fashion portrait of a female model Photo by hanen souhail on Unsplash

How to Shoot Fashion Photography: 4 Types | Qualifications | 5 Tips

The fashion industry is constantly changing. One day, you may shoot for a high-end fashion house and the next for a leading streetwear brand. It's important to be versatile as a fashion photographer and to know the different types of fashion photography.

This article will explore what fashion photography is, the different types, what qualifications you need to get started, and some top tips to help you shoot amazing fashion images.

What Is Fashion Photography?

Fashion photography is a type of photography that focuses on capturing images of people in fashionable clothing. It is typically used in magazines, advertising, and runway shows. Fashion photography can be both artistic and commercial.

Fashion photography is typically shot on location, in studios, or at fashion shows. It aims to capture clothes and accessories in a way that is creative and stylish. Fashion photographers often use creative lighting, poses, and props to make their images more visually appealing.

4 Types of Fashion Photography

1. Fashion Street Photography

a fashion girl standing on the street

Photo by Judeus Samson on Unsplash

Fashion street photography is a style of photography that captures candid images of people in everyday clothing. It is often seen as a more casual and natural approach to fashion photography than the more polished and stylized images typically seen in magazines and advertising.

There are no hard and fast rules for fashion street photography, but there are a few things that tend to make a successful image.

  • The composition should be interesting and eye-catching
  • Clothing and accessories should be stylish and current.
  • The overall image should convey a sense of fun and energy

2. Editorial Fashion Photography

fashion photo of a well-dressed woman

Photo by Ben Scott on Unsplash

Editorial Fashion photography is a type of photography used to capture images of people for magazine editorials. Unlike other types of fashion photography, editorial fashion photography is not simply about capturing the clothes and accessories that a person is wearing. Instead, it is about capturing the person's essence and conveying a story or a mood through the images.

Editorial fashion photography often features models in candid or unposed situations, making the images more natural and relatable. The focus is on the person, not the clothes, and the images are meant to evoke an emotion or convey a message.

3. High Fashion Photography

a woman wearing a luxury dress

Photo by Khaled Ghareeb on Unsplash

High fashion photography is a genre of photography that typically features models posing in designer clothing and luxury environments. These photographs are usually taken for advertising campaigns or editorial spreads in fashion magazines. High fashion photography is often characterized by artificial lighting, creative composition, and artistic retouching.

While traditional fashion photography focuses on the clothing and accessories worn, high fashion photography often features models in fanciful or surrealistic settings. The goal of this type of photography is to create images that are both aesthetically pleasing and a little dramatic.

Many high fashion photographers have a background in fine art photography. This allows them to bring a unique perspective to their work.

High fashion photography is often very stylized. The models' clothing, hair, and makeup are often meticulously planned and executed.

4. Catalog Photography

a woman is posing her hand on the waist to show her outfit

Photo by Khaled Ghareeb on Unsplash

Catalog photography is fashion photography used to showcase products in a catalog or online store. This type of photography is usually done in a studio setting, with the models and products on a white background.

Catalog photography is about making the products look their best, so lighting and styling are very important. The photographer often uses different angles and perspectives to show the products in the best light possible.

What Qualifications are Needed for Fashion Photography?

To be qualified as a fashion photographer, you can do a degree in photography and enroll in a  program focused more on fashion photography. However, you will need some of the following additional skills to find a job as a fashion photographer.

Good Management Skills

Fashion photography is a very fast-paced and busy industry, so good management skills are essential. The ability to keep track of multiple projects and juggle different deadlines is key.  

Have An Eye for Detail

hand-holding  Chanel No. 5 perfume

Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

Fashion photography is all about the details. Everything must be perfect, from how the clothes are styled to how the model is posed. Attention to small details is essential to create stunning fashion photos.  

Be Friendly and Easy To Work With

Fashion photography can be very competitive, so it’s essential to be friendly and easy to work with. Many fashion photographers regularly work with the same teams of stylists, makeup artists, and hair stylists. Building good relationships with these people is important to open a channel of open communication.

Maintain a Sense of Power

Fashion photography is a very demanding industry, so it’s important to be able to stay in control and maintain a sense of power. This can be a difficult balance to strike, but it’s important to be assertive without being too aggressive.

Tips for Shooting Amazing Fashion Images

Fashion photography is all about capturing the latest trends and styles. But to stand out, your fashion photos need to be amazing. Here are some tips to help you take amazing fashion photos:

1. Do Your Research

a model wearing summer vacation outfit in the  park

Photo by Khaled Ghareeb on Unsplash

It's important to research the location, model, and garments you'll be shooting before your fashion shoot. This will help you understand what kind of images you want to achieve and how to go about achieving them.

