Tips For Photographing Women’s Contemporary Fashion

Photographing contemporary fashion means getting those great shots of modern fashion and of course the runway models behind the designer clothing too. This is a fashion shoot and we do them to get both the models and the clothing to stand out as much as we can.

Notice how we’re calling it a fashion shoot instead of a photo shoot. That’s because the clothes play a pretty big role here, so here are some tips on how to get those perfect shots of women’s contemporary fashion. I recently did a contemporary women’s fashion shoot for clothing website Here’s a few tips I thought I’d share with you on how to get the best shots.

The Setting

One thing that is important when doing a fashion shoot is to consider the type of clothing that you are shooting in relation to the background. If the fashion on the model is edgy, hardcore, or rebellious you may want to choose an urban setting as it speaks more towards the point which the fashion itself is trying to make.

On the other hand for summer fashions, outdoor clothing, and natural looking fashion you might want to choose an outdoor setting that is rural. Barns, farm houses, well lit forest, fields, and even around rivers or lakes make for good and natural settings.

Also if the fashion you are shooting is meant to be extremely high end, luxurious, trend setting, and even out of the ordinary, you will definitely want to be in a studio or setting where you can create a surrounding to match the tone of the clothes. Even an actual runway would be fantastic for this kind of clothing.

The Props

A great thing to do in a fashion shoot is to use some props to tell a specific story, what story you tell is up to you. Something like a bed with lots of pillows is a good idea because it gives you a variety of shooting options, angles, and poses from the model.

Of course remember that any props you do have, such as the sheets and pillows on that bed, should definitely not clash with the model and the clothes you’re shooting.

The props need to complement the model and her fancy clothes. That being said sometimes a strong contrasting background can be effective at really making the contemporary clothes stand out. Just remember, a strong contrast doesn’t necessarily mean a clash of colors.

Contrast can make a shot better when done right, sometimes even more so than complementing colors (for some help on that topic you may want to read up on complementing and contrasting colors, especially in relation to photography). Once again it really does depend on the clothes in question, their color, and what texture they are.

Something else that makes for a great prop is a mirror because that lets you show multiple angles and aspects at Once. A full body mirror is great. Just make sure it isn’t reflection any unwanted light, lights, photography gear, or yourself.

The Lighting Situation

Of course you may not be able to afford a professional studio and if you can good on you because you should definitely take advantage of that. Anyway it’s pretty easy to do at home or in any room that has a lot of natural lighting coming through from big windows.

You’re going to want to make a soft box using clean white sheets in order to let a lot of natural light in from the windows without getting the added glare or the windows in the background for that matter.
If you don’t have too much light you may need another artificial light source, the best to use being a fairly bright white light and have it either straight on, in front and slightly above their heads, or even have 2 light sources coming from different frontal angles.

In terms of what lighting to use, you need to do some trial and error to see what works best for you, best for the model, and best for the clothes in question. You need to have bright light because you want to illuminate the model and clothes as much as possible without creating any shadows in order to see as much detail as possible.

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