The Experience

Getting into Fashion Photography?

By Simon Yap

August 2018

I recently had the opportunity to join an international photographer on a fashion shoot taking place on the East Coast of Singapore.  This was a first and new experience for me: fashion photography and working with models.

Straight off I could see the amount of work that goes into planning such a shoot, you have to think of everything from locations, lighting, clothing, directing the models, camera set-up and adjustments and to make sure working with everyone is smooth and without issue.

If you’re thinking of getting into Fashion Photography, here are some considerations that I picked up on from The Experience.

Fashion Photographer Tito

Fashion Photographer Tito capturing the moment


Although fashion photography is focused on the clothes and the model, the background location and setting is important to get right.  It must match with the product brand; Urban Clothes – go for a gritty urban setting, Eco Friendly clothes – go for lush green fields, you get the picture (quite literally).  The location can complement your vision and emphasize the feeling of the brand and what it represents.

Pre-scouting the location beforehand will also help you plan your shots.  On the day of the shoot itself, taking 5 minutes between locations to plan your next shot and set-up allows everyone to relax and take a breather.


Build a rapport with the models! Models are humans and they have their own anxiety, fears and nerves during a photo shoot so there is no need to be intimidated.  Put everyone at ease by sparking conversation, asking for their opinions and talking about their experience in the past.   Everyone has the same goal; to get the best pictures of the day.  A relaxed atmosphere will help everyone settle and ease in to their work, and remember to have fun.

Fashion Photography - improvised cat walk

Directing Models in an improvised catwalk


I was intrigued to see how the photographer handled the direction of the models.  Having a vision in your head and getting the models to meet that vision can be tough.  Clear direction, positive and encouraging feedback helps the model to relax.  If needed, demonstrate the pose you want.  You can then direct them on the small changes you need.  Adjusting the movements in the pose are often at times very subtle; a slight change in direction of their eyes, adjusting their chin, moving their head or their limbs slightly and these small changes can make a big difference in the look you are trying to capture.

Making sure the models are comfortable is important, don’t criticise but instead provide constructive feedback and direction.  Lastly, don’t forget to compliment the model and take a break every now and again.

I had a lot of fun on this shoot and it was a good experience. Importantly, it was good for me to expand my network and meet like-minded people in the industry.  I certainly enjoy Portrait Photography, but is this a route I want to travel, Fashion Photography?  Only time will tell…


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