Special post today! As you may know, (or if you don’t, now you do) I’ve always wanted to be a model. When I was little I went to a “model” school in Moscow, took part in a couple of runway shows for Karl Lagerfeld, Escada and a show in Pierre Cardin’s mansion in Paris… My childhood was quite filled with all sorts of fashion related activities, however once I moved to Portugal it all stopped. Yet I always enjoyed being in front of the camera so I took it in my own hands and created this blog with one of my directions being “Portfolio” – editorial style photographs that will be more about the photography and styling than about the casual daily outfit. I hope this brunch of my blog will also help me build my own portfolio and hopefully pursue this dream of mine. Obviously I understand my body type is not Kendall Jenner, but I’m sure there’s space under the sun for me as well 🙂
Today I will tell you how to create photographs like that. There are few points you need to think about when you want to do a shoot like that, few practical and few inspirational! Let’s go by points:
- First things First – Inspiration!
Personally, all my inspiration comes from either looking through fashion magazines, specially the parts that nobody pays attention to – the adverts and campaigns in the beginning. Those pics usually have something that inspires me: colors, places, outfits, photography style and editing… Magazines like Vogue often have editorial articles that you can look through to get inspired. Other thing – which is very very simple – just walk around, see places, sit quietly in populated areas and pay attention to people and their styles. What helps me a lot is the fact that i still don’t have an english SIM Card so i never have 3G therefore I can never listen to my music or have social media or text with people so whenever I am outside I look around places, small streets, small turns hoping to find something for inspiration or even for location. Lastly, simply shopping online, looking through clothes without a certain aim in mind. I see what is IN right now and thus get inspired. I feel like I have a photogenic mind: it doesn’t mean my mind “looks good on the photos” but it does look for things that will! Try to think through the lense, imagine every detail in a 2D manner, instead of thinking wide 360 view, think rectangular: what will have to be in the shoot, what won’t; what will fit, what shouldn’t fit. What textures will appear nicely, which ones will be barely seen. How colors will transform, how to highlight colors using background, how to make sure background and your look don’t blend it together! Think “photogenically”!
2. Location vs Look
Once you get inspired and know what kind of photographs you are going for, its time to look for either a location or a look. However, what I usually do is I collect all these inspirations, all locations I’ve seen, all clothes that I’ve seen and combine it in one shoot. What is good about editorial style shots is that you can go a little – or a lot – overboard and still get away from it. While shooting casual looks you wanna keep the look simple if the location is what you want to highlight, or keep the location simple to show the statement look, however in editorial you can balance them two to 50/50 and create something magical. Use location to help you bring the look alive, find similarities and differences that will benefit you and use them in your advantage. Combine styles that go well together or contrast them; like for example wearing something romantic in a garden full of roses, or wearing that same look in a broken unbuilt house in the middle of nowhere with broken glass on the floor and nasty graffities behind you!
Make sure your clothing is not plain, its an editorial shoot after all, use it to wear stuff you always wanted to try on but couldn’t pull off in a casual setting! For this shoot I chose a pink faux fur jacket from Missguided! I like faux fur coats however If I was to wear one daily it would be either beige, black or white, not pink! The texture looked very nice and thats what made the shots interesting. I didnt go very much overboard with the rest of the look – fairy simple make up, white plain top underneath and black jeans. However since we focused mainly on upper body to really show that texture and work on my close ups – it wasn’t important either. In the end I also added some sparkles on my cheeks to add that editorial touch!
The location was Winter Wonderland in London. I felt like it would look nice with all the blurred neon lights in the background, making everything magical and very “vanilla” – very sweet and girly as well as interesting with all the ombres those lights created on my jacket and my skin!
Overall you can see how pink faux fur combined with neon lights and carousels in the background created a colourful almost campaign-like photos featuring mainly the coat and the furry texture. If I wore a simpler coat there wouldnt be anything worth highlighting and it would look like a simple outfit post shot on a fair…
3. Camera & Right person to shoot
The quality of these photographs must be outstanding in order to capture every light, every flock of fur, every sparkle in high resolution. So make sure you get the right camera for these types of shoots! If it is a one off shoot, there are some places where you can rent a camera for a day or rent a lense! Check them out in your country/city, I know for sure there are places like that in Lisbon & in London.
If you are planning to be the model, the person who will be shooting must be on board with your idea. In order to create something editorial style, the photographer will have a lot to think about – the angle that works best for you – the model; pay attention to what is entering the shot. Winter Wonderland was full of people (obviously), so we had many great shots but there were kids or people in the background, even looking in the camera, there were rubbish bins and many more things that we didnt pay attention to. So learn from my mistakes and take time to plan each shot, photographer must look in every corner of that rectangle, see beyond it as well to predict wether a person was going to walk in or not. That’s relevant if your doing a shoot in a populated place, once you’re in a studio its much much easier, you control everything! Lighting of the shoot is always important, wether you’re shooting a casual style look or if you’re shooting editorial, but I do highlight the importance of it anyhow. Daylight will give you better quality but neon lights on the fair gave us that important detail that brought the whole look and location together, but to really capture it – the camera was the key!
p.s. To post these photos I had to contract them and lower their size from 11MB to 2.6 to 3.5MB to be able to upload, so as you can imagine during this big contraction some quality got lost 🙁 apologies for that…
P.P.S. The photographer of this shoot was Monika Goralczyk (her Facebook here)
4. Play with edits
Once the shoot is done you can start editing the photographs. Its not a secret that all editorial (and not only) photographs go through a lot of editing. You can either heighten the colors and the contrasts just by playing with aspects like “brightness”, “darkness” ,”deepening the colors”, “Highlights & shadows”, “contrasts” and “saturation” which is usually what I do. You don’t need an expensive software to do that and either do you need some serious skills or talent. Just push the roll side to side, playing with these things and seeing what works best. If you want to go a little further – play with different colors of the photo that you’ve got. It was quite easy to do with this shoot cos photographs already had a lot of color present so I made some stronger, some weaker, tinted the photos or changed temperatures and vividness of those colors.
Hope this gives you some sort of idea how to create photos of editorial style. Im obviously not an expert in that, this is one of my first ever works so I hope you like it! If I made a mistake or forgot to mention something please comment! Always learning and supporting each other! If I helped you or inspired you, comment as well or tag me @manyashaa___ if you post anything like that in Insta!
Thanks for reading & now enjoy the results:)
Funny how my face is like “WTF you want?” after Monika called me out of nowhere while I was on my phone. Moral of the story: don’t interrupt my social media break 😉
THAT OMBRE TO DIE FOR!!!! (hearted eye emoji x 10000)
Now, have a look at the pics I OVER edited! While the ones above were just slightly edited with contrast and brightness, for the ones below I used tint/ temperature/ and different color regulations, heightened some and dimmed the others in different orders. Some more blue others more yellow as you can see 🙂