Miss Diana styled by stylist PM Production and photographer Ekaterina Myzis
10 sites to help you become an expert in makeup artistry
By Monique Ringeri
With an ever changing and face past industry, it can be hard for a makeup artist to keep up to date within the industry let alone become an expert. Makeup artistry is more than just hands on skill, a lot of hard work is in research, networking and keeping up to date with trends and products.
For those wondering where to go for the most current industry related news and how to keep up to date, I have complied a list of the most in demand sites where makeup artists can find all the information to perfect their knowledge and skill to help them become an expert in makeup artistry.
With over 1.5 million visitors per month, Models.com is the number one go to website with endless amounts of fashion news which can leave you in awe. This influential news site and creative resource has an extensive database of the fashion industry. Models.com highlights upcoming and in demand models, the creative stars of the industry through interviews, blogs, images and profiles of people behind the scenes. Through endless scrolling, you will discover the latest editorials with names of the creatives who were involved, find out what is trending around the world, the latest fashion articles and top agencies worldwide.
‘The who’s doing what in advertising, editorial and events’. Le Book has been a major influencing site for beauty, design, publishing, entertainment and advertising industries. This one stop site displays the work of photographers, designers and illustrators as well as listing the top influencers and upcoming events.
Fashionising.com is a trend reporter on the world’s best fashion trends and styles from the runway and fashion shows as well as the streets of the world’s most stylish cities and through different articles, there is explanations of the trends and inspirations on how you can recreate them.
Kavyar is a network for creatives in fashion, beauty and art. Kavyar helps magazines take submissions and provides a list of magazines who are open for submissions. As an artist you can create a profile showcasing your latest and greatest work. Submitting work to magazines through Kavyar is a great way for exposure and helps form a network through the Kavyar community. By crediting collaborators and showing your love for other artists is a great way to help you get featured.
Vogue is probably the one of the most well known and recognised channel of trend setting. Through print, web and social media, Vogue has the power to influence many aspects of our lives from the way we dress to how we socialize to what makeup products we use. Through Vogue Beauty, we can read the latest blogs on the major fashion labels from around the world, pick up new makeup products or tips, find out what is trending around the world and view videos of celebrities and trends.
WGSN is a trend forecasting, analytics and design tool to help you as an artist to make more confident decisions. There are endless amounts of articles, blogs and images on the latest trends from around the world but WGSN also predicts up and coming trends in fashion, makeup, next season colours and textures. WGSN has amazing content but the downfall is the pricey subscription costs.
The Pantone name is known worldwide as the leading color communication for all people within the industry from the designer, to manufacturer to retail customer. Each year, Pantone releases the ‘color of the year’ which designers and artists incorporate into their designs.
The impression offers the latest fashion news, profiles of leading creatives, ad campaign reviews and fashion films. The impression is one of the leading resources for covering fashion runway from front of house to backstage.
Social media eg Instagram, Facebook
Social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook are used by most makeup artist experts in the industry to showcase their portfolio, network with other industry professionals or clients and to keep up to date with new trends. The world of social media has developed over the years into a tool that brings in more work and allows you opportunity to reach a larger audience worldwide.
The above 10 websites are fantastic for a makeup artist to excel in their field and to really understand the industry. This is essential for a makeup artist to allow them to grow their knowledge and skills which will then lead them to happy clients and therefore become an expert in makeup artistry.
A Look Into The Future: What will the freelance makeup industry look like in10 years?
By Kristina Sarah Persichini
Over ten years ago I picked up a makeup brush (graduating from “that”sponge tip applicator) and began my freelance makeup career. My phone didn’t have a camera and my portfolio was a “book” (hardcopy). A lot has changed since learning colour theory and cosmetic chemistry. The industry has evolved, and it will continue to. So what will the next ten years bring? I can only speculate.
It is expected that the following ten years will see continued growth, in what some already call an oversaturated industry. From changing trends, technological advancements and cosmetic product developments, the freelance makeup industry will undoubtedly change. The rise of the beauty influencer, blogger andyoutuber will continue to change and heighten the awareness and expectation of clients. Developing a way we, as makeup artists, can combine all these elements to create a positive freelance industry, I believe will be the challenge of the next decade.
