After years of planning and designing, you decided it’s time to start your fashion brand finally.
You have dozens of fresh designs, your online store, a website and accounts on all major social media channels. You believe you did everything you could to raise awareness about it, but your sales are not going up.
Still, not many people know about your existence. You’re slowly running out of budget, and your head lacks creative ideas on how to become ‘the brand’ that everyone talks about. What now?
First, you need to understand that fashion is an artistic field; thus, the industry PR pros and marketers need to think outside the box in their brand journalism efforts.
And since fashion is such a “personal” business, knowing your audience and ways to relate to them seems like an integral part of winning at fashion PR.
Mark Twain, a great storyteller in his own right, used to say that there is more than one way to skin a cat, and it’s no different for storytelling in fashion.
Some brands use their social media channels; others prefer to create an online magazine or engage their customers in other creative ways.
We picked the four most interesting cases for you to take a look at and use for inspiration. Those methods will cost you time but almost no money, which is an excellent thing for a beginner, right?
Photography can make or break your brand. Your brand represents an attitude, lifestyle, and soul that attract customers. Big brands spend millions, even billions of dollars, on good fashion photography because they know how much a killer picture will sell.
Working with a professional in product photography can elevate your brand, perfectly encapsulate your product images, and create a look that sells directly to your target audience.
The aim is to create visually appealing compositions that catch your buyers’ eye and pursues them to buy that product. So how do professional photographers achieve that distinctive look for your brand?
Steps to Success in Fashion Photography
- Choose a Specialization and Fashion Photography Aesthetic to Explore
- Select the Right Camera
- Understand Lighting Techniques
- Learn About Poses and Camera Angles
- Choose a Concept for Each Fashion Photoshoot
- Use Lightroom Presets to Enhance Every Fashion Photo
- Build a Portfolio to Showcase Your Work
Even if you are a beginning photographer, you can explore the world of fashion photography. The initial fashion photography equipment you’ll need doesn’t have to be top-of-the-line or expensive.
A good quality camera and lighting equipment, along with access to editing software like Lightroom, can be all you need to get started.
The creative techniques of fashion photography can be learned by every photographer—from the least experienced to the most advanced experts.
Fashion photography seems like a dream career for aspiring photographers. Today’s most famous fashion photographers travel the world, attend exclusive events, and shoot images of top models.
If you reach this level, fashion photography salaries can be pretty substantial. Even if you don’t attain the pinnacle of the fashion photography world, you can still have a successful fashion photography career.
The Internet has made it possible to launch a lucrative fashion photography blog and attract a considerable following—right from your home.
Or you can pursue fashion photography jobs. Many photographers work for stores, publications, clothing lines. You can even invest time in volunteer activities or pursue DIY fashion photography to gain valuable work experience.
Choose a Specialization and Fashion Photography Aesthetic to Explore
Images of cover models in women’s magazines may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about fashion photography. However, this type of high fashion photography is not the only path you can pursue.
There is an ongoing need for experts in men’s fashion photography and child fashion photography.
And there are many specializations as well—including everything from outdoor fashion photography to wedding fashion photography to underwater fashion photography.
You could also consider cosplay photography, vintage fashion photography, or black and white fashion photography.
You can learn specific techniques to make vintage-style photos look moody and rustic that are very different from approaches used in high fashion photography.
It’s a good idea to focus on an area or two of interest and deepen your skills.
It would help if you also thought about your photography aesthetic. You can understand your aesthetic by reviewing collections of images on fashion photography sites.
Spend some time figuring out the qualities of the ones that appeal to you the most. Look at characteristics such as lighting, colour intensity, and contrast.
You can strive to emulate your preferred aesthetic in your fashion photos to develop your signature style. By sharing your unique fashion photography aesthetic on social media platforms, you can gain attention as a creative photography expert.
Select the Right Camera
If you’re serious about fashion photography, you need a quality camera.
Over time, you may need multiple cameras to suit the specialized needs of various photoshoots and fashion photography locations.
When you start fashion photography, you may find a budget-friendly DSLR camera that suits all your needs.
Look for a fashion photography camera with critical features such as dual slots for SD cards, high-quality autofocus performance, 100% viewfinder coverage, and shutter speeds from 30 to 1/8000 seconds.
If you expect to pursue any outdoor fashion photography or rain fashion photography, select a resistant camera to dust, water, and weather.
You may find you need to have a lens—or several—to enhance your ability to take high-quality fashion images.
One of the most versatile lenses you can buy is a 50mm lens since you can use it to capture both close-up portraits and surrounding environments.
For fashion portrait photography, an 80mm lens may be the best investment. If you aim to tell stories with your fashion photos, a 35mm lens is a good choice.
Ultimately, your aim and style will help you select the best lenses for fashion photography.
Explore Lighting Techniques
In most cases, natural light isn’t going to be the best choice for fashion photography.
