Fashion Photography is a Platform to Market New Products

© Jerry Avenaim Photography

© Jerry Avenaim Photography

One of the most popular aesthetical professional practices is photography. While photography can basically be of several types, one of the forms that has gained tremendous popularity over the years is fashion photography. It is one form of photographic art that has a long and rich history. It has made its contributions in deciding what the world will wear down the years. Fashion photography, apparently seems to be all about capturing hot bod models in exotic fashion wears. But, basically there is a shrewd business plan working behind the gloss and sleekness of the art.

Commercial Purpose behind fashion Photography

Human being have always been attracted towards things which are glossy, lustrous and shiny. Thus, when the concept of clicking images of gorgeous women in style wears came into being, it was an instant hit. The designers use fashion photography as a platform to market their latest design. Hence, it is very important that the dress one is promoting is displayed in the right manner through the images. The makeup of the model or the locale of the shot should be chosen in such a manner that it complement the dress rather than outdoing it. These days fashion photograph are not only about the model or about the designer wear. The settings and the themes are also very important in the present scenario. Every season several new lines of designs are launched and to promote these lines fashion photographer are the best mediums.

Fashion Photography for Flaunt Magazine

© Jerry Avenaim Photography

Newer Experiments

From a broader perspective, it can be said that standing at this point of the twenty first century, one cannot limit fashion photography to clothing only. Today accessories related to toilets, kitchen etc are also being promoted through fashion photography these days. Thus any item that can be sold or advertized for is a part of fashion photography.

As a consequence of the expansion in subject matter, the way fashion photography was done has also been expanded. Today there are various styles, modes and ways of capturing a fashion photograph. When one had to promote dresses, the color schemes and patterns had to be highlighted. But today with all the experiments that are being done in this field, fashion photography has become more diversified in nature. One needs to concentrate on the moods, the collections etc depending upon the subject of the photos (it can be a set of furniture or electrical accessories etc).

Still Life fashion

fashion-jeans-photographyStill life fashion is one of the latest additions to the sphere of fashion photography. This is a result of e-commerce techniques and online retail marketing. The photographers click images of object and clothes etc and there is no model present. With the rise in online retail, there is no doubt that this type of photography is becoming all the more popular. They help in attracting more number of potential customers to buy a particular product. Still life fashion is an amalgamation of fashion and object photography. With several types of experiments being conducted in the field of fashion photography, it is quite normal that fashion photography is evolving towards a better tomorrow.

Author’s Bio: Alisa Martin is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Her blog Event Photographer focuses on Fashion Photography bloggers.

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Fashion Photography, the Bridge Between Fashion World and Commoners

top-fashion-photographer-jerry-avenaim

© Jerry Avenaim Photography 2013

Photographers from all across the globe are immensely crazy about the world of fashion photography and with its gloss and luster; it is hard for any commoner to not get curious about it. Today all developed and most of the developing countries hold their respective national fashion titles. In addition to that Fashion weeks have become more common a term in human dictionary in the recent past. The main components through which common individuals are connected to the fashion world are these glossy magazines, billboards and mall magazines.  Though this side of photography appears quite easy from a distance, in the truest sense it takes a lot of competence, skill and concentration to be accomplished.

Why Fashion Photography

It doesn’t require a Wise-man to figure out that the basic purpose of fashion photography is to present fashion in the right manner. It is through these snaps that the statements and trends would get across to the potential buyers and that job is to be done perfectly. There are several colleges and institutions that impart the right training programs required to educate enthusiasts on this branch of photography. Rigorous training is the only way to become a pro in fashion photography. Beneath those sleek and glamorous images, there always is the hard work and classy imagination of fashion photographers.

Factors to be kept in Mind

An image doesn’t become immortal just like that. There are several factors that contribute towards making a picture an image. If any of these factors go missing from the image, its timelessness is lost. The very first thing the photographer needs to ensure they have a fine rapport with the models. Only then can you say that your model is at ease with you, without which she can never strike the right pose. It is imperative for her to be at ease, to emote in the right manner. Secondly, the locale you chose for the shoot must complement the model as well as the product being endorsed.famous fashion photographers

It is not rare that a model is asked portray an emotion that has some relation with the product line he or she is endorsing. One can say that a twenty something girl might be asked to appear as a mother of one, endorsing energy drink. On the other hand, the same woman might need to be a sporty girl while she advertises a sport gear or something like that. Each of the emotions are to be customized keeping in mind the brand image of the product. A perfect shot would need the perfect emotion.

