Defining Fine Art & Fashion Photography
Well, it is time again everybody this is imaginative fashion photography with ms and yella also known as natalie debbi sh this is her first time here on creative lives she is a fine art and fashion photographer based in london she's collected and exhibits all over the world truly her style her surreal fashion imagery is very, very unique she is self taught she became known some of the many of you who know her work well for horror self portrait ce and has transformed what her own style is and continues to overtime she like I just mentioned also has the fashion shoot experience that is these amazing high production events that she has people come and shoot with so please help me welcome natalie missing yella come on a ride, huh? How are you doing? I'm very well thank you can very happy to be here almost over my jet lag so well that's good that you teo come in a fairly because it is that time difference but I'm so excited this woman has put so much work into this course and today especial...
ly is jam jam packed? Yeah and so let's just start the learning and over to you okay all right and there's another clicker there no thank you hello so I'm here finally doing this presentation that I've been tweaking for so long but so I'm I'm really pleased to be here because I'm presenting on fashion photography, but fashion photography has bean something that I've been involved in for only half for my career so far my life prior to that I was as canada and russia being talked about, and some of you may know I was into self portraiture on dh that was how I propelled myself. It was mostly classes, fine art, because I was creating my stuff for myself and putting it out there, not through any particular brief for any particular client. It was my way that I launched myself a za photographer and as an artist, so fashion photography has been something that I've been involved in for the last three, four years and it's what this whole workshop is themed about. But then when I was playing his workshop, I was looking at my final origin and my background in self portraiture, and I realized that it wasn't just relevant to who I am it's actually key to who I am, and it makes my workshop really quite different from a lot of workshops on fashion photography because there's this whole different approach this different lens through which I'm looking at fashion subjects and fashion scenarios, so as you can and ross have told you, this is going to be three day workshop all kind of centered around this shoot that we're doing tomorrow, which has two aspects to it hi production than the lo fi, low production kind of simpler methods that reflect how I got into photography to start with through to the more intricate production of what you see, it goes into any one of my pictures nowadays, like the one you see here. So on this workshop, we're going to be making you think like a big time photographer on what I mean by that is this key word production producer, because this is this word that's been coming up so much over the last few years, as I've been involved in fashion scenarios with the fashion shoot experience on client shoots have come about through our experience homed on these events that we've been doing so photographers aren't just photographers anymore, photographers are producers as the photographer, you're like a director of a movie, you're like the conductor of an orchestra and it's your job to bring together all the strengths off the people that you're directing or conducting. So this key words strengths as well, I'm going to be using quite a lot through this workshop because it's yours not just your strengths as a photographer, but you learn about as you evolve and as you go, but it's also the strength of other people, but you're drawing on bringing together as part of any one particular project or commission or a lifetime of work. So the benefits of our experience and our hindsight matthew knives experience and the team members that we've worked with and you'll be meeting them in this workshop, we're gonna use the benefits of experience in this workshop, matthew have bean planning and talking for weeks and weeks and weeks going over all the things that we want to talk about in terms of how tow show you know, somebody who is either at the beginning of this career are totally knew or even other photographers who are already functioning is photographers are advice in our tips on how to deal with the business side off making your you're making your art, your passion into something viable as a commercial thing. So I'm gonna go through the days and what we're gonna be doing on each day. So today, so word boston passion word busting is something I'm going to be doing throughout the workshop so there's words like passion style, inspiration, these words we use a lot and I want to kind of do this word busting thing where I kind of get down to grips with what they actually mean and how they're relevant and that you think maybe hopefully differently about them I'm going to be talking about the right and left brain of photography, so this is a really nice way of connecting everything that I've done in my beginnings to what I do now how bringing matthew onboard has kind of revolved ms daniella and taken it to this kind of brand level rather than justin is daniella being an artist? Name the test shoot, so we're going to be showing you click it's from the test shoot that we did yesterday in preparation for tomorrow on dh that's quite interesting lots to say about that and I'll be talking through my gear a swell on talking through what we derived from the test you as to how it's useful for tomorrow's two