Essentials of Fashion Flair
We'll talk about preparation, actual concepts behind shoots, hair and makeup in wardrobes, props, lighting, retouching. These are all things that we'll talk about it over the next few days and then also addressed today. So for example, this client over here on the right, um, this is becca. Um and I've been photographing back us since she was born. I mean, since she was a newborn, and every year when she goes to school, she gets her senior, her singing her child photography porches done by the school. So she has a head shots that mom has in the refrigerator side by side to show her getting older every year. So she has that. Why? Why does she need me? What do I have to offer as a photographer? Because she could just go get those shots done every year, and she doesn't need me. So what I do is every year talk to becca on dh it's. Actually, we treat it as a birthday surprise. I mean, she gets to dress up every year for her birthday and whatever she wants. And so we talk every year and I say...
your mom kelly, I say tell me tell me about becca this year what is she interested what does she want to be when she grows up? What does she love tell me about her personality and so we try to work that into a shoe every year so one year we went to sunflower fields just because she said she's really girlie this year and you want to dress up with flowers one year she dressed up as a fireman because you want to be just like her dad and her dad's a fireman on dh then this year I'm in this photo she was seven or eight years old and I said to her mom tell me about back of this year she said I'm in so much trouble why are you in trouble what's what's wrong with back I should she's you know eight years old and the biggest drama queen I've ever met in my life she's like she's not even a teenager teenager yet and I'm in trouble eso I kind of ran with that like what can we do that dramatic so we did a film knew our shoot for them for her daughter this is all natural light in an alleyway just to give you a little bit of how it was shot in case you're curious if you think of an alleyway kind of long narrow opening you have light in the front and light in the back that's good frontal light caroline the problem is that overhead light because what that does is there's light coming from above in the alley it gets a highlight on the forehead highlight on the nose and shadows in the eyes so the only things that I had to do in this image is they put a piece of foam core over her head they've blocked off the overhead light I saw the light from the front filling in her face like from the back um hitting her hair and so also for the the hair um you can take a piece of foam core and flap it to have hair move or hope that it's windy um if you're on location there's fans but yes you can blow the hair if it's really fine baby here uh so that's how I approach it was like okay, what can I do to be a little bit different? So as I said, you want to shoot the type of work you want to be hired for I would like to do this kind of fun child's entire family have props, we go on location, we do stuff like that instead of just having them come into the studio capturing what they look like versus who they are at that point in their lives clients for fashion flair for me too plies honest I could apply to anybody uh I'm taking these concepts so I've done a lot of maturity shoots because I have women come to me and say you know what I feel the sexiest I've ever felt in my life I want to do a shoot that's not just maternity where I'm kind of holding my stomach I want to show myself as a woman uh brides and grooms are the big one for me I've done a ton of riding grams will talk about that more and high school seniors um in case you guys didn't know high school senior photography doesn't exist since many parts of the world obviously but even within the united states there's some areas where it's incredibly popular where I lived in upstate new york that was a majority of my business for a long time because when kids of graduate high school they have their portrait session so yes I'll be talking about senior portrait photography but just apply this too weddings or two teenagers with children um I did a lot with children and then also dancers many dancers actually need images of themselves for a portfolio so I have a lot of dance clients that would come to me and what's great is they know how to pose so it's awesome especially if you're not feeling as confident with posing you just tell them kind of what you're looking for and they're great at it so to give an idea um both of these sessions what I tend to dio is I will do my safe shots first the shots that grandma wants to see s o for example the black drape the black fabric in front of the black background with hair light one light on the face I get that shot because it's it is completely still valid people still want those shots but then I'll do something a little bit more after so the girl on the right this was a high school senior portrait and so we did all of her normal shots the black drape and then I talked to my client's which I'll talk to you more but she said all my family has a sunflower field you obviously have to do it but that's important talking your client's beforehand if I hadn't talked to my client beforehand and ask do you know any cool locations or tell me about yourself in your hobbies I would have never have known that they had a sunflower field they could shoot in this ground the left this is actually her college graduation photo but that's not what the contract oration photo looked like she had kind of the cap and gown on for that shot but since I had her there I said you know what let's do something fun what's do a shoot for you on dh so she wanted to do something with that was pin up so that's how I approach it that's how I treat my sessions personally uh four weddings hundred your shoot weddings over to issue warnings okay, cool. Um how many people think they legitimately have enough