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15 Best Fashion Photography Guide for Beginners

People frequently think about fashion photographers when they fantasize about the glamorous life of a professional photographer. Fashion Photography certainly appears to be an ideal career, shooting in exotic locales, traveling the world for runway shows, and mixing with celebrities and supermodels.

While the possibilities of becoming that type of photographer are slim to none, the fashion industry is enormous. Great fashion photographers are also in high demand. Fashion photography can be a lucrative career if you’re talented at it and have a passion for fashion.

Definition-of-Fashion-Photography

What is Fashion Photography & Definition?

Fashion Photography has a vast meaning. Clothing, shoes, accessories, and other fashion goods are included in fashion photography. Advertising and marketing are at the heart of fashion photography. The images are taken to draw attention to the outfits, thus they should be fashionable, sensual, or hip, depending on the designer’s message.

When you hear the words “fashion photography,” you might think of high-end avant-garde apparel or slim models on runways, yet the majority of the genre is made up of average individuals wearing everyday clothes. It’s the photographs that appear in catalogs, advertising, and most magazines. Below, we’ll go over the many types of fashion photography in further depth.

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This guide will introduce you to the world of fashion photography and provide you with tips and tactics to help you get started.

Different-types-of-Fashion-Photography

 

Different types of Fashion Photography 

Before we begin the discussion we must have to know the types of fashion photography. Otherwise, the article might get perplexing to a beginner fashion photographer. 

Here are some examples of different types:

Catalog: Catalog Fashion Photography is photographs of everyday fashion. They are usually shot in a studio and serve primarily to promote clothing to consumers. 

Editorial: A series of photographs used to tell a story, usually in the pages of a magazine.

High-fashion: These shots are sometimes highly styled and avant-garde, and they frequently feature supermodels and celebrities. Expect outrageous one-of-a-kind clothes, dramatic makeup, and bizarre poses. Images in high fashion photography aim for maximum impact. These are the kinds of images you’ll see on billboards and magazine covers.

Street fashion: Like street photography, these are photos of “real people” on the street who are dressed in fashion. They are pictures of regular people in regular clothes.

Runway: Some believe that runway photography is not true fashion photography because lighting, models, and posing are not controlled. As a result, it’s more likely to be classified as photojournalism.

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Fashion-Photography-Tips

Tips for Fashion Photography

Let’s discuss some useful and effective fashion photography tips for beginners regarding fashion photography. They are stated as below.

1. Choose the best & appropriate gadgets wisely 

Fashion-Photography

Camera 

If you want to be a fashion photographer, there are a few things your camera should have. It should, for example, allow you to manually alter exposure settings such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. 

It should also allow you to swap out your lenses. It should have a high resolution so that your photographs can be printed as large as a billboard if necessary. A full-frame DSLR or mirrorless camera is a good option all things considered.

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Fashion-Photography-Camera-Lens

Lens 

The type of fashion photography you choose is mostly determined by the lens you use. If you’re shooting street fashion, a longer lens may be more appropriate than if you’re shooting a catalog in a studio.

If you’re unsure, or if you plan to shoot a variety of different types of fashion photography, a zoom lens will give you more options. A lens like the 24-70mm f/2.8 will cover a wide variety of focal lengths, has a large aperture, and has a narrow depth of field, allowing you to shoot in most lighting scenarios.

Others-photography-related-gears

Others photography-related gears 

If you want to be a successful fashion photographer, you must master lighting. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy a full studio lighting setup right once, but you should be able to work in any lighting situation.

If you’re new to dealing with lighting, a Speedlight, reflector, and diffuser are a great place to start.

Work-on-your-camera-settings

2. Work on your camera settings

Whenever you are about to step into fashion photography you must have to change your camera settings accordingly. Your settings will change based on what, where, and when you want to shoot. However, there are several fundamentals to remember:

  • Shoot in RAW format. If you overexpose or underexpose your photo, you’ll have the highest chance of editing and recovering any lost data.
  • To eliminate blur from the handshake, keep your shutter speed above 1/100 and make sure it is always longer than your focal length. If you’re shooting with a 400mm lens, your shutter speed should be 1/400. If you’re shooting in the studio with flash, keep the shutter speed under 1/160.
  • Use a wide aperture to distance your subject from the backdrop and produce a smooth blur (low f-stop).
  • To avoid noise or grain in your image, choose the lowest ISO possible.

Learn-to-utilize-lights-properly

3. Learn to utilize lights properly

Learning the fundamentals of fashion lighting will help you achieve the looks you desire.

The following are some of the most common lighting modifiers used in fashion photography:

Beauty Dishes: Beauty dishes are a must-have for beauty and fashion photographers. Between the hard and soft lighting modifiers, the beauty dish sits. It gives the skin a lovely glow. And, like a hard light, it creates a great contrast for shaping details while avoiding harsh shadows along the edges.

