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Case Study: William S on Fashion/Beauty/Promotion

Frankman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Frankman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Case Study: William S on Fashion/Beauty/Promotion
    Posted: 17 February 2010 at 05:44
It is my pleasure to share this new Case Study by William S. It is a valuable addition to our Knowledge Base. I hope you enjoy this article, and find it informative.

Many thanks William!

Originally posted by William S:

I am William Saar and I shoot fashion, beauty, and promotion images in my studio outside of Stockholm, Sweden, when I am not working at my day job in the financial services industry.

Fashion photography appealed to me more than other fields of people photography because of the way the models in fashion images, like actors in a movie, serve the idea of the picture. The idea of a fashion image may be to convey an emotion, to show a product, or to sell a lifestyle, but unlike portraiture, it is rarely about the person in front of the camera.

I think it is important to keep this separation of purposes in mind when coming to fashion from other fields of people photography and to not let the personality of the model take over the picture, unless it really aligns with the idea of the shoot.

Image 1.jpg

This is a beauty image where 4 royal pythons are crawling on top of lovely model Ivona. Ivona was lying on a blanket covered by feathers and I was standing on a ladder beside her head, the legs of the ladder were just outside the top of the image frame, so I was actually seeing this scene upside-down in the viewfinder. A large softbox hung above her from a boom as fill and beauty dish from the side acted as a key light. The challenge was to capture an interesting expression on her face while the snakes were in the right position. This was shot using the Sony A900 with the Tamron 70 200mm f2.8 lens and Profoto strobes.

Image 2.jpg

An image from a test shoot with model Josefine and hair and makeup by makeup artist Petra. I used a large soft light from the side to create a feeling of window light on a cloudy afternoon. I picked the pose because it shows the details of the pants and also the shape of the blouse. I wanted the tone of the image to match the vintage feel of the styling so I went with rather soft contrast. The clothes were colorless and were clearly all about shape so I felt black and white was appropriate. Shot with the Sony A900 and Tamron 70 200mm f2.8.

Image 3.jpg

An older shot with model Jannike and styling by clothes stylist Emma. This was shot using natural light and the Zeiss 85mm f1.4 on a Sony A700 in a cemetery outside Stockholm. The lighting and composition are really very simple in these images and I think they demonstrate the importance of good styling and models with the right appearances for fashion images.

Reading books and learning the rules of fields like portraiture can be really helpful when starting to take pictures of people. However, I would advise every photographer not to trust the rules too much and to always at least take the time to ask whether you simply like the image or not, regardless of what the rules say. Many personal styles break traditional rules but succeed because the value of the images is not in elaborate lighting, or posing, but instead in that they capture spontaneity, playfulness, or other expressions that may be lost in an elegant portrait pose.

William S

Edited by Frankman - 17 February 2010 at 23:25
*** Sony A850 * A700 * Minolta 5D and other stuff ***

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maewpa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote maewpa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2010 at 06:33
Agree. And thank you William for sharing your experience and expertise. I'd love you to carry on with this if you feel so inclined, since I think there is always a lot of thought behind this kind of photography and it is really interesting to read the photographer's thoughts and observations.

Now, where can I find a beautiful naked lady and some snakes....?

Edited by maewpa - 17 February 2010 at 06:34
Paul aka maewpa
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KoprivaMedia View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote KoprivaMedia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2010 at 06:36
It's always interesting to hear a professional's take, and this is an enlightening little series. Thanks for not waiting!!
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arpictures View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote arpictures Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 October 2011 at 14:38
Great article.....when is the next installment?
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alphableed View Drop Down

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Post Options Post Options   Quote alphableed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2012 at 20:31
I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences. Fashion photography is something that I would like to pursue at some point, so I am thrilled to soak up any words of advise. Lovely work by the way! Your photos show your keen eye for the subtle details.
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