While you will need to add lighting to your list of fashion photography equipment, you can start small with just a few items.
In your earliest forays into fashion photography, having a single moonlight can be adequate. You can learn to use it as a single light source and in combination with other available light.
Once you’ve learned how to control your light to capture the feelings and nuances you want to convey, you can upgrade or add other lights to your collection.
Another simple and inexpensive piece of fashion photography equipment is a white shoot-through umbrella.
Light stands are also essential to support and position your lighting gear. You don’t need to spring for the most expensive ones right away but be sure the ones you select have high build quality.
Learn About Poses and Camera Angles
Working with models is one of the unique aspects of fashion photography.
As you progress in your fashion photography career, you’ll find some models intuitively understand what you need them to do, while others need much more direction on how to pose.
One way to achieve the perfect shot is by sharing inspirational poses before shooting.
You can find ideas from some of the best fashion photography magazines—like Vogue, GQ, and Glamour.
Also, you can experiment with some classic poses—such as over the shoulder poses for headshots or an S-curve for full body shots.
Sometimes you may want your model to look directly into the camera, while other times, you can direct them to skim off the camera.
If you have experience in portrait photography, you may be used to taking images of your subject at eye level.
With fashion photography, you can explore different angles. One popular approach is getting low to the ground and shooting upward.
This works exceptionally well for whole body or three-quarter shots. You’ll need some time to experiment and practice to learn what works best for your photography aesthetic—and you may need to adopt approaches when you work with different models.
Choose a Concept for Each Fashion Photoshoot
Fashion photography is about much more than taking pictures of models in various clothing styles. You should always have an idea of the theme or concept for each shoot—even if it’s one of your first casual experiments. It would help if you had thoughts on lighting, clothes, poses, makeup, and styling before the fashion photoshoot occurs.
Once you move into professional fashion photography, you will collaborate on concept development with your clients or employers.
You’ll need to elicit their ideas and make sure they are closely involved in the creative process from day one.
Paying attention to your concept and necessary details before you start photographing models helps ensure the best quality fashion photos.
Use Lightroom Presets to Enhance Every Fashion Photo
After you conclude your fashion photoshoot, you can use editing software to perfect your images.
If you’re new to using editing software for fashion, you can look for the fashion photography course covering basic techniques.
Many fashion photographers know how to use Adobe Photoshop for fashion photography.
You can also learn about specific Adobe Lightroom presets that focus specifically on the unique characteristics of fashion photos.
When seeking a Lightroom preset, look for ones designed by professional photographers who understand the nuances of fashion photos. This way, you’ll know the preset will meet your needs.
Seek out presents that are fully adjustable so that you can tweak settings as required. Ideal Lightroom presets work on RAW and JPEG images and on both Mac and PC to give you maximum flexibility.
Another essential feature in Lightroom for fashion photographers is the spot removal tool.
With this tool, you can easily remove imperfections, such as spots or blemishes, to make sure every photo is exceptional.
Build a Portfolio to Showcase Your Work
If you are looking to make your mark in fashion photography, you need an online portfolio.
This is true whether your focus is lifestyle fashion photography, street fashion photography, or any other photography style.
If you want to break into commercial photography or industrial fashion photography, your portfolio can help you land those important first fashion photography internships or full-time fashion photography jobs.
If you envision yourself as a fashion photography artist, a portfolio is just as essential.
You can think of your portfolio as an online exhibition of your work and showcase your photography aesthetic.
To attract visitors and clients, you can share images directly from your portfolio to various social media platforms.
Instagram is a popular venue for fashion photography of all types. And Facebook continues to hold stature as the most extensive social media network with billions of users worldwide.
Regularly promoting your work on social media will draw traffic to your site and help you reach your goals—whether they lie in commercial photography, high fashion photography, or another area.
Make Your Fashion Photography Dreams a Reality
Do you find yourself wondering how to be a photographer? Have you ever looked at a top fashion magazine and dreamed of being the person who took the stunning cover photo? Or do you have a unique personal style that you want to share with the world?
If so, exploring opportunities in fashion photography may be a good career direction for you. Before you embark on your journey, you should learn some fashion photography basics.
First, you should consider which area of specialization and fashion photography aesthetic appeals to you most.
You also need to select the best camera for fashion photography, learn about lighting, and understand model poses for fashion photography.
After gaining knowledge of the basics, you can set up your first fashion shoot. Remember that you should have a concept for each node to help ensure your vision shines through.
After shooting, you can enhance your images using Lightroom presets and share them on your online fashion portfolio and social media to publicize your work.
By working hard, you can build skills and gain attention as a talented fashion photographer.
This will open doors for a fashion photography job or freelance work with various clients.
Whether you want to pursue low essential fashion photography in your local area or become one of the field’s most respected fashion photography artists, you can make your dreams a reality.
Start small, dream big, and keep working to realize your photographic goals.
