And we are back. Hope you are starting to see the different categories of fashion photography and thinking about which one suits you best. Well, here are the next three. Let’s continue.
In its simplest form – high fashion is extra. Everything is extra. The lighting, make-up, clothes, mood, location, props, extra everything. We have featured here before high fashion editorials we have loved such as Annie Leibowitz’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ shoot – see here. The difference with this type of photography is really about expression through photography; art and capturing a dream or fantasy. In this case, we are still selling the clothes but it’s more about the art in photography. A high-end fashion shoot is creating a new world with clothes that won’t necessarily be worn the way it has been portrayed.
This image could be dreamy or showcasing a scenario that is not entirely plausible but looks incredible and mesmerizing. This image is dramatic and powerful. One of our favourites from October 2017 was by photographers Rich Allele from Kenya and Dapel Kureng from Nigeria. This is the story: “From the bowels of Kenya, a prophesy about British oppression had gone ahead. What also followed was that the savior would be a woman. No one guessed that it would be Mnyazi wa Menza, an only girl among 5 children, born to poor parents in Mutsara wa Tsatsu, a village of the Giriama sometime between 1840 and 1860.”
Beauty is all about the face, skin and hair. It is the business of photographing skincare, haircare, makeup and jewellery. These can also be called beauty shots and the idea is to showcase the product. These are centrally focused on the head and shoulders or directly the face or the hands and they are close up shots. They can either be plain to capture the authentic natural beauty and therefore communicate that type of message. They can also involve showcasing the make-up product in question from mascara to eye shadow to foundation or even lipstick. Beauty shots can also showcase hair, cosmetic products like facial washes or night creams or jewellery.
Beauty shots can be clean and clear but they can also be dramatic and edgy depending on the brand message and the emotion to be captured. The importance of this type of photography is showcasing the impact of using that product. Unlike a bag or a watch, photography can show how beautiful that item on its own is and how awesome you look wearing or carrying it. For beauty, you want to show what the product does for your skin, hair or your look so the impact is crucial. Unlike clothes above, which show you how one can look in a particular setting, this type of photography needs to demonstrate direct impact. The person selling lipstick needs to show how incredible and flawless that lipstick is so the customer can buy it.
These tend to be close-up macro shots showcasing the product alone. These images tend to be used mostly for websites where the customer needs to see the product on its own without distraction as if he or she picked it up in the store. If used for social media, product shoots can be more creative with smaller props but still highlighting the product itself. Product photography lets the product speak for itself. These photos need to highlight the product and its unique details presenting it in its most appealing form. The lighting for these images is paramount so that all angles are clearly seen.
These images represent the product’s perceived value and quality. One of the ways to create these images is by using a lightbox – a box with translucent sides that is perfect for photographing smaller objects like jewellery or watches and a great solution that provides light diffusion against a uniform background. The idea behind the lightbox if to create seamless almost shadow less lighting. We have added two videos below showing different styles and some tips on product photography…enjoy.
This of course is not an in –depth analysis of the different categories of fashion photography. Some of these can bleed into each other and the lines can be blurry or quite distinct. The above is a simplified guideline to help you determine what your goal/objective is and what type of photography you should be pursuing. If you want to communicate your brand message and the story to capture the audience and bring them into the heart of the brand, you can either pursue a lifestyle lookbook shoot or an editorial. If you want to showcase your jewerly, you can either use the product shoot together with a lookbook. If you are selling small tanzanite earrings, a beauty shot capturing the head and shoulders will definitely highlight the earrings without too much going on.
Whether you are coming from the angle of the photographer or the creative director or the designer – your objective should be clearly defined and where you want the image to be. If you know exactly what you want and know which type of image will be placed where such as social media, website, billboard, magazine, flyer or lookbook then you can decide which type of photography you need. Of course, you can then be as creative as you would like so shoot away and have fun with it.
Tell us which style of photography you prefer and why?