We all know that styling plays a major role in fashion photography; especially, in those high-fashion shoots which require over-the-top drama in their images. But sometimes, it gets really difficult to find a stylist of your choice who fits the budget.
What can you do in situations like this?
You can become a Stylist for your own shoots! Being a Stylist is no rocket science, and here are some tips on how to style.
A Sense of Fashion
The most important aspect of fashion photography is the clothing. And to style a fashion shoot, you need to have an eye for what is fashionable, what is trending in the fashion world, which clothes complement each other and what accessories match the outfit.
In short, you need to have a sense of how to style an outfit. And the easiest way to do that is to watch and learn from the stylists you have worked with. You can also look at photographs of other fashion shoots, MAGAZINES, campaigns, and focus on how the model has been styled.
The best part about fashion is the limitless ability it gives, to express yourself. So, you can also come up with your own ideas for outfits & accessories.
Scout for Resale Shops
Search on google or take a drive around your city and scout for clothes and accessories resale shops. You will be amazed by the collection of items they have and their prices.
There are, broadly, two kinds of resale shops; Thrift Stores and Consignment Shops.
THRIFT STORES are basically donation-based shops run by charity-driven organizations. Members of the community donate used goods, including clothes, shoes, and accessories to the organizations running these stores. You can visit such stores and hunt for your requirements. Thrift shops are really cheap and have a huge accessory collection.Source
CONSIGNMENT SHOPS are stores which sell gently used clothes and accessories on behalf of the community members, also know as consignees, and take a percentage of the sale price. These shops are comparatively expensive to Thrift stores but are sufficiently stocked with shoot-appropriate garments. If you are looking for something specific for your shoot then explore such places.
Selecting Outfits & Accessories
The most amazing thing about fashion photography is the flexibility it has that lets you express whatever you want; be outrageous, daring, shocking, or even really quirky and absurd. Thus, use your ideas and build up an attire.
There are no rules to follow when it comes to selection. But it’s always good to start with a top. The top/blouse is usually the closest piece of clothing to the face and lies on the part of the photograph that the viewer notices first. Also if you start with the top, you can later crop the image if you do not like the rest of the outfit.
Always prefer to buy the tops that instantly grab your attention when you enter those resale shops. If those tops can catch your eyes on a dusty old clothes rack, they will most certainly grab a lot of attention on a beautifully shot model.
The toughest part of styling is finding a matching bottom and putting the outfit together. but since you are a photographer, you would have some understanding of it. It’s always good to start with solid colored bottoms as a lot of patterns might clutter the image if not matched well with the top.
Now that you have an outfit, start hunting for accessories. They are a small part of the photograph but help immensely in completing the whole attire and make the image look more stunning. But remember not to go overboard with too many accessories and make everything too blingy as it will distract the viewer from the outfit.
Also, accessories can be a bit pricey. Luckily, most models and makeup artists have their own collection of accessories and on request, can bring their collection to the shoot. You can mix and match their stuff to add to the attire’s appeal.
And when it comes to footwear, you can ask the model if she has a pair of matching footwear to bring on the shoot day. If not, you can get the model’s shoe size and collect some heels at a resale shop for a very cheap amount. Sometimes, you will be really surprised to see some amazing accessories and footwear that the models get on the day of the shoot.
Now that you are ready with all the clothing and accessories required, you can wait until the shoot day in peace.
On the Day of Shoot
On the shoot day, keep those outfits neat and well pressed. After the makeup has been done on the model, make her wear the outfit properly and check how it looks and if some changes need to be done. Once set with the outfit, add some accessories and complete the look. Your vision is, now, ready to be shot.
In conclusion, I feel it is really easy to make a model pose and get what you had visioned, after styling them yourself. It makes sense because, when you style, you are thoroughly thinking about the final photograph.
Cover Image Credits: Pants On Fire Campaign
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