Fofiowing Some Basic Guidelines

There are no rules for styling your client. Everything depends on what you are trying to achieve. If you look in fashion magazines, you'll see that some fashion editorials are based on a concept of the model wearing clashing or unfashionable styles. It all depends on the photographer's vision.

If you are trying to keep it simple, there are a few basic tips to keep in mind. But these tips mean nothing if you have a concept that requires breaking the rules. These are just helpful basic guidelines:

■ Solids. Typically, it is easier to photograph clients in solid colors. Solid colors are not distracting and usually focus the viewer's eye on the subject. For most shoots, I have my subjects wear dark, solid colors unless there is a particular concept I am expressing with the clothing. However, there will be times when bright tribal patterns or polka dots will be exactly what's needed. In most situations, however, keeping it simple with solids allows you to focus more on pose and location.

■ Words and logos. Words and logos are distracting and dated. If you are doing a vintage shoot, vintage logos might be appropriate. For the most part, however, logos are restrictive. You particularly want to avoid clothing with brand names like Nike or a rock band's name. Unless including these logos fits exactly within your theme, using them will only create visual noise to your image and distract from your main goal.

■ Sleeves. The length of sleeves a subject wears helps to convey the season of the image and part of the mood. The most pertinent tip here is to avoid tank tops in most situations. If a female subject is even slightly overweight, the bare skin from a sleeveless shirt makes her look heavier. Sleeveless dresses may be fine at a distance when you're trying to achieve an airy, summery feel, but you'll still want to avoid them for any overweight subjects. You might have guys wear a sleeveless shirt if you are trying to achieve a "muscle man" look, but be sure they have the body to pull it off.

■ Necklines. Long necks are attractive in women. They're an aesthetic of beauty that fashion and beauty photographers often use in their techniques. In many fashion shots, the models are often craning and extending their necks to make them look almost birdlike and surreal. In most cases, turtle-necks add weight to a man or woman; they're not usually desirable in an image.

Hair and makeup can be a great way to distinguish your images from the competition. Most of the time clients show up with their hair down and makeup low-key as if they are going to work or school. However, you can take extra steps to help your clients look and feel their best. Further, you can better communicate the concept of your image by utilizing unique hair and makeup techniques.

Thinking through the hair and makeup on a shoot may unleash your creativity, because many fashion images are driven by the styling of hair and makeup. These beauty shoots can help you achieve powerful imagery for close-up shots your clients will clamor for.

When I was going through a local crafts store, I found a sheet of felt designs that inspired me to do a beauty shoot. The felt was originally intended to adorn the outside of potted plants. But I carefully affixed these pieces of felt to the subject's face and neck for the image shown in Figure 3.7.

Fashion High Elegant Photo Shoots

Figure 3.7

Felt designs, found at a craft store, were added to the subject's face to give a high-fashion feel to the image through leading lines and elegant patterns.

Figure 3.7

Felt designs, found at a craft store, were added to the subject's face to give a high-fashion feel to the image through leading lines and elegant patterns.

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