Fashion is global and revealing. It is a way to express yourself on a daily basis and according to the situations. Furthermore, fashion can be spotted everywhere from a new-born to an elderly person without concerning one’s age. Usually, it seems like a simple concept but behind that, it a world full of creativity, revolutionary, and endless possibilities. It is all about how comfortable and confident you are in, whatever you wear. Just like the phrase “two sides of a coin” fashion can also be fleeting but at the same time, it can empower us in a way to evolve.
What is Fashion?
It’s not easy to answer this question, because everyone has different opinions and perspectives. Apart from that, fashion is something we deal with every day. It is a non-verbal form of communication that conveys a lot about one’s personality. Moreover, it is an evolving and hot topic over the decades. Fashion enhances human life because not only it allows you to dress fashionably but also allows maintaining the 3 C’s in life i.e, confidence, comfort, and charm. It is neither stable nor eternal. Change and variety are other names of fashion. As it is said that “ You can’t dip your finger twice in the same river”, and fashion is no exception to this law.
As a famous French fashion designer “COCO CHANEL” once said:
“ Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”
Let’s dive like a whale into the ocean and know the depth of the subject:
Photography is a genre in the arts that reflects one’s creativity and perspective to show the various things around them. Moreover, it has various categories and one of them is fashion.
Fashion photography is a branch that focuses on documenting and selling fashion. It had been around since the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Introduced into the society by fashion magazines which are still relevant today i.e, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, etc. Moreover, it is considered as a means of historical preservation because it depicts the society’s values when it was shot.
It is glossy and expensive. Before shooting a fashion theme, a photographer must know about certain things i.e, lighting, color, location, poses, and most important thing the story-line.
Types of Fashion Photography
As our outside world and society is quite judgmental about what one wear and live. Fashion has categorized into 8 types so as to distinguish cloth style and trends according to the occasions:
Fashion is not constant but style is through decades. So, in order to know in which all situations it is suitable and what should be the themes and locations for the model for each category. Let’s catch up and get rolling with it.
Editorial photography is all about a theme which are supported by text to tell a story. These kind of photography are mainly used in magazines, newspapers, blogs etc to strengthen the articles.
Unlike any other genres, it allows for a larger opportunity for creativity and give you a credit line.
But don’t get confused with commercial photography. There’s a slight difference between these two. Editorial photographs are aren’t for ads and commercial is essentially for advertising especially for brochures, annual reports and things like that.
The lifestyle photography genre is to shoot or document real-life events in an artistic manner. In other words, to capture the “slice of life”. It’s true that every photograph is worth a thousand words but in this photo, it’s not necessary that it should be sequential.
The goal is to give the audience a sense of life which they are witnessing everyday.
The special feature of this genre is that, expect the unexpected. Its almost like candid shoots which can’t be staged. If it has to be staged, it should be related with models lifestyle.
This genre is all about beauty and charm, mainly featuring the physical beauty of a model and gaining confidence about themselves. Unlike, fashion photography which focuses only on lighting and posing.
Usually we interpret information through words. But in this, the models gesture and confident should interpret what that particular frame want to convey.
Glamour photography is much like boudoir photography because in both the genres the main focus is on the model. So as to bring the models best features through different techniques. It can be staged in any platform with erotic poses from fully clothed to nude. Colloquially, it is known as “cheesecake” for women and “beefcake” for men.
The simplest shots require the most precise crafted techniques and catalog photography is one of them.
Usually, the companies are using up for the display of their products in one go. The most important aspect of this genre is proper lighting. The product should be framed in such a way that all its necessary features got projected.
Like that of Fossil, Armani, Puma, etc so that the client finds appealing to buy. Usually, the product is shot in a plain background to enrich the features. It should be framed in such a way that the clients get fascinated by seeing the beauty in them.
Portrait photography or portraiture is an artistic skill to capture a person’s attitude in a frame. It’s all about face and identity. There are 4 types of approaches in this particular genre i.e,
Environmental:- The model is positioned in surroundings such that it will speak about person’s identity and profession.
Constructionist:- Its about developing emotion and atmosphere to convey a message.
Candid:- When the photograph is snapped without any notification of the model.
