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There is a common misconception that when it comes to fashion photography, the only key elements to a successful shoot are showcasing the latest trends and booking the hottest models. In fact, there is a lot that goes into a successful photo shoot - and photography skills are only part of that equation. From concept to budget to talent and location scouting, the job of a fashion photographer is no easy feat. But if you're up for the challenge and seriously considering venturing into the glamorous, fast-paced world of fashion and beauty, here are ten essential steps to help get you started.

The focus
Photo by Diego PH / Unsplash

01. Find your inspiration

You make your own rules in fashion photography - virtually anything can be painted and shot with artistic elements of portraiture, fine art, still life or even street photography. The myth of possibilities can be overwhelming, so if you are new to the fashion world, it is always a good idea to start your research. Pick up a magazine or go online and see the work of high-end photographers based in any of the world's top fashion capitals — London, Paris, Milan and New York. Every big-name photographer has mastered his craft and developed his own special aesthetic, so pay attention to the details in each of his individual portfolios (lighting, composition, style, etc.) to learn the very best . Also be sure to check out the work of photographers visiting your area, as these photographers will be your companions in the industry. Discover new people, who are taking creative risks or making a name for themselves in interesting ways using new technology Pay attention to what kind of fashion shots really call you 'Wow!', So you can start thinking about the direction you want to go.

Photo by June Liu / Unsplash

02. Create a mood board

Once you have a good understanding of the creative possibilities in fashion photography, develop a concept for your own shoot. A great place to start is a mood board. Mood boards are a very useful resource for getting all your ideas in one place and pitching your idea to other creatives. A mood board can be created online, or you can go old school and cut and paste a physical copy. Include images and ideas for every element of your desired shoot - lighting, styling, hair and makeup, location, model, and even pose. Your mood board should communicate a clear visual theme so that anyone watching will immediately understand what you want to achieve. When coming up with your mood board, remember the kind of equipment you have in mind and focus on images that are achievable for your team and skill level.

Photo by Quinton Coetzee / Unsplash

03. Search for talent

The fashion shoot is a team effort. Most photographers will work with a model, stylist, hairstylist and makeup artist to bring their ideas to life. On larger shoots, it may also include stylists and assistants. Identify the type of talent you will need to take your shoot from concept to reality. Once you get the idea of ​​the backbone of your team, you need to scout and then reach creative people in your area. Flick through local publications and focus on photo credits to find out which image the team was behind. Also, search through social media and look for relevant hashtags to find the people you want to work with. Some cities have Facebook pages for amateur photographers, models, hairstylists and makeup artists to organize shoots on a time-to-proof (TFP) basis. This means that everyone works for shooting for free and uses photos for their portfolio. If you don't have a Facebook page like this in your city, get started! You can be guaranteed that other grumbling creators will appreciate the opportunity to connect and learn, just on the understanding that all of you are just getting started. It is a worthwhile idea to post ads to local beauty colleges to find hairstylists and makeup artists who are ready to test their new skills in exchange for photos.

Photo by You X Ventures / Unsplash

04. Build Your Dream Team

Once you have made a short list of potential talents, examine their portfolio to get a firm idea of ​​their skills and style. It is a good idea to collaborate with people who are at the same level of experience as you, so you can build a strong, loyal network and develop together. Talk to them about your concept and be prepared to incorporate some of their ideas for final hair, makeup, styling and finalizing the set. Each team member will be able to provide valuable insights when it comes to their personal area of ​​expertise. Once you prepare your team, it is time to plan the details of your shoot.

Woman using DesignLab for iOS on an iPad Pro
Photo by Roberto Nickson / Unsplash

05. Develop a Storyboard

Shoot day can be a logistic challenge. Make sure you have a clear idea of ​​how the day will go so that you can make the most of your time. Start by creating a storyboard so that you know how you feel. This will ensure that you get the necessary images to enhance your portfolio or complete your client brief. To create your storyboard, uniquely explore the number of outfit changes and hair and makeup touch-ups, and choose the sequence of shots you plan to take. If you are working outside, keep in mind that you may need to modify your sequence to get continuous light.

