mind and consider exactly how different vantage points affect the look of the image.

Also, yourself an angle you like, spend time working it. Try a few different compositional variations, move slightly from side to side, take an advance or back, and so on. This way, you’re guaranteed to get the best possible shot.

9. Bring an associate

Fashion photography can be done on your own…

…but if you want to really kick your work up a notch, after that bring along an assistant in order to each photoshoot. That way, you have an extra pair of hands to position reflectors, angle and reset lighting equipment, tweak the positions of garments, plus clear the scene.

You can always employ someone, but I’d recommend roping in a friend or family member. Picture taking students may also be willing to help you out, especially if you’re willing to supply some mentoring.

Note that you don’t need someone with experience. Operating as an assistant isn’t necessarily hard – it simply requires a willingness to follow directions and listen closely!

Fashion photography tips: final words

Well, there you have it:

9 ways to enhance your fashion photos.

Remember: Fashion photography doesn’t have to be hard. It might seem overwhelming at first, but the more you practice, the better you’ll get. And pretty soon, you’ll be taking fashion shots like an total pro!

Which of these tips would you plan to use first? What sort of fashion photos do you like to take? Share your thoughts in the responses below!

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Natalie Denton (nee Johnson)

Natalie Denton (nee Johnson)

Natalie Denton (nee Johnson) may be the former editor of Wedding photographer magazine, and is now a freelance journalist and professional photographer who has written for dozens of photography and technology journals and websites over the last decade. Recent author and teacher too.

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