setups on word busting inspiration another one of those on dh looking at mood boards, which keys into inspiration heavily on dh that's a really good thing that connects how you start out as somebody being inspired by stuff and how you actually relate that to the real world off, you know, breathe pitching and doing a a proposal for a commercial plane and then making the pitch so connecting that mood board thing through to how you actually make yourself available to somebody who wants to hire you and that's one of my key bits the pitch part because that wasn't one of the key bits that I wanted to put into this workshop when I was first planning it because that's times where I've made pictures have bean some of the most useful time, so I've really been called teo look at my work collectively and think of why I do it and what I'm trying to go with it all day too the shoot so we're going to be pretty much we're going to live on location all day and shooting all day you're going to do a little bit of them a introduction at the start, but then we're gonna be shooting for the rest of day lo fi and couture. So the lo fi like we've been saying is the kind of simpler methods that you might go about to shoot when you first got out. S o simply lighting simpler model and outfit on the contrary is where we've kind of really got these big ingredients in that we've taken weeks and weeks to prepare more in line with a client shoot or something that involves a high budget, and then we're gonna be doing a team puny panel on location with matthew leonid, the makeup artist on the hair stylist and that gives the audience people home a chance to ask them questions directly, and I'll have questions as well that I want to ask them and that's a good time for me to actually check in with the team on so you don't just hear my voice all through three days and image review, so we're gonna be looking at the pictures that we've taken our first thoughts about them in line with fine art and fashion and how these two genres ah how come together in these pictures and how they're different different worlds as well? Day three is going to be mainly about editing s o we're going to be looking through the pictures we're gonna be talking about photoshopped to start with and how it's used in different ways busting through some of the myths about photoshopped if I consider to be missed anyway compositing in surrealism so going through to thinking about how I might apply levels of surrealism to my images, as you know, that's the main thrust of my work that you're probably all aware ofthe why do at the moment and the pictures you've been seeing that advertise the workshop there these surreal images on I'm going to be talking about that on dh also hopefully trying out some things with the images that I take during our shoot and then in the second half of the day we're going to be talking about style, purpose on your journey of photography I'm amazed at how many aspects of photography really key into the hole philosophy of life itself. A lot of things that I'm talking about aren't just about fashion photography there about any the photographers pursuit off success on dh even outside of photography and outside of the arts even these things that we think about in terms of what we want to do with our lives a very appropriate and then we'll be talking about social media in line with how to market yourself social media is this thing that we mainly used nowadays to mark ourselves even businesses ten twenty years ago that would have used traditional forms of advertising are also using social media in ways that were photographers use it as well. Word busting success on talking about the dream job so through this workshop, you guys are people home I want to be thinking about ultimately, what is your dream job on dh continuing to keep those words in mind as I progressed through the three days, but first, I want to talk about something very important, which is trying to define what I mean by the words I'm using. So why am I a fine art fashion photographer and actually just kind of like through the years I have changed my title sometimes, you know, in terms of what, how to actually label myself and this finite fashion photographer thing? I just kind of like thought recently I took the end out between finance fashion because I kind of felt like it was relevant and it's actually, through preparing this workshop that I really started to define what on earth I'm trying to do in my work and where it might be going because it helps me really consolidate a lot of that so it's important to define what fine eyes and what fashion is because these two words are often used banded about quite a lot by people who want to do creative types of photography with models, but fine art and fashion or two separate worlds there to suffer industries. They're two separate commodities, so it's important to think about that when we put those two words together because calling yourself a fine art fashion photographers is a little bit bizarre and a little bit contradictory, you might say, because finance to first define what mean by finer, we define fine as something that an artist creates and puts out into the world without any brief, they aren't told what to do, so they're creating something from their own heart, and they're putting out there with their own kind of vision, and they don't necessarily have an expectation off what might come of it. Obviously, we have the final industry where we sell princeton, we showing galleries, and we there are trends as well involved in that there are art critics, but generally the whole point of it, the point of purpose, that the purpose of its creation