Team Work

The teamwork is paramount as far as it is about capturing the right image. Iconic images are created by the collective. It is the vision of the photographer that is materialized only by the hard work of the entire team. It is the product of efforts from the art director, the hair and makeup artists, the assistants, the clothing stylist etc.

Images speak if you can make them do so. However, the wrong image can be a big spoiler.

Guest Post – by Mary James

Author’s bio – Mary James is a professional writer for Wedding Jewelry and Wedding Anniversary Gifts. She has a vast experience in writing articles on fashion and beauty and related topics. In this article she writes about the new fashion trends for men and women.

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Film Dayze

Top Fashion Photographer Jerry Avenaim and Patrick Demarchelier

Cindy Crawford circa 1985

Yes I know, I haven’t written a blog post in a long time. The good thing about that is I have been so busy shooting fashion and celebrity assignments over the last few years, I haven’t been able to write much. To get the New Year going, here is a little story from when I first started out as an assistant.

I worked for Patrick Demarchelier for almost five years. And over the course of those years it was a myriad of learning, experiences and adventures. I wanted to make a quick entry to start off the year and explain the look behind this image of fashion beauty Cindy Crawford and how it was created.

First a little background on how we worked. I was fortunate enough to assist many iconic photographers when I was starting out. Each with their own looks, visions and modality. With that came a style. If I laid out a Richard Avedon photograph or a Bruce Weber photograph for example, you’d know who shot what the instant you looked at the images!

The interesting and exciting thing about working with Patrick is he would always have us (the assistants) experimenting with different films, filters and lighting. This certainly made Patrick a very versatile top fashion photographer. Yet all the while Demarchelier kept a few signature looks in his back pocket that were always unmistakably his “look.”

This Patrick Demarchelier image of Cindy for British Vogue was created in Ladakh/India when she was about 20 years old (circa 1985) as best my memory can serve. We used Scotch ISO 1000 film for the beautiful warm tones and the high ISO grain structure. And yes Scotch as in the tape, made film!

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The Jeff Bridges Experience

Jeff Bridges Magazine Cover

Jeff Bridges © Jerry Avenaim Photography

No matter where you were in the world last week, practically everyone was talking about The Oscars last Sunday in Hollywood. Who won for which film, which nominee you think deserved it more, and who wore what and did they look good. When I think about this past Oscars, I reflect upon a recent session where one of that night’s big names was a winner to me before he collected his long overdue Oscar.

Fade In magazine had hired me to create a portrait of Jeff Bridges for their cover, along with images for the feature story in the upcoming issue. And with all the Oscar buzz in the air the pressure was on. Having been in the belly of the cinematic beast for many years, I still know it is a blessing to have an actor walk into my studio who has multiple Oscar nominations over a 40 year career and is the heavy favorite to land the big prize. However, with such a buzz around Bridges you have to wonder exactly how long he will be in the studio before he is whisked away to his next obligation.

This photo shoot was to be the last pre-Oscar photo session for Bridges. The studio was prepared with three different lighting set ups, but the weight of the situation was on the shoulders of me and my team to get the shots done, and get the shot. Since we were his last photo shoot before the Oscars, he was probably counting down the minutes for this circus to be over. It’s not like “The Dude” (Jeff Bridges character in “The Big Lebowski”) is going to walk into my studio and just hang out. He has places to go and people to see, right?

jeff bridges photo shoot crazy heart

Opening image of Bridges © Jerry Avenaim Photography for Fade In 2010

The morning began with my crew and I ready to get this done the best way we know and as quickly as possible. Then in walked Bridges, but if you closed your eyes all you heard was “The Dude.” Normally celebrities with such a busy schedule like Bridges’ smiles and nods as they walk in with their entourage of publicists, representatives, and agents, and walk out just as quickly. But Jeff stopped and shook hands with everyone in the room. This was not a man who was counting down the minutes, he was cherishing each and every second of his experience!

