Strike a pose! | What defines fashion photography?


Fashion photography has developed to become an indisputable form of artistic photography and creative expression, not to be casually written-off as only commercial photography. Finding one’s creative thesis through fashion photography requires a strong conceptual idea, followed by a series of important design directions: do you work alone with the model or do you need assistants? Should you stay in the studio or go out on location? Do you use natural or artificial light, or both?

Try out a number of locations; don’t underestimate the importance of the work of make-up artists; use original props; and look for inspiration in stories, films and the established masters of fashion photography.

The streets of Paris are among the most popular settings for a fashion photo shoot. This picture could also have been taken at a Parisian street café, however – like the other pictures in the series – it was taken at the Leitz Park, a location that has become a favorite for photographers because of its diverse architecture. The picture’s impact is caused by the tension between the haunting look in the model’s eyes, the reflection of the window pane, and the slanted framing.
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A large part of fashion photography deals with beauty portraiture. In addition to the model’s flawless appearance, achieved through the work of the stylist and later perfected during post-processing, the photographer’s creativity also plays a large role. Props, such as the lily in this case, can add elegance to a portrait. Other visual effects and the color palette can further underline the photographer’s individual style.
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During a fashion shoot, props can be an important and popular element for enhancing a picture. Combined with specific lighting applications, they can produce or strengthen interesting visual effects. The umbrella used here corresponds very nicely with the creases in the garment, creating a fascinating image plane in front of the dark background that stands in contrast to the quiet expression on the model’s face.
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The reduction of the image content, lit up by a pleasant, soft daylight, is what makes this very lovely composition stand out. In particular, it is the contrast between the fair hair and the dark background that lends it an elegant touch. The discreet colors of the clothing and the right pose in relationship to the model’s eyes – in this case avoiding looking directly into the camera – ensure that the picture acquires the feeling of a classic fashion photo.
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A certain type of artistic photography can also be considered fashion photography. In this genre, photographers like to include abstract and impressionist elements. The picture here is an example of a composition where tension is created by the use of lighting, the styling (make-up) and the post-processing that followed. The reflections and mirror effects draw the viewer into a fairy-tale world, enhanced by strokes of light.
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Strike a pose!
What defines fashion photography?
by Christoph Gellert & Jean Noir

more at Leica

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