When you browse through the fashion photos in your favourite magazine and wonder how they’ve managed to take such brilliant shots, it’s true that one of the main factors is proper equipment. Still, a photographer needs to be able to see the final picture in the back of his mind and there are certain unspoken rules to abide to that often makes the picture.
My friends at Canon South Africa has been so kind to share some tips on how to take the best fashion shots and I am super excited to share some of the secrets with you! These might be focused on runway shots, but could definitely also be incorporated in studio and more informal setups. So, here goes:
- Background is key. The background could often be very busy and distract you from the actual subject of the image. This is especially the case at fashion shows. The secret is to let the model and the outfit own the shot and to do that you need to keep the background as simple as possible.
- Angle it right. Shooting from lower angles could be quite the challenge (like when shooting a model on a ramp, for example). Be careful not to look up the model’s nose and time it right to ensure that you don’t shoot shoe soles. It’s also a good idea to get a better understanding of aperture and depth of field.
- Move and explore. Whether you’re in a crowd or shooting on your own, be sure to move around and try different angles, sides and heights.
- Back to basics. Shooting at a fashion shoot is a whole other ballgame in comparison to shooting in studio. While you may be familiar with your equipment, the scene will always be different from your previous shoot. Canon suggests that you always start off in Portrait mode in order to get a feel for what the light is doing and what angles would work best. After that you can move to Av mode and then to Manual.
- Shoot in RAW. Shooting in RAW as much as possible gives you so much more to play with in post-production.
- Focus. You’ll have a couple of options to choose from in your camera’s auto focus settings, allowing you to get the focus right whether you’re shooting a still or moving subject. Canon’s EOS R series’ Face and Eye Tracking is of course ideal for shooting moving objects like models on the runway.
- White balance. The ideal would be to get a feel for this before the shoot that you can adjust your camera’s settings accordingly. Your camera’s presets might be fine, but for that extra professional touch you’d have to familiarise yourself with the topic and play around with custom settings. (This is another reason why it’s a good idea to shoot in RAW as you can adjust white balance on RAW files without affecting the image quality, but not on Jpegs.)
- Have fun. The best way to get the most out of your equipment is to play around with the settings and see how they can enhance your work.