Killer tips for preparing your fashion shoot

Fashion photography is one of those niches which thrives best on a beautiful combination of careful planning, creativity & commercial knowledge. Your fashion images are a visual representation of your brand & the most powerful part of communicating your looks with your audience. Combining the elements of your shoot together perfectly will tell the story with the greatest impact. The better planned you are & the greater clarity you have will result in more ease come shoot day. In this post, we are going to take a look at some tips to ensure that your fashion shoot is a truly successful one.

1.     Determine the purpose of the shoot 

Most fashion designers need 3 sorts of images: 1) Lookbook style images which show off your product on a model on a fairly neutral background 2) Editorial images which give a flavour of the lifestyle of your brand. Potentially shot outside or in a house/warehouse location & communicate in an emotive way. 3) Flat lay product shots showing the detail of the product. Lookbook & Editorial shots can be combined on the same shoot day/s & product shots are usually shot separately in studio. What will these shots be used for - website / social media / PR / Brochures / Editorial / Ads? What size & will the images be used in landscape/portrait? Having clear and well communicated goals will set you up for a super great result.

2.     Create a mood board 

Visual references are the most effective way to communicate your vision for your concept & therefore mood boards are utilised at all levels of fashion photography. Pinterest is a great way to go & you can share your moodboard with your photographer, art director (if using) & stylist who you may wish to receive input from too. Or simply copy & paste images into a document or photograph images from books/magazines using your phone & input into the document also. Digital documents are best for ease of sharing with your team.

3.     Colour Palette 

A bit like the property show ‘location. location, location’. If I had a fashion photography show it would be called ‘colour palette, colour palette, colour palette’. The best place to start is with the pieces which are the central aspect of a commercial shoot & build out the colour palette for the images from there. Pay attention to the background (walls/grass/meadows/cityscape), location, Chairs/props, the models skin tone, hair & eye colour, accessories, boots/shoes, hair pieces & anything else you’d like to appear in your images. The colours can either beautifully clash, be purposely busy &/or match in tones. It’s important to plan this so that the shot looks carefully crafted & conveys the message you’re going for.

4.     Create a brief 

My top three questions for my clients are: What the conceptualisation for the range initially? Who is your audience who would wear your range? What top three adjectives would you use to describe this range? The answers to these questions will demonstrate the concept and story of your range & it’s crucial to communicate this is the whole team involved on the shoot. Your brief gives you a great opportunity to cover all aspects of your shoot such as logistics, location, aesthetics, props & equipment.  AND of course the team needed to make your vision happen - photographer, stylist, make-up/hair artist & of course model/s.

5.     Location 

With your colour palette, brand/range stories & audience in mind it’s time to arrange a location for the shoot. There are many websites dedicated to shoot locations whether that’s outside, in a house/warehouse or studio. Your photographer, art director or stylist may also have some ideas about great locations or will be able to prepare some options for you. In an ideal world you will also have scouted the locations & taken some test shots to ensure they will deliver the right shots. It’s wise to think about lighting on location too & where the light will fall if doing an outside shoot.

6.     Gather your team

Now, you need to gather your team. Hosting a model call is the perfect way to cast models, it gives you an opportunity to see them in your clothes & also gauge how willing & natural they are in poses that you’d like. It’s a big plus point to have happy ‘can do’ personalities on set. Meeting your photographer & stylist is key to share ideas & create a team all positive in achieving the looks which you want for your brand. Ensure you have make up/hair artists with right skill level to bring your vision into a reality. Discuss & agree all pricing upfront with your team & to ensure smooth running on the day & afterwards. Choose people who you resonate with & share your passion.

7.     Scheduling

Plan your looks well in advance. Each look needs it’s own card detailing every aspect of the look from the garments to accessories to hair & make up detail. Ensure you prepare a shot list to ensure you come away with the shots you need detailing outfits & crops for images. Think about the shots you’d like with models together & singularly. Whether you’d like any movement ie walking/dancing/laughing. A visual representation of model poses on the moodboard is great to have on shoot day. Ensure you leave enough time for each look to be shot & experimentation to be explored especially for editorial style shots. 