Creative:- When the photograph is snapped in a different way to set up in business lobby or on a personal website
KIDS & NEW-BORN PHOTOGRAPHY
The most challenging as well as incredibly rewarding genre in the photography field. Safety is always a priority in these shoots. As it is difficult to get children posed for the shoots. So, to make the shoot more interesting, add visual interests like props. It will also entertain the babies and children during the shoot.
The important features to look after before framing the moment in – detail, texture, and color. As our models are children, always shoot in soft natural light.
If you give a thought about the composition of a frame, definitely you’ll stand out from the crowd.
Street photography genre also deals with documenting real-life events but in public places.Photographers don’t have a purpose or story line in their mind while capturing.
They just capture moments that usually go unnoticed in a busy life. This genre requires patience and hard work. The photographers shoot fashionistas in their daily chore, so as to highlight the trends in the real world.
Not only it captures the particular trend but also their expression, confidence, and attitude after wearing that particular piece of cloth.
Different industries have different meanings. In this field, it refers to the collection of works of an individual. It is often gathered to reflect what one has learned over the years. It is a kind of resume for artistic people.
Actually, the portfolio is a medium to present your work. But, most importantly you have to be consider what the portfolio is for?………
Are you taking it for an interview?? Or to showcase in a gallery?? Or just to bringing up the work together to be a freelancer??
Portfolio can be made for every field of photography, even for photographers also but here we are mainly discussing about 3 fields i.e,
Whatever may be the reason, one should think about all these before setting up. For job and freelancers, you must display a variety of skills and techniques like An Elegant Tale by Sajeeth K A whereas, for the gallery, it requires a single unifying theme.
TRENDS IN FASHION
India is a multidimensional country consisting of various people with different religions and traditions. And there is no doubt that history has a large role in fashion trends. Fashion trends are infectious and spread rapidly like wildfire. They usually come like a wave and die out. Every generation has its own style which sets them apart from the previous generation.
But, if we talk about the present generation especially youths, all are brand conscious. According to America’s Research Group, the second most effective advertising method is brand names. Innovation and creativity are the soul root of trends just like the “retro” style.
Indian fashion is all about change, variety, brands, confidence, seasons and position. One’s beauty lies in itself not in trends. But every now and then everyone’s mind always had a question and excitement that, what’s the next trend??……. Lets create and be unique rather than copying others flaw.
As Gianni Versace said,
“ Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live.”
EQUIPMENT NEEDED FOR FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY
Essential gears for the fashion photographer are:
- Lenses ( according to the genre of shoots)
- Flash gun
- Graphics Tablet
- SD cards
- Studio Flash Kits
- Backdrop Paper and Stand
- External Hard drive
Camera gears are important in every field of photography. But, it all depends on the photographer what kind of photography he/she wants. So, this solely depends on the equipment’s you are using to frame a particular genre in fashion.
Fashion and literacy are 2 most important things for the well being of the society. It can be used as a key to open several doors which leads to success and get independent in their own terms. Lets just surf some details about the courses.
FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY COURSES
As such there is no specific specialization. One have to either accomplish a degree course in photography i.e, Bachelors of Fine Arts [BFA] or Bachelor of Arts [BA] or opt for a diploma course for professional photography course. And then proceed to specialize with whichever genre, one is interested.
To have a good career in this field, the photographer must have both technical and theoretical knowledge.
After completing the particular course one can land in roles like fashion, editorial, video production, e-commerce photography depending upon one’s will. In this field, the wider your experience and portfolio, the better as it a very competitive field.
FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY CAREER
No line of work is considered as a wastage of time and money in today’s era. And fashion photography is one of them. This field is very glamours. But, to be stable in this field you have to focus on certain points other than the above mentioned i.e,
Be passionate about your work. So, that you can create a unique vision towards beauty and fashion.
- Get as much education as you can
Should have “Stay Humble and Stay Hungry” attitude. In order to create creativity in the shoots. And to be creative, you should have a good knowledge about mixing of colors.
The aspiring photographers should start their career off by being assistant under some professionals. In order to get both experience and industrial knowledge. So as to create a image which will stand out from the crowd.5
- Work under pressure
Pressure is a state of mind. Any kind of pressure can get one to deal with the biggest challenges in life. When this same pressure creates focus, it helps to produce positive results. But, at the same time take care of health.
The shoots are taken in different locations to enhance the story line. Photographers have to pre-plan their theme 2-3 weeks before setting up their exotic scenes. So, one have to be flexible with travelling in order to meet the client needs.
