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It might be the fabulous pages of magazines or it might just be that urge to create something chic. Either way, we are now living in this digital era where fashionable shoots are just around the corner. Hashtag #OOTD (outfit of the day). But that’s where the similarity ends. Planning and executing a fashion photography shoot takes more than that.
I hate to break it to you, but placing all your good looking friends in front of your camera, and purchasing the latest mirrorless technology probably won’t make you the next Guy Bourdin. From my personal story as a fashion photographer for over five years now, your biggest learning experience comes from learning through your own team, fellow creatives, photographers, stylists, models, and make-up artists. So, here are some tips I’ve learned through my years of trials and tribulations on how to produce a fashion shoot like a pro.
“Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.” or so the saying goes. Nowadays, let’s challenge the concept of people stating there’s no such thing as originality anymore. Is that true? But truthfully, the best ideas may not be the first ones.
Creativity is a limitless concept. You can always start developing your ideas by sourcing inspirations from practically anywhere. When you start noticing the littlest things in your life, it will do wonders as your source of inspiration. This is fundamental because it is the ground work before every shoot. To develop a concept that is strong and authentically yours is the key to the next step of creating the perfect frame in a fashion photo shoot.
Create your perfect squad. When you meet someone you are comfortable working with, continue to develop a great relationship with them. Because at the end of the day, the perfect frame is not just in the hands of the photographer. Everyone needs to be equally involved and the greater the chemistry ultimately leads to the perfect picture.
Make sure you succeed in getting everyone on the team on the same page, from the vision for the shoot to work ethics. A solid team of creatives that gel well together is really ideal because in the end, it’s all about teamwork.
A fashion shoot is never complete without the right model. You need to find a model who has the right look for the concept. Whether it’s height, hair color, skin tone, eye shape, etc. Bonus points if you get to know the model first beforehand. Good chemistry between the photographer and model is also very important to create a comfortable shooting environment.
When you are shooting, there’s only the photographer, the model, and a camera. Putting on a music that’s enjoyable to everyone can also help the model get into character.
Outdoors or indoors, it’s crucial to prepare everything beforehand. You don’t want to be stressed out on the big day right? When it comes to studios, the physical environment has to be a positive working environment. Think about how much space you need, equipment, facilities, etc. An outdoor fashion shoot are tad trickier. Always double check if you need to have permission beforehand if it is a private area, and always, always check the weather! The sun can be your best friend or your enemy in this case.
This is where the good team work really shows. I personally think it is important to get everyone on the same page for the vision and mood of the shoot. Also, don’t be afraid to voice your opinion if something can be altered. Such as the hair is too big, the model needs more mascara, the button’s falling off, etc. Don’t be afraid to speak up, it’s team work after all.
Lastly, never forget to have fun! It’s always a blessing to be able to work passionately. Enjoy your ride along the way, stay curious, and bring positive vibes. Good luck.
Please share your fashion photography tips and photos in the comments below.