Fashion photography is one of the most exciting and creative genres of event photography.
Fashion photographers have always ushered in new style statements in the industry. Fashion changes every season and the style of fashion photography changes alongside. Fashion photographers can always find out new locations for their shoot and work more enhancing on their creativity. Just like fashion, fashion photography is also slated to be an everlasting and ever-popular phenomenon.
Choosing the appropriate location for a fashion shoot has always proved to be challenging for fashion photographers. Questions like where to carry out fashion photography and whether to shoot in an outdoor or indoor location have always been a key part of the artistic process. Outdoor fashion photography has the capability to produce overwhelming and candid photographs. The majestic appearance of the streets, landscapes, rural and urban places complement the beauty of the model in fashion photography. Doing outdoor fashion shoots allow photographers to experiment with natural light and beauty which therefore, enhances their level of exposure and creativity.
Composition techniques, knowledge of equipment, environmental conditions, reflectance, lighting color quality, lighting direction and backdrop are all essential factors which photographers need to consider before they get ready for a fashion shoot.
Some of these factors are explained in greater detail below:
1. Scouting for great locations
Searching for that perfect location for a fashion shoot is most important before starting off with the actual project. As a fashion photographer, you need to look for places with scenic natural beauty that will add a sense of drama and mystery to your images. Sometimes, fashion photography is conducted on the road to induce various textures, shapes and patterns while composing. Avoid hot and sultry places so as to keep the model within a comfort zone.
You can add props while shooting outside, but they should complement well with the model, his or her style of clothing and the surrounding environment. Every location at different hours of the day has a different intensity of natural light. So, while choosing locations, you need to decide on the time of your shoot as well.
As said by Pablo Picasso, “There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who, with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.” Using the sun as the only source of light during an outdoor fashion shoot helps to create a great lighting effect for your photographs. In fact, use of natural light is cost-effective and thus as a photographer, you can invest on other necessary items.
But then, sunlight is harsh and tends to comprise high frequency rays. The following tips can help you avoid any pitfalls while shooting in direct sunlight:
- When shooting under the sun, always look for shades in your location. Trees, bridges and north facing walls are always good sources of open shade. Shades effectively filter the light from the sun.
- Use white fabric over the model. This will serve as a sun-powered soft-box.
- Use fill-flash to cut off unflattering shadow casting on your model.
- Use reflectors.
- Prefer shooting in early morning or during the golden hours of the day.
- Avoid a situation where your model is directly facing the sun. This will ruin your photographs.
3. Team work – working with the designer/stylist
Before starting off with the fashion shoot, visit the shooting location with your designer. Planning out on your designs is essential. Along with your designer, make it a habit to spend time over look-books and developing sketches of the styles required for the shoot. Working together will help you to come up with brainstorming ideas.
4. Use of equipment
Selection of cameras, lenses and other accessories for an outdoor fashion shoot is challenging and can be quite different from other areas of photography.
Some of the useful equipment that you need to carry for an outdoor fashion photography session are:
- A medium format good DSLR camera
- 30 mm lens for wide angle shots
- Zoom lenses from 100 mm to 300 mm range and more if required
- Strobes to remove harsh shadows caused by the use of fill-flash
- Neutral density filters when shooting in daylight conditions
- Extra battery packs
Many photographers prefer to choose an outdoor location for their fashion shoot instead of going for costly indoor studios.
This is also because indoor fashion photography is always a costly affair – not a preferred option for those having a shoestring budget unless your purse allows you to hire one of the best event management companies in your city. Using outdoor environment and natural lighting, fashion photographers can come up with truly versatile and radiant fashion photographs which help them stand out among others.