Location scouting is important to help you find the right backdrop for your shoot. Consider the time of day, the weather, and the overall look and feel you want to capture. For example, shooting in a busy city street will differ from shooting in a secluded forest.

Researching the models that you'll be shooting with is also really important. Take a quick look at their Instagram to gauge how experienced they are. For example, if you're shooting with a relatively inexperienced model, you may want to put together a little mood board of poses or things that might help them relax and give you a better result.

a black fashion model showing the large earrings

Photo by Oladimeji Odunsi on Unsplash

Researching the garments, looking at little fine details that you may be able to capture on the day, and seeing how garments sit in different ways they move can also help elevate your imagery.

2. Style Your Shoot Using Props

Props can be used in several ways to help improve your fashion photos. For example, they can be used to add interest and depth to a shot. They can also help highlight certain features of your subject, such as their hair or eyes. And, of course, props can also add a bit of fun and personality to a photo.

Some of the props you can use are:  

Accessories:  Jewelry, hats, scarves, watches and glasses can help add detail to a shot and make your subject look more stylish.

a fashion model photo by showing the hat product

Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

Antique Items:  Props such as antique furniture or cars can add a touch of class to a fashion shoot. They can also help create a certain mood or atmosphere.  

two female models wearing specially design dresses in the outside field

Photo by naeim jafari on Unsplash 

Flowers & Plants:   Flowers and plants can be used to add color and life to a photo. They can give the finished image a feeling of freshness. They can be utilized as the subject's backdrop or as a close-up prop.  

fashion picuture of a female model wearing flowers on her hair

Photo by J. Balla Photography on Unsplash 

Seasonal Items: Props specific to the season can help add a festive touch to your photos. Seasonal items can also help indicate the time of year in which the photo was taken. For example, Thanksgiving props such as pumpkins can be used in fall photos, while you can use Christmas props such as trees and lights in winter shots.

a well-dressed model siting in the beautiful winter scene

Kate Winter Snowy Forest Backdrop for Photography Designed By Jerry_Sina 

3. Shoot the Details

Fashion is all about the details, so make sure to capture them in your photos. Shoot close-ups of the intricate details of the clothing, such as beading, sequins, and embroidery. Also, don't forget to capture the small details of the accessories, such as the hardware on a handbag or the pattern on a scarf.

4. Try Specific Poses

Posing is one of the most important aspects of fashion photography, and it can be tricky to master. Here are some poses your model can try to make your fashion images more dynamic and interesting.

 The Lean

a model is posing by leaning on the window edge

Photo by naeim jafari on Unsplash

Leaning against a wall, column, or other objects can give your image a sense of movement and action. This pose also allows you to show off the lines of the clothing. To avoid looking stiff, have your model place one foot slightly in front of the other and shift her weight to one side.

 Walk  Pose

a fashion model is walking on the street

Photo by Mikita Yo on Unsplash 

Walking is a great way to add energy to a fashion shoot. To get the most out of this pose, have your model walk towards you, then turn at the last minute so you can capture her in your profile. As she walks, she can look over her shoulder at the camera or keep her gaze straight ahead.

 Sitting Pose

a female model is showing a dress by sitting back to the camera

Photo by Ryanwar Hanif on Unsplash 

Sitting poses can be very elegant and sophisticated. To avoid having your model look like she's just taking a break, have her sit on the edge of a chair or bench with her back straight and her feet planted firmly on the ground. She can place one hand on her knee or keep both in her lap.

 The Twirl  

a indian woman is twirling her dress and veil on the beach

Photo by Shlag on Unsplash

The twirl is a classic fashion pose that can be very flattering. To get the most out of this pose, have your model start with her back to you, then spin around. She can let go of her skirt or dress as she turns so it billows out around her.

5. Master Your Editing Skills

No matter how good your fashion photography is, your images will only be as good as your editing skills. Here are some tips to help you master your editing skills and produce fantastic fashion images:  

  • When editing your fashion photos, it's important to use adjustment layers. This will allow you to adjust your images without affecting the underlying pixels.
  • Masking is a great way to target specific areas of your image for editing. Using a mask, you can selectively edit parts of your image without affecting the rest.

a perfume beside a Vogue magzine

Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

  • Dodging and burning is a technique that is often used in Photoshop to make adjustments to specific areas of an image. Using this technique, you can lighten or darken specific areas of your image to create the desired effect.
  • When editing fashion photos, it's important to use the right tools. Photoshop offers a variety of different tools that you can use for fashion photography. Some of the most popular tools include the clone stamp tool, the healing brush tool, and the patch tool.  

Conclusion

Fashion photography is a creative and exciting genre of photography. To be a successful fashion photographer, you must be innovative, stylish, and up-to-date with the latest trends. You should also have a good understanding of lighting and editing. By following these tips, you can shoot amazing fashion photos that are sure to impress.

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