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Fashion Photography: 15 Easy Tips for Beginners

In this article, we share tips for beginners to have great fashion shooting. Also, fashion images are included for free download.

Fashion photography is available almost anywhere. There are also hundreds of photographs of men and women dressed up, exhibiting apparel, accessories, and footwear seen every day.

It became a significant component of the art world. It is one of the most popular and lucrative areas in photography.

You may shoot whatever you want, whenever you want, as long as you have a story to tell with fashion photography. Clothes, accessories, and cosmetics may play a role in the story, but at the end of the day, you are giving us a glance into an imaginary world through your perspective.

The most vital aspect is interpreting a visual story and applying the creative approach to a specific concept.

You will learn the kinds of tales you enjoy shooting over time and grow as a filmmaker.

Fashion photography relies heavily on exploration and innovation. Acknowledge that this is a guide based on my experience, not a rulebook. 

Feel free to apply what I have learned to get things in order with a bit more clarity, assemble a team with greater ease and better communication, and spare yourself from future worry and anxiety caused by readily avoidable blunders.

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What is Fashion Photography?

Fashion photography is a fast-paced industry. It focuses on portraiture, posture, elaborate lighting, stunning locations, and attire.

This genre is developing and evolving as more photographers discover their vision.

You may be familiar with the names: Mario Testino, Jurgen Teller, Nick Knight, and Helmut Newton. However, several photographers want to build a reputation for themselves.

Learning takes time and patience, as it does in most disciplines. If you want to learn all there is to know about fashion photography, from equipment to techniques, you are in the right place.

The Meaning of Beauty Photography?

Beauty photography is a type of photography in which you take close-up photos of subjects to showcase the appealing qualities for editorial, commercial, or personal goals. 

Depending on the shooting theme, photographers use their subjects to portray a specific mood to the audience, such as happiness, innocence, or sensuality. Beauty portraits can be artistically appealing to advertise items, such as cosmetics, skincare, hair accessories, or jewelry.

Types of Fashion Photography

Understanding the types of fashion photography may provide you with the level you need to understand the sector and impress potential customers with your photographs.

In a nutshell, the many forms of fashion photography are as follows:

  • Street Photography
  • High Fashion Photography
  • Catalog Photography
  • Editorial Photography.

However, like with any genre, each style has its quirks. Here is a breakdown of the four types of fashion photography and some of their nuances:

1. Street Photography

Street fashion photography, also known as urban fashion, is sometimes seen as the polar opposite of high fashion. Alternative fashion is an extension of street fashion – grunge and hip-hop are two examples that eventually became popular street fashion trends.

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Street photography features ordinary individuals dressed in grungy yet attractive clothing.

2. High Fashion Photography

You may see high fashion on publications cover. However, from the photographer’s perspective, high fashion entails well-known supermodels exaggerated postures, sometimes ridiculous attire, and all components, including haircuts and setting, mixed to make a faultless shot.

3. Catalog Photography

Catalog photography is the most straightforward of the four fashion photography genres. Its goal is to sell apparel, and the emphasis is on the outfit. It is always a fantastic place to start with fashion photography before moving on to other genres.

Product photography is a subset of catalog photography. The presence of a model is the only fundamental distinction between catalog photography and product photography. 

4. Editorial Photography

It is story-telling fashion photography. Editorial fashion is in magazines and newspapers. The graphics generally complement the text that covers a wide range of topics.

Camera Equipment for Beauty and Fashion Photography

Camera equipment is essential in fashion photography. However, it all relies on what you want to do with the final photographs. Is it for editorial purposes?

Will they be blown up and shown on building facades? Is it only to be displayed on social media for the online world?

These considerations impact your equipment requirements. If you are serious about fashion photography, you will go for full-frame or medium-format cameras with better quality.

There is no such thing as a flawless camera, as there is in most other aspects of photography. There might be a camera that is ideal for you.

And there could be a camera that is ideal for the type of photography you want to undertake. Lighting, dress, hair, and making-up may be more significant than the camera itself in this broad genre.

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Fashion Photography Tool Kit

Aside from your camera, gear, and lenses, you will need a few more items. It is unlikely that you will only be photographing in the studio. Fashion shows offer choices of places to capture. A monopod is helpful in this situation. If you don’t have room for a tripod, this is ideal.

Fashion photography also requires external flashes and diffusers. Furthermore, utilizing a battery grip would be beneficial.

The Best Fashion Photography Lens

  • 35mm or 50mm Prime Lenses?

Street and fashion photographers mostly use the 35 mm lens for their business. It may be due to the perfect working distance it offers and allows you to get closer, but not too much to avoid getting the subject uneasy.

As most spare rooms convert to studios, the 35 mm implies that you can also fit inside one. It is ideal for tight, compact places when you cannot take a step back.

A 35 mm lens is somewhat more costly than a 50 mm lens due to the intricate mechanics inside the lens.

  • Prime and a Zoom Lens?

The similarity between an 85 mm prime lens and a 70-100 zoom lens is that they both shoot at an 85 mm focal length.

However, the 85 mm prime lens is sharper and has a quicker, bigger f/stop, such as f/1.4.

Although it is versatile, a zoom lens is less likely to have a big aperture. If it does have one, it is more costly.

When shooting at 85 mm, the quality may not be as crisp. You must understand that you do not necessarily need a lens with a super-wide aperture for studio photography.

How to Select the Appropriate Camera Settings for Fashion Portraits

Fashion photography needs no magical camera settings to snap the ideal photograph for you. Fortunately, you can program your camera to meet you at least halfway.

The most vital thing is taking shots in RAW formats. More photographic data is stored in the image, giving you more ‘play’ in post-processing.

