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Commercial Fashion Photography

Lesson 8 of 28

Simple Test Shoot vs Couture Test Shoot

Miss Aniela

Commercial Fashion Photography

Miss Aniela

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Lesson Info

8. Simple Test Shoot vs Couture Test Shoot


  Class Trailer
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3 Submitting Work to Magazines Duration:15:18
5 Lo-Fi Shoot Continued Duration:40:05
9 Team Q & A Duration:49:39
10 Reviewing Images from Shoots Duration:12:03

Lesson Info

Simple Test Shoot vs Couture Test Shoot

Quick set up for everyone just to let you know tomorrow we are going to be doing both our lo fi and our couture shoot the loaf I shoot because people are like I wantto landed, but you know, we can't all afford way can't all have are only in it, so we're gonna be doing a loaf I shoot, which will be basically styled kind of by you and by the model themselves rather than professionally and and also at the end of the day tomorrow we are going to have a panel with all of the team members. So the questions that people are asking about, like, how do I get started with styling when I'm first starting out? Those are all questions that will be fantastic toe ask tomorrow when we've got landed there to ask him himself, so but for now, we've got one from frozen photog. When are you making your storyboard? And are you then directing the stylist then? Or how does the kind of time line work? Well after in the next section? Actually, I'm going to be going more into detail about that, so you'll see thie...

