Complete Guide and Tips for Fashion Photography

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What is fashion photography?

In essence, fashion photography indicates a form of fine art photography that is primarily dedicated to promoting fashion items, including shoes, trendy clothes, haute couture, and several other branded fashion items created by fashion homes globally.

Fashion photography is most common in fashion advertisements and magazines, the most common being in magazines like Vogue, Elle, Vanity fair, and the list goes on and on. Usually, the photography features models that put on the fashion product with compositions, locations, and elements that align with the subject brand’s identity.

Main types of fashion photography

Editorial fashion photography

fashion photography example_editorail fashion photography

This is a lifestyle type of photography that gives this aspirational feel. The model used in this case depicts a role, putting on a not-so-common fashion item that you’d definitely want to have. Its name emanates from the fact that this type of photography is usually featured in books and fashion magazines. Essentially, it tells a story of a brand, narrates it explicitly, and showcases the latest trends.

People often confuse editorial fashion photography for high fashion photography (we’d get to this later in the guide). However, the only similarity they have is in the styling and production needed to tell a story. Besides these, editorial fashion photography is usually more relatable to the target audience.

Street fashion photography

fashion photography example_street fashion photography

Also referred to as street style photography, street fashion photography focuses on the real world. What are people on the streets wearing? How are they styling it? These are the questions street fashion photography seeks to answer. Usually, you’d see this form of pictures on social media channels, as well as fashion articles focusing on how to wear x fashion item or seasonal fashion recommendations. This type of photography began as a minor genre of street photography, but over the years, it has evolved and become more centered around capturing fashion products worn by crowds to social gatherings and big events.

High fashion photography

fashion photography example_high fashion photography

In high fashion photography, your work as a photographer isn’t simply portraying the brand products or selling them – it extends to creating a compelling vision, and brand style for the fashion brand. This type of photography requires you to channel your inner creative mind, go beyond the norms and get wild with the production. Models featured are usually top status, and the primary notion behind this photography is portraying skills, concepts, and ideas from every involved creative, ranging from the fashion designers, stylists, artists – and of course, the photographer. Usually, the images are printed for art exhibitions or very premium books that demand extreme attention to detail for the best print quality.

Catalog fashion photography

fashion photography example_catalog fashion photography

This is a sub-genre of product photography. Basically, it involves showcasing fashion items most clearly and attractively possible with the aim of painting a picture of how people will look and fit into them before purchasing. Usually, the shoot takes place with a plain and neutral background, so nothing in the background can distract audiences from the main focus. The lighting setup is pretty different from other types of fashion photography as well. But while there are quite a few popular setups for catalog photography, you can always get creative, innovate and develop your style – it doesn’t require too much creativity by the way.

Essential tips for fashion photography

1. Lighting makes the difference

Fashison photography_lighting

It’s no secret that lighting is the most essential element for any type of photography. To get started, begin by playing with natural light. Advisably, schedule your shoots near the golden hours, near sunrise – when you can shoot with direct sunlight. Note that when shooting mid-day, find some shade to make the model’s overall glow even more impeccable. Besides, don’t forget your reflectors and other kits to strike a fine light balance in your photography.

2. Communicate the direction and ideas clearly

Fashison photography_Communication

When working with models, it is necessary to break the ice, get to know them, and make them feel comfortable with you. When shooting, show them captured images as you proceed. With this, they’ll see how the setting is working for them, their poses, and potential adjustments. All in all, always communicate with them, before, during, and after the shoot. With this, you can be sure to get a beautiful image in the end.

3. Get creative with the angles

Fashison photography_creative angles

In fashion photography, never limit yourself to an angle. Instead, blend with your environment, become a part of it, explore it, and consider various angles and spots to capture your model from. You can explore taking images from above, below, or even tilting your camera. All in all, be sure to consider how these angles will affect the mood of your photograph before implementing them.

4. Be mindful of the background

Fashison photography_mind background

Before choosing a background, be sure to have considered how the background elements will impact your fashion photography balance. The background style should blend with the fashion item you’re capturing, depending on the type of fashion photography. For instance, in catalog photography, you don’t want distractions, and as such, you must consider this when choosing a background. However, perhaps you can’t find such backgrounds or locations anywhere but in online images, you can as well use a AI background remover to effect a change.

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5. Composition dictates the result

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For the best image output, the composition must align with the concept and the story you’re looking to tell. The secret to achieving the best composition is balance. The backdrops, the model as well as their respective positions must strike a balance and work in unison to aid the experience you’re looking to create.


1. How do you become a beginner fashion photographer?

This is pretty straightforward but requires a great deal of dedication. To start with, you may want to find a mentor, enroll in courses, engage in internships and training, find a sub-genre to focus on, and put together your equipment to get started. Also, don’t forget to practice, practice, and practice. Also, want to have post-editing tools such as a background remover in your arsenal.

2. What makes a good fashion photo?

To begin with, a good fashion photo is that which tells a brand story. Besides this, it must consider every photographic element, including lighting, angles, and compositional balance, among others, and boast reasonable scores in each metric.

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