How to Take Professional Fashion Lookbook Photography

There’s nothing quite like a good fashion shoot – a great location, models wearing great clothes and accessories. The big problem is, it costs money! In the UK, a shoot can cost around £1,000 and, even if you get paid to do it, this can still put a serious dent in your wallet.

Forget those fancy studio lights and fancy lighting rigs – what you really need is a compact camera, a good tripod and some basic photography skills.

Photography is about making choices. A great picture doesn’t just happen – you have to be a good photographer and know how to edit and retouch your images. The key to a successful shoot is to start with a plan and have the right gear. With these tips and tricks, you can pull off a professional lookbook on a budget, no matter what the style of your clothing is.

Create your own lookbook

Whether it’s a simple fashion shoot for your own blog, or you’re working with a client to design an entire range of clothes, the most important thing is to get the right look.

The best way to find inspiration is to think about what kind of person you are and what your clothes represent. There’s no point in trying to emulate another designer, so focus on creating a unique and individual image for yourself.

Start by looking at the clothes you already own. Can you create a lookbook with your old clothes? Take a picture of yourself in them and see what works and what doesn’t.

Go shopping

Once you have a clear idea of the look you want to achieve, head to your nearest high street store and start taking pictures. Make sure you take photos of the clothes from different angles, using different backgrounds. If you don’t have a great background for a picture, use something you can easily move. If you have a large window, this can make a fantastic backdrop, or you can use a piece of paper, fabric or even cardboard.

To take a photo, try to stand as close to the object as possible. If it’s a table, for example, stand directly behind it, or if you want to photograph a wall, lean up against it.

Try different styles

Don’t be afraid to change your look. This can be as simple as adding or removing accessories, such as a necklace, scarf or sunglasses, and changing your outfit to suit the style of the shoot. It will make your shoot more interesting and allow you to show your personality through your wardrobe.

You can use your own clothes to create a new look too. For instance, if you’re a casual girl, dress down your jeans and tops.

Keep it simple

When you’re shooting your own lookbook, keep it as simple as possible. If you’re shooting a summer collection, for example, you don’t need to wear a full-length skirt, just shorts or short dresses. You can also keep your poses simple, rather than overloading the photo with details.

Use editing software

After you’ve shot your photographs, you can start to edit them. This involves cropping the photos, adding a title and altering the brightness and contrast. It’s best to start small – try to crop the photos to make them just a little bit smaller than your final product, then add a title and maybe brighten the picture a little.

Before you upload your images to social media, print off a selection and frame them, or hang them up on the wall.

Don’t forget to share your photos on social media

Once you’ve finished editing, it’s time to share your photos. This can be as simple as posting them on Instagram or sharing them with friends on Facebook. Remember to post a link back to your lookbook. If you’re not comfortable sharing your looks online, you can always post the images on your blog or send them to a friend to do.

Don’t forget to share your lookbook on Facebook and Twitter to help build up traffic to your site.

Remember to share on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you want to get a really great look, it’s worth spending some time planning and thinking about your shoot. Remember, if you’re shooting a lookbook, your goal is to sell clothes, so make sure the pictures are flattering and that they’ll attract attention.

You’ll need a good DSLR camera, a tripod and some lighting. If you’re not sure which camera to buy, consider whether you will be shooting a lot of fashion images. If you do, investing in a compact camera with great image quality may be the better option.

A good photography course will give you a leg up, especially if you have experience in other areas of photography. The best course will cover lighting, posing, composition and digital editing.

Make sure your shots are sharp.

Take lots of photos of your clothes and use the different angles to help improve your images. Try to shoot your clothes from several different angles, including at different heights. Don’t forget to use the rule of thirds and make sure your models are looking straight at the camera.

Take a few test shots to make sure the lighting and settings are correct.

Use light modifiers

Lighting is key. You should have some form of reflector in the room to bounce the light around. You can also use white foam boards to bounce light from the ceiling and add a soft light to the background.

It’s a good idea to have at least one light in the room – a desk lamp or strip light – but a good photographer will use multiple lights to make sure the light is consistent throughout your shoot.

Use a flash if necessary.

There’s nothing worse than taking a great photo, only for it to come out looking blurry. Don’t hesitate to use your flash if the light isn’t perfect.