It’s all about fashion

Fashion photography must itself be fashionable. it is not enough merely to capture fashion in a creative way. Photographs of fashion must conform to currently accepted tastes, as well as innovate new tastes.

How does the fashion photographer remain, well, fashionable? By knowing how fashions and trends flow through the decades, by understanding when and why tastes change.

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The styles of fashion photography are dictated by a number of factors.

Foremost are the fashion statements dictated by international designers which are then adopted by Filipino designers. In the same vein, the styles of international and world- renowned photographers also dictate the kind of photography that filipino photographers do. The fashions and fashion photography we see in international fashion magazines and print ads are eagerly adopted by filipinos.

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Second is the technology available to photographers. The type of equipment used and the technology involved in image-making define the breakthrough styles of each era. During the film years, the styles and techniques of photography were defined (and limited) by what could be done with film. In the age of digital technology, many of these limitations have been thrown by the wayside, allowing creative and experimental photographers everywhere to push the envelope and innovate new photographic styles that are then adopted worldwide.

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Third is public taste. The real arbiter of fashion, despite the dictates of the influential few, is the general public. The fashion styles and statements that are adopted by the public eventually become the real “fashion statement.” While the elite may not approve of the pervasive public style, there’s no denying that it is the prevailing fashion statement.

Clearly, the definition of fashion and fashion photography in every decade is dependent upon the waves of influences that wash upon our shores.

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The aura of the era

Though it is easy to box in the styles of previous decades and be amused by them (That’s so-o-o ‘60s! So ‘70s! So ‘80s!), it is foolish to think that these photographic styles and concepts are no longer relevant today.

In every era, the idea of making something old into something new all over again is the name of the game. The element of wonderment and surprise elicited by cannibalizing the old and passing it off as something outrageously new is common among fashion photographers. “Retro” is always cool. Yet it must be “updated” to conform to the current era.

Being fashionable means doing something that is widely accepted to be new and different from what has been. Photographers look at the works of old masters, study the technical and creative elements of their photographs, and produce “new” works by simply avoiding what has already been done.

Using this technique of construction and deconstruction, photographers take out elements from the traditional way of creating photos, and also add to it. The kind of images we produce based on this simple subtractive and additive process are often viewed as cutting-edge. Photographers produce exciting works that are nothing but recreations of what has been done before but with a twist. and that twist comes from adding one or two surprising elements, or removing elements that are usually expected.

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Another favorite method of photographers is stylistic variance. We surprise viewers by being radical, if not irreverent, in the way we create images. fashion photographers, in particular, exercise much leeway in exercising creative freedom that often borders on lunacy and still get away with it.

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In short, we do not do what others are doing, and do what they are not doing. When researching the work of the known and iconic photographers who dominate the field, we keep on constant watch for the unexplored, the never-seen-before technique. We are careful to set ourselves apart from the originals and their copycats, in order to become an original unto ourselves.

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Avoid fashion shoot deal breakers

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