mood boards I was presenting to linnet and also to other people involved in organizing the shoot, so you'll see some images that I put into that mood board you've also I want to give you a sneak peek right early on in the workshop in the beginning of leonid sketch off the dress for this but I'll show that to you again in the portion to cum so yeah alan it has bean mainly kind of given a free rein to create something for this shoot and that's largely down to the trust that we have in him from working with him for quite a few times in the last couple of years on different projects where he's had to do quite a few looks in one shoot and in this case he has to do one look so we knew that he'd be able to pull off one killer look for a location that we can really concentrate on so yeah I'll be answering more of that in the end the session to come so you'll see that in more detail any questions from our studio audience here if not we can keep keep rolling well yeah yeah I had a great one here from af shar says would you say that the dress is the most important aspect in terms of styling or does everything hair and makeup you know and he props does that all kind of even out or do you have a focus on the dress? Well it's a good question actually because yes, all the ingredients are important to some extent thing about fashion the thing that makes it kind of challenging out of all the genres of photography is that you have one ingredient does slip, then you confined that it becomes a challenge. You want to get the best ingredients that are on the same level with each other. I'm not necessarily saying you're all going for, you know, china find leonid straight out trying to get it, trying to get the couture when you're first starting out, I don't mean that that what I mean is that you will gradually find that you improve all the ingredients and you keep kind of topping each one up. So if you like on this shoot, for example, we want to make sure that the hair styling, the makeup on the dress, they're all good as we can make them. Generally, when it comes to the dress being most important thing, I find that increasingly I would say yes to that that's kind of the way that's because of what I like in fashion, that the dress becomes almost the piece of art that I want to well, make me look like a piece of art in my image, even more so. And so I went to that becomes the main ornament in my images, and because I'm often backed away from the model is very few kind of close ups of mid shots in my portfolio, and because of that, the dress becomes a main. Subjects the main object every night on so yeah for me I find that the dress is increasingly the most important thing that doesn't mean that in all fashion it is the most important thing I mean fashion is generally about selling usually garments so is important to show off the garments but passion also includes other things as well like the accessories on dh you no shoes on other aspects of what model is wearing on but also if you're if you're shooting, images are more beauty inclined are closer to the model and the make up was increasingly important the more focus is put on the face so that is very important as well sometimes even more important on the styling if it's an image that does have a lot of face and flesh in it and your advertising maybe the earrings or or if you're doing an image that is more a beauty shot with extravagant hairstyle and there's no necessarily know outfit included it's the shoulders of the model so it all depends on what you're doing, what you're going for on dh and also if you are kind of blurring boundaries a little bit as I'm doing in my work of fine art for me the dress becomes people peace of our so it's it's what you're going for it it's what the brief is whether it's a brief of giving yourself for a brief you're doing for someone else what do you need to show off and how come the makeup and hair help carry that that's selling that message of what's being sold better so never going to move on to the test shots off the couture set up on then after that we're going onto the low fight shoot as well so this is the high five shoots start with okay, so matthew's been spending a lot of time today laying the foundation that technical foundation for the test shots whilst we've been getting obviously all styling dung the styling has been done just kind of a half level not a complete fool styling because we just want a flavour of how the dress is gonna look on how the model was going to perform in front of a camera on dh the kind of main props and furniture that we might be using with her so we have brought model into the into the scene that has been setting up with the lighting on be working out how her dress falls into that composition s o the kind of left brain technical foundation as it were has to be tweaked a cz we incorporate a person into what's being a shot of the room up until then so naturally I've been tweaking a little bit coming round to one side to try and build more depth into the image by not shooting two straight on I want this grand wide shot but then there's also the intimacy you want with the model is, well, that's always a challenge so that's just work will keep working on one getting the balance right? So I'm trying todo is like a they're the conflict between the best shot of the room and the best shot the model trying tio meet them halfway to get the best fashion photo and also lean ids you know, he's got expectations as well from how he wants his dress to be presented and trying to get the best impact from showing off the shape of it. So there's all these different considerations to think about, which is the challenge of any tests, you all the ingredients coming together try to get the best lighting we can is part of that as well, thinking about how we might stitch the room to build out the shot into a panoramic. So I've got all these options in my mind, the main thing that I want is to get the best pose in the bag, so I know that what I'm doing at the actual shoot, I can kind of fall into it as a base on dh, then kind of build on it and develop it and tweak it as we go along, okay, so that's me talking very fast about the high fi shoot and hopefully you actually made some sense of that, so the main thing I mean, I'm talking about keeping it simple, so let's just go down to keeping it simple. The main thing I want to do is take and a wide shot off the bottle in the element and to get the room looking as nice as it can, a little bit similar to the the website shot off the room that I showed you earlier when I showed you what we saw on the website, you know, that kind of simplicity, but with a model in it. And the problem is that when you put him on lynette, she into that picture she's going to be lost, so you also want to get in on the model is well, so it's this constant kind of like juggling between china? Get back away and close enough. How do you actually achieve a look? A picture that makes you feel like you're close enough to the model without losing the environment and that's something I'm constantly talking when it comes down to lens choice, it comes down to the settings as well on your camera and on the way you're using lighting and also the way that you edit the pictures as well. I mean, there's been some instances where I composite the model into somewhere new that's, not necessarily something I like doing. Because I want that to be a point as to why I'm shooting the modeling a location, but sometimes as the picture of the woman in the big red dress that you see seen in the beginning that's something that's, a compass, it where I've put the model in a completely different environment and as a result