If You Choose to Accept This Mission

Fashion photography and fashion flair are about thinking outside the ordinary and creating something extraordinary. When you market your fashion flair imagery to clientele, you will be expected to create something beautiful, eye catching, and unusual. You always need to be experimenting with new styles, new lighting, and new shooting techniques.

When you are first getting into fashion flair, I suggest that you experiment and try to build a relatively diverse portfolio. This portfolio can act as inspiration for your clients. They can give you ideas of shoots they like and concepts they'd like to build upon. More importantly, building a fashion flair portfolio is a chance to push your creativity and to enrich your artistic self.

If you want to build up a fashion flair reputation and portfolio, self-assign a variety of these concepts so that every week or two weeks you can add a new piece to your repertoire. Give yourself missions that you must complete. I still continue to do this in my fashion photography career. I am always trying something new and adding new images to my portfolio.

You can also present this list to potential clients and see if they'd like to help you create any of your "goal" images. The list can be a combination of locations you want to shoot, techniques you want to implement, or styles you'd like to emulate.

Your list may look something like this:

Flapper era fashion shot (finger curls, long cigarette holder)

■ Farm girl (cowgirl standing on top of tractor)

■ Night on the town (lights blur, motion, party feel, party dress)

■ Strong studio silhouette (cool dress/hair)

■ Punk couple downtown at Mikey's Bar

■ Rebel (dramatic lighting, cool demeanor)

■ Paint with light

■ Rooftop sunset couple's image

■ Underwater (long dresses)

■ Hippie or tree hugger theme (on location, flowing dresses)

■ Bright red theme (red clothing, red makeup, red background)

■ Punk beauty shot (metal spikes, close-up studio)

■ Shot at Town Hall (long gown, dramatic lighting)

■ Trash-the-dress session in an ocean

■ High-fashion studio bridal portrait (concentrate on poses)

■ Pride and Prejudice inspired (manor location, Victorian styling)

■ Beauty shot with intricate jeweled makeup

Your list could include hundreds of ideas and be accompanied by dozens of tear sheets and pieces of inspiration. Mark the shots on your calendar for goals of completion, or just have the list ready to share with clients when they come in for a consultation.

For example, I looked at my portfolio for clients and realized I was short on images that would appeal to men. I had many portraits of women, couples, and even children but few individual flair sessions for men. Seeing this, I added this goal to my list and set up a shoot with an attractive male client to do a rebel-inspired shot. To achieve the rebel image seen in Figure 6.20, I needed dramatic lighting (beauty dish and barn doors), a cool unaffected pose, and styling that conveyed this message.

Figure 6.20

This image of a male rebel portrait help me fill the gap of fashion flair men's shoots in my portfolio.

Popular Barn Poses For Couples

Write down the techniques you need to master or the gaps in your portfolio, and shoot to fill these gaps.

Steven Stipelman Drawings

See the Light

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