Challenge isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It means we must also grow and develop as the industry does. Trends will change and product technology will advance, as they always have, expectedly at a faster rate. The need to stay relevant and aware will be ever increasingly important to ensure we are capable of moving with these shifts.Certification and continued education will become vital to stand out from the growing pool of freelance makeup artists. The understanding and influence of legislation, and the future hope of tighter regulationsin areas where little exist, will aid in the positive growth of this industry.
We now live in a smartphone world and technological advancements will undoubtedly continue. We must stay informed. We must move and grow as these advancements do – or risk getting left behind.The list of social media platforms continues to grow. Social media is now a must have, a ‘non-negotiable’. Sharing our portfolio of work will be just as important as ever, however image and information sharing platforms are sure to change. Obviously unable to be predicted, it can be assumed we will be introduced and influenced by new or further developed social media platforms, requiring a whole new repertoire of knowledge.
As the social media effect on freelance makeup artist grows, we cannot disregard the importance of sociability. Sociability is a huge component of developing and maintaining your freelance business. As important as our online presence and interaction is and will continue to be, we must ensure we can still maintain a personal connection. For a competitive edge in the future, we will need to be well-rounded and well-versed in both online interaction and personal interactions. That fundamental element of building a relationship with a client has always been and will continue to be the biggest tool in our arsenal.
Clients are in tune with the industry now, more than ever. So familiar with seeing our work at the click of a button – the expectation of this ease of accessibilityis sure to continue. Instant gratification is now an expectation and as clients become accustomed to the immediacy of comment and response, we will need to implement ways of ensuring this satisfaction in our freelance business structure. Professionalism, credibility and flexibility will continue to be important business attributes to ensure continued client engagement and satisfaction. Determination and dedication to both the artistry and business needs to be employed to ensure our industry produces artists with expertise and knowledge.
Creativity is the element that draws most individuals to this industry. Most makeup artists would agree that it is an art form. Creativity is and always will be a necessity in the skill set of a makeup artist. Inspiration comes from all places and as the world grows and history is created we will take inspiration from both old and new. It will continue to be exciting and illuminatingto watch new ideas flourish and artists push boundaries.
So, don’t shy away from the challenges and changes to come. Develop and maintain a pace with a solid foundation that allows room from growth. Find your niche. That element that makes you, uniquely you. Instead of focusing on what makes you “good”instead consider what makes you “different’.Nurture your art form.
Banner Image Talia White
Seven Things Clients Want To Know About Being A Makeup Artist-
My favorite thing about being a Makeup Artist is having a vast knowledge of products, skin types, and beauty trends, accompanied by a good understanding of color. With clients from all over the world who are so curious to know what we know, sharing that knowledge with people truly makes me happy! I get asked so many questions ranging from my professional experience, insider tips and tricks, to how my clients can treat things at home. Here are seven questions I get asked the most!
-How did you get into the profession? Do you like it?
Do you see yourself doing it forever?
Every Artist has their own story of how they got to where they are today. My career in the Hair/Makeup field solidified in Cosmetology school when I assisted Sharon “Mama Makeup” Gault on an Elton John shoot. At that moment, I fell in love with the structured chaos that is the art of makeup in entertainment and haven’t looked back since. I love what I do, and honestly couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else!
-Who else have you worked with?
I have had the opportunity to work with some incredibly talented people over the years. One of my favorite moments being when I worked with Will Ferrell; it was press junket day for the movie “Get Hard” and we hadn’t been introduced yet since he was still with the costume people. As I rounded a corner too quickly, we nearly walked right into one another, and all I could manage to say was “You’re tall”. The rest of the day he kept cracking jokes about how tall he is in comparison to my tiny stature. I was laughing so hard, my stomach felt like I had done a million crunches! At the end of the day, you forget or who they “are” or what they’ve been in, and they just become another awesome human that you get to hang out with.
-How do you get jobs?
Getting jobs as a Makeup Artist can be tricky sometimes. You just have to go out there and get it! Starting out, I didn’t know too many people. I would spend the majority of my free time sending out countless emails to job postings on any and every job posting site I could find. After 10 years in this industry, I’ve built a network, and most of my jobs come from referrals. I still spend countless hours a week sending emails, maintaining social media (which, let’s be real, that’s a job in and of itself!), and maintaining relationships with colleagues and clients. Finding, and knowing, your people is absolutely crucial. Every job is going to be different, but when you’re present on your job with your clients and good at what you do, word of mouth can travel far and quick.