that she looks larger than life, so time thinking here of how to best bring together the room in the model, the dress is huge and it's amazing how little it looks in the room on dh how I've got an issue off, making sure it looks big enough in the images because it does become lost the further you get away from her on, I want to also give it a lower angle, so at first I was shooting kind of straight on with her here, and then I'm moving to one side and get close to her with fifty mil lens, so it kind of gets closer to her, but the closer I get to her, the more I'm losing the location it's about fine tuning that balance and that's something that I've got a start on working on with test shoot, but there's a process that's going to continue at the wheel shoot, and I'm probably going to toy and play between those two scenarios, maybe coming around this way as well, teo really getting close to the model but I know one thing and that is that I want to get context around her so it's not going to involve getting too close unless I want to take some specific close up shots which I may will do at the end of the real shoot the reason why we're doing the lo fi comparison is so you can see the model shot in the same location in this case so it's still on location but it's it's involving simply lighting methods and it's also involving simple styling on the model herself is not from an agency but she she's wonderful model she's she's um she's got dancer background as well so she it was a nice surprise for me to work with her on the test shoot and they look forward to working with her again. So whereas our hi fi model is from agency in seattle, we saw tor ishmael swear so she represents more like model you would find and another methods like the aspiring kind of model that you might work with in other situations that are necessarily through an agency. So let's, go ahead and play the lo fi styling what I'm going to show you how I chose a dress for the model on dh what my thoughts were when I was putting together her look because I want to make sure that I didn't necessarily work we've landed on it because I wanted it to represent just me and the model working together as you would in that kind of situation where you have got all the team and all the extravagance, okay, so we're addressing tory for our loaf I shoot, which is aiming to reflect the simpler methods in shooting a model very much in line with how I started out shooting myself and also the first time I was getting into shooting are the models as well in situations, so we've sauce dresses from kind of vintage dresses from vintage and second hand stores so way have a choice of dresses that we've been looking through the best suit torrey it's nice to have a choice, obviously to get the one that fits. So the best thing that we just kind of feel works best, so I've chosen this dress for example, I'll give you some alternative that we have we have a really like the idea of going with something white or cream rather than dark because this could have options. But having seen the room now and I want to something to be quite light against the dark background of the room, so I want her to stand out also because of the way that I'm going to be lighting her and more of a low fi, simpler way not using trying to avoid using any of our lighting gear instead call upon thee improvised lighting sources that we have in the room like the lamppost it's in the lamps and the light from the chandeliers and also using my camera and my shooting creatively like I used to do when I did my son of what traits and my first fashion shoots by using longer exposure by opening up map to more the's, all have implications for what the model can do in this short. But I want to play with that and see, for example, if I want to keep tory quite still in the shop, I could do a longer exposure if she's going to be moving and it's a longer exposure. She's going to be giving motion blow into the image, which I did do with a lot of my earlier images of myself doing ghostly self portrait. So what have you? But it might be that that's not suitable, but we'll see. We'll just try and how it goes. Also, this is what I like about this dress is that we have these straps that kind of falling down and as as tory sits here having a head on, I quite like the way that could look when she's in the middle of a pose. She has a ballet background as well, that I'm very interested in because it means that she's going to potentially be really good with poses and the attention to detail in her feet and hands. So as opposed to this dress, which has sleeves, I've seen more of her flesh with this dress as well, which I think will lend itself well to the look of the final picture to show flesh, because obviously flesh for a photogenic on dh I want quite quite quite a natural organic picture s o the hairstyling, I'm going for something quite clean on dh, you know, scrape top in a kind of ballet esque way as well. So that's what it's always doing on tori now, so yeah, hopefully it will be all set for a really nice, clean palette of an image to work with once we get back into the ballroom and play around with the ambient light sources and what we can do in terms of poses, which I'm ultimately interested in, is becoming this shape to the foundation of the picture for this one go okay, so it gives you an overview off my reactions to the model torrey and how to best represent her in the shots I want to do with her I mean it was a test you sew on the text you I wanted to use the opportunity to try out a couple of different dresses it did come down to that protect the dress she's wearing is the best one because it just felt like it went the best with her the other what the other dresses didn't work as well with the look of the room I wanted something simple but textured andi so I was able to kind of act upon thee the reactions to meeting torrey for the first time on dh looking at the dresses for the first time on trying out the hair style that she had us well, the hair styling was done by our hair stylist, so but we I wanted to make sure it was a simple hairstyle that could potentially have been done, you know by herself or by myself not something extravagant, not something you'd see in a couture image no, just very simple and very slicked on dh almost, you know, representational of the kind of ballet aesthetic that I wanted to get from her with her with her and I stand silly poses okay, so I'll move on to the low fi test shots so I go into shooting torrey on dh, interpreting the location as best I can with with everything I've so far prepared with her styling what's going on here is I've got two shots one of there and then wanna cross so I could potentially like put them together to make a panoramic image so you're doing your posed by the lamppost and then you know, stitch that all sorts of why I was saying the question is you know what? What then what I do to the image then but that's so that's one potential thing I wantto do something between these two lumps is well see there's you know, any interesting spark happens in this particular set up a swell and then and then we might move over and try something by tthe e electric candles as well, which I think a very photogenic so it's just about trying you out in different corners of the room and finding the best place to put you in your pose and the best place for your pose toe to grace the environment so I've been doing test shots of tory so really I'm trying to figure out the best compositions I want to use for a shoot with her I've chosen the dress I feel works best I tried a few different options but I think this one ultimately is the best for allowing us to see the most of