time to do bridal portrait on the wedding day? Okay, so nobody, um everybody feels stressed or like for me uh shoot the weddings where? Okay it's bridal portrait time in front of a v f w hall and it's a concrete parking lot and they want you to make these beautiful images. So for me, what I've found is I would do pre or post wedding shoots where we would have four hours we could go anywhere we wanted do hair and makeup, not worried about the dress getting dirty anymore. I could pick the time of day, so if I want to shoot at sunset, you know, I'm not worried about them doing the first dance that sunset, you know, I have that time many people said to me, okay, well, that's, that's a lot of extra effort and work, but how it worked for me is those images are often their favorites, so what I could use them for would be the huge prints on the wall because they had that great location or concept or lighting or I would sell more in the albums because they would want to add these images the album so they'd have to upgrade from the original package to build two fifties in and tell the whole story of their wedding day so it was never anything like okay, this is a lot of extra effort that doesn't pay off it always is veiled valuable for me uh and to my clients as well so and this aside know about this picture and this was not on her wedding day because we had talked about originally it wasn't far and she didn't wanna fall and die on her wedding day so she's like after it's okay, but it's hip is whenever you have a bride every time I do any wedding shoot I bring along wait garbage bags because any place that we go dirty I will put it underneath the edge of the dress and you can actually new zoom really close to this picture you can see where the white garbage bag I might have kind of peaked out at edge of the dress but usually you can't tell and it's really easy to blend um and then they're not worried about the dress getting dirty so for me I go safe and then I go crazy and do something really exciting something different uh one of the keys to me is that preparation it's that conversation it's the fact that we talk about hair and makeup or war drove or you know what? What do you do for hobbies? What do you passionate about what I found over and over again so recommendation for all you photographers out there if you have a passion in life besides photography if you can integrate those too if you love food and you love photography if you could do photography that's great if you love sports and photography and could be a sports photographer because you will be that much better of a photographer when you're combining two passions together so that that's just a recommendation in general but for me how it applies to my clients if I can find a way to work in one of their passions in life into the images it takes on that much more value, whether it's an engagement shoot that I'm shooting at the place where they met or the place where they got engaged or whether it's involving okay you're an artist, how can I work your art into your clothing or into the set? The value of the image becomes that much more valuable to the individual. So preparation you don't know that until you talk to the person and really kind of pulled out of them uh, tear sheets and inspiration something I'm talking about tomorrow morning in depth is I'm actually not going to talk as much about fashion flare tomorrow we talk about my fashion photography of where I get all my ideas from because that's one of the biggest questions people like holy cow where do you get all these crazy wacky ideas but it's not something like okay, great idea let's shoot it! I have a process on and I build my ideas and I look a lot at other photos and other artists and music videos and everything around me. So what I do is I save tear sheets for inspiration when I see good poses. All right, so check how many people find posing challenging? I actually think posing could be really challenging now awesome, because I know work mostly with professional models, so really nice and then somebody that skinny and tall and pretty you mean most poisons looking on them anyway? S oh, that's really nice, but for me, if I'm posing somewhat challenging, particularly when I would be with couples so I would save pieces out of magazines of fashion magazines when I find a good pose that I'd like, I look at a lot of other photographers work when I'd find good poses. It is not cheating to take opposing idea from somebody else now ifyou're going okay it's poses exactly the late the same hair the same. The clothes in the same let's get that camera angle is same there's no reason to reproduce what someone who already has done plus it if somebody sees that it discredits he was a photographer just ripping somebody off but proposing absolutely look for inspiration for me this guy came in with a sleeve of tattoos and I didn't have this image saved you know whether tom a computer or whether it was tear out of a magazine I didn't have it saved and sitting in front of me but because I had looked at these poses and I had it saved somewhere it just popped into my head oh he has tattoos I saw this album cover of a guy with tattoos posed like that so it just gives you an easier reference the more images you look at you khun reference other things um thiss isn't true for all photographer some photographers had talked to say no I don't like to look at other photos I don't want to influence my work just personally that's not how I work I think the more things I can look at the better than more good quality photography I can start to pull from that and infuse it into my own work so I save I actually save thousands of images as a fashion photographer it's not my desktop is his inspiration and then within that dissonances poses something that's his lighting hair and makeup wardrobe and so I think it makes me a better photographer because when I look at the image and how I love that I actually have to break down while of that photo so if