Monday, December 21, 2009

So Now You've Got A Camera...

Congrats! You have a camera! Unfortunately, photography doesn't stop there. I know a lot of photographers harp on this a lot so forgive me for doing it again. There just seems to be some confusion - having a camera doesn't make you any more a photographer than having pots makes you a cook or having paint makes you an artist. Besides a camera, here are a few things every photog needs to make art, exclusively if you want to go into fashion.

  1. The Vision - So this may sound lame, but creating lovely art through photography requires an idea, a way of seeing the photo, feeling the photo. Even if you're not going into fashion (which requires concepts if you're doing an ad or editorial spread), you need to be able to frame a photo in your mind. You need to be able to look at some inanimate object or person on the street and see something beautiful waiting to happen.
  2. Styling - A lot of photographers, especially if they're men and have no clue about women's clothing, just let the model bring clothing until they find a stylist to work with. I styled my first shoot and continued to do it until I found stylists. Poor styling can make or break a photo...I'm sure you can imagine a beautiful photo of a woman wearing an ill-fitting dress from forever 21 and ugg boots. Even if your photos are lovely and the concept strong, you won't go far in fashion photography if you can't provide the model with clothing. It's always obvious when the model is wearing their own clothing. If you can't get a stylist, do the styling yourself! Hell, borrow your friends clothing, buy from thrift shops or do the good old buy and return! You don't want to ruin a lovely photo due to bad wardrobe choices.
  3. A Good Team - Building on my last point, a good team is EXTREMELY important to create stunning fashion images. This includes hair, make up and clothing. While I would say the stylist is the most important (and due to this, the stylist is always the hardest to get), make up and hair are also important. Without all these factors it may be hard to achieve whatever you have envisioned. It's not just about having talented teammates either - it's also important that the team gets along and is on the same wavelength when working on a project. I'm very fortunate to have two get MUAs on my team, Sarah Dean and Amburle (who also does hair). My stylists always seem to be changing but I am working on that!
  4. Equipment - I've never been a super equipment-oriented photographer, but there is an extent that equipment is necessary. I learned this the hard way when I tried to do a beauty shoot with just a desklamp (didn't go as bad as that sounds, but needless to say it wasn't awesome). I also could have never done my latest night shoot with nikki if it weren't for a speedlight I bought off amazon for $50. Granted, I don't say buy the most expensive stuff off the bat, but I will admit that sometimes you do need that extraneous crap.

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