Over the years I have photographed many celebrities and each shoot is impossible to describe in only a handful of words, but this session left me speechless. A man who is part of an acting legacy, who has been around this type of situation all his life, is sitting back and being genuine, polite, honest, and more importantly, seeming to enjoy each moment. We had in the studio a rare $20,000 Gibson guitar brought in as a prop for one of the shots, reflecting his nominated (now award winning) role in Crazy Heart. He picked it up and said, “Oh man that’s nice of you to get me this, I didn’t get you anything though.” An accomplished guitarist, Bridges knew it wasn’t a gift and was making a joke knowing how rare this guitar actually was. As the shoot progressed he would ask questions regarding my camera and the lighting, not for conversation but because he is also an accomplished photographer.

bottle of kahlua signed by jeff bridges

The bottle of Kahlua signed by "The Dude" Jeff Bridges

It’s simply amazing to meet someone in person that you have seen on screen for years and realize, “he really is that guy.” He seemed always down to earth, polite and kind, funny and curious, and humble, even more so considering being the odds on favorite for the Oscar this year.

I’m sure many reading this are wondering about the how the images were lit and the more technical aspects of the shoot. This is something I will get into next time I have a moment to sit down and write it out with helpful diagrams. You will  see that entry (along with additional images) both here and on the Profoto blog.

Lastly, I’ve always been a fan of the movie The Big Lebowski, I had a bottle of Kahlua (a key ingredient to the drink of choice of his character in the film) in the studio thinking that if there was time I would ask him to sign it on his way out. There was time. Upon handing Bridges the bottle, I saw him begin to scribble all over the label of the bottle. A moment later he handed me the bottle with his sketch “The Dude” over the phrase “Jerry abides” and his signature. Jeff Bridges was a true pleasure to work with. He’s a musician, a photographer, kind, and an artist in everything he does. . . . And now, he’s an Academy Award Winning actor to go along with it.

If you would like to see the entire shoot online, check out Fade In magazine!

Happy shooting,

Jerry Avenaim

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To Retouch or Not to Retouch

Fashion Photographer, Photography

Beverly in the 1970's

Photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders opted for “no retouching” in his 8×10 photographs of supermodels from the ’70s and ’80s for his show now on view at the Steven Kasher Gallery in New York City. “Some of these women have electively turned back ‘time,'” he writes. “In a sense, they arrived at the studio already ‘photo-shopped.’ And that’s beyond my control. But how I shoot, my lighting, my choice of camera and lens, that’s all my decision. Blame me if you think I should have retouched and retouched and retouched, but I think these women look beautiful just the way they are.”

Beverly Johnson made fashion history as the first black cover model of Vogue in August, 1974. Photograph by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.

You can read more about his techniques and decisions here.

Interesting thoughts…?

Jerry Avenaim

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Ad Agency Guide To Photography Usage Terms

Posted by Jerry Avenaim under Photography Talk and Discussion (3 Responds)

My portrait of actress Halle Berry chosen as Picture of the Year by People Magazine

From simple image syndication, to editorial and advertising, it’s important to review in detail the scope of photo usage permissions as stated in any contract. Last year,  American Greetings used my cover photograph of Halle Berry as a greeting card without permission. While my attorney battles with my syndication agency for the rights to the case (yes, my syndication agency has the right to sue before I do) that’s another story. Be very careful what you sign, and don’t sign anything before you’ve read it in its entirety. Indeed, a photographer friend of mine was shooting a celebrity portrait just last week. During the photo shoot, he was presented a contract that attempted to grab all the rights and ownership of the images. My friend caught the offending paragraph, let the talent’s manager know that that’s a nonstarter, and struck it from the contract. Had they been inflexible on that one point, the shoot would have ended right then. So if necessary, never hesitate to have your own legal council review any contract presented to you.

Remember I said my issue with American Greetings took place exactly this time last year? Well guess what? I was notified by a friend that my image is out on every rack of every CVS and Wal-Mart at this very moment as part of the card company’s line celebrating Black History month. This is a blatant infringement of my intellectual property. One which could have been caused by any series of events ranging from Ebony to American Greetings. And adding insult to injury, they credited another photographer my image! This case (if handled properly) could result in some serious damages.

Halle card on display at Walmart photographed by who?

It has been a long time coming that all these terms be described and explained. I’ve been asked these questions over the years, and they were always situation specific. Recently Rob Haggert the author of aphotoeditor.com put the terminology together in one fantastic article.

