Fashion is not something that exists in dresses. It’s in the sky, street and each idea that decode the way we live and respond to what is happening around us. A storyteller of dreams, characters, aspiration, fairy tales and more, fashion photographer Vinod Wakkchare, reflects on how he weaves those tales through his lens.
Shoot a story, not a picture
Fashion photography gives you a chance to create your own plot, to choose your own characters and tell stories. It’s a medium through which you can portray your interpretation of the world. These ideas are stories that connect to the onlookers, engaging them in a conversation. As a fashion photographer, you have this unique ability to define how you see the world.
A good photographer can highlight the fashion sense in every subject, using state-of-the-art equipment to obtain the best outcomes. With the proper camera lens selection, angle, lighting, and other photographic elements, experienced photographers know how to capture the best fashion moments, such as fantasy, cultural, rustic, vintage, or modern styles. Moreover, a photographer must be open-minded, creative, agile, and dependable to tell great, convincing fashion stories.
Design the elements of your story
For a fashion photographer, it’s important to treat the shoot as a performance, where various elements play a vital role. In a fashion shoot, the camera is not the only element that decides the final outcome. And even though the subject is really important, the lights, colour, environment, and technology equally are. Create a comfort zone where the subject trusts you. It helps him or her bring out the best. Amidst all this, however, it’s also important to not let anything overshadow the protagonist.
A perfect fashion plot must allow comfortable and free movement. In that way, fashion protagonists can portray their roles properly. If you notice anything awkward or unsightly, you can intervene after the actors have finished positioning or posing. In that way, you promote self-expression and won’t impede their self-reliance, morale, and confidence during the pictorial.
Every click is a challenge
Whether it’s an inanimate object or a celebrity that you shoot, every subject comes with its own set of challenges. It might appear that it’s easy to shoot inanimate objects, but it’s not. As you can’t instruct them while shooting and that’s where it’s important for the photographer to be extremely patient. Shooting famous faces is a challenge too. Because they’ve shot with various photographers thousands of times, making your shoot an entirely different experience for them is what you have to keep in mind.
While fashion photography can be challenging, a good photographer can make everything less stressful. Displaying an optimistic and approachable attitude can help open lines of good communication, enabling the photographer and the subjects to collaborate to create the most relatable fashion story outcomes.
For instance, tell your subjects that it’s okay to suggest a specific pose or costume and to take short breaks when they feel tired. This way, you can allow a pause to recharge from the exhausting shooting sessions. Just make sure to set limits to meet client deadlines and metrics accordingly.
Creativity can’t be incidental.
A deep frantic process with lots of hard work and patience is the key to fashion photography. Because the process includes various steps and professionals, planning becomes mandatory. Right from pre-production to post-production, meeting the client, brainstorming before the shoot, understanding the requirements of the shoot and deciding the look of the models to the actual shooting and then retouching the image, all with the support of art directors, makeup artists, hairstylists and designers, a lot goes behind that single click.
It’s a one man classroom.
There are various photography courses available these days. However, you don’t need a degree or a diploma in order to practice fashion photography. What matters more is practical experience. You will find various books on photography out of which great learning can be derived. Also, follow famous photographers’ work. There is a lot you can absorb through their various style and techniques. Try to work with a photographer as the knowledge gained through such an experience sticks on with you forever.
Open your eyes and then your lens.
That square shot is your blank canvas and you can include in it whatever you want and feel like. But before you peep into that camera, peep into the world. Look around, observe and come up with new ideas. Keep experimenting with lights, camera and different aspects of photography. And remember, you can’t win if you don’t fail. Keep trying, keep exploring, keep discovering and keep shooting.