is that you don't. You are told what to do, basically, and when I say fine, are I'm distinguishing between art and artistry and artistic? Because we all describe fashion with those words, but fine art itself is a separate world that is really quite different from passion, whereas fashion is a commercial practice fashion photography is all about taking pictures ofthe things related to fashion to sell them, so we're selling garments and it sounds really obvious. But when you start defining these things, you realize that if you like me, start out in finer and find yourself kind of dreaming of getting into fashion where you have to think about what that important, what that actually and implies about the whole changing off the purpose of creation of your work because you want creating for yourself anymore you're creating it for clients ultimately with the view to sell to people. So it's not so much about the message is not so much about really anything but the garments and the fashion accessories that you're selling in the image on dh you know you have these obviously when you opened up her a magazine and you see these beautiful adverts and beautiful fashion campaigns that's maybe what hits creative people first they see all this beauty, but the beauty is more like an accessory toe. What is the main thing which is the product that's being sold? So there are these expectations on codes and conventions that you need to abide to if you want to be successful in fashion, so looking in this is a picture from my deep dark past you might call it this's a self portrait s o this is this is indicative of my final origin what I started out doing, I started out just making pictures because I really just I loved making them I was playing around with a digital camera for the first time on dh folk shop and getting very fascinated how to cut my images and, you know, make myself look kind of like a different character and each picture on there wasn't any location of where I would go with photography as a profession I didn't necessarily intend to it may well have been a subconscious thing because I've always wanted to be in a creative profession like maybe I thought I might be a journalist I was into writing and I will skating into photography a little bit, but I didn't really it's not something I was in from a very young age is something that kind of popped out my teenagers. And so how I got into photography is that I was making these images and putting them out there through social media, which I'm going to talk more about on day three in terms of my house I used it to leverage myself inadvertently first, but self portraiture was like my initiation and my education into photography it was about how I learned about color and form it's like a self taught education where I was basically playing around and seeing what I liked and putting them out there as well at the same time but we're also homed some of the style that I was later to go on and apply to fashion. So this fight, by contrast to the last image, is a much more recent pair of images that is more in line with fashion. So the last sliders, the typical kind of final approach, and this if you see the differences in terms ofthe the way it's presented immediately, you've got this difference. I purposefully chosen an image to images diptych on a double page spread, because this is conventional off fashion, where you have it laid out for a magazine so it's, not it's. When you actually shooting these pictures, you are thinking about how it's going to be laid out in a magazine because that's, how fashion works generally on dh you are also abiding by these conventions, where you've got closer, the mid shot on a pair together, so you're basically selling what she's wearing and you're selling the kind of beauty of it and you selling this kind of aspirational quality on dh but it's, important to accomodate like to contain all of your inspirations and all of your ideas for the aesthetics of it into a convention, your fashion former, because otherwise it doesn't fit fashion, and they will just reject it so very interesting when you look at screen grab of my cereal fashion. Siri's, this is a series that I've been working on for a few years, and I'd kind of point together as a separate website to keep it all in one place. So when you look at a screen grab of this surreal fashion siri's that I work on, you see instantly that each and every picture is a stand alone piece, they're not presented like a magazine spread, they're presented. Well, here they're all squares there no actually squares. In reality, they're just square previews, but you can see there's a different look, a different model look in each image you can see there's something wildly different going on in each image on dh. Very rarely will there be a repetition of the same model and look from one image to the next? Sometimes there is a little bit of their very rarely they're usually all want standalone pieces, and this is not a fashion convention. This is a fine art convention because I'm fine are you present a collection of work? All those images do have a relationship to each other, but they're not necessarily intending to go over the pages of a magazine in some kind of sequence there standalone pieces that drawn together for an exhibition, perhaps, or maybe they are published in a magazine, but it's an art context. A zoo not feature not necessarily as something that is showing off the garments that they're wearing however way were to actually go into this website and click on an image you will see that I've done something quite strange and unconventional, which is that I write in the credits the credits of the team on