Giant Umbrella: A typical fashion photography prop is giant umbrellas. The spread of the beauty dish limits its employment and, in most cases, necessitates the inclusion of supplementary fill lights, but giants chevaliers reflectors can be used on their own due to their large size—the light spread is very even, making it ideal for photographing models full length while maintaining an accurate depiction of clothing details and colors—which is critical in fashion photography, especially commercial work.

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Lighting-Versatility-with-the-Scrims

Scrims: They are great for absorbing harsh light outside, but they’re also great for that commercial, glowy beauty photo in the studio. Setting up and shooting with the scrim takes more effort than the other lighting modifiers on our list. I recommend renting it and experimenting with it; it can be a very worthwhile investment for some types of photography.

Fashion-Photography-Octabox Lighting

Octabanks: These are my personal favorite. They have a cool name and a cool shape, but most importantly, they are extremely versatile. The octabank is ideal for fashion, beauty, and portrait shoots. The light and shadows have a lovely, even feel to them. 

When utilized without backdrop fills, the octabank offers a more rounded, lovely gradient in the background than square or rectangular softboxes. Unlike the more angular modifiers, it also provides you with a rounded, natural-looking catchlight in your subject’s eyes. My octabank and the Profoto Umbrella Deep White XL are now alternated. I primarily utilize them for my artistic personal work.

Take your time to try out as many modifiers as possible to find the ones that work best for you. You can use them alone or with strip softboxes, snoots, flags, and v-flats. In this way, you can get into many different moods.

4. Keep the Rule Of Thirds in mind

To use this ‘rule,’ divide the composition into nine equal sections by drawing two vertical and two horizontal lines, resulting in an imaginary frame. Even if you use a smartphone (see out the 18 best smartphones for photographers here), most cameras have a grid-line feature that will assist you in visualizing this split. Your subject should be placed at one of the spots where the lines cross. Your composition will appear balanced in this manner.

5. Begin with assisting to learn

Assisting is a fantastic way to learn about the industry and meet new people. If you choose to pursue it full-time for a few years, it may be enough to break into the industry, especially if you live in a big fashion city where you might see big, high-end productions.

Keep in mind that your role is to help. If you try to get the stylist’s number without asking, or if you ask to be Facebook friends with the editor, people will be offended. Make friends with fellow creative crew helpers because you’ll have a better possibility of collaborating and growing with them.

6. Create a concept

Fashion photography at its best is anything but random. Every shoot is guided by a clear concept or topic. Create a notion or backstory before turning on your digital camera. You can do so by asking yourself the following questions: What is the significance of this photograph? What are the locations of your models or ‘characters’? What dream are you trying to sell?

In a nutshell, what is the plot?

Everything, from the setting to the lighting, props, style, hair, and makeup, is dictated by the concept, so devote some time to it. Let’s pretend you’re shooting beachwear. You might move the shoot to a beach or create a beach within the studio with props instead of taking shots against a white background.

If you’re shooting winter clothes, consider including umbrellas and fake rain to simulate the cold. On the same note, an urban atmosphere is ideal for shooting edgy clothing. If you’re photographing spring or summer clothes, a natural setting might be preferable.

7. Composition is the key

Now that you’ve established your theme, focus on fashion photography composition. The perfect composition not only appeals to your audience visually, but it also aids in the telling of a tale. The Rule of Thirds is a wonderful place to start if you’re still learning about composition. Divide your frame into nine equal squares to use it. Then, in any of the points where the lines meet, place your topic — in this case, the model. This will assist you in creating a balanced photograph. Most modern cameras include a grid function that makes it simple to compose your images, and with practice, this style of composition will become second nature.

Make sure you have enough negative space surrounding your subject because fashion photography is all about letting the garments shine. To put it another way, you don’t want your model to fill the entire frame.

Also, consider the background. Choose a neutral background if you’re taking pictures of colorful clothes or patterns. If the attire is on the plain side, a more bright background can liven it up.

Lines and curves catch our attention, therefore emphasizing them in your fashion images. Place a model close to the camera with a street or stairway in the background if you’re photographing a model in the city. The person looking at the model will want to know, “Where is it going?” What’s the next step in this story?

8. Search for  influence from other famous photographers 

Look at the work of photographers like Mario Testino, Steven Miesel, Patrick Demarchelier, Annie Leibovitz, and Nick Knight, to mention a few. Fashion photography, like any other type of photography, is a skill that can be learned by studying the work of those who have mastered it. Consider the elements you like and don’t like as you scroll through their images. Pay attention to how they construct their photographs and learn about their creative and technical methods. This will help you establish your own style over time.

When you come across an image you like, try recreating it! Working with your model is a terrific learning experience, and at the very least, you’ll have another photo to add to your portfolio.