Photo by Sebastian Herrmann / Unsplash

06. Scout for locations

There are innumerable options for the location of your fashion shoot. You can choose anywhere from urban streets to natural landscapes to studio set-ups and other indoor locations. Think about what kind of location you are suitable for and start scouting for the appropriate locations. There are some important practical considerations when you settle in your last place. Is there a suitable place to change the model? Can you get all your layouts in one place, or will you need to move? Will everyone be able to use the location, or do you need to arrange transport? Find out whether you have to pay for studio access or apply for a permit or release to shoot on public lands such as parks or city streets. A lot of people will be spending their time for your shoot, so it's important that you tick all the boxes when it comes to these administrative steps. You do not want to fall short of technology.

Back to school with a bullet journal
Photo by Estée Janssens / Unsplash

07. Prepare a call sheet

After you finalize your crew, location and storyboard, the time has come to create a call sheet. A call sheet sets out all the information that your crew needs to know on the day of the shoot. The call sheet should include the following: • Shoot the date and time • shoot concept • Location (including any instructions on access or parking if it is not direct) • Responsibilities of each person • Contact details of all involved • Detailed schedule for the day • Any special instructions or notes You can also attach your mood board to the call sheet, so that everyone can access it easily, and all relevant information is in one place. Try sending a call sheet a few days in advance so that people have time to raise any issues.

Mountain lake in camera lens
Photo by Paul Skorupskas / Unsplash

08. Keep the details in mind

The most creative ideas for stunning fashion photography can uncover them if you find yourself with an unhappy crew or faulty equipment. Pay attention to details to make the shoot run smoothly. If you plan to shoot for more than a few hours, make sure that there is enough food and drink for everyone. Also, give people a chance to take a break every now and again - it's hard to be creative and stay on top in your game when you're hungry and tired. If you and your crew do not have enough access to an electrical outlet, you may find yourself in trouble. Styles, batteries, and hairstyling equipment may all need to be plugged in. Think ahead to avoid getting caught less. It is a good idea to have a budget for miscellaneous costs as well. If a piece of equipment breaks at the last minute or an extra person unexpectedly turns to help the makeup artist, it's good to know that you can cover it.

Photo by Felipe Furtado / Unsplash

09. Have a Back-up plan

is So you've planned, planned, and planned something else, your crew is fully briefed, your equipment is ready, and you're ready to go — but what if you get that Dangerous text finds that your model has suddenly come down on the flu and will not be able to make it? Or if it started raining and those golden hour shots you were banking on are now impossible? Remember: Life happens, and sometimes even the best laid plans are bad To avoid the stress and confusion of these situations, make sure you have contingency plans. If you are planning an outdoor shoot, check the weather in advance, and if there is a possibility of rain, be prepared to adjust the mood of your shoot or even move to another location. Likewise, keep the contact details of different creatives and models on hand, so that you can get someone out at the last moment. It is also a good idea to have a photographer's first aid kit with you. Include things like electrical tape, clamps, and pegs so that you can make last minute adjustments to the equipment and even the model's fabric when necessary.

The Sun Shooting
Photo by Jose Pedro Ortiz / Unsplash

10. Continue Shooting

Shoot as many as possible to experiment with different techniques and concepts. Over time, you will be able to exploit the skills to take your own creative risks and develop a personal style.

In the meantime, keep practicing on friends, family and yourself as well. Although you may not get the full experience of shooting with a model and crew, you will be able to refine your lighting skills and learn the ins and outs of all of your equipment. Your output might look like high-end fashion photographs (at first!), but you get a valuable chance to make mistakes and push yourself while growing one shoot at a time.

Experiment with as many different styles as possible while you are learning the ropes and honing your skills. This will not only give you a greater opportunity to identify your strengths, it will also help you broaden your photographic skill set. When you do start developing your own personal style, you will be more prepared to handle any photo shoot situation that comes your way.

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