also I do a fine art convention, which is to write down what the dimensions of the print so you've got something that's fashion and finally going on in the same caption, which I'm not necessarily saying is is something that you should do is just something that I do because these images have bean answerable both to fashion situations and to find out situations, so I feel like those images need to have both sets of information in there, but I'm goingto quite site teo talk more about this through the workshop as well, because I'm going to be showing you what I defined to be fine art when I'm making a picture on dh in which direction being pulled in terms of fashion of finer on there being a conflict because there always will be a conflict because the two worlds are different worlds so I've done this little, um child here kind of put laying side by side these differences thes inherent differences between fashion and fine art so you've got in fashion, you've got a sequence in, find out you've got siri's so there is still some form of collision between your images are in fashion is about a sequence going from a mid shot, going to a long shot, a model moving through a story, maybe model, going down the street to get an ice cream, and she's showing off her shorts. Fine art is a siri's, so you have a set of images are connected, but they're not necessarily rolling on from one to the next. They could do, but it's, usually because the artist has chosen to convey a particular a story that isn't about selling something. So fashion you got story over pages, find out you got standalone pieces, so in fashion, the end game is usually a magazine, even if those pictures never go in a magazine, fashion is presented hypothetically, like, if you if you create a fashion shoot and it never gets published, but you still present it in a magazine manner, because that's, what is the convention? Where is a fine art? The end game could be anything. It could be typically like an exhibition of print that can either be sold or going to an exhibition or a book, perhaps of any different kind, it's freer in terms of where it could go as the end came the shelf life as well, the shelf life of fashion is you have a magazine that's either waiting for the images and has to publish them at a certain time of you on dh there's a shelf life too and they run in accordance to seasons on what's in trend on dh also generally when they published their kind of that there is this thing about exclusivity is well first right? Where is fine up there timeless you know generally the time in which the images taken and not relevant as to whether the images can be displayed their work that an artist has created on dh so they're just kind of like anything goes on again king into what I just said the exclusivity usage of fashion is something generally where they gets published once and sometimes that's kind of it or and you kind of celebrate the fact it's been published and you put in your portfolio was fine art there's no exclusivity expected so you could have had an image published already on it gets published again and again in magazines and they don't care whether it's been pulling because it's just no don't think and fine art and fashion involves a team and it's the team I'm gonna be talking more about this because obviously a team is something that you don't always have to start with and that's how a lot people struggle when they're starting out because you need a team and how do you find a team and and how important is a team for client work but something that fashion generally doesn't need as a team because you have hair, you have makeup, you have someone sourcing clothes, you have the model even if it's just you and the model is still a very small team that you're putting together where is in fine up? You can pretty much do anything you want, you can have a big team and finally completely depends on what you're creating, but you something you know you khun use yourself for the model like I did on a lot of other people also use themselves as models because it is their instant go to thing to get started on in fashion, you're answerable to such jargon as seasons and trends final you have words like you know you have our affairs, you have art shows, you have critics, the's, the things that you are you are biding by these are the things that shape your your your life when you're when you're in either of these labels. So I want to talk about why fine are because fine art is my dry finalize my origin and final is how I have applied myself to fashion, but why do I in my title sign our fashion photographer? Why is the fine up there? Why don't I could take the hourly fashion or vice versa? Why finer well, my origin, so like, I've already talked about the way that I've got into photography, the way you get into photography isn't just about kind of logistics is also something key to what's in your heart and what you want. What what draws you to photography is ki tto keep in your heart forever, because that is ultimately where you've started and it's a bit of a true you so the way that I see when I'm shooting, even though I do have to compromise when I'm shooting commercial things and fashion fashion stories, but generally the way I see is I see something I want to make magnificent into one picture, but I'm used to that from when I did my self portrait, it's, because when I did my self portrait, I would make an image and present it online on dh. I'd want everything to be in that one picture because I want that one picture to be one big wow, and so that has carried on into fashion. I want one picture to be one big well, and it may be that, you know, my origin has actually