Top Composition Advice for Fashion Photography

Aug 10, 2020

Top Composition Advice for Fashion Photography

Fashion photography is all about creating beautiful images of your fashion products by telling a story, creating a setting that draws customers in and by perfectly showing off the clothing you wish to sell. As a result, you will see a lot of advice about composition and it is important to spend time thinking about this topic.

Telling a story

A simple image of your clothing, sitting on a mannequin is not going to win awards in fashion photography, but more importantly, it won’t wow your customers and persuade them to buy your products. You need to have a theme running through your sets, a narrative that engages your customers.

This concept will make customers look through the series of images, creating a desire to follow the story and potentially spot products they hadn’t thought of. Equally, it is an opportunity to show your items in different lights, different settings and from different angles.

Choosing the right background

Even when considering the story you wish to tell with your fashion photography, a product photographer must never lose sight of whether the background detracts from your product or adds to the proposition.

A background must compliment the item of clothing, for example pairing a relatively simple or neutral background with a patterned item of clothing and vice versa. The background should be designed to draw the customer to your product and not away from it, so consider using the lines and curves in a background that flow towards the products and models.

Positioning and counterbalance

In fashion photography, a key concept is the Rule of Thirds. It is an important concept to understand and you should research this prior to starting, as it explains how best to position your subject. However, it doesn’t always have to follow this rule and you may wish to place the subject in the very centre or in an unusual location.

When this situation occurs, the idea of counterbalance is useful in achieving beautifully balanced images for your fashion photography. The idea here is if there is more going on to one side or section of the photo, then think about adding a counterbalance, whether that’s another person, reflection or prop.

Think about angles

For every product photographer, consider the best angles to shoot your product from and not be limited to plain eye-level shots, as this will help improve your final images. Think about taking pictures of your models from different angles, such as above or at an angle to create different perspectives on your clothing.

However, if you choose to do so, there are some key considerations, the first one being that it must add to your image and not detract from the product or story you’re trying to tell. You want to emphasise the clothing and make an emotional connection with your customers so think about who your target audience is and the style they appreciate.

The outfit is important

This heading may seem obvious and a little redundant, after all, we are talking about fashion photography. But what we mean here is to make sure that you highlight the clothing and allow for it to flow in a natural way. You want props to add something to your clothing, the pose and situation you place your models in to present the item in the best possible light.

Likewise, allowing clothing to flow, feel real and show texture is a very good skill to learn as a product photographer. Consider how movement can help you achieve the desired effect, whether that is the movement of the model or the clothing itself.

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