Fashion Photography isn’t just about what the fashion looks like. It is about what it feels like when you wear it. To get story and mood right in your images is paramount for the success of your brand.
Fashion images are the most important connection a fashion brand has to its audience. People who may have never bought or even seen a piece of your fashion line – or maybe not even heard of it – are introduced to it. Make sure it’s a good introduction.
A well designed story and mood captures imagination. Imagination is a power you have to harness for your fashion brand.
How to look different in an overflowing market
Your photography budget must be used to its maximum effect. Focus your budget on what is most important to say about your brand. This is the core of the planning process.
A rising, creative fashion label must be equally creative in its images as in its designs.
Your goal is to get the attention of the audience to look at your designs and love them so they can become customers. Only: people – especially those of the upper tiers – no longer look at advertising and avoid it like the plague.
So you can’t send out another commercial message. That’s what everybody is doing. Give them something. A commercial message isn’t giving anything. It is targeting. Give people a story, a mood, a feeling – something of value for them, something that improves their lives by supporting their imagination: and they will not only be willing to look at your designs, but come looking for more.
It is good creative strategy to focus your budget on images that tell a story about your brand. Don’t shoot a regular lookbook, where models stand around like mannequins next to a potted plant in front of a brick wall. This would be empty imagery.
Create a storybook. This is a lookbook that tells a story and at the same time has a campaign structure. You can use these images on social media and your website, in paid ads and campaigns. You can send these stories out in email campaigns. You can even use them as your eStore images where interactive links in the images lead people to the store area. From the story to the store.
Story and Location
The rising high fashion brand Mariam Anna Barska is telling the story of an open world full of mystery and wonder, in which daunting and enterprising women (the overused adjective “strong” is avoided intentionally) roam freely and fulfill their destiny.
This is an ongoing story, where each collection builds on the previous one – in design as well as in its photographic representation.
After the success of Collection 1 its fans are already waiting for the sequel, Collection 2 and its stories, to come out in the next couple of weeks!
Lets illustrate this also with the fictitious brand Rocket Girl. Its mood and style is futuristic, but it is high fashion and avoids the nerdiness. Think “2001, A Space Odyssey”, do not think “Comic Con”.
What’s the story? Let’s say we have an encounter of the third kind – you may have seen the classic Spielberg movie.
The space ship lands, and there’s the ramp coming down from the spaceship, and it’s the runway where the fashion is shown. The story is represented by the theme (landing of an alien ship) and by the location.
Ideally the style of the story will match the Rocket Girl line so perfectly, that even showing one image will have Rocket Girl come up in people, and images that they also have seen. The story will consist of a certain number of situations.
Budget, Casting, and the Shoot
A moderate budget is no excuse for boring images. While a moderate budget limits the possibilities, there is a lot creativity can do.
Even with a story like for”Rocket Girl” you could shoot in open landscape with a single board as the ramp. The spaceship would be done in post in a 3D application like Cinema 4d or Maya.
Be daring with the story and concept, give something of value to your audience and not just the usual sales pitch, and you will prosper. And cast people in your shoots that can deliver the message. Beware of going with the fad of the moment and use the same type of model that you see everywhere. Imagination trumps everything. The courageous with a strong idea are the ones that will win!