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Fashion Photography In a Studio Setting


While it may look all glitz and glamour, fashion photography is serious hard work, entailing preparation, creative planning, researching, and working with different personalities. If you’re planning to embark on a fashion photography project or have taken up a gig, here are some useful tips to make your studio photoshoot an even more pleasant experience! 


1.     Book your studio earlier and longer than what you have initially planned 

It is good practice to assemble your setup a few hours or even a day before the actual photoshoot, for troubleshooting purposes. At the same time, you can familiarise yourself with the studio equipment, space, natural light sources, and do some test shots to see if the concept works or if you will need further tweaks. You can also park your props, clothes, accessories, lighting setups and equipment to prevent any delivery delays on the photoshoot day. If it is a full-day shoot, you can also consider extras such as food and snacks for the team and models. 


2.     Preparing for fit issues 

A seasoned fashion stylist will usually take care of this but if your team lacks one, then you will need to prepare for fit issues. For clothing, a simple set of needles, thread and strong pegs will often be enough to tighten any loose areas. Remember to position the pegs so they are hidden from the final output such as clamping the clothes from the back. It is best to craft the wardrobe around the size of your model (or slightly bigger), as it is easier to fit bigger clothing onto a smaller body as opposed to forcing the smaller clothing onto the wrong body size. 


3.     Make use of the studio 

Photoshoot studios will usually come with props, lighting equipment, the seamless paper background and if you’re lucky, a large window. As opposed to outdoor photography, studio photoshoots allow for more control. You can take advantage of the available items such as the coloured seamless background to create beautiful colour stories, lighting equipment to create the best lighting pattern, and explore unique angles and perspective for interesting compositions. How about setting up a tripod to eliminate camera shake when including motion to your photographs? 


4.     Make appropriate timelines for your photoshoot 

The shooting time should include the changing of set and lighting, retouching of make-up and hair, wardrobe changes, briefing your subject and the team, and other processes like viewing your first batch of outputs. Make sure that you plan for these extra processes so you don’t run out of time. 


5.    Always check your outputs on a bigger screen 

Though you may have previously perfected your lighting and set design, and have done a few rounds of beautiful test shots, it is still important to keep checking your outputs every once in a while on a bigger screen. Try tethered shooting with Canon EOS Utility App and view your images with Digital Photo Professional! This can help to prevent your outputs from white balance, shadows and lighting discrepancies (if you’re using the natural light), as a way to redirect your model (the models can take and apply feedback from a visual approach), and to check details and spot errors on a bigger screen.   


6. Experiment with settings 

In a more controlled environment like a studio, you get to have the flexibility of experimenting with your photography settings. For example, you can utilise bokeh to blur out elements that you don’t think need to be in focus (great for portraits with a beautiful headpiece, or a beauty shot focused on the make-up). If you’re shooting for a product catalogue, you can also utilise a sufficient depth of field to make sure the elements are as sharp as the model as the products are equally important. 


As much as it is about photographic technicalities, fashion photoshoots require human chemistry to make the session work. Go into the photoshoot relaxed, be ready to have fun (play some relaxing background music) and allow a natural connection to form between the team. Remember, a tense environment will not be beneficial, especially when working with strangers for the first time.  

Also, each member of the team is integral to making the photoshoot a success. A loose hair noticed by the hairstylist can save time for the retoucher, while the wardrobe stylist can clean out clothing creases or voice out if an outfit is misrepresented.  


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