Unlike some other genres of photography, outdoor fashion photography doesn’t require any intricate studio setups. You just need a good camera, lens, and a few other commonly used gears that are complementary to it., and most importantly good photography skills.
You can follow this article to get some useful ideas about outdoor fashion photography to deepen your knowledge of this topic.
This article is aimed to help beginners starting out with outdoor fashion photography on avoiding some of the common mistakes not followed or missed by beginners. You can use this article as a checklist to make sure you are following all the necessary steps required to be an effective fashion photographer.
Camera & Equipment
The camera you choose needs to be capable of outputting good quality images in both low light and daylight environments. One of the popular choices for the outdoor camera is Nikon D3X 24.5MP FX CMOS Digital SLR. It’s quite expensive; you can go for a cheaper one. Probably choose one that ranges from $500 to $600.
Lenses: You can cheap out on the camera, but the lens you choose plays the most major role in the final output of your photo. Don’t rely on the kit lens provided by the manufacturer, these lenses don’t output the professional quality images that you might be looking for.
When choosing a lens for outdoor fashion photography, get one that offers a minimum aperture of f/2.8. Lower will be better. Go for a telephoto zoom lens that offers a focal length of something like 70-200mm. As you might need to move further or closer to the subject, having such lenses will help greatly. You don’t need to move your position, rather by only changing the focal length, you can achieve a similar result.
Consider a Tripod: Tripods helps maintain stability during the shoot and ensures a clear image. These are a cheap and very handy piece of equipment. Tripods will be especially useful during nighttime shoots.
Outdoor Fashion Photography Camera Settings
Camera settings won’t be the same for all types of photography. It needs to be changed depending on the environment, lighting, and the genre of photography you are interested in.
If you are in a rush, like being in a crowded place, and want to take multiple pictures, then having semi-automatic settings on will be useful. Going fully automatic might require time to set properly and needs to be changed if the light changes.
So, for daylight shoot, consider turning on the aperture priority mode. The camera will automatically decide the shutter speed of the camera judging the outdoor lights and then you only need to adjust the aperture of your lens.
For low light environments consider having your camera set to shutter priority mode. You will be in control of how much light to let into your camera lens. The camera will automatically choose the aperture for you.
Check your ISO: During the daytime, there will already be a sufficient amount of light. Increasing the ISO too much might include digital noise to your images, so having the ISO to the lowest will be ideal.
Adjust Your Settings to Shoot in RAW
Shooting in RAW will take more space in memory but saves you a lot of hassle while editing the images. The RAW format stores more details and enable you to make greater adjustments to almost every aspect of the photo.
You can drastically change the colors, lightings, shadows & highlights, and much more, which otherwise won’t be possible if the images were shot in JPEG. A RAW file contains the maximum dynamic range produced by the camera and can be used to recover any lost details that occurred while shooting.
Be Wise with Your Location
Even before consulting with the model, the location should be the first thing you need to finalize. To avoid wasting time consider visiting the place beforehand and take some sample shots just to get a basic idea of how the shoot will be.
Consider a thematic approach when choosing the location. For example, if you want a cowboy look, go to the countryside and also choose dresses native to that scheme. Your background will play a major role in shaping the mood of the audience.
Try to choose places that are unique and not some generalized places people are used to seeing. It will help your photos to stand out more.
Know the Right Time for The Shoot
Plan your timing depending on what kind of photos you are aiming at. Know the weather condition of the location you are visiting.
For daytime shots, try to avoid going out in the afternoon, as the sunlight will be very harsh and tends to output undesired results. The safest time is to go out before sunrise or a few hours before the sunset. You will get a warm and pleasing environment to work with. Just before the sunset the lights will be very diffused and can help you to get some interesting shots.
Consider the Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is used in various types of photography categories. It is basically dividing the frame into 9 different parts, having 3 parts both on horizontal and vertical angles. The subject is placed within the intersection of those lines. It helps to put a focal point on the frame.
This technique is very useful when you are just starting out with photography. Even some professionals make use of it from time to time depending on their composition needs.
Selecting the Right Model
The model is another of the most important part of fashion photography and photographers needs to be very wise in terms of who they choose.
If the model is not doing a proper job then the whole shoot will be a waste of time. If you are doing the work for a client then it becomes extremely important that your model is experienced. Try hosting an audition and see who does the best job of serving your needs.
If you find someone who has already worked on similar projects like yours, then he/she will probably the right one for the task.
Prepare your Model for the Shoot
The model is the key feature of any outdoor fashion photography. If their expression and body language are dull then the image will also come out to be dull and will fail to convey any sense of appeal in your audience’s eyes.
Even professionals get uncomfortable in a new environment, so, as a photographer, it is your responsibility to make them comfortable. Talk to your subject during the shoot and give her directions on how to do the poses. A better solution will be to get into the set and show how to do the pose yourself. This will help break the ice and get them to be more confident with the work. Also, asking for their suggestion helps greatly.
Different Concept and Different Angles
The secret to perfect outdoor fashion photography is to have a photo shoot that has a meaning. If your photos don’t tell a story then it won’t sell well. Try to create different fashion concepts. Combine unique dresses, props, and backgrounds to come up with something new. New and creative ideas are always welcomed in the fashion industry.
Try to shoot from different angles to give a more unique perspective and feel to the image, rather than sticking with the conventional style that most people use.
Props work really well with outdoor fashion photography, in fact, sometimes pictures might look bland with just the model posing in it. Adding props adds more character and interest to the image. It also helps to increase the conversion rate if done right.
You can be really creative with props. One important thing to remember is that use props to only complement the main subject, it should not be the focus of the photo.
Importance of Post-Processing
Not only for outdoor fashion photography but also for all other genres of photography, editing is a necessity.
Images often have at least some sort of problems, such as having spots, blemishes, unwanted objects, bad lighting, etc. all these can be fixed through post-processing.
As a photographer, when you get to a higher level, you might not have time to edit photos yourself. In such cases, consider outsourcing. It will help you save a lot of valuable time that can be spent on other important projects. Visit Fix the Retouch if you need assistance with photo editing services. We provide all sorts of fashion photo editing services. Get a free trial now.
Fashion photography is a big industry and there are a lot of opportunities to excel in this genre. To be a good outdoor fashion photographer, you need to be consistently learning and expanding your knowledge. Don’t be afraid to experiment, new ideas get created due to experiments. Only photography skills won’t make you a better photographer, you also need to be good at communicating with people. Be respectful of whoever you are working with and give them their time to adjust to the environment.