Directing Photography: Fashion
I didn’t do much fashion photography, maybe a bit more jewelry, but I’ve been always surrounded by fashion designers, fashion models, fashion photographers and fashion producers. No matter if you’ll focus on the clothing or on the jewelry, you’ll have to guide and direct the models that are wearing the designed pieces. Here you’re not capturing the models personality like in the Portraits, and they are not the main object as for the People/Conceptual photography, but you’re working with them, so it requires a different attitude.
Usually when you do fashion photography you’ve been commissioned, for editorials or for the designers. You can have your own concept, but this time less free, as you have to understand the concept of the pieces that are to be shown. So, research on the designers’ work is essential of course, also because you must share it with the model: the designer’s aesthetic and your own concept for the shooting. The better you feel the designer’s work the easiest to work with. So now you’re working with 2 ideas and 2 focus for one final message.
Even if here the focus should go on the aesthetic and designer’s pieces, the ones who are wearing them are models. First of all they should feel comfortable with them, even though the professional ones are used to suffer a bit. Here most probably you have a larger team, from hair dresser to make up artists, your own assistant, etc: the whole crew. And you’re the one who has to direct them all together: even though the designer expects your own aesthetic and should respect your way of working, you must not forget what you’re doing: “selling” their work.
The models’ faces here are not so important, however they need to express the mood of the shooting, mostly by body language. And here you will most probably have to take more shots to get the ideal one, which will be a result of your selection and the designers’ one. Or the editor who commissioned you. Here you don’t have to please the models, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll ignore them as they’re also essential on this.
Pay attention to all the details, from the models to the pieces. Listen to the designer. Focus on the mood and aesthetic. Probably is more important to shoot the mood and aesthetic of the whole work than just focus on a piece, this way the final viewer, – the possible client of the pieces -, will have a better understanding of the whole collection, trend, designer’s work, not getting stuck in one only piece.
But as I said: don’t forget the model´s attitude or expression. Here I’m posting few photos I took some years ago, showing some pieces of jewelry by Valentim Quaresma among other few examples from different editorials for magazines. 4 models, 4 different moods, attitudes and aesthetics… for different final messages.
“Directing Photography” is a collection of 4 notes:
1 – Directing a Portrait;
3 – Directing Fashion;
and another old one, more playful, to which I built this origami zoo:
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