hen you think of fashion photography, you probably think of models in beautiful clothing with great hair and makeup. Styling is essential in a fashion image. You are in control of the styling of the wardrobe, hair, makeup, and props. The selection and styling of these elements help you communicate a specific theme or achieve a desired visual result.
In fashion photography, you don't just take the picture; you make the picture.
In a typical portrait session, a client shows up, poses, and gets her picture taken. To achieve a fashion flair, you must be aware of the different aspects of styling to create your picture. Before your client comes in, you should have already discussed wardrobe, hair, and makeup. You should have already decided upon the main goals and concept of the shoot and how styling different elements including props can help you achieve your visual goals.
Not every shoot has to be a big production, but you need to at least address the different elements of styling that can affect an image.
If you are not very stylish, don't worry. You can achieve a lot of styling by looking at inspirational images or collaborating with other creative individuals.
Fundamentally, all you want is an attractive and interesting image. You don't have to know "what's in" with clothing at the moment. You just need to know what photographs well and what will communicate the goals of your image. If you are uncomfortable with styling, you can start off simple—just don't leave the decisions up to chance. You can accomplish a great deal on your own. Many images in this book were accomplished solely through collaboration between my client and me. Some of my most successful images, however, were the result of working with a creative team.
You can often find clothes and props on your own and help put together an image around a cohesive theme. In Figure 3.1, I found the dress at a local clothing boutique for $20 and the shell necklaces for less than $5 at a crafts store. When you're combining locations, clothing, props, and posing, you can create an inexpensive yet extremely successful image with style. Imagine this same image of the subject in jeans and a t-shirt, just sitting on the rock. It wouldn't have the same impact or mood. The styling and posing make this image what it is.
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