-Secret brow advice?
If I can give you any “secret” brow advice it would be that no two brows are created equal; work with what you got, and less is more! Please, no more squiggle brows! Use a brow pencil that is a little lighter then your natural color to shape/fill and a brow gel to keep those babies in place. Boy Brow by Glossier and Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer are my favorites.
-Tips and tricks?
Great makeup starts with great skin! When you focus on having good skin, your makeup application goes much easier and looks a lot better.. Makeup can hide a lot but it can’t fix texture!
If you’re doing a bold or smokey eye, start with your eye makeup. THEN, do your foundation. It will make cleanup of the fallout much easier!
If you find that your face has run off by lunch due to your skin’s natural oils, try using an oil eliminating moisturizer underneath a good primer. I love the Bioderma Sebium Mat Control and Smashbox Pore Refining Primer.
If you have dry spots that are flakey, my favorite thing to do is just some exfoliation! My go to product is the Dermalogica Resurfacer packs. They’re great exfoliator pads you pop on your finger and do a quick circular scrub on the affected area!
Another great way to keep your skin looking and feeling fresh is to keep a bottle of Rose Water spray in your bag. Give yourself a little spritz when you’re feeling dried out. It’s a great way to rehydrate on top of makeup, and it also allows your skin to pull through the makeup and breathe a little better. I use the Mario Badescu Aloe, Herbs and Rose Water Spray.
Long Wear Liquid Lipstick- why must it feel so funky?? Liquid lipsticks are basically the greatest thing to happen since sliced bread. If you’re anything like me, once its on, you want it to just be there. Sometimes, you get liquid lippies that feel like you put colored Elmers glue on your lips! That’s just the weirdest feeling ever! After some trial and error, I found a solution. LIP BALM! Not chapstick but an actual creamy balm. I love the Birthday Balm Dot Com by Glossier, and who doesn’t love the taste of birthday cake?!
-What Products am I obsessed with right now?
Other then the products I’ve already mentioned throughout this, I have a few new favorites to tell you about!
I just started using an Oganic Toner by Artisane Lab called Lemon Drop No. 201, and it leaves my skin feeling fresh, clean, and hydrated all at the same time. This toner has made a noticeable difference in my skins overall texture and brightness.
Foundation that basically sets itself, you might not think this is real, but indeed it is! I recently got these amazing mini-pallets from Senna Cosmetics called Slip Cover Foundation Pallets. They’re a cream to powder foundation that I highly recommend any working Makeup Artist add to their kit. It has saved my life a couple of times on shoots with insanely quick resets. I don’t know what I would have done with out it!
Last but not least, my favorite concealer in all the concealers I have ever tried is the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancers. From tattoos, to bruises, dark circles, blemishes, etc., a little bit goes a long way and I have some serious appreciation for a hard working multi tasker!
-What are some Home Remedies can you recommend?
Coconut Oil , Avocado, Lemon, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Honey are probably my favorite “Home Remedy” ingredients that are very easily located if you don’t already have them in your kitchen.
Coconut Oil has incredible antimicrobial and antibacterial properties which makes it great to include small amounts in making home skin treatments for many things including razor burn and ingrown hairs. Coconut oil makes for a great eye and lip makeup remover, especially with those stubborn waterproof and long wear products. Just make sure you use a good toner after to remove the excess.
Avocados are loaded with moisturizing oils and minerals that are basically face/skin food. They are loaded with vitamins C and E which help fight free radicals, such as UV rays, that can cause skin damage and aging.
Lemon or Lemon Juice is another great tool for anti aging. Loaded with Vitamins B and C, as well as citric acid, lemons are great for treating a variety of skin blemishes from acne to dark spots.
Honey is definitely up there in the magical super face food universe. Honey is loaded with antioxidants which can help slow down the aging process but it is also naturally antibacterial properties making it a fantastic acne treatment.
Apple Cider Vinegar used topically has some pretty impressive abilities in the beauty and self care regime. It contains enzymes that foster good bacteria, and is naturally acidic, making it a great organic way to naturally whiten and brighten your teeth. ACV can also be used as a skin treatment to fight acne AND sunburns. It’s a true miracle beauty product working for us inside and out.
