By Brian Rolfe
I love shooting fashion portraits, easy to plan, far less work than an editorial or commercial job! Give me a good model, quite often no team, just me, the model and an idea of what we want to create and almost without fail we’ll come away with some great shots that look uncontrived and natural. These are my tips for approaching this kind of portraiture…! !
#1 Put together a mood board beforehand that gives the general idea of what you’re aiming for, this doesn’t have to be an exact guide of the result you’d like but more of an overview so that everyone is on the same page. If you’ve not yet got a clearcut style then it’s good to find an image that’s close to what you want to create.!
#2 Pick the right model for the style you’re shooting, it sounds obvious but casting a very commercial girl next door type model when you want an editorial style with attitude is generally not going to work.!
#3 Remember models are people too, take the time to chat with them, get to know them a
little. Fashion portraits and people photography in general is as much about your personality as it is a model’s, create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere and it will show in your results!!
#4 Try not to over direct, I always find a good professional fashion model allowed to pose free will usually create magic you never thought of yourself, that pretty much goes for fashion portraits as well as editorials.!
#5 Don’t ever put your camera down while the model is in front of you, you may just miss a candid shot that is a killer! I’ve done it and you will kick yourself.!
#6 Don’t get hung up on having a full team, some of my favourite shoots have been with no make up, hair or styling aside from what the model brings with her or him. I’ve shot models in an old pair of my jeans and that’s it.!
#7 Keep things simple, good lighting doesn’t need multiple light sources and expensive
modifiers, one light or daylight works best for a fashion portrait.!
#8 Play with angles, shoot from the floor, move around the model and experiment.!
#9 Keep make up natural or even shoot without any at all, a blank canvas and unstyled hair bring a realism to the shoot.!
#10 I generally keep styling basic for this kind or shoot, denim, t-shirts, vest tops, basics underwear, again give your model some ideas in advance or get something in yourself if you don’t have a stylist.! !
Brian Rolfe is a professional photographer based just outside of London with a clean and classic style specialising in beauty, hair, fashion and portraiture.
Inspired by the classic photography of the sixties and the supermodel era of the eighties and nineties, he takes a simplistic approach, preferring to work with one or two lights and keep retouching to a minimum in order to enhance rather than overpower an image.