When shooting in RAW, it is preferable to underexpose than overexpose. You may fix it later in post-production.

Fashion Photography Lighting

One of the most critical aspects to consider in fashion photography is lighting. Whether you shoot in a studio or outside in natural light, you will need to master the circumstances.

Even a simple set-up with one Speedlite takes planning and practice.

Best Lighting Equipment to Get Started With

There are several lighting systems available. Large, powerful equipment such as strobes is used in a studio and hooked in the wall.

Speedlites, which are smaller versions, are portable and operate on AA batteries.

Create a Brief for your Photoshoot

Creating an initial brief entails putting pen to paper and scribbling down whatever comes to mind. Once you have written down a few good descriptions of what you see in your mind’s eye, look for the common threads that connect them. 

Take these strands and weave them into a brief excerpt that highlights the tale you are presenting with the characters, circumstance, and universe in which it takes place.

A well-defined theme can also assist you in locating visual references for your mood board. The exercise will assist you in answering the questions that your hair, styling, models, and making-up artist will have for you and directing the overall aesthetic of your photography.

You might wish to provide some of the following details about your shoot:

  • Subject matter
  • Hair
  • Styling
  • Making-up
  • Location
  • Lighting
  • Mood
  • Aesthetic
  • Any relevant theme or time references.

Decide the Purpose of Your Fashion Photoshoot

Clarifying the goal of your shoot may assist you in developing unique and out-of-the-box fashion shoot ideas.

Are you taking these images to add to your portfolio, or do you intend to submit them to a publication? Are you attempting to create photographs that will appeal to the kind of customers you intend to attract in the future or is this session merely a creative experiment with no clear professional ambitions in mind?

It is always essential to be straightforward and forthright about your shoot objectives.

How to Use a Mood Board to Plan a Photoshoot

Now that you have written and described your concept in concrete terms, it is time to discover some visual references to go along with your carefully constructed words.

Mood boards are necessary at all levels of fashion photography. If you search “fashion photoshoot inspiration” on Pinterest, you will discover that even the most prestigious fashion businesses employ a mood board.

Mood boards are a vital component of any photography that considers story and concept. It assists in visually guiding a complete team towards a similar objective, which is essential in any collaborative creative activity.

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That said, you are not required to match your photographs perfectly to your mood board. The mood board is a graphic overview that ensures everyone participating in the shoot understands what you are attempting to achieve.

Begin making your mood board by picking a few phrases from your description and beginning to search online for pictures (photographs or otherwise) that assist in translating your idea into something you can share.

Now that your idea is ready in a shareable form, it is time to assemble your team.

Form Your Photoshoot Team

Unless you intend to begin your fashion photography experience with self-portraits, your team must include at least one subject and yourself.

A risky move, but you are presumably seeking to start by shooting someone else. You may even begin by shooting some of your buddies.

Sending your shot brief and mood board with history and past jobs is an effective method of contacting folks you would like to collaborate with you. 

Once you have established a strong portfolio, you can approach modeling agencies to work with their professional models. If you are just getting started, it is easier to find models who are upcoming professionals like yourself because it will be more cost-effective for your project.

Having a clear, precise vision and a deliberate strategy for what you are attempting to do shows that you have put some serious thought into this and want to build something meaningful.

Confirm Your Location

When planning a shot, you generally have the option of filming in a studio or on location. 

If you need to shoot in a studio but don’t have regular access to one, it is typically good to rent out a reasonable-cost location that matches the criteria of your brief.

You should ensure that the studio you select has access to restrooms and there is an area for you to get your models ready and prepped for the session. Choose a clean, bright, and well-equipped studio (if you don’t have your lighting), and make sure it is easy for everyone on your crew.

Choose a location that suits your brief and adds something to your tale if you have opted to shoot on location. Always have a backup plan in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Have a Wonderful Shooting Day

The moment is here. You are at your selected location, and people are arriving.

Keep your calm and try not to get too worked up over the minor details. People frequently turn to the photographer to keep spirits high and attitudes light, so spend some time communicating with your team while preparing.

Share a little about what inspired you to create this project, and feel free to chat about life outside of photography if you like. Putting people in a cooperative and receptive mood always results in the best experience. 

Backup Your Work

Do not allow your team’s hard work to be futile, and make sure you upload and backup your images regularly.

A shoe may not fit properly, or the weather may have been a little cloudier than expected, but creative individuals, more often than not, find a way to make things work.

When you get back to your computer, plug in those cards straight immediately and create two backups of everything. Keep the film rolls sealed and stored in a dry, cold place. When it is about keeping your images safe, you can never be too vigilant.

Review the Photographs from the Shoot

So many things happened before the shooting day and the day of the shoot. Even if you examine your images as you go, it might be hard to determine which ones were the best.

Your curation should be selective. It is pointless selecting six photographs of the same object in a row. Use only the best shots in editing.

After editing, arrange the photographs in order so that they will support your story.

Display Your Work on Your Portfolio Website 

Every photographer should have a functional portfolio that showcases their talents and goals in their field. If you do not have a website portfolio, establish one right away.

The format is a website-building platform with all of the built-in features you’ll need to get started exhibiting your work, promoting, and even setting up an online store for your fashion pieces or images. 

Best of all, you don’t need to know how to code to develop a completely working and visually appealing website.

Last words of wisdom

Consider and study the lighting and framing in the beauty and fashion photography style that appeals to you. 

Study the catchlights in those pictures as it is going to help you determine what light modifiers they used and where they placed them. You will discover that each of these photography genres has a set of characteristics in common that you may attempt yourself and have fun, go crazy, and try it all! 

Discover your style.

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