I make a pretty awesome rejuvenating hair and face mask using mashed Avocado, Lemon Juice, ACV and Honey. The leftovers make for a great salad dressing!
If you have any other questions you would like to ask please feel free to reach out! IG: @Laura_Raczka and check out more of my work at www.LauraRaczka.com
Banner Image Tova Thomas by Jeff Tse
11 Ways to Completely Revamp Your Fashion Photography Skills
Written By : Marissa Fey
Maintaining a competitive edge over other Fashion Photographers is vital to grabbing your audience’s attention and keeping them for the long haul. Remember it’s called the long haul for a reason; it takes time to achieve the look that celebrity and professional fashion photographers have created through their photographs. Be sure to read below for my 11 tips on how to completely revamp your fashion photography skills to grab the attention of editors, clients, and your friends!
1. Plan. Plan. Plan. This may be one of the most important steps to taking great photographs. Before, after, and even during the shoot you need to have a plan set in place to make the whole process run smoothly. Trust me, we’ve all been there with long days on set, unexpected roadblocks, and faulty equipment. Rushing to think of ideas on set is the last thing you’ll want to deal with. So plan. Plan. And plan!
2. Remember the fashion in fashion photography I realized early on in my career that the passion I have for photographing has to be equal to the passion I have for fashion. It sounds silly, but too many fashion photographers forget that in the end, it’s about creating photographic concepts to showcase the clothing. The editor isn’t going to pick all those beautiful close-up portraits of the model if she/he really wanted to showcase the new designer pants.
3. Who are you? Every photographer has their own look. Are you into a super-feminine fashion or a more edgy and grunge-y look? Do you like clean, soft light or harsh flash-style lighting? Write it down! This will be a fantastic reference for you and a great way to pitch your photographic style to your clients.
4. Lighting. This one is actually most important. But let’s assume you’ve grasped a general sense of good lighting. Most pro fashion photographers have their own set lighting that they never drastically change. For example, Bruce Weber typically shoots his fashion portraits using one light with an attached softbox and reflector. And we now we all remember his photographs for their consistency (and beauty!). Before you go off getting clients, take the time to figure out what lighting set works best for you. In the case of the studio fashion photographer have your signature style ready, but make yourself familiar with all types of lighting in case that profoto you always use isn’t in the studio that day.
5. Fashion Editor’s eye Do you ever wonder why your favorite photograph didn’t get chosen? It’s probably because you didn’t pay close enough attention to the clothing. Editors see everything. Make sure the clothing is fully steamed. I can’t tell you how many times a photograph didn’t get chosen because the outfit just didn’t look right to the editor. Pay attention to detail and keep it clean!
6. Learn from the Pro’s As a fun exercise, create and style your own no-pressure photoshoot. Research your favorite editorial from your favorite magazine. Think about the clothing style, the lighting style, the mood, the model, composition, ect. In the learning process it is okay to recreate your favorite shoot to get a feel for how you might want your photographs to be lit or styled. In the end it’s important to take what you’ve learned and go out there and make it your own!
7. Design Being a fashion photographer you have to know a bit about fashion too. Don’t just show up with some clothes to set, or pray the stylist you found on Instagram is going to be just as great in studio. Do some research, meet in person, and find killer designer threads to elevate your photographs to the next level. There are a ton of talent that needs low budget look-books done. Time to impress!
8. Casting/Agencies Today, models can be everything and anything! We love it that way. Casting is important because hiring a model is different than having your gorgeous best friend show up for a shoot. Both could work, but in most cases you need to make sure all the work you put into the shoot doesn’t get lost in the modeling just because you were too nervous or lazy to find a model. Find the model that would fit well with your concept. Most agencies are looking for new photographers to photograph their models (for free!) all the time. Don’t be afraid to reach out and build a relationship with them! It will only benefit you in the long run to get feedback from agents who see fashion photographs everyday.
9. Directing. What does a Victoria’s Secret Ad, Bruce Weber photograph, and Gucci Campaign all have in common? They all convey emotional confidence. A great fashion photograph commands attention. Make sure you set the tone with your models for the shoot by giving them a clear and concise mood you need from them. Allow your models to portray the confidence they feel with what they are wearing, and your audience will feel it too!
