I am popping back on to continue my series on photography. If you are just joining this series on my blog I have taken the time to interview some photographers who have generously shared their insight on how to take good fashion photos.
This Spotlight is on JT Pro Imaging who has shot a lot for me in the past months. I will share some of my favorite photos throughout the post and a series of photos they have done for others at the end of the post Including a holiday card for a certain celebrity). All photos are property of kangacoo designs or JT Pro Imaging and may only be reposted with proper photo/designer credits and or permission. Now on to the fashion photography insight and eye candy. Let’s start with a photo of my new womens bootwarmers.
1. What is your primary focus in photography (types of photography/subjects?events?etc.)
We are a husband and wife team and we specialize in celebrity and personal photography. Loosely translated, that means we need to be very good at a lot of different photography styles including headshot, promotional, event, editorial, and fashion. We need to be equally adept at excellent customer service as we do customized photography projects for our clients as well.
2. How often do you do fashion clothing/accessory shoots?
We probably shoot Fashion/Accessory/Product shoots about once a month. These type of shoots require planning and conversation so we find to minimize stress and maximize results, once a month is a good timetable.
3. How do you prepare or photograph differently for fashion shoots?
Oh I think this is my favorite question! There is a grand misconception of the glamour of the job. Where as yes, there is that aspect, so many hours go into the preparation that it almost boggles the mind. Fashion shoots in particular require time spent on researching what is trending for photography styles and layout. Then there is time spent researching the designer to understand their image. After that the collaboration begins with putting together ‘inspiration boards’ where the stylist, the designer, and the photographer all come together to start preparing what they need to. Sometimes work is put into at our end for model selection and then there is the scouting of location and testing of lighting (time of day, style, etc) Then there is integrating hair and make up and sometimes other elements like testing a particular lens and/or camera setting to achieve a desired look. It may sound like a lot but that’s what it takes to achieve great images.
4. How do you feel about the designer giving you direction on a shoot?
LOVE it!! Any time we do a project such as this, it’s a collaboration. The designer is an expert in their product. They should have a clear vision of how they want that product’s image to be. A large part of my job is communication and long before the day of the shoot we are talking, exchanging photos and information, sometimes even doing a test shoot prior to the actual shoot day. Large shoots have the potential to be stressful. One thing I can almost guarantee is there WILL be some kind of unforseen circumstances…an ill model…weather…a backdrop that simply won’t cooperate. If the photographer and designer and stylist can come together before hand, then those types of challenges that happen on location become small issues to deal with and move on rather that compiling and potentially making a stressful and unpleasant experience.
5. How many pieces do you photograph in one session?
Good question!! It really depends on the designer and what the vision is for the project. Is it catalog? Is it a little more artistic? Sometimes you get an illusion of more pieces photographed than what actually happened because after the shoot the designer decides to showcase socks or something. Our images are in such rich format, we will simply find a photo that showcases the item in a good way and clean up accordingly.
6. How many photos of each item do you take? How many get edited and returned to designer?
Again, great questions and not a cut and dry answer..HAHA. Outdoor photography is best shot in bursts so we will take 3 shots almost simultaneously. It’s because there are so many elements and the hope is within the burst, you get the perfect image. In studio is far more controlled and so not quite as many images need to be taken. The designer has access to all the images in raw format. Then they will go through and decide what image/ images they want edited.
Below are outdoor and studio images taken by JT Pro Imaging for kangacoo designs.
7. How many hours do you invest in a typical session?
A LOT! The session itself can range from two to six hours but hours and hours of prep and post. A general rule of thumb is for every one to two hours of actual photography, count on six to ten hours of prep and post.
8. What are the biggest challenges in photographing product on a subject?
Photographing a product on a subject is a balancing act. You have to get the shots that clearly show the clothing and how it lays on the subject. It is always helpful to work with seasoned clothing models as they realize it’s not about them, it’s about the clothing. It’s really an art form to be able to be a great clothing model. Another part to balance is the overall pleasantry of the photo itself. It has to speak to the potential buyer. That is to say, they need to be able to picture themselves or their child in the outfit. This is achieved with location but also expression and mannerism. It’s not simply stand and pose. It has to exude a feeling.
9. Please share any advice you have for designers or photographers regarding photographing fashion products.
My best advice is trial by fire. The very best way to get good at anything is to get in there and do it. Accrue the horror stories and get your hands dirty. It’s how you learn what really works and what doesn’t. My next best advice is do your research. Know the designer and what they like and equally as important, what they don’t like. Know what is trending for photography styles and fashion. They both play a vital role in a successful shoot. Josh, the man of few words is nodding his head and saying ‘Exactly!’
10. Do you offer sessions on trade for product? If not how can a designer get pricing?
Yes. We place a lot of value on our relationships and know that life is an adventure and sometimes monetary compensation is more difficult then others. We love working with people and businesses long term so encourage an in person meeting to learn their needs and constraints and customize service accordingly.
Here all all the ways to get in touch with Jen and Josh of JT Pro Imaging
Now Please enjoy some other photos by JT Pro Imaging