BASIC INFORMATION

“With the current US copyright laws as they are applied now, artists own all rights to their created images and sell/transfer rights to agencies and their clients. All questionable negotiations have historically defaulted in favor of the artist. Technically, even minor modification of the art requires the artists’ permission. You are RENTING, not buying an image unless explicitly stated on the contract.

Generally, think of usage costs reflecting the amount of exposure a particular image may receive. The more exposure, the higher the price. Exact terminology may differ, but the semantics remain the same if all of the information is included in each negotiation. You can phrase it any way you want, but be clear about the INTENT by including information from all categories outline below. Talent usage is similar, but there are differences in how each medium is priced out: talent usage tends to be much more specific. Again, it is based on exposure. European terminology will differ from US terminology, particularly in the “Print” category. In Europe, “Print” includes anything that is not broadcast.”

If you want to learn more about billing language and the business of photography, check out his article! Click here to read on.

Happy Shooting,

Jerry Avenaim

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A Photographers Portfolio

A photography portfolio is not simply a collection of a photographer’s best work, it’s also a presentation engineered to tell a story that has a beginning, middle, and end. All the photos should flow seamlessly from one to the next, to have fluidity in presenting their story.

Advertising Campaign © Jerry Avenaim 2010

Just like some movies are bad purely because of poor editing, because of the way their stories were pieced together, it can be the same with a portfolio. Despite the fact that it may contain brilliant images, the manner in which those images are presented is equally critical. In a photographer’s portfolio, flow is paramount. I open my physical portfolio with covers and beauty, which then progresses into editorial and advertising pieces, and then I close with some of my strongest personal work. I include my personal work in my portfolio because it is such an integral part of who I am. It will also give a prospective client a window into what resonates within me as an artist.

Even though individual images may wow a viewer, if a potential client views a photographer’s portfolio that’s unable to tell a story, he/she may not be convinced the photographer can tell a story in a magazine, or in the case of advertising, convey what’s needed about the client’s brand.

Image selection

For image selection, an effective practice is to either lay prints out on the floor or display them on a computer screen. Then (I prefer to do this alone or with my agent) invite a number of friends or other photographers over to assist in the selection and order process. This allows distance and perspective.

What sort of order should I put the shots in?

Advertising Campaign © 2010

The images you end up choosing to put into your portfolio will naturally fall into various categories, genres, and styles.  These are logical groupings from which to create a portfolio with a smooth flow. For example within a fashion portfolio, a possible collection of groups might look like this:

Beauty, Editorial Fashion, Lifestyle Fashion, Catalog, High Fashion and Advertising. Genres should remain together in the portfolio, but not necessarily in the above order (although many photographers do start with beauty).

Within this structure, additional classifications to consider when telling a story include the following: location, studio, color, black & white, brand, background, and digital manipulation.

How do I know which order to put the photos in one category into?

If you look at my portfolio (physical or on the web) you will see the deliberate choices I have made to make it flow.

  • Each section has a strong opening.
  • I’ve paired the photos with the same number of models in the shots.
  • I’ve paired photos with the branding in the same corner of the image.
  • I’ve grouped images with a similar feel.
  • The flow always goes from beauty to fashion or editorial to advertising.
  • I’ve finished with a bang.

In the advertising section, I haven’t overplayed any one brand — I’ve made the collection short, sweet and to the point.

And what is the story in advertising photography? Girls feel rich and sexy when they wear sunglasses. Guys fall from the sky to meet them and think up ways to rip their clothes off, especially when they’ve fixed their hair. So go ahead girls and spray your perfume, look cute indoors and outdoors, go dancing, work out and get sweaty, eat right with friendly people, and men will take you home, all engines running.

Happy Shooting!

Jerry Avenaim

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Color Management in Digital Photography

Fashion Photographer Jerry Avenaim

Jerry Avenaim - Image composite by Michael Brittain for Atomic Digital

Since my transition into digital photography, I have always strived for a consistent workflow. Just as with film, all my images needed to have the same consistent look and feel to them. At first, this was quite challenging due to the limitations of the tools that were available to digital photographers, and at the time, most gray cards were made for film. When I started using the Greytag Macbeth ColorChecker card, I saw a 100 percent consistency in the color of my photographs. The only drawback (unless in studio) was the card’s large size. I would often leave it behind or in the car when on location due to its larger size. But then I was left with the painstaking task of trying to color correct and process an entire shoot with no card to go by.