10. Retouching While retouching is important, don’t rely on a retoucher. The reason your photographs may not be moving to the next level could be due to the lack of attention to detail, lack of photographic style, or lighting composition. Retouchers are great! But only after you’ve perfected your photographs in camera.
11. Keep it consistently your own So now you have all the skills to take your fashion photography to the next level! Now that you’ve found a style you love, keep going with it! Even if you’re shooting different concepts try to keep a similar lighting and style consistent while concepts change. Eventually, you’ll be remembered for it!
Just remember what fashion photography is all about and why you started in the first place. It takes a lot of hard work, experimentation, and rejection to take your fashion photography to the next level. But remember, in the end, if your having fun, it’ll show up in your photographs, and your clients will love you for that fun-loving positive attitude! Goodluck!
Banner Image Credit photographer Thomas Louvagny
7 Horrible Mistakes You’re Making As A Makeup Artist
As makeup artists, we have a great responsibility to create faces that are flawless to the naked eye as well as the camera lens. Social media content over the years has brought great pressure and in some ways changed the nature of the game, with platforms being saturated with overly airbrushed images, textureless skin, beaming highlighter and graphic, cut crease eyeshadow everywhere. With these type of images flooding our time lines, I feel like a lot of good artists are being influenced to mimic these unrealistic images and in some ways its stealing our creativity and initiating a generic look for makeup. So here are my 7 Horrible Mistakes I feel some makeup artists are making and how we can get back to beautiful makeup, still flawless, but embracing skin texture, soft contouring instead of carved lines and so on…..
Horrible mistake number one- Not blending, or not nearly quite enough!
I cannot stress enough how important blending is, blend, blend,blend,blend,blend! The key to flawless makeup is all in the blend. Sponges should be your best friend! Products should merge and not create seams, as these give away the whole illusion. Even a full coverage foundation doesn’t need to look like a mask. And within this horrible mistake I have seen makeup artists try and use them dry. Its not an eraser honey, wet that sponge until it doubles in size and becomes soft and press into the skin so that the product becomes one with the skin. I do this at all stages, foundation, concealer, cream contour etc.
My favourite brand to use is Barely There Cosmetics but you can find them everywhere now.
Number two – Not setting concealer around the eyes
I undertstand some clients want dewy fresh skin and I myself am a huge fan of this look, but I hear too many clients complaining of concealer creasing and sliding. Even with a dewy look, the eyelids or under eyes do not need to have that kind of glow. Powder those babies, set with translucent powder, making sure it’s a good fine milled one as to avoid it looking cakey. Press in the powder with your damp sponge and dust off the excess with a fluffy brush. Voila, we have concealer that will stay in place, not crease (again not giving away the illusion and making it obvious there is product on the skin)
My choice is Laura Mercier as my go to translucent powder, I use this on all my clients!
Number three – Using powder highlighters on all skin types
As much as I said before about embracing skin texture, we do not need to be highlighting Susannes overly dilated pores with a shimmery powder. As with all other products, certain textures just don’t marry well with certain skin types. As someone with large open pores myself I know how grainy and even more dilated the glittery dry powder highlighters can make my skin look. Find other ways to emphasise those high planes of the face, like banana powders ( I tend to use Rodial as its non cakey and builds well).
Or if you haven’t already, try some liquid highlighters like cover fx, these are my favourite at the moment. You can also use a wet brush to apply a powder highlight, just get playing with different textures and see what works for you on different skins.
Number four – Not trimming lashes to size.
Okay, this is something so simple, that can again, ruin the illusion of your work and even potentially age your client by about ten years if you’re making her poor eyes droop at the outer edge with lashes that maybe just needed a fraction at the end cut off. Also, unless you’re doing some creative, editorial work, please do not trim them from the inner corners, this is your lash blend. The shorter your lashes are from the inner corner, the more natural they will appear to blend with the natural lash. If you start cutting from the inside the longer the starting lash will be, giving a less natural appearance. So trim those lashes to size and go forth and lift those previously hooded lids!
Number five – Following social media trends
I think there is a time and place for certain makeup and of course give your client what they want. But, what truly makes you, you, is your own personal style. Be inspired and put your own mark on something, but stand apart from “social media makeupartists” who are all creating the same look and such harsh and dramatic looks that god knows what they looked like before they went in with the airbrushing and editing before they uploaded to social media. So for the record you don’t need to outline with marker where your clients eye socket is!
