Styling Your First Fashion Shoot

June 11, 2019 by Modellist-ID editor

It’s easy to underestimate the amount of work that goes into setting up a fashion shoot. Both the photographer and the model, and anyone else involved in the shoot such as a publisher or stylist, will need to be on the same page and all share a common creative language. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to ensure that this is the case.

Arrange a Test Shoot

Practice makes perfect, so by arranging for a test shoot, you will give everyone the opportunity to ensure that they know what they’re doing and to understand what everyone else is doing. You may well find that new ideas come up during your test shoot and you might end up with a very different shoot overall because of it.

Try and get everyone involved in your test shoots so you can receive input from everyone who is going to be involved in the actual shoot. You don’t want to rework a bunch of stuff only to later discover that it isn’t feasible.

Create a Mood Board

A mood board is a collection of images, colours, textures and patterns that evoke some of the emotion that you are trying to convey during your shoot. A mood board is a very simple concept, but it can have a profound impact on the way that you approach a shoot. No matter what your role is during the shoot, a mood board can help you to identify your own ambitions and work towards achieving them.

Share your mood board with the other key players in the shoot and encourage them to produce their own. Naturally, there is now a plethora of apps that you can use to produce digital mood boards. Alternatively, Pinterest really comes into its own here.

Preview the Wardrobe

This is a very important step and one that is overlooked surprisingly often. It might seem like obvious advice to preview any clothes before the day itself, but many people, designers, models and photographers become complacent and assume that they know what they’re doing. Nine times out of 10, they’re right, but you need to be on your game every time. For your first shoot in particular, it’s important that you see what you will have to work with.

While every part of the wardrobe you choose will be important, it is worth taking some time to focus on the shoes especially. Check out a site like Head Over Heels to get an idea of just how varied the options available to you are. As well as what you might think of as the typical fashionable shoe, Head Over Heels also stock some less obvious choices – we’re big fans of the Harrlow.

We draw particular attention to the shoe because it is the part of the ensemble that is most commonly overlooked. We all learn from our mistakes, so don’t expect your first shoot to be perfect. However, one mistake worth pre-empting is ignoring the finer details of any ensemble. The accessories, shoes and jewellery that you pair with the wardrobe will have an effect on how it’s perceived.

Always Have a Plan B

Always have a backup. That means, always have another model, photographer, stylist etc. on standby. There is always room for the unexpected, for circumstances to evolve beyond your control. When this happens, it can either derail your shoot completely or it can be fixed with a couple of phone calls. You don’t want to find yourself in the position of having no model or photographer for your first shoot but still being on the hook for the time of the stylists and other personnel.One last piece of advice, although we really shouldn’t have to say it in this day and age – back up your files! The last thing you want is for all your hard work to be accidentally deleted, lost or damaged.


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