9. Collaborate/Communicate with your model

Fashion shots require collaboration. Even if you’re the best photographer on the planet, if your model doesn’t trust you, the images won’t be as good as they could be. The idea is for your work to reflect your model’s confidence and charisma. When the model is at peace, this will happen naturally.

Spend some time with your model before the photoshoot to get along well with them. To get to know them, ask questions and do anything you can to lighten the mood.

Consider yourself a director during the shoot. Don’t be scared to offer advice on fashion model photography postures and facial expressions because you’re behind the camera and know what looks best within the frame. The model is attempting to show off their best work in the hopes that they will appreciate it.

10. Never be afraid to experiment

Shake things up whenever you’re feeling uninspired. There are numerous methods to experiment with your fashion photographs. Try switching from a zoom lens to a prime lens for a different effect, or vice versa. See what happens if you replace soothing lighting with high-contrast, dramatic lighting.

Experiment with various angles as well. The greatest photographers are never still! They’re continuously on the move. They don’t wait for the big shot to come to them; they go out of their way to find it. They crawl on the floor, climb ladders, and squat low. Shooting fashion shots from a low perspective, gazing up at your model, from above, or from a slanting angle by tilting your camera are all options. Don’t limit yourself to eye-level selections; the possibilities are unlimited.

Keep in mind that your photo’s mood can be affected by perspective. For example, photographing a model from below and up close can make them appear dangerous.

11. Ensure that the clothing looks best in the photo

Fashion photography is fundamentally about outfits. As a photographer, your job is to sell the goods and the lifestyle that goes with them. It is critical not to lose sight of this. Choose a setting that complements the attire when preparing for the shoot. This is determined by the type of photography you undertake. Catalog photography benefits from a neutral setting, but high fashion or editorial photography allows for more creativity.

Aside from the venue, consider the hair and cosmetics, and hire expert stylists if the money allows. The photo’s atmosphere is also affected by the beautiful look. Soft makeup and flowing locks, for example, are ideal for photographing pastels because they don’t distract from the clothing.

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12. Try to be innovative about unique poses

As was already said, fashion photography is all about showing off the clothes, not the model. Consider presenting your model in a way that highlights the apparel to its best advantage. Do not hinder the ensemble. Pose your figure so that the garments appear to be perfectly fitting.

13. Capture motion and movement.

Not only in fashion photography, but in all photography, motion is a dynamic aspect. You’ll create visual appeal if you can capture movement, whether it’s with luscious fabric, flowing hair, or having your model move.

14. Hire professional models

Working with models is an important component of becoming a good fashion photographer. So, when you’re just getting started or merely establishing your portfolio, engage professional models to get acclimated to dealing with them. In the long run, your pictures will get better, and you will learn a lot.

15. Gain basic knowledge about Fashion

To achieve the greatest results, any photographer must have a thorough understanding of the subject matter. Any new photographer can advance in the field by having a basic awareness of current fashion trends. Keep up with current fashion industry news and watch fashion films and documentaries while studying fashion history and historical designers.

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FAQ

Catalog: These are photographs of everyday fashion. They are usually shot in a studio and serve primarily to promote clothing to consumers.

Editorial: A series of photographs used to tell a story, usually in the pages of a magazine.

High-fashion: These shots are sometimes highly styled and avant-garde, and they frequently feature supermodels and celebrities. Expect outrageous one-of-a-kind clothes, dramatic makeup, and bizarre poses. Images in high fashion photography aim for maximum impact. These are the kinds of images you’ll see on billboards and magazine covers.

Street fashion: Like street photography, these are photos of “real people” on the street who are dressed in fashion. They are pictures of regular people in regular clothes.

Runway: Some believe that runway photography is not true fashion photography because lighting, models, and posing are not controlled. As a result, it’s more likely to be classified as photojournalism.

Most modern cameras include a grid function that makes it simple to compose your images, and with practice, this style of composition will become second nature.

Assisting is a fantastic way to learn about the industry and meet new people. If you choose to pursue it full-time for a few years, it may be enough to break into the industry, especially if you live in a big fashion city where you might see big, high-end productions.

Final Words 

Work in fashion is the ultimate employment for photographers who enjoy taking pictures of gorgeous individuals. Making it big takes hard work and effort, but there are chances for fashion photographers in every city.

While breaking into the fashion industry may seem unattainable, in today’s socially connected world, it has never been easier to be noticed. The most important thing is to perfect the craft and develop a following. Then network with industry insiders and work your way up the fashion ladder.

This guide should have given you a good understanding of fashion photography. Especially what it’s like to work as a professional photographer in the multibillion-dollar fashion industry. If you have a passion for fashion, a creative eye, a lot of photographic skills, and a commitment to work hard, you could make a fortune in this field.

 

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