her kind of flesh elements of legs and arms on the chest shoulder area this one I think is the best for them ballerina kind of look that way I think suits tory's poses on I think ultimately the main thing about tori that I've come to learn is that her poses are really, you know, flexible and gymnastic and dance silly and that's the strength that wants a holding on on dh the pictures are becoming defined by her poses, so I'm just trying to find the best way to accommodate that pose within the frame, so working with trying to put the lamps and interesting places so that she is unleashed the light coming from them on dh to use the context of the room in a flattering way around her as well. So I've been playing with that and taking shots all around her and trying to work out with the best composition on the best angle is a swell for how low to get teo to make her more dominant in frame. I'm playing around with my settings on my camera because I'm not shooting with proper light gear. I'm shooting with ambient light on also playing around with hirai so generally not not going above sixteen hundred but trying to keep it down really tio eight hundred my shot speed slowing it down as well. So I've been doing hand held shots I wouldn't be doing hand held with the kind of slow shutter speeds up doing, doing it mainly just for compositional purposes for me to get an idea I want so they're not my proper shots if I want to actually make it a proper go off the angle I've chosen, I put my tripod on dh, so ask tory to keep very still because I don't want any blow in the images, so I'm which go on be going around handheld taking shots that are mainly for compositional, almost like visual sketches and camera of what I'm playing around with what I can achieve in the actual shoot. Okay? So as I was saying in that video, the important thing to know is that because we're kind of doing a lo fi test, I was using my camera hand held on sometimes on a slow shutter speed, then I would consider correct for handheld, so I was down to shut speeds of maybe fifty four thirty I think second, so I wouldn't want to do that handheld it was mainly just to get an idea of competitions because I wasn't going for my technically perfect pictures of her to start with. I just want to make sure I had some idea of how best to put her in the frame, because with tori the main thing, I want a little bit similar to the hi fi shoot I want to accommodate her as best I can in a picture that involves the room so it's just a case of well, not just not in the room, but with the high fights about the dress is about pose as well, and I'm going to talk about that, but with story, like I said in the video, her the pictures are becoming defined by posing, so I want her body posed to become the main part off the image. The dress isn't so important because this is not about teo that's, not about selling the dress necessarily it's more about mood it's more about what I'm evoking with her pose s o that's interesting to note on dh also the fact that I'm shooting her with these more improvised lighting methods. So I'm shooting with the lamps that we brought in, especially because that's something I did a lot of my early self portrait citadel siri's of kind of nudes with lamps that were, you know, pretty much my kind of reaction to using thes dimly lit, not dimly lit, what kind of just hotel rooms where I wasn't using lighting and I wanted to do a siri's in hotel rooms with just the lights that were available, so I was kind of like harking back to that with the use of the lamps, so if I just flick to some of these images here, so we have just he's just very, very rough. Pictures I've grabbed off my camera from the test so you can get an idea of what I was actually shooting included when you could just see me shooting away and not see something of what I was thinking so these are shots that I've got a tory posing in a nice kind of panoramic image, so I tilted to one side to shoot an image that eye would intend to stitch on andi so I've got this nice wide view off the room on the light coming in from from through the curtains you got lamppost in there so I'm not saying this is a finished thing it's just me playing around with with how I can make a nice picture of the room with her in it doing her thing also some other kind of test shots here where she's on the shays I'm not so worried about settings on these. Well not so what about exact settings on these on these pictures you were you were seeing more of that when I do the real shoot, but just the main crux of this is that you can see the picture there's bright. I probably used hirai so there or I've brought my appetizer open more, which just have implications it means that the backgrounds going thrown out of focus more on potentially I could lose focus on other parts of her they're coming towards the camera more than others so so, yeah, I'm constantly playing with my settings, but overall, the thing is that they might camera would be on a tripod for these in the real thing, I'm just getting an idea of how best I can get her in the frame on he's just a couple more tests, shots ofthe story where I've also played differently with pose because she has such a great array of poses, and I want to make sure I'm getting the best like hand and it's this challenge between getting the best pose I can and trying to get the location looking as good as it can around her as well. And then you've got his pose on the right, where she's holding the dress up and I quite liked that because it gave the dress a whole new form. Where is it? Other shots? It might not necessarily look so exciting, but here it kind of becomes a part of her, and while we're showing you the test shots, I'll just show you also a couple of test shots from the hi fi, the couture set up, so we took quite a quite a few of test shot there, a few test shots, but I just want to show you these as a sneak peak, because these are the ones that I keep coming back to from my test shots in terms of this being the most informative, but how I want to do my shoot of the real thing. So when these shots were taken, when I moved to one side a little bit from originally being dead center straight on, I moved to one side and used by fifty mil lens instead of twenty four to seventy years I was using originally he's my fifty bill to one side and I was getting close toe and I like that because she becomes more part feels like she's closer to me, I feel like her dress is becoming mohr you can see it more, but then obviously I'm losing the location a little bit, but I still got the chandeliers in there so these would potentially be stitched with an image to the left, and I really like her posing these images. I'm probably going to show that picture on the right two landed at the shoot itself he's already seen it. I've always showed in my body told him that this swan like post she's doing I think could be the one that we do in the real thing. So those I've got on my mind. So you have any questions about the test shots? Please go ahead or indeed about the loaf I shoot, I just want to say how I am sitting here and so excited to russ meyer licking each other like I can't wait for tomorrow, let's. Just straight out of camera test shot, let alone what we're going to see you do tomorrow. So very, very exciting. It's, where that we actually get teo, go behind the scenes of a test shoot for a shoot like this in any of our workshop. So I think it's really, really cool that you not only did that test you, but allowed everybody into your mind and talked us through everything that you went through once you've got there and getting this set up, so that was really, really awesome segment.