Advertising sports, lifestyle, or food brands? Then you need to pick locations with care. Shooting in restaurants, a hiking spot, or gyms will be much better than a plain backdrop.
When doing product photography, you need to plan with the brand and take products to locations that go with it.
If you want to take this road, ensure that all the elements are in sync with your brand image.
Having beautiful-looking models in bad lighting and background won’t help your brand.
Fashion photography isn’t about the model – it’s about the brand and the story behind it. You need to build the character of the product.
For example, a lifestyle plus-size model needs to portray a curvy figure, whereas a sports model needs to have an athletic body.
Remember the audience you are catering to for each outfit and how you want your professional photographer to shoot it to draw attention to each product correctly.
The Edit (Net-A-Porter) – Storytelling Through an Online Magazine
Net-a-Porter is an online store selling luxury apparel. To increase their sales, they decided to go a step further than most companies and created a weekly online magazine.
But The Edit is far different from most of the magazines written by their competitors – it’s not solely space where Net-a-Porter displays its products.
Every issue features separate sections on beauty, lifestyle and travel.
It’s full of great content, and thanks to the videos, it’s interactive and allows you to buy the items you saw, thereby directing you straight to the Net-a-Porter store.
Shopping made it convenient, easy and very exciting. It gives their customers the feel of wearing glamorous magazine-featured clothes, and that’s precisely what they want.
That sets The Edit apart from its paper competition and brings unique value to its readers.
How to Apply it to Your Brand:
You don’t need to create the whole magazine but think of it more like a catalogue you share on your social media channels.
Take editorial photos, and engage your team and friends to help you with this project. Or create a publication on Medium and engage other authors to write there.
That way, more people share your content. Just remember – don’t make it too promotional – it’s not supposed to scream ‘look at my awesome brand’, but it’s supposed to intrigue them and make them want to find out more about you.
Black Milk Clothing – Storytelling Through Users
Black Milk Clothing, an Australian fashion brand known chiefly for its spandex leggings, has an interesting approach that seems to be working great.
They don’t invest in costly advertising, YouTube videos or paid publications. Their users do the job for them – for free.
Thanks to growth hacking methods, Black Milk Clothing managed to make their customers post photos of themselves wearing their iconic leggings.
They have over 1 million followers on Instagram, and their hashtag #blackmilkclothing was used more than 400.000 times.
Considering that the company sells only spandex clothing and doesn’t own a single brick-and-mortar location, it’s pretty impressive.
The campaign gives potential customers a chance to see how a product looks on a “normal” person of similar size, which is an assurance that they will also look good in it.
Another reason why involving users is the best thing a fashion brand can do is simple: a recent study by Adweek found that “User-generated content is 35% more memorable than branded content,” and that “User-generated photos have been shown to generate a 39% uplift in sales when embedded in product purchase pages.”
How to Apply it to Your Brand:
Create your hashtag. Think wisely, since it’s going to stay with you for a longer time. Try to encourage others to post using it – start with your friends and family and repost their photos on your Instagram.
Encourage buyers to do the same – communicate that every person who posts their photo with your hashtag will receive a discount on their next shopping.
Since everyone wants to have their 5 minutes of fame on Instagram and people love exclusive deals, this is a surefire way of attracting people to your brand.
Minnetonka – Storytelling Through Videos
Minnetonka has made authentic American moccasins since 1946. A considerable part of its success is its history and heritage.
In every place possible, they highlight the fact that over the years, Minnetonka grew from selling moccasins in a local gift shop into a massive company that, despite its success, did not lose its authenticity.
Their video story presents the company personally, showing that every pair of their shoes is handcrafted and made with enormous care.
They’re a ‘from zero to hero’ story, which spotlights the link between their success and their loyal customers, gives the audience the feeling of belonging and creates that personal bond companies always search for.
Additionally, similarly to Black Milk Clothing, Minnetonka has its hashtag on Instagram – #myminnetonka.
Another solid move, like the hashtag, doesn’t only create a buzz around the brand, but adding ‘my’ to their name again highlights the client involvement and encourages users to post using the tag.
How to Apply it to Your Brand:
Write down your own story or make a video. So what that you started just a few months ago?
So what big celebrities are not wearing your clothes yet? Be authentic and show who you are.
Could you share it? These days sewing clothes in your basement after hours is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s natural, and that’s what customers will appreciate.
Camera angles, lighting, perspective, and concept all matter when it comes to a fashion shoot.
You want to hire a professional photographer who is skilled and experienced and has worked on similar brands in the past.
A professional knows what needs to be done and will help you capture your brand’s story and essence in fashion pictures.
Small details often get left out, which separates a newbie photographer from a pro-fashion professional.
Moreover, a professional photography agency will give you what you require to suit your budget and edit the images post-shoot and adjust the temperature and lighting.
This allows you to put more focus on your brand.