completely biased the way that I see my fashion subject resulted in this surreal fashion siri's typical of thie canaries picture I see they're all the image on the course graphic of the woman in the red dress the way I process, so not just the way that I see when I'm shooting, but then the way that I process of the wait continues into the post production I put in there standalone images, right? Brain, I'm talking more about what I mean by right brain, because what I mean by right brain is instinct, creativity, spontaneity, where's fashion demands convention in presentation. So, like I've already said of the double page spread versus a stand alone, the way that I processes that I'm bringing things into one image a lot of the time, not all the time, but predominantly where his fashion would demand that you you look at your pictures and you think, how am I gonna make a story out of this? You know, let's have a closeup amid shot, a long shot, which is something that I do, but it's something that is like a string pulling the other way when I'm trying to create one of my pictures that contained the one big well, um, the good thing about fine art is it's, not limited to traditional beauty. So anything goes something about fashion is that it seems like the higher up you get, the more refined you have to be with your ingredients, you know, the styling, the choice of model, the that hera maker this is great this is what I'm talking about when it comes to strength finding a strongest ingredients you can to make the strongest result you can but generally when you compare fashion two finer you see that I find out you can shoot absolutely anyone on anything where's fashion demand kind of limits you to this traditional conventional beauty you know thin young women beautiful conventionally beautiful women on dh that's you know it's just it's just is what it is it's just is what we as people have learned to find, you know tasteful in the images when in adverts and such like was something refreshing about fine art by comparison is you can photograph anything unconventional beauty you have the pedestal to actually challenge things which I really like in my work in my cereal fashion work there is obviously a lot of traditional conventional beauty going on so I'm not necessarily saying that I challenge anything in that siri's but it's something that I certainly has a fine ized on keeping my door's open mentally for for the rest of my life to come because it's not something I want to spend the rest of my life doing justice one siri's is part of my journey and I love making it but there's also a lot more outside of traditional beauty that you see in fashion that I loved to play with so that's, the great thing about fine art you can do anything, the art can travel further transcends space and time. Lack of exclusivity demands highest higher shelf life. So, like I was saying, you don't have to worry about getting into magazine at a certain time of year. You don't have to be answerable to anyone who, once that particular story too much a certain trend that's going on all season that were in there. There's no one demanding first rights over your fine art because it's yours and you call the shots more generally and it's got a higher shelf life because you can publish it again and again, it's not something that is kind of like a disposable form off artistry. Obviously, fashion isn't entirely disposable because we put into our portfolios and we print our portfolios often they're they're an artform in themselves, but in terms of how we use it as a commodity, it has that shelf life and find out I find more likely to make money or, technically, easier to hypothetically set the rules to make money. So with fashion, if there is any money involved in the making of a knit off image, is something I want to talk about later in terms of the budgets in the fashion world. But we find are technically you can put a million pounds on each print if you really wanted teo I'm not saying I'm going to sell it but you can sell it for whatever you want this that's your prerogative to to sell it it's almost like you're on your high chair and you're saying ok, well this is my art and I'm going to sell it for this even if it's ridiculously low fi image it's more about the message I mean obviously you look at any modern art gallery you see a lot of different things going on in terms of how much how long the picture looks like it's taken to create where his fashion is something that has to has to meet these demands no matter what so it sze not necessarily going to make money unless you're putting those images into a campaign or something that involves a particular budget coming from the marketing of that client a lot of the time they don't make that there's no money to make the images and there's no money from the image is a lot of fashion photographers are basically doing their pictures to get noticed and there's a lot of competition as well, which makes it even harder but why fashion you know all these things I've said about fine art why why don't I consider myself entirely fine art and not, you know, including this fashion label well, all the freedoms of fine art I've just described in my last slide all of those freedoms of slightly constrained to constricted, but these this's also could be a good thing, because now you have boundaries on those boundaries you can push against and that's something that I enjoy one of the things I don't enjoy so much about finance on the downside of having all those freedoms to do whatever you want, sometimes when you've got the world is your oyster it's difficult to know where to start on what to do? So in fashion you have