With the latest color management device by x-rite, I now feel a real sense of freedom. I can fit the ColorChecker Passport in my back pocket and not think twice because of its size.  And beyond its compact size, this relatively new product changed my workflow even further. Its functionality and control takes us ten steps forward in color management, as it approaches management in an entirely new way – more like a smart card.

From the x-rite web site: “The art of color management is all about getting your colors to match from input to output. That means your camera captures true colors, your monitor displays them accurately, and your printer produces a photo that matches what you see on screen. The ColorChecker Passport is an essential component to attaining a 100% color-managed workflow. Plus, the included Enhancement target helps you take your vision one step further by providing the creativity to quickly and easily edit and express your colors just as you’ve always imagined. Whether it’s a studio shot, a colorful nature scene or a multiple photo event, you can extend the power of your photo editing software with one-click enhancements that articulate your inspiration.”

Instead of my stumbling about trying to explain with the written word (which would consume pages), take a look at this terrific video demonstration by Adobe expert Seth Resnick. This video will explain the uses of the Passport far beyond my writing ever could!

All I can say is WOW! This is truly the ultimate in ease and consistency!

Jerry Avenaim

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Photographers United in Support of Haiti

Posted by Jerry Avenaim under Photography Talk and Discussion (1 Respond)

Everyone can do their part in this time of great need. Thanks to aphotoeditor.com for the heads up on this amazing effort!

A Photographic Benefit for the Survivors of the Haiti Earthquake

Professional photographers are offering a special edition fundraising magazine through the Magcloud print-on-demand service to benefit victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti.

The magazine features work from preeminent photographers and all proceeds will go directly to the International Red Cross to assist the people of Haiti. The issue is titled Onè Respe, after a traditional Haitian greeting meaning honor and respect.

San Francisco photojournalist Lane Hartwell, is spearheading the project.

You can see the magazine on MagCloud (here).

All your support in this effort is needed and appreciated!

Jerry Avenaim

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Photography with Intent

Considering that shooting deliberately with intent was the theme of the previous two articles here on the blog, I felt that for this week’s entry, I’d wrap it up with, “The 36 Exposures Challenge.” When I stumbled upon this, I thought, what a great idea! With 16 and even 32GB memory cards becoming more and more popular, it’s like people are running around with their cameras loaded with full 20 roll bricks of film and seemingly unlimited exposures. What a great exercise this challenge is, to force a retooling of the speed at which you shoot, and to think about how and when you depress the shutter button, as in this case, you really do “only” have 36 frames, which really, is still a lot of frames to shoot if you think about it.

Fashion Photography using Kodak FilmI’d love to hear from any of you who try this. How was it? How did it affect your approach to making an image? And perhaps even share one of the results.

“I once had a student at Bard College, where I teach, who was taking portraits. The results kept disappointing him, so each week he took more and more pictures. Still he was disappointed. Finally, I assigned him to make only one exposure the next week. The picture was excellent. His problem was that he substituted quantity when trying to come to terms with what he wanted in his pictures. If an artist doesn’t work with conscious intentionality, sometimes no amount of editing helps. There are other times when the lack of self-censorship that digital can engender communicates a more intuitive energy.”  -From the Pop Photo interview with Stephen Shore

Missing the challenge of taking photographs with “intent?” Perhaps shooting digital is pushing your mind to act too fast and not taking the time to think about the purpose of the image? File Magazine, Flak Photo and Coudal Partners have joined to create a very interesting challenge: “The 36 Exposure Challenge.

We are asking photographers to use a film camera to explore Shore’s concept of “conscious intentionality.” Broadly speaking, we are challenging photographers to do two things: articulate a concept, project, or theme and then use a film camera to photograph the images to illustrate it. There are, then, two parts: creating the idea and then acting on it.

Give it a try, think about a mini-project, and take the challenge to think and plan the images to communicate the purpose and the intent you’d like to achieve. Photographing your images with such intent will make you think. It will make you plan. It will help you to focus and be selective, and it will make you a better photographer.

Happy shooting!

Jerry Avenaim

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