Class Description

Are you ready to break into the magical, vibrant world of fashion photography? Join renowned fine art and fashion photographer Miss Aniela for this class on everything you need to know about creating vibrantly artistic and commercial fashion images.

Miss Aniela will:

  • Take you step by step through a location photo shoot
  • Show both lo-fi and high-production budget approaches to a fashion set-up
  • Walk you through her post production process 
  • Share her insight into the business of fashion photography 
You will learn how to concept, produce, and style a shoot — including finding inspirational details and creative locations.

After reflecting on the shoot and reviewing the raw images, Miss Aniela will walk you through her compositing process. You will learn how to choose images that both highlight your personal style and appeal to stylists, editors, and commercial clients. Miss Aniela will also reveal her own professional journey, explaining how she turned her Flickr stream of amateur self-portraits into a thriving fashion photography career. 


Charlotte Madsen

I find this class truly inspiring and fascinating. To me, it was not so much the parts of photography, but all the thoughts behind it she talks about. The thoughts, the planning, all the what, where and how questions you can/should ask yourself as a photographer. Especially about your own journey and what you want to do with your photography. This class made me realise that I am actually not on the right track as where to my dreams are, but more on a track of one idea taking the next and then time just passes by. Miss Aniela has made me stop and reconsider what photography is for me and why it is important to me. And to me, knowing what is in your heart and why you are doing what you are, is just as important to know as the skills you need to take good pictures. I think there are many other classes here on Creative Live that get more into the technical stuff. But what is good photography skills if you don't know what you want to say with it? It is true, she talks a lot. But I enjoyed every word she said. I find there are a deeper meaning in all she says, and I am actually really sad its over. I could go on listening to her for hours :D


I LOVED this course!!! Very informative, I thoroughly enjoyed it!!! I realize I probably won't get to shoot the 'hi-fi' shoots, especially in such grandiose locations, but I loved looking in, behind the scenes, and what all goes into these shoots. Miss Aniela was a fantastic instructor. Thank you for this course!