Having worked in fashion and with creative businesses I have seen it all when it comes to creating images and products shots to support you brand and marketing activity. Whether you have a limitless or no budget, what you put out as your visuals is what will be the shop window to your business. Whether it is your website, social media, press and PR. A consistent and professional look is so important for brand reputation and perception.
Yes, I appreciate in the era of Covid and the lack of access to professional skills visuals have become rawer in the look and feel. This is to convey the sense of authenticity and capture the moment in time. Rawness or not there are still rules we should be following.
For this blog I have teamed up with some of my industry buddies who work in this field to provide some tips on taking perfect images for different platforms. These tips from all of us are to help you save time, money, know how to approach such activity and what you need for your final outputs.
I’m joined on time by Pete Gomori of Studio Gomori, London based micro creative agency working with start-up and established brands.
What Studio Gomori has to say about your images
Your Image Is Everything
Fashion is a visual industry. From the garment itself to the inescapable Instagramisation of Literally Everything, the emphasis is on what you can see. And yet many emerging fashion brands fall at the first hurdle – not doing justice to their lines by cutting corners on photo and video assets.
Your digital presence – your website and your social media – are your number 1, front-and-centre, first line of attack brand touchpoints. There’s no substitute for the first impression, and making sure your customers’ gut reaction makes them obsessed with your brand. And digital channels are visual above all else.
If there’s one thing I stress to my clients more than anything else, it’s this: let’s get your imagery sorted. Your brand is not your logo – it’s your entire visual identity. So your photographic assets, your lookbook and everything else needs to be in line with your overall creative vision.
Whether you’re working with zero budget and help from friends, or whether you’re about to commission a day long shoot, here are some tips that might help put you on the right path.
The Basics: Location, Cast, Tone
Your collection expresses a certain sentiment – an attitude – a feeling. The three main cornerstones of your shoot need to be express these same sentiments.
A good location is evocative of your design aesthetic. It might be a clean white space; it might be an urban location filled with street art; it might somewhere filled with tropical plants or antique statues. A bit of digging should bring up both expensive and rough and ready options.
When it comes to casting, people often scrimp and call in mates. There’s no shame in this but remember that you’ll find it harder to tell your friends exactly what to do, how to pose and so on – and you still need to pick people who can express what your brand has to say, otherwise you shouldn’t go ahead with a shoot at all.
Every Element is Significant
Remember that when you’re translating a model and a garment into a flat image, every pixel of detail sends a message to the viewer. That’s why we obsess about hair and makeup, and the styling of the clothes, but there’s other things to consider too.
Unintended background elements are important to clear out. In fact, *intentional* is the keyword. To really inspire someone, you have to seem in control of your image so that you can impart that style into them. Think about composition, shadow, objects and furnishings in the shot, and what you can do about them.
The Role of The Director
Listen, I would say this, but really the reason you get a director involved in a shoot is to help keep all these things in mind and shape the end result so it’s in line with the brand you want to be. If you’re working on no budget, hopefully these tips will help you start to think about the right things. If you’re considering bringing in external help for your first serious shoot – I might know someone who can help. 😀
Fashion is fantasy, it’s self identity, it’s speaks to the innermost emotive parts of our beings. So make sure your marketing does what your product does, and sings your story out to the world.
What Onwards and Up has to say about your images
To achieve the perfect image, it is important to understand image format types impact of the quality of the final visual are trying to present. Depending on what platform the images are to be loaded on or provided to it
Jpeg files, tend to be the most popular and automatic format that we save our images in. Depending on the formats and processes that your images are going through if you are reusing the same visual over and over again, cropping and compressing. Overtime the quality of the picture begins to be affected. Losing its colour and detail and becoming a bit of a pixelated hot mess.
To stop this happening save and format images to be PNG files. PNG files tend to save larger in size than Jpeg, but they will always maintain image quality regardless of compressing and resizing.
This has got to be my biggest bug bear when it comes to building websites. Image file sizes too big that impact on website load speed and performance to images too small that the quality is terrible and pixelated to an undefined blob.
When we talk about image file size this to do with gigabytes, megabytes or kilobytes. Handing over images of 40mb (which I have had done in the past), will lead to (in my case) a few quiet and polite words of please sort out your images, computer says no.
Any good photographer with knowledge and experience will provide you with a set of high-resolution images that will be for magazines and posters and another set of images that are low resolution, which can support platforms that do not need such high resolution.
Ensure you are having this conversation when setting up your contract. Any photographer that say you don’t need another set and your website will work fine with the images they have given you, question. Receiving just a high-resolution set of images could prove costly in the long run, as website developers may charge extra money to reformat and compress the images to the relevant size to size support the platform.
Hire A Photographer
We have an appreciation that your budget is tight, and your friends have chipped in to give you a helping hand. If your friends are not professional photographer, then in many ways you might as well pay some money and get someone who is.
Aiming a camera and shooting in our heads doesn’t sound like a too difficult task for to do. However, what you get with a photographer which you may not get with you friend, is experience, understanding of lighting, and positions, direction as Gomori Studio stated above.
Photoshoot & Image Brief
It has been confirmed that no one in the world possesses the powers of Mystic Meg, and the same goes for the people who will be taking your photos for you. Be clear and provide a brief of what you would like.
Provide a moodboard of ideas and visuals to give your shoot and style some context. Your photographer whilst being amazing may not be clear on your brand direction and style and aesthetics. It is therefore vital to set up a meeting to discuss this through and ensure all parties understand what is required. It will save you money in the long run. I have seen first-hand so many times, brands handing over products to photographers and photo studios with no instructions and then being disappointed with the outcome and having to pay more money to get them done again.
Whether you are shooting your collection editorial shots through to having the simple image pact shots, be clear to provide instructions on how you want this done. No need to be high maintenance, but be confident in what you are asking from your photographer.