Article By Harika M Chanana
Being a Fashion photographer might seem glamorous, extremely fun filled and exhilarating job meeting celebrities. However, the reality is quite the opposite. While the lighting techniques, creative abilities, inspiration is all important, it also demands a great deal of preparation, deadlines and a not to forget, the hard work and working into the wee hours. Reproduced below is some interesting and useful fashion photography tips that you might want to want to incorporate.
Tip# 1 Have a vision
Well, this is from where it all starts. You need to have a vision of what you want to achieve out of the visual that you want to create. You can doodle out your thought process, paint your imagination to words or dream for that matter of fact. You need to know from where to begin with.
Tip# 2 Finalize a model
This may seem like an easy formula. But trust me, it could be a tedious exercise. You need to interview a handful of models that would fit into your budget and concept. You may have to make many phone calls to modeling agencies or contact the models directly if they are freelancing. You have to be very careful while selecting your model. She must possess the traits that you require for the shoot. A good model can really enhance the look of your pictures.
Tip# 3- Finalizing a Location
As per your required shot, you need to freeze an ideal location. This requires a lot of pre planning. You need do a recce of the place before hand. Try to see every nook and corner of the place. Find potential spots at the location, look out for textures, colors, windows, etc. Focus on details that can bring out the feel and the mood into the shot. Visualize what the picture would look like at that location with the required model posing for the sequence.
Tip# 4- Styling & Production
Styling includes garments, make up and hair, accessorising and so much more. Production is rigging up a set on location with taking care to the minutest detailing. Professionals should be hired to do the makeup, hair and styling, which are very important aspects in fashion photography.
Tip# 5- Lighting
A photographer can show his true skills through lighting. He can make an ordinary looking subject extraordinary through the magic of lighting. This requires some pre planning. While many times, photographers can take spontaneous decisions too. But this is a very critical part and must handle it with great care and expertise. Also it is a very subjective decision, every photographer can have a style of its own. However, the job has to be done with good detailing in shadows and highlight areas.
Tip# 6- Color Harmony
This aspect is very important for the subject in fashion photography is the key to whole mood and feel of the image. When you make a model wear ‘X’ colored clothes & ‘Y’ accessories and make her stand against a ‘Z’ colored background, the ‘X,Y & Z must be harmonious to look at all together. Everything put together must compliment the overall feel and texture of the image. Here, one needs to be an artist.
Tip# 7- The Right Equipments
A photographers equipments list for a fashion shoot can be pretty massive. His basic camera bag must entail at least two camera bodies with at least a normal lens, a tele and a wide if necessary. He must have two pairs of external flash guns handy. Extra memory cards, battery for camera and flashes. A tripod is photographers best friend on location. Then comes his external lights with all the accessories that go with it. Light stands, thermal, diffusers, cutters, mirrors, barn doors, gelatins, clamps, etc. The best thing would be to make a checklist, it’s always a good idea.
Tip# 8- Direct & Communicate
It is very important to communicate with the model before the shoot and let her know exactly what she is expected to do from her side. Also the photographer has to instruct the other co-workers at the shoot. Allow them to participate in your vision and planning. You must not be hesitant of asking people of what you want on the sets. As a photographer, you are the director of the stage. Those who work with you will be able to help you better you if can direct them as to what you need as per the situational requirements.
Tip# 9- Creative Compositions
Composition is a visual process of attuning your brain to see the frame precisely before you finally click the picture, through the camera’s viewfinder. It is advisable that you make powerful compositions and leave more space in your frame instead of going too tight in the first instance. You can always have a safe choice of re composing later when fine tuning in the post process.
Photo credits- Vineet Bhatt
Tip#10- Post processing/ Professional retouching
Currently post processing is at power with photography. One must out source the final selected images for retouching to professionals. This is like the final finishing to the output that you have initially visualized. Imagine working in a kitchen for 4 hours preparing a dessert for a guest and then not serving in the right utensil with the right garnishing. It’s not going to look tasty. That’s the deal with photographs too! You need to cook it right and not to forget garnish and serve it right too.
Tip# 11- Take Inspiration from the great masters
Always study and observe the work of renowned photographers who have great fruitful years of experience under their belt. You can get great exposure to their work. Learn and pick a lot of new ideas pertaining to compositions, fashion, lighting, styling etc. So get inspired looking at their imagery!
It is presumed that some of the tips listed above are really useful to take back to your workplace!