it's the lighting it goes in delighting um if it's going to be the clothing and goes into clothing and so I start to be able to figure out what I like is a photographer and say, okay, how can I work that into my own images? And then I have a nice archive of all of these different images, so when I'm doing issue, we have models today and hair and makeup, so I'm trying to explain that hair and makeup and going to my hair makeup and see what I have and send it off to them. That is what I asked my attendees, my audience members here that's what I asked them to do with their mood boards, so they came up with a concept go find those images, so when we pass it off to her and make up, they know where you're going, and when you showed to the model, she understand the type of poses that you like for them. So it's the same thing for me with clients and more inspiration, I have the better so late in locations, concepts, everything. Um here, a couple of tips, I'm going to talk about this more tomorrow, so I just thought I'd put it up, but in case any of you out there can't wait to find inspiration, couple places I recommend f tape dot com it's, a fashion industry web site which has tons of fashion imagery, I'll talk about that more tomorrow fashion gone rogue post fashion editorials every single day a pinterest we'll talk about that more tomorrow and magazines so there are so many places that I get inspiration and I'll tell you kind of how I draw from that during my in search of inspiration tomorrow the key is it's not where you take the idea from it's where you take it too and that's the focus of my inspiration talk uh I absolutely have pictures if you put side by side with another photographer you say okay, so I see where she got the idea but you don't say, oh, she copied that photographer so that's where my inspiration where drama inspiration, I think it is important to collaborate with the client, ask them about themselves, so I always ask it kind of in my o r you know whether it's an assistant I I asked, okay, do you have access to any cool locations? Most people don't know, you know or, you know, I live in a farm or something like that I once had a client where I asked and I said you have access to any cool locations and then no, I don't have anything and then later on she actually you know what my boss has access is nineteen twenty speaking he's actually perfectly intact and nobody's been in there and forever I would have never have known it was a great location beautiful. So questions like that where they talk about, um, you know, okay, my uncle owns this really cool restaurant, something like that. So ask them or what kind of hobbies you dio to have access to any cool props? Uh, if you had to think of props that define you, give me a list of five, maybe one of those lists of five props I can't base an entire shoot off of one of those props that they listed for me. You can make you could actually kind of make up a questionnaire that you could send your clients and make it easy, so just send it out so they can fill it out. Or this could be part of the conversation asked about their hobbies and their passions. Um, if you could be anything in the world and money wasn't an issue, what would it be? What wouldyou dio that can lead to it. So you figure out what fits you and how you talk to your clients to kind of pull this information out of them, and again, it gets for me. It helps them to have a lot better images. You were first in your guy, and he blew the girls out of the water like he brought the props he brought himself, like he did it. Ten times better than then, and it really surprised me and I was like, I just want to do boys now, that sounds bad, but it's just really brought so much creativity to the table, and he showed his personality, and I don't understand why some people will go ahead and push themselves, and some people won't sure. And what I always hope with the idealist is when people hire me, ideally because I have a certain type of work on my website, they want that work, so there are going to push themselves that's at least where I'm at this point. So when I have the client hires me for the w me, you know that example, there aren't hiring me to shoot the jersey shot with the basketball that I don't want to do anyway, they're hiring me to do the type of work that's on my website, so then they do suggest ideas and get excited and want to collaborate with me so something that I've done in the past year and what their passions, what they value uh, so in this image, this was a portrait image that I did, uh, okay, this is kind of a trick question, um, what does she do for a living it's a bit of it, your question, but this is kind of pushing her creativity. The intricate typically is she uh makes frames I think frames or furniture store uh my logic here is she's actually an environmental activist? And so I was talking to her as asking her questions and your inspiration and the resulting shoot it doesn't have to match but this is helping you get ideas so I said to her okay she lives in new york city who named summer and I said okay somewhere um live in new york city in your environmental activists and there's not that much environment in here city how is that living in a city and so she says you know what? Um I live in new york because I could reach the most people I could get my message out there I can work I can network with the individuals I need to network with but my home is outdoors and so it kind of that quote is kind of clicked in my head and so I did the entire shoot based on making it look like a home outdoors so hyung picture frames and trees which I have since use the idea several times but I would have never come up with it until I had the interview with her I had couches that door's lamps outdoors and so it can just be a quote like that but maybe it doesn't scream environmental activists but at least help me think outside of the box and do something just a little bit different with her so that's kind of how I