Friday, June 28, 2013

on Fashion Photography, First Time, and Portrait #37

Photography... it is a never ending learning process.

I have never been someone who people would think of for a fashion photography shoot. I am not that comfortable shooting whole body portraits compared to shooting head shots. And I know next to nothing about fashion. You wouldn't really expect a guy who wears the simple t-shirt - jeans - sneakers combo to be much of a fashionista right off the bat. But then again, I went to a very hip and trendy college and do browse magazines from time to time so I do have some sort of idea what I am getting myself into; or at least that was what I thought. And believe me, I never expected it to be a workout.

first session (6 of 10)
 doing my usual head shots...

I took this fashion shoot as a challenge and told Paulyn, who invited me for this shoot, that I have very little experience shooting fashion stuff. Well, she had faith in me so I got the gig. I did my homework and got some inspiration from popular fashion bloggers in the country; and there is always 500px as reference material.

first session (4 of 10)
 testing out if the strobes would look nice...

My usual shooting order is find my models angle, place her in the right location, shoot my keepers and do my experiments later. This is how I shoot when doing headshots as I already have that basic formula from experience. I can get from finding angles to shooting keepers in about a few minutes time. The experimental part takes a lot longer. This is my usual workflow because shooting keepers first makes sure that the effort to do the shoot doesn't go to waste. Only after I know that I have some decent output do I even try to play around with what I have.

first session (6 of 11)
 I also tried if monochrome would work...

I went about the shoot in reverse of what I usually do. With this shoot, I first had a location in mind, did a few test shots and then worked for my keepers. I first had to experiment to see what worked and what didn't since I still don't have a formula for shooting fashion stuff. I spent more time experimenting than nailing down keepers since this is a first.

first session (3 of 10)

first session (8 of 10)
trying out composition I figured would look close to what I usually see in blogs...

I am happy I did this shoot. I learned a lot and gained valuable shooting experience which I could apply. There are things I need to learn like shooting details and knowing how to match my subject to my location. And I do have to overcome that mentality that I have to highlight the model's face; I need to learn how to balance my shots so I can show her beauty as well as her outfit. Overall, I did good considering it is a first time. I am still in the process of mastering the popular way of doing this fashion shoots for blogs. Sooner or later, I will find my own way of shooting fashion.

first session (1 of 10)

first session (7 of 10)
 I still have to learn how to shoot the whole outfit...

And before I forget, my model Paulyn is a fashion blogger, stylist, and makeup artist rolled into one. She is easy to work with and really comes prepared for a shoot. I can't wait to do the next shoot with her. We will start planning it soon.

Portrait #37: Paulyn

PS: Uber thanks to Paulyn for being very game model and for the confidence that I could deliver output, to Alfe for recommending me as a photographer and Francis for being the instant support crew for her sister. Until next time! :D

 PPS: do visit Paulyn's blog at

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