Number six – Over editing your work
Many of us use social media platforms as our portfolios these days, with a new age ability to reach people in some serious numbers and in places we may have never even have thought before. With affordable cameras and easy to use apps giving us the artists, the opportunity to immediately capture our own work, edit like a pro and instantly upload to the masses. Its amazing! However……. Too many artists are getting way too reliant on the convenience of editing their work. I understand eradicating the odd blemish on a clients skin, smoothing out the texture a little, I understand sharpening the image and just generally enhancing in some ways. But a makeupartist shouldn’t have to blur the eyeshadow on an app where their blending work is just not cutting it. I’ve seen some makeupartists blur the whole skin to the point the poor client no longer has a nose bridge, or any facial definition for that fact. Lets just say I’ve seen pugs with better bone structure!
Practise your craft on the flesh and less in the app. Let your portfolio show a true reflection of your artistry and skill set, or else you may have some unhappy clients, when you cannot reproduce the work you claim to be yours via your images. This is also how we end up with clients that want you to rid them of wrinkles and lumps and bumps, because according to your social media, this is what you do.
Number seven – Believing you have learnt all there is to know
Never stop learning guys! No one knows it all. Only you can create your work. Only you can be you. So don’t be scared to share your knowledge. Your work can be imitated, but never duplicated. In helping others you will often find you’ve learnt something at the same time. Also invest in yourself as you would any other business! Attend masterclasses, buy a camera, do workshops and keep your portfolio fresh and up to date. Be your own competition and keep expanding and strengthening your artistry. Our industry is so fast paced and trends and techniques are forever developing and changing, working with others keeps us fresh and in the know.
So to wrap it up, we all make mistakes, but lets learn from them and keep those time lines pretty.
Links – Barely There Cosmetics https://barelycosmetics.com/products/barely-definer-soft-nude
My Instagram is @keshiagolbourne
10 Fashion Photography tips
“Fashion photography gives the power to transform people’s dreams into realities…literally.” Here are 10 best tips for the fashion photography adorners everywhere!
1. “Prep for your equipment ahead of time”
I’ve been saying this for years; fashion photography is another level of photography and it calls for the best lighting. When shooting fashion, it’s important to see the garment and accessories. I always recommend using a softbox to produce the best lighting in order to have your photos magazine ready! Additionally, I love using a beauty dish for fashion glamour portraits because they highlight the best areas on the face such as the eyes.
2. “Use your imagination don’t, overthink it”
Fashion photography gives us the freedom to be highly creative, you can use basically anything in the universe for inspiration to bring your vision to life in photography. The cool thing about fashion photography is being able to capture the true essence of a designer’s vision using everything around you.
3. “Take advantage of the Golden Hours”
I love shooting fashion in a studio because you are in a controlled environment using artificial light, however, shooting fashion outdoors can bring another element to your photo shoot because it’s so much you can do with sunlight. The best times for me are early morning, between 6am and 10am, or during the evening between, 5pm and 7pm, in order to take advantage of the golden hour.
4. “Always have a plan C through Z”
Those first two ideas are fantastic but they may not work for that particular shoot. Having multiple backup plans is never a bad idea, you want to stay four steps ahead of everyone. Try to brainstorm different ideas with people from your creative team just in case the first plan fails.
5. “Location is everything”
In photography you have the ability to turn any location into a beautiful asset to your finished work; in fashion photography you can utilize the location and wardrobe to tie everything together. For example, take Helmut Newton’s 1975 photograph of Yves Saint Laurent’s “Le Smoking” for Vouge Paris, he managed to capture an iconic image of a model wearing a tuxedo while smoking a cigarette on a back street in Paris. He was able to capture the essence of the designer with the location serving as an amazing element to the now classic image.
6. “Work with a decent retoucher”
If you are not experienced in photoshop, it’s okay to seek out and work with a professional retoucher. They tend to give your work the extra boost it needs; your photos will look more professional, polished and uphold to industry standards. Retouchers pay attention to meticulous details that we cannot fix on camera (i.e. smoothing out the model’s skin or ironing the wrinkles out of a shirt).
