5 Fashion Photography Tips: Guide to Shooting for Print Publications

By on May 28, 2013 – Updated on September 7, 2013

As you plunge deeper into the abyss of Photography, you will come to realize that mere creativity and sense of art do not suffice the necessity of producing better and useful photograph.

Aside from additional technical skills as photographer and appropriate gadgets, you will be demanded to do some magic – to remove some fats of chubby ladies, make dark complexion fair, hide 3-layered chin – and do other duties which is supposed to be done by surgeons.

After tiring activities of firing your camera here, shooting there, kneeling down, climbing on a elevated area and lying on the ground just to get the perfect shot that you imagine, will be frustrated because most of your shots are rejected – God forbid.

I don’t want that it will happen to you when you will be hired to do a fashion photography which will be used for print publications. I have five fashion photography tips for you.

Fashion Photography

1. Remember that designers love the dress above all.

One of the reasons why people engage in fashion is to show off their beauty. This means that they want prove how beautiful they are and how elegant their clothes are. But more often than not, the feeling of designer and the publisher is different.

The designer wants the clothes that he or she deigned to pop up above all. The emphasis is on the attire and not on the models; neither on the props nor the background.

Women Fashion Photography

In this case, you have to  find ways to put the dress on the focal point. Other elements on the frame that may cover the important details of the design should be eliminated during the actual shoot or during post processing.

The overall looks of you photograph may be very good but when the dress is not well presented, it is subject to rejection. It’s reality.

2. Shoot with high and fine quality setting.

Photos for print purposes require high resolution and high quality. The resolution refers to the number of pixels per inch or dots per inch (dpi) and quality refers to the quality image compression which may result to compression artifact when the image is reduced to low quality.

Unlike on digital publications which you need to optimize the number of pixels for faster viewing, photos for print publication requires at least 300 dpi resolution in high quality image to avoid pixilated and blurred printouts.

3. Take a close up shot of the intricate craftsmanship.

On an A4 size of paper, the details of the dress worn by a lady in a whole body photo are not clearly seen. The type of material, the beads and the embroidery is impossible to see on this size of printout. (Compare the photo above from this photo below.)

Fashion Photography Closeup

The best close-up shot is necessary for this purpose. The reader will appreciate the intricate craftsmanship when they see the unique parts in focus.

4. Spare space for texts & be aware of the page lay-out.

Anticipate that the graphic designer will put a headline or descriptive text over the image. This frequently happens when the photos is used on the cover page, used as whole page or on full spread.

If you are hesitant on where to put the space in your composition, you can coordinate with the person who hired you or you can refer to the brief that was given you (if there is any).

  • Will the picture be placed at the left page, at the right page or center spread?
  • Will the picture be in portrait or landscape orientation?
  • Will the picture be cropped into square or a slender parallelogram or other shape?
  • Will the picture be a part of the bleed which to be trimmed?
  • Will the background of the subject be removed?

These are only few questions to remember about the lay-out.

Men Fashion Photography Tips

5. Consider the page size and the bleed.

The common ratios of digital images are 2:3 and 3:4. These dimensions are not proportional to the most standard sizes of paper. The 3:4 ratio has only little difference from the A4 size of paper, but the 2:3 has big difference. In a situation like this, a graphic designer has no choice but to crop the some portion of the photo if it is to be used in one whole page.

Almost the same thing will happen when some area of the image is part of the bleed, an area to be trimmed after binding the whole print publication.

Meaning, when you shoot, you need to put an extra area on the top and bottom and the other two sides subject for cropping and trimming.

There are lots of things to consider when I fashion photography, but your main concern as photographer is to provide the desired output of the person who hired you.

Aside from the tips you have read above, it is important the goals you and your client want to achieve is clear to both parties before you start the shooting session.

Do you anything to add? Feel free to comment.

Photos: Image 1, 2 & 3 By Šimon Pikous (Šimon Pikous archive) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons | Image 4 By Claudio Doenitz Miguelangel Hedberg [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons



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One Comment

  1. Zackary Mckay

    May 31, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    yay, thanks for the tips, I dream of becoming good photographer one day :)

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