When someone says the word, "Twiggy," it immediately conjures up a black-and-white image of a doe-eyed Brit with mega lashes and a sleek pixie cut. Some of the most iconic images in the history of photography came from fashion shoots. Fashion photography has existed almost as long as the medium itself, and it goes hand in hand with showcasing fashion as art. A bold fashion photo lives in the public consciousness forever, bringing its subject along with it. Fashion magazines likeHarper's Bazaar and Vogue have made an art of showcasing artists like Herb Ritz and Mario Testino who gave the world inventive images that can stand alone as powerful photos along with selling a garment. If you want to make your portfolio stand out among designers, look for some of the following traits when choosing a fashion photographer.
A good fashion photographer will know the difference between an editorial shot and a catalog shot, and will be comfortable shooting either. When looking through your photographer's portfolio, look for a variety of shots, styles and angles. You want to be sure that your photographer can capture the essence of your brand, and an adaptable one, will be able to accomplish this.
With experience comes the ability to coax a model into taking a good shot. A seasoned professional knows when an idea isn't working and is able to adapt and adjust to get the best shot possible.
While looking through your potential photographer's portfolio, pay close attention to the models. A good photographer will understand how to engage the models and make them inhabit your clothing in a manner that represents you. Photographers who are comfortable directing models will come back with a variety of "looks" from which to choose. A fashion shoot should never be static, so if there isn't a lot of variety in your photographer's book, you may want to shop around.
As a fashion designer, you have an abundance of creativity, and it's better to pair up with a fashion photographer who is equally creative. During portfolio review, keep an eye out for shots that speak to you. Like fashion, photography is as much about art as it is about function. Choose a photographer whose artistic aesthetic moves you, and you'll be more likely to be satisfied with your collaboration.
Andrea Hillebrand is a photographer with 22 years of experience, including fashion photography. If you are interested in seeing how she can bring her blend of artistry and skill to your fashion line, contact her. Examples of her fashion photography are available at www.andreahillebrand.com.