My Secret Recipe for a Successful & Affordable Fashion Photo Shoot

By Maria Pesin | Business

Dec 05

It’s tempting.

When trying to keep expenses down it is all too easy to skimp on photography.

A cheap model, an inexpensive photographer, no hair and makeup person. Some people do their own photography and ask their friends (who they think are really pretty) to be their models. However, you get what you pay for.

Namely, amateur looking photography that doesn’t adequately showcase your product.

Considering you are going to use this for press, your on line sales, contacting buyers, and social media, this strategy doesn’t make sense. Compromising the quality of your photography can and will compromise your business. I am not saying you have to spend $25,000, but you must allocate enough funds to do it right.

So what does doing it right look like?

1. Theme – Decide what you want your photos to look like. There needs to be a thread that ties them together. For example you might be doing an activewear line and decide to shoot models working out on the beach. Mood boards are very helpful in fleshing out the look you wish to create.

2. Models – Models can make or break a shot. A good model knows how to move to show your product in the best light. Schedule a “go-see” with modeling agents. This term is used in the Modeling Industry when a model goes out to meet with you. It’s basically like an audition. Here is your opportunity to see their photo book and see how they photograph and how versatile they are. Use this opportunity to have them try on some of your product and see how they look in it. Then decide which models you want. Have a couple of back ups in case they aren’t available when you go to book them.

3. Photographer – There are many, many photographers out there. However, they are not all good choices. Look at their work to see if you like what they do. They should be able to make your designs look great by using good equipment, lighting correctly, guiding the model, and pretty much directing the shoot. Do they specialize in fashion photography? When you talk to them do they get the story you’re trying to convey?

4. Stylist – A good stylist will find props and other clothing or accessories that will enhance your product without taking away the viewer’s attention. They also have contacts that they can go to for the items they need, contacts you might not have.

5. Hair and Makeup Artist – You need a makeup artist that understands how to make a person look their best and is capable of applying makeup with techniques that will save you time and retouching in post production. They will constantly be touching up during the shoot to keep your model looking fresh.

6. Know what you need ahead of time. Do you need horizontal hero shots for your website? Vertical product shots for your catalogs? Decide on how many final shots you need. Nothing is worse than investing and a photo shoot only to realize later that you forgot the one essential shot you needed.

In conclusion, do your homework and be frugal, but not cheap. Fashion is a visual industry and having awesome images can make the difference between doing just okay or hitting a home run out of the park.

If you’d like some help in making sure that you get your photoshoot done correctly, feel free to contact me here.

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About the Author

Maria Pesin knows fashion, especially the business side of the fashion industry. Do you know how Manolo Blahnik got his start in the industry? How he leveraged a paltry 3 grand into one of the world’s most famous luxury brands? While she doesn’t take credit for Manolo’s success, Maria has walked a similar path on numerous occasions. The world of fashion is not silicon valley, and it has nothing to do with Madison Avenue marketing. In this industry there is ALWAYS room for something new and exciting, but you have to have your ducks in a row. If that’s what you need, believe me, Maria is the General Patton of fashion ducks!

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