7. “Research the brand beforehand”
Research is key. It is best to know the style and feel of the brand. When shooting, you want to be able to capture the essence of your client’s vision while also keeping your aesthetic and artistic touch. Research different silhouettes, styles, and even the history behind each garment as well as taking a look at what’s been done already.
8. “Make sure you’re on the same page with your team”
Hair, makeup, and styling go hand in hand with fashion photography, it’s always good to make sure you’re all on the same page. Working with them will help with all of the small details, from finding jewelry and shoes down doing makeup and hair to bring the final look to life. Mood boards are the best way to communicate your vision to your team as well. Assure everyone on set is comfortable and ready to work; if everyone is in a great space they will produce good work.
9. “Stay true to the fashion”
Remember your highlighting a work of art, fashion photography is the bridge between the influencer and the influenced.
10. “Always remember to have fun”
With fashion being so creative and liberating, and photography giving the power to capture moments, there is no reason why you should not be having fun, creating out of the box ideas. Be positive! Great energy will lead to a phenomenal shoot and even better experience (especially if you’re new). There is nothing more rewarding than receiving positive feedback from a client.
– Markel Serraj
Kasia Struss Photographed by Victor Demarchelier
Tips for Today’s Fashion Photographer
Rules are meant to be broken, but first, you must know what they are.
Concepts and techniques are the foundation of fashion photography. Rules have been set by those before you. If you are breaking rules which you don’t know exist, and happen to take a good photograph, you’re lucky, not creative.
But we both know that that is not true! Know about the history of fashion photography. Study techniques, cameras, fashion, art, use it as inspiration and twist it into your own vision.
Study the work of exceptional photographers and keep up with your colleague’s projects and the big fashion house campaign’s. Having more exposure to what is being done, and what has been done gives you the foundation to create something new. Mood boards are a good way to collect all of this research and show the direction your works should be headed. It allows for you to also see patterns in the things you admire which will help mold your style. The industry is all about being different, daring, and the seduction of innovation and unique perspective. Learn from others, but be you.
Rely on your creativity, not your budget.
Let’s face it, doing the unconventional thing doesn’t always earn you the big bucks in the beginning of your career. That’s why the term “starving artists” rings true. Fashion photography has been spun as an extravagant, expensive production. Fashion is a show, but it doesn’t have to be Haute Couture off the bat.
Sure, having a larger budget is freeing in a sense you can afford the stage and props the project desires, but learning to work with what you have is a great way to stretch your creativity. Use what’s around you, but maybe not in a conventional way. It also allows you to be more modest in your design and relying on your skills instead of the materials you combined to create an image.
I have been experimenting with cameras recently, mainly film and it has been interesting to see the results, even if I had my finger in front of the lens on occasion. Do yourself a favor and shoot more than you need to, and consistently.
Subjects look different through the eye of a camera than your own eyes. Shoot the things that you may be hesitant about. You’ll never get a shot if you’re waiting for everything to be perfect. It’s not about perfection. Imperfection and often mistakes give you the most intriguing and different results.
There is a difference between fashion photography and portraiture.
Portraiture is about the person, not the clothing. However, the goal is for the two to compliment each other, not outdo one another. Don’t just plan the style and setting, plan the model. Not everyone has legs for days and a hair and makeup team like the high fashion models. Most of the time the clothing speaks more when individuals who represent real clients are wearing the clothing. Chose a variety of models, not simply the most typical of beauties.
Represent the clients not just the fantasy.
There is a particular person that may come to mind as the persona of the subject in a fashion photograph, and this is most likely not your average client. At the end of the day, you’re selling more than a photograph, you’re selling a product. Something I hear very often from people is “I love that, but I could never pull it off.” Part of the job of a fashion photographer is to make someone want to buy what is being visually presented to them. Even if someone loves the photograph, they may not want the piece because the image you have created is so unattainable for them. You can diversify models, settings and found objects within the image to create something that is more relatable.
Bloggers do a wonderful job of creating relatable images. It’s easy for someone to put themselves in the average blogger’s position, but there is still an admiration for the quality of the image. Use drama to draw the viewer, but embrace commonality to keep the buyer present.
Light can come from more than studio equipment or sunshine.
Living in the age of technology our world is continuously glowing. Take advantage of any and all light sources, neon signs, computer and tv screens, projectors. Anything that will cast a shadow onto the subject can make for an interesting concept and often offers colors you cannot replicate with natural or studio lighting.