brace my creativity tried to pick something and build off of it when and you can you pick the first element and then you can what hair makeup goes without? What wardrobe goes that well, location, you just kind of build a shoot around it. Uh, this girl I'm talking about collaborating with her clients, she is a dancer and so I did the shots of her that her face and she's on point and she's putting on her ballet shoes. But when I talked to her she says, you know the reason I love dances because my body is my heart. So if your bodies are, how can I incorporate that so literally? It is her body is the art in the photo I'm so shooting her in silhouette and just a story about this it was pouring rain when I shot this, but sometimes that's when you're going to get, you know, the really cool sunsets and so I had my dad was on set with me that day holding an umbrella over may um was cute. Okay, trash the dress sessions for me trust address is the closest that most people actually do to fashion, so people come for the idea, they go out on location, they have fun and people love that but one of the problems is a lot of women don't want to trash their dresses right? A lot of women don't want to do that uh so why can't you just apply it to everything else where it doesn't require you know, attracts address but an example here talking to these clients and say, well what do you do together for fun we play paintball why not turn it into a drug trust address session? It means a lot more no I still love the pictures of the dress whether in the water and it's nice and romantic you know, those are really pretty but I have seen it a lot before so if I can do it something a little bit different where it's telling their story for me that has a lot of value we didn't actually shoot her with the dress on actually her dad was on set and he's like no way I thought it would be cool I think you're the action shot and the facial expressions of a freaking out to dad's like no way so had to hang it up on a tree and then we shot and we had to put it on uh yeah but he gets to wear a mask and she doesn't so um and then another question that was the same thing what do you do for fun? We like she's like we're a bunch of hillbillies we like to go fishing uh, you know, just it's having conversation, I wouldn't have thought of these things or suggested it and of course, and she brings your cute little boots and things like that, so it makes my job easier. One thing I've done in the past, particularly when I get clients it okay, that we're really excited about this. You I want to do something spectacular, but they can't put their finger on it, but I'll ask him to do is send me ten to twenty images that they like, not that they want to shoot but ten and twenty images that they like and try to figure out what's in common. So if they're all high contrast, black and white, I know they like high contrast black and white, they might not be able to articulate that because they're not photographers, how would they know that? How would they be able to put that into words? So one of the common things I get until girls send me pictures you like and there's going to be girls and frilly dresses that's backlit with lens flare at sunset? They don't know backlit with lens flare at sunset they don't know that, so when they sent me that image, the reason that this is so important I can then tell my client, okay, so we cannot do your portrait session in the city at high noon if you want something that kind of fits what you like and so I can say, okay, see these want? Let me show you these images that you like, we have to do your your session an hour or two hours before sunset. Teo, get this look and feel that you, like people tend to let their clients take control and forget that you guys are the experts. You're the ones that know what makes a good background and what looks good for clothing. What poses look good and what lighting looks good. And so I think it's incredibly valuable to educate your client if they're images. I mean, I asked them so which it would have been just on my site. Did you like that? You know, that attracted you to give me a call? And so when they tell me I can kind of piece out what they liked and I explain it to them, why they're like that you like that image? Probably because it was highly stylized. We had ward report you like that image because it was at sunset and had that romantic lens flare field. So I think everybody should remember to educate your clients, let them know what's good images and why, because otherwise they will pick high noon in the parking lot lisa it's happened to me a couple times in the past so educate your clients I've had them send me ten to twenty images in the past one of the reasons I say don't just send me like two or three what happens is then if we do a shoot that doesn't fit either two of the three they feel like maybe they were let down or like oh, we didn't do one of those two to three but if you have ten to twenty you just tell them I'm picking elements from these images that you liked and then there's not really an expectation that it looks like a particular shot first is if you send me your two favorite images and it looks nothing like it then it feels like you weren't able to deliver so here's an example of uh I'll be talking about this in my creative retouching section on sunday but shooting with chancellor we're having something soft and area actually added that in photo shop it wasn't shot in camera but I have the clients over and over again that look at my portfolio and say I love that shot with the lenses and so I have to know okay, so this is how we have to shoot it and this is what she's looking for here's another image from that shoot again that's actually all fakes that's all all in photo shop if anybody's an ellie goulding fan look, ellie goulding, yeah, good. Okay, good. Her album covered was photoshopped. Faecal ensler. Um, yeah, so I mean it's, lily she's, like, oh, I like that. You see it over and over again.