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10 Tips for Fashion Photography

attractive young female model wearing beautiful night dress posing for fashion shot photograph
Fashion photography offers a lot of potential rewards, including fame, free travel around the world, working with famous models, and more. It is also a tough field to get into because the competition is fierce. The easiest way to start is to become an assistant to a fashion photographer and learn everything you can.

In fashion photography, the photographer not only promoting a product, but capturing a feeling for that particular moment. In advertising fashion the product takes precedence, and is the photographer’s responsibility to present that product in a way that will best promote it.

The photographer works with number of people responsible for a fashion layout for a magazine or creating an ad. He will have to work with the art director who gave him the assignment. He will work with the make-up and hair stylists. He deals with the modeling agency and the models either in the studio or on location.

Despite the hard work, fashion photography can be one of the most rewarding professions. Glamour, beauty, models, money, and fame are all part of the world of successful fashion photographer. It provides the opportunity to travel the world free and to meet the top fashion designers.

beautiful female fashion model sitting next to a river posing for fashion shot

Here are 10 tips for fashion photography:

1. Try to read everything you can find about fashion photography to become familiar in this area. The more you know, the more successful you will be.

2. If you are just starting, you will need to build a portfolio. Try to contact fashion models in your area to offer free shooting session and several free prints in order to build your portfolio. Models also need to update their portfolios and many will be open to skilled photographers. This is a good chance for you to practice and build your portfolio.

3. Rent a studio in your area by the hour. Fashion photography requires real studio lights. You will need total control over your lighting and the studio makes it possible for you to adjust your lighting.

4. For shooting fashion models, you’ll need makeup artist and hair stylist. Most professional fashion models know to some extent how to do their makeup or have access to makeup artist and hair stylist.

5. Make sure that the model’s hair is neatly styled and the makeup is evenly applied. A good makeup when applied correctly can hide blemishes and color variation. The results are always better if you fix things before than using post processing software to do some touch up work in Photoshop or have a photo tech do it for you.

6. Fashion photography requires soft light so that the model looks as good as possible. Hard light like sun should be avoided because it creates high contrast and it casts shadows.

Soft light such as studio lights are diffused. Fashion photographers often use soft boxes and reflectors to diffuse light and create soft and pleasing light.

7. Fashion photography requires both wide and tight shots. You need to get a wide shot of each model coming down the runway. This should be a full body shot of the model’s entire outfit. You also need to zoom in to get tight shots from the waste up for a better view of the models expression, her hair and makeup.

8. Familiarize yourself with common poses. Posing comes natural with professional models. However, there are times when you get an amateur model, and it would be your job to give direction and pose the model.

9. Try to make as many connections as you can with fashion models, make-up artists, hair stylists, and wardrobe designers. That way, you can put together a shoot quickly.

10. Try to learn Photoshop because models are always going to be touched up in post processing. Even if you plan to use a tech person to do it for you, you’ll still need to know the capabilities of the software.

By Robert Stevens – 2019 – Update 2020
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For additional articles written by Robert Stevens, see Robert Stevens is the author of How to Make Money With Your Camera published in 2019.

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