8.     List everything you need

Last but not least, you need to make sure you bring all of the equipment you are going to need for your shoot. After all, the last thing you want is for things to fall behind because you forgot something you needed. It is also a good idea to put together a call sheet with all of the important information & timings for the day for everyone involved to reference. 

So, 8 steps which will help you immensely whilst preparing for your upcoming fashion shoots. What’s the biggest point for you to bear in mind? What did you learn here that you haven’t thought of already? Feel free to share with your designer buddies to help their shoots run ever more smoothly :) Let me know if you’ve got any other useful tips which you’ve used to get your shoots running to a ’T’.

How to Choose the Right Fashion Photographer

A guide to choosing the right fashion photographer

Some of the photographs from history that are remembered the most all come from the fashion industry. You only have to think of the picture of Twiggy with her pixie cut and huge eyes gazing into the camera. It’s images like this that have the most significant impact, and if you require a fashion photographer who can really capture the essence of what you are trying to convey, then you need to choose carefully.

Fashion is art, and it should be showcased as such, but this can only be done with the right photographer in place. The right photograph can really help you to project the right image for your audience, and professional fashion photography can do that. You can’t just choose anyone, though, and as one of the main goals of any fashion photographer is to bring your vision to life, picking the right person is imperative to your success.

Let’s take a look at some of the things that you should consider when you are choosing a professional fashion photographer.

They Need Vision

It’s the goal of any photographer, but capturing the right, unforgettable image is how success is achieved. When you are dealing with fashion photographers, you need to know that they have a vision. You will be working very closely with whomever you choose, so you need to know that you can trust that they can turn your idea into a beautiful image.

They Need To Be Versatile

The very best commercial fashion photographers can shoot both lookbook & editorial style shots to suit your brand, season & collection, and the best out there will be able to flow between the various fashion shots without hesitation. Versatility is so important because you want to ensure your brand and your vision is achieved.

They Should Have Experience

You wouldn’t see a doctor if they didn’t have the experience, so you shouldn’t choose a fashion photographer that doesn’t have the right credentials. Not only do you want someone qualified, but you want to know that others think so, too, so check out their awards and accolades. Hiring a fashion photographer  who has won Awards could change the way your images are received. Experience isn’t just about the length of time your chosen photographer is in the industry; it’s about their ability to get a fashion model to move into the best shot possible. This takes experience, knowledge and a lot of patience.

They Should Be Engaging

Fashion shoots are busy: the models are never static and the clothes capture the attention of the audience. Your potential fashion photographer should be able to engage the people they are shooting, and so you have to pay attention to the portfolio. If you meet people with little variety in their collection, keep on looking.

They Need To Be Creative

You already come with a bucket of creativity if you’ve been able to create stunning designs. You need a professional fashion photographer who is going to be able to bounce off of your own creativity and stand out to you. The portfolios that you view should jump out at you and speak to your own creative streak

Choosing the right professional fashion photographer isn’t something that you should rush. You want consistency with the same photographer through all shoots, so that you can ensure that you are working with someone you can trust to bring your vision to life. Take your time and make the right choice for your future success.

Winner of the ASOS fashion photography competition - ME - BOOM KAPOW!

Amazing top news has arrived 🎉 The winner of the ASOS fashion photography competition has been announced & it’s non - other than yours truly. Chuffed AF is an understatement. 

It all started with meeting Priya of the streetwear brand ‘Quillattire’ on a social in Shoreditch. Check out the brand here We had an immediate connection both being on the London Fashion Week Scene.  We planned Image Structure / looks / locations / style culminating in me shooting Quillattire’s super cool ‘Retrograde’ sustainable streetwear collection which is made from bamboo (Panda friendly ;)).

Primary for me was delivering strong commercial images which would connect Quillatire with their fan base. We also had a day of the very highest creative vibes!!!

Here’s a few of the winning images - do you likey??! I played around with the light & the backgrounds to compliment & contrast for some super boom impact. Check out more on my page here. 

Images were submitted into the ASOS Marketplace competition & I”M DELIGHTED TO SAY WE WON!!!! :))))) Truly surreal moment. Images will be featuring across the ASOS Marketplace homepages across Autumn / Winter 18. Woooohoooooo!!!

Thank yooouuuu Priya for having me onboard & also big thanks to amazin models - Bof & Aramatou x

Hit me up if you’d like to know more x