Fashion Story - beautiful woman and castle - fashion campaign photographed in Milan, Italy

FASHION SHOOT: PROCESS FROM IDEA TO PHOTOGRAPHY TO POST PRODUCTION

A fashion shoot has a good story and a great mood and a specific visual style or it is all for nothing. Something bland and commercial helps no fashion brand stand to be noticed and arouse emotions. It has to be specific and personal. Only then it can be emotional and fascinating.

There is some preparation to be done so when alea iacta est sounds, that the dice are cast we have a high number of eyes showint to client and artist and we have a great result. Just showing up somewhere and shooting everything the same style is not what a good fashion shoot is about. Having models stand in front of the same background does not make a story.

This is how I create a story so we have something really good, personal, emotional and inspired. This is how I prepare fashion shoots.

1. Inspiration

“All things are ready, if your mind be so” William Shakespeare, Henry V

A fashion shoot has a good story and a great mood and a specific visual style or it is all for nothing. Something bland and commercial helps no fashion brand stand to be noticed and arouse emotions. It has to be specific and personal. Only then it can be emotional and fascinating.

There is some preparation to be done so when alea iacta est sounds, that the dice are cast we have a high number of eyes showint to client and artist and we have a great result. Just showing up somewhere and shooting everything the same style is not what a good fashion shoot is about. Having models stand in front of the same background does not make a story.

This is how I create a story so we have something really good, personal, emotional and inspired. This is how I prepare fashion shoots.

2. Preproduction

“Organizing is about control of the process without becoming a control freak”
not by Willieam Shakespear, not even from Richard III

I like to work with producers who face the challenges of the resistance of reality with ease. So things are where they need to be when the creative work starts. That all releases and all paperwork is waterproof and no formal hindrances step in to waste precious photo shoot time.

3. Casting

“More than 90 percent of directing a picture is the right casting” Martin Scorcese

A fashion shoot needs directing just as much as a movie or you will end up with models standing about like clothing racks with no life in them and not an ounce of reality in the picture.

Casting time is crucial and I photograph castings in one or two looks of my clients’s designs so they can see who wears their designs well and makes them shine.

4. Location Scouting

“Choosing location is integral to a film: in essence, another character”
Ridley Scott

Location is as crucial for a fashion shoot as it is for a film. Otherwise you have no atmosphere and no feeling. It is the character all models/performers react to and gives the ground mood.

Los Angeles has a great variety of locations to cast as this crucial character and I spend a lot of my time finding new locations that are true and original and have not been done to death. Someone who shoots at the Santa Monica pier should have his camera removed by emergency operation.

In LA we have deserts, ghost towns, forests, Blade Runner noir and Millennial town, houses from every architectural period of the last 100 years. Depressive suburbs, sprightly coastal landscapes, excellent houses and gardens and roads winding into the hills with views that makes you feel like a god in antique Greece.

5. Props, Cars, Airplanes...

“A good prop gives the scene a center of gravity"

The Mustang is a nice car to drive and a 60s version is beautiful. But not very original. How about a 20s car. A Horch? A 1930’s Mercedes? How about a biplane, a helicopter, an airship or, if that goes over budget a paper airplane or a bottle rocket?

How about 60s furniture and musical instruments, oversized books from the 18th center or a stack of comic books? Artwork. Stuffed animals. Cannibal maks. Guns. Toys. Statues. The flavor is the decider and inventiveness adds this imagination multiplier to a shoot.

6. The Photo Shoot

“You cannot plan life but you can prepare for it. Luck favors those who are prepared. “

A good photo shoot is the opportunity grasp a moment of something real. Those are the only things worth looking at. And those real moments stick out like the statue of Michelangelo’s David from a bunch of homeless.

When a shoot creates exactly the images planned you the photographs are kitsch. This is why great performers, location and props are necessary as initiators of reality, a higher reality than the poor everyday reality which is, by the way, no real at all but unconscious routine.

Reality are those great moments that stick out and that you never forget. If I shoot a baroque scene and one of Elon Musk’s starships flies through the picture, all the better. Thanks for the surreal moment.

For clients this is the inspiring day away from the office. We are building something, making something and when the day is over, the sun sets we have a story. An actor has to be in the moment to do great work, and so does the photographer. He has to get the performers into the moment, the location and even the props which only seems to be lifeless.

The good pre-production pays off and we can shoot  the moments of reality in the the visual style we have prepared and create something that lasts longer than a fashion season.

7. Post Production

"I looked in all the crevices of my mind and could not find a single quote on post production. This is how undervalued this important state of photography is"

Post production is to translate what the camera saw into what the human mind saw when it created the story. It is not about photoshopping the hell out of it so everybody looks like the wax figure of a bimbo.

Less is more, and often that means more work. Post production must not pull attention to itself. The style of the image has to be natural in regard to story and mood.

I work with clients on image selection and show them samples of the post production stage and we discuss. It is a beautiful moment when the story becomes a whole and you would not believe all the things you can learn when listening to audio books while riding the final wave of story in front of a large computer monitor.

Questions and inquiries please go here: