Creating the Dynamic Fashion Look

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Fashion covers such a broad spectrum of looks and styles that defining it as a photographic genre is nearly impossible.  To some people, if it isn’t “High Fashion” like that of the Paris Runways, it isn’t fashion at all. But that excludes an enormous number of sub-classes and related genres that are often attached to the “World of Fashion”. There is casual wear, alternative fashion, retro looks, fitness wear, seasonal styles, accessories/eyewear/beauty, urban wear, club fashions and so many other types of attire that any kind of consensus is not only unattainable, it is a colossal waste of time trying to find common ground. Instead of trying to lock down what fashion is, the more appropriate application of thought and energy needs to be on “how to shoot” fashion and make the garments look their very best. In the end, that is the entire goal of a fashion shoot, to emphasize the splendor of the attire. Shooting fashion isn’t terribly hard, but there are some steps to gaining success that need to be considered to make the shot look right and not have it come out looking like a High School Senior Portrait. A deeper sense of strategy and purpose has to go into the planning of a fashion shoot and despite the diverse nature of this complicated branch of the family, there are some very specific approaches that will serve the fashion photographer well if they are carefully adhered to.
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To truly grasp the end result the fashion photographer is trying to achieve, a deeper understanding of the contrast between Fashion and Glamor is essential. Just as acids and bases are on opposite ends of the pH spectrum, fashion and glamor have differing philosophies of method. In glamor, the entire focus of the imagery is the beauty of the face and figure of the model. The attire of the model is at best an accent to her figure. Most commonly, garments are nearly or completely irrelevant. In glamor, nothing must detract from the impact of the sensual/sexual nature of the female form of face and figure. In fashion, especially high fashion, but even in all forms of fashion, it is quite nearly the opposite. Less emphasis must be placed on the model’s beautiful face and figure and a stronger focus most be attached to the attire. Depending on the type of fashion, there will be varying levels of attention to the clothing. In High Fashion, ALL eyes viewing the image MUST be on the clothes. As such, the cut of the clothes must meld with the model’s physique, and as is usually the case and the model should be tall and very slender to change the cut of the clothing as little as possible. However, when it comes to fitness wear, the physique of the model must accentuate the design of the attire, so impressive musculature and curves instead of height and slimness can be effectively utilized.
You can see more of this article in the May issue of ModelsMania

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