Graphic design is just as important to learn as anything else.
Layouts in magazines require layering of images. Photographers and graphic designers have a range of skills that mix and match very well together. It’s valuable to your clients to have skills combined which will also allow you more control of the end product and perception of your photography. Photoshop, collage, and graphic design are a big part of editorials nowadays. If you don’t know how to edit further than lighting and color, learn. There are many useful tools out there to enhance your images. Some of these tools may even be hand techniques if you aren’t skilled with computer programs. You can print your images and create collages, paint over them, take photos of the photos; just be creative, and don’t be afraid to experiment. The worst that can happen is it doesn’t come out the way you expected- but you will learn something, and you may just end up with your next best piece.
Throughout it all, just remember to study current and past events in the fashion industry, push yourself in new directions, and remember why you are taking the photograph.
The Biggest Problem in the fashion photography Business, And How You Can Fix It
No matter how much I like fashion photography, especially when I remember the reasons why I got involved with this industry, inspired by Vogue and photographers like Guy Bourdin, Ellen Von Unwerth and Alessio Bolzoni; my relationship with this industry will always be unstable. I do not remember how many times I said “ok. This was my last shoot “or” I’m officially out of this… I’m out”… as if I had ever really been “in”.
I think that fashion photography has lost it’s essence over the years. At some point in history, photographing a celebrity, started to be more important than the true concept of the entire production.
Talking about fashion photography nowadays is talking about how “goddess” is the model you got for next Tuesday’s shooting, about the fact that she/he has 100K followers on Instagram and how that shooting with that famous celebrity will possibly opens the doors to a thousand other productions.
I started to realize the situation when a very good friend told me:
“If you had – a celebrity – in this picture, you would be famous.”
That comment woke me up. It made me realize what I was getting into and how irrelevant my work seemed to be by not having someone important in front of the lens.
Undoubtedly, this industry is led by contacts, followers and fame, leaving talent, technique and the conceptual burden of each production aside. I think that to be effectively good at something, you have to be good with nothing. Without money, without contacts, without fame or agencies that support you. I believe that a good professional must know how to solve a problem with very few resources he or she has, and making the most of them in order to prove how good he/she is.
I definitely think that fashion photography is based on teamwork. Working with good professionals and a team that shares the same moral values and goals, makes the difference in every way. But I also believe that no profession should overshadow the other.
I understand the professionals who are permanently trying to shoot famous models, because of the diffusion that their work would have, and because they would have a minimum possibility for being seen by someone relevant and standing out among the wide variety of photographers in this saturated industry… However, I think it is important not to lose focus, and just stop looking for other’s acceptance in order to let the photographs speak for themselves.
Although I do not consider myself a fashion photographer, I like doing fashion photography. I started working with friends, people that I just met and wanted to be part of a shooting. I consider myself very lucky because I could really find people with whom I do not only share a particular taste for fashion, but I had been able to work with people who really understood my vision and what I wanted to communicate at each shooting. They have always taken it very seriously, and they have understood the concept at a truly meaningful level, which allowed them to transmit it through the body and gaze in a very powerful way.
I believe in old photography; which generated value over things by photographing them. It differs from the current photography in which the things to be photographed are already overvalued. Today the object in front of the lens gives value to the photo, when it’s actually the photograph which has the power to make something worth to be seen, by the decision of capturing it forever. Leave it registered in time. Make it eternal.
I do not think there is a solution to this particular problem, I do not think there is a way to stop it, but definitely each professional can decide how to practice the profession. There are two options:
The first one involves hanging on others fame and recognition without ever really knowing how much your work is worth. And the second is to stop talking about “followers” and start talking about lights and concepts.
If the idea is good, consistent, and if there is willingness to work and a group of people wanting the same goal, the results will not fail. Find the people who respect your work and value it, not because of the fact that they pay you, but because of they want to work with you for your way of perceiving the world.
The solution is to focus on what matters, on the profession, on the team, on the concept and trust your work, believing that this will take you where you want to be. The solution is to keep working focused. I know this is so easy to say but it is the only way to really know how far you can go and the actual value of your work. That’s the most important thing, not only for self-realization and professional self-acceptance, but to stay in this challenging industry forever.
There is nothing more satisfying than getting what you want by having earned it.
By Lucila Abdala