Art and technique
Many professions are underrated, for one reason or another, and people don't often acknowledge the effort and training required to be good at them. Photography is seen by many as a very simple activity, merely picking up a camera and shooting things, but they are far from the truth. Photography requires a very elaborated set of techniques, carefully chosen equipment, and plenty of time taken to develop the "photographer's eye", which is mostly hours and hours of technical training. Adding a little touch of artistic inspiration, you have a complex mixture of talents that make good photographers stand with their work.
What makes the difference between an okay photo and a fanstastic photo is this long list of abilities that a professional photographer has. When taken the right way, good photos can make the best aspects of anything stand out, and the flaws become either unnoticeable or unexpectedly beautiful.
Good photography is fundamental for the artistic portrayal of reality, as well as for marketing purposes. If you want to sell a product, you will need to show it to the world at its best. Great photography will make any object look fantastic and very tempting, and remark all good qualities about it. On the contrary, poorly executed photography will make any product look bad and nobody will want to purchase it. As you can see, good photography is a fundamental investment for any sort of business.
Fashion production is yet another area that involves much more work, thought and expertise than what common people think. There is a whole strategy and carefully studied techniques behind presenting clothes to the market, and photography plays a key role in this.
Huge teams of production and marketing expertes decide how to present a fashion designer's work, and these decisions are driven by many factors such as target audience, collection concept and commercialization strategies. Fashion production experts must work closely with photographers and communicate with them in order to convey the concept and the strategy behind the production, so the photographer can adjust the approach it takes on his or her work. Fashion photography can involve mannequin shots or live model productions, which are very different and have their own requirements in each case.
The challenge about choosing a fashion photographer is to make sure that they can portray the vision of the fashion producer, or the designer in the case of independent productions. There are well established fashion photographers that are familiar with all the perks of working in the industry, they know how to solve problems when they arise - whether you want it or not, they always do - and they manage timing, deadlines and requirements as experts. For a higher risk with a potentially higher payoff, you can try your luck with some emerging talent in photography, someone who will have their own eye - and thus give your collection or line a unique image - even if they might lack some field training.
The secret behind successful fashion design, just as any other area of business, is to present products the right way to the right people, and wisely choosing a photographer is vital for this to happen.
Looking good in front of the lens
Part of the job of a fashion photographer is to make models look at their best. There is a lot of technique here, from the right angle to the right light design. Some settings are more challenging to other when it comes to image quality; in example, coloured backgrounds require the photographer to be extra careful with colour contamination, because the light reflects on colour surfaces and bounces back to the model's clothes and skin, changing their tone. Colour management in postproduction is also vital for making clothes look good and be faithful to the real colours of the product.
Models themselves also have to look beautiful, so as not to distract the attention from the clothes as well as convey a possitive image for the products. Some editing of the photos in post can help a lot, but this also has to be performed criteriously, otherwise you may make big mistakes and the final picture could look even worse than the original. This is common when these images are being photoshoped to make the skin perfect or the waist thinner. If you want to bring back glamour or make a case for the coolness factor of your products, you need good pre-production, productions and post-productions of your photoshoots.
Well trained models will know how to pose in front of the camera, what are their best angles, and how to convey concepts, so they will be great complements for good photographers.