Fashion Photography Tips and Workflow Strategies

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If you’ve never seen a high-end fashion photo shoot before, then take a look. I’ve seen dozens of other photo shoots of products and models, but never one that shows you that gives you the same sense of hecticness that this one does. It’s obvious that a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to set up a good photo shoot, but many videos only give you a brief glimpse or skip it completely. This video, however, really gives you a feeling of what it’s like being on a real fashion shoot:

It’s amazing how business-like a creative job such as photography can be. The photographer here, David Thompson, is very careful about keeping a schedule. He knows how much time he needs to put into this shoot to make it look good and to make it profitable for himself. In the beginning of the video he even seems a little snobby, but he’s not really, he’s just doing business. This is his job. This is how he makes a living. And if he’s not serious about it, then it won’t work.

High-end photo shoot

David Thompson

There’s a few things I noticed in this video that really intrigued me. First is just how many assistants he has. While shooting, he has five or six people standing around him. One to do hair and make-up, one to do wardrobe, one to check for focus and lens flare on the camera, and others. It makes it seem very hectic when Thompson is giving directions to the model, then to his camera assistant, then to his make-up assistant, and then back to his model. He wastes no time.

The second thing I noticed was how Thompson checked the lighting when the crew was setting up. He made a fist, held it up to eye level, and looked at how the light fell on his hand and arm to see where the different lights were coming from. Very interesting.

This video shows Thompson’s post processing style. You can see that he has multiple assistants even at this stage of the photographic process. They don’t go through every little bit of retouching and editing, but this does give you an idea of the general workflow of the process and what changes are generally made.

model jumping

Post-processing of fashion photos

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One Comment

  1. GMC262 says:

    He’s good but seems a bit patronizing-professionalism can mean a number of things but many would say it’s unprofessional to tell the viewers there was too much chatting in the makeup room- he should have taken it up with those involved and left it there. Also why weren’t the lighting rigs up prior to his arrival?

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