SCOPE OF FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY
One must believe in themselves before taking a decision whether it is for your future, career or profession. And that you will never regret choosing this arena as your profession. Only then, you can give your 100%.
Fashion world has become cooperate big business. To flourish in this field, you have to think out of the box and be more creative with works especially portfolio. How much you advertise yourself and develop your contacts, you will gain fame . Especially in the areas like Mumbai and Delhi.
WHERE CAN A FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER WORK?
Talent and work experience is essential in this arena. They can work as a:
- Team up with famous brands
- Fashion shoots for magazines such as Vogue, ELLE etc.
SALARY OF FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER
Salary of a fashion photographer, actually depends on his/her works. Mainly, it depends on one’s experience and expertise. Starting from 10,000/- to 2,00,000/- or maybe more depending to whom they are working for or under.
BEST FASHION PHOTOGRAPHERS
- Daboo Ratnani
- Tarun Khiwal
- Vikram Bawa
- Avinash Gowariker
- Subi Samuel
- Pamela Hanson
- Lara Jade
- Ellen Von Unwerth
- Mert and Marcus
- Zhang Jingna
TOP 5 ICONIC FASHION PHOTOGRAPHS
Iconic images are something that brings to mind the most powerful reminder of events of the past. Something that has the power to trigger our emotional impact and thoughts at any given time when it gets witnessed. Hence, the work from fashion photographers over the past centuries has proved that: why photography is a creative art form.
So, lets begin with the most celebrated pieces of fashion photography:
DOVIMA WITH ELEPHANTS:
This was shot by Richard Avedon in 1935 in Paris. He was an American fashion & portrait photographer. Known for capturing emotion and personality in his images. This image represents the beauty and the beast. Moreover, it suggests the idea of restricted life and age-old stress through chained and wrinkled elephants.
THE BUBBLE GIRL
This dreamy image was shot by Melvin Sokolsky in 1963 in Paris. He is an American photographer and film director. He is celebrated as an important pioneer of illusory fashion photography. Especially for his iconic bubble series. This surreal photograph of this model floating above the river Seine is one of the creative series. The Plexiglas bubble was hung from a crane in various locations around Paris. And most shocking part is, there is no Photoshop involved.
This iconic image was shot by Helmut Newton in 1975 for French Vogue. He was a German-Australian photographer. His signature style is highly stylized and erotically charged black and white photographs that embraced glamour, fashion, erotic’s and much more. This photograph was a controversial statement for femininity marking the Yves Saint Laurent Pop Art Tuxedo Collection.
This image was shot by Irving Penn in 1995 for Vogue. He was an American photographer known for his fashion photography, portraits, and still life. His images are known for the honesty and humanity he brought to his subjects. This shot is an exploration of the phrase “bee- stung lips” as cosmetic surgery began to gain popularity in the late 90’s. This photograph has been recreated several times, most notably on Feb 2012.
ALICE IN WONDERLAND
This magical piece was shot by Annie Leibovitz in 2003. This shoot was done in collaboration with Grace Coddington. Annie Leibovitz is an American portrait photographer & Grace Coddington is a former model and creative director of American Vogue Magazine. She is known for her large and dramatic photoshoots. This image was considered one of the magical shoots as Alice’s story was told through the pages of Vogue. Which brilliantly captured both fashion and fantasy.
An interesting thing about fashion is that like a pandemic it happened not only among a particular community but was spread all over the world. The world is very huge with different diversities and cultures. And fashion is the ultimate way to express it.
As Miuccia Prada says,
“ What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick, fashion is an instant language.”
It depends on the person who is perceiving it. As fashion world is very competitive, one should have his own style of working. And a strong artistic ability to frame a unique photo.
Fashion photographers earn money through various ways. They can sell their photos in stocks or through various advertisements of brands i.e, e- commerce or can publish in magazines.
You need to complete either a degree or a diploma course of professional photography. So, as to be stable in photography field.
Particular photo should convey a concept with beautiful and attractive colors. The lighting should be proper along with the model poses.
For amateurs: Canon EOS 80D
For professionals: Canon 1-DX Mark 3
Fujifilm GFX 50S
Actually, fashion photographs can be shot in any DSLR camera, only the person behind the camera matters.
Author: This article is contributed by the Photographer Vaishnavi G Kurup, Kerala, India
References: Images and information from various online resources