these boundaries on it can help you be ironically, more creative. When you're in a situation where you've got to show the dress, you've got to show the jewelry, you've got to make the model look perfect. And so you got me on a mission to making all that work, and you might find that you end up with ideas that you might not have had otherwise working in a team and a mutual joy of those rewards on pleasing other people. This is a really equally good point, because something that I've really enjoyed in working in fashion situations on commercial situations since my days of self portraiture is just working with other people having other people involved it's, not just me sounding kind of altruistic and, you know, nicey nice it's, something that is it's not just about me creating the image anymore it's about other people strengths going into those pictures I get a lot ofthe satisfaction from seeing other people get opportunities to showcase their talent that telling in styling on the town in designing and I love to see that come alive in a kind of coalesced result in the final thing that I produce and then when it gets published I'll send it to them and say look such and such got published and they'll be really pleased and that would be great to share that joy seeing my creativity take a place in the real world more often to be honest, this has been this kind of desire inside of me for a long time when I was doing my self portrait so I felt like I didn't entirely know what I was going with him but I knew that I wanted to I felt inside that my highest kind of compliment would be that someone wanted me to make a picture for them so not just selling my work has final but someone coming to me and saying I trust you to make an image for me on dh so the result of what I create with them will take a place in the real world may be in the form of an advert or in a magazine or a billboard or whatever and that gives me a great buzz to know that my work is not just sitting in my fine art collection on the walls of a gallery it's actually out there in our everyday infrastructure, having an excuse slash outlet to showcase the subject I enjoy so women beauty outfits, great locations, drama, fantasy. So all of these things have kind of theme going on in my self portrait, it's on dh that's how I have maybe kind of home those things into something commercial, something riel something that actually uses those things a ll the time to sell the things in question and it's a talking point, an opportunity to meet people and see great designs so a little bit like the working in a team except fashion, because we have it's like anything in life when when there's a lot of people that are into something that we've come to call fashion you meet, all those people are involved in fashion. Our fashion show experience is very good example, because we get to meet all these people in a fashion shoot situation on the energy we share is just amazing. And, you know, we're all shooting fashion and that's great and that's a conversation in itself. But even just being around all these people that share this love is fantastic and it's one of the best things about what I do for a living. And also the sea great designs. So seeing leonids, lena, the stylist we have on our workshop, you're going to be seeing and the dress that he's designed for us and it's just out of this world, and I can't wait to shoot it tomorrow. I mean, it's, it's just great to be around such exciting visual things so what's going on in my work than finalize the drive and fashion is more like the flavor. I mean, I do commercial work that involves fashion, andi fashion situations, but this image that you see here is an example of where fashion fine art has bean the commanding force behind the way that I've put the final picture together. I'm going to be showing you a little bit later on in the workshop of the kind of stages and making the pictures you'll see what more what I mean well, final has bean the drive to create the standalone square in this case piece that doesn't suit the conventions of fashion. But you've got this beautiful fashion dress, and you got a beautiful model on this beautiful location, all coming together to create one big celebration of beauty. So the thing about me is that my passion is no. In fashion, I'm not passionate about fashion, it sounds may be controversial to say that as a fashion photographer, but I'm not if I wanted to be really successful fashion photographer, I'd want to be in the fashion world, immersing myself in the fashion world every day, but I'm not doing that because it's, not my passion my passion is creating are from fashion creating are from photography, so fashion photography becomes they are so it's, not that I've gone from fine art to commercial work, which a lot of people do, and that's fine eyes like, you know, a leverage or self portraiture itself is a leverage to people going into fashion commercial work seen it many times, but find out is more like the lens and looking through that commercial work and how that I'm approaching that and putting that style across to potential clients. So I do I do now with the same passion that propelled the earliest work I want to ultimately think every time I'm doing something, what do I what is driving me to make this? I've never done anything in my career, so, father, I'm not really passionate about things that I've done to get exposure, or things I've done to add something to my portfolio I've done, maybe we've kind of half a harp or the passion to know that it's going to maybe open up another door to something I really want to do. But most of the time, I'm really passionate about what I create.