Shooting fashion pictures with a concept – what I usually do

When I shoot fashion (for fun, or for work), I usually prefer to have a concept in mind for the pictures, because I don’t find particularly challenging the idea of just going to a location, and then tell to the model: “….now pose”. ….Pose how? And why? And to convey what?

So,  I typically, instead, work around an idea, a concept, that I develop in a series of photographs (at least 3). You can call this process “shooting editorial pictures” if you like, but I call it “I have a vision in mind, please help me to make it real, people!” :). Here ‘s how I usually prepare and shoot a set of pictures like that:

1. I think about a concept, of course 🙂 It doesn’t have to be particularly complicated,  it can be something plain and simple. For example: models in high heels playing soccer. Or (for my latest series, shot 2 weeks ago), I thought of a title first: I wanted to take pictures showing the process of taking pictures itself.

2. I decide how many pictures I want to shoot. How many photos do I need to properly address the concept that I have in mind?

i.e. I decided, for in front and behind the camera, to take 4 pictures:

3. I pick a location, and I visit it having the pictures in mind, to decide where each photo will be taken.

4. I sketch little drawings of the images I have in mind. They don’t have to be very realistic. Anyway, I swear, I can draw way better than this 🙂

5. I look for models that I think are a good match for the concept. and –  I pay the models.  –   Don’t offer in return only pictures (TFP) to models if you want them to pose for your personal vision. And/or, shoot also “regular” portraits of them, that they can use for their portfolios.

6. I share the details of the photos I have in mind with the other people involved (models/ make-up artist and hair stylist/ assistant?) a couple of days before the shoot

7. I look for props and I don’t forget to bring them with me 🙂

8. VERY IMPORTANT – even if it sounds silly, I think the most important step is: when it’s time to shoot, STICK TO THE PLAN. I find that it’s very, very easy, when it’s the moment to take pictures, to be distracted by many factors (the weather? People involved in the shoot has to rush to work? Models don’t feel like doing what you ask them?). Don’t be distracted. Focus, Valentina, focus 🙂

Ok, that’s it! Here, if you like, you can see the photographs taken for this project. Enjoy!


About valentina oppezzo

fashion and accessories designer

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