Why Styling is Important to Fashion Photography

Why styling is important to fashion photographyIt’s well-known that fashion and photography go hand in hand. They’re both creative, they both focus on the aesthetics of life as a means of expression, and of course they enhance one another. Many a world-class photographer is hired for glamorous photo shoots across the globe every day, but what is it that sets those shots apart?

In a word, styling. The right styling is absolutely essential if you want to create the perfect fashion shoot. If you’re not convinced and you’re trying to improve your fashion photography skills, read on to find out why…


Comfort is everything

First and foremost, the subject of your photographs has to be comfortable. In most shoots, they hire models with stony expressions, but for everyday people, you need them to have the right kind of emotion for your shoot. They just can’t make that connection if they aren’t pleased with what they’re wearing, and you won’t get the shots you need.

Whoever your model is, make sure you pick the right fashion to suit them, or the right model for the clothing that’s made such a big impact on you. When the subject feels totally at ease, they’ll naturally ooze that confidence into the shoot, making your job a lot easier.

It could be that you’re the subject of the shoot, in which case the same applies – don’t pick outfits that don’t appeal to your own style or the viewer will be able to tell. Personally, give me a pair of jeans and a polo shirt and I’m happy, but others wouldn’t be seen without their statement trainers or dazzling jewellery.


Choose your background wisely

Styling also relates to the setting, and nothing is more important to a good shot that getting the background exactly right. Some photographers will trudge through the streets for hours before they find a perfectly lined set of buildings or the proportions for what they need.

So, how do you know when you’ve found it? Well, you should think about what you’re trying to put across in your shot; are you trying to be edgy for example? Will the lighting work for that desired effect? Are you seeking an urban scene for a skater shot like my recent post? When you decide on what you need from your shot, you’ll find it easier to select the ideal backdrop.

Do you need props?

It’s usually the subject that will tell the story captured within the image; after all, you wouldn’t be photographing them otherwise. However, it is possible for an image to look too bare, and sometimes you may need to add a few extra touches here and there to give your pictures dimension. Don’t be afraid to tweak things around you and make use of natural props from the setting to enhance the picture. These can make the difference between a good photograph and an award-winning shot.


Thanks very much for reading my post on styling – let me know what you think in the comments below.

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