If you’ve already mastered the rule of thirds and leading lines for your composition, these tips for fashion photography composition will help you enormously.
S-curves are very pleasing to the eye, and models create these naturally with their bodies a lot of the time. Another example of S-curves is winding roads, which always photograph nicely.
Look at your images and figure out where your eye is drawn first—it is usually drawn to the brightest and sharpest point of an image. So you should ensure that the most important part of your image is a sharp and bright area, such as the eyes in a portrait. Then see where your gaze turns next. You could try positioning the model’s arms in a triangle to point to the key piece of clothing, for example, or, as in the shot above, let her arms lead your eyes away to see the setting. It is important to think about this as you shoot.
Composing client images
When you begin shooting for clients, composition is even more important because it is not only about the image but where the copy and logos will go. It is always a good idea to try to get layouts before the shoot so you know how much negative space to leave. Most magazine covers need space up top for the name of the magazine, and most double-page spreads start out with a two-page opener image with negative space on one side for the text. Thinking about these details in advance allows you to create freely while knowing you’ve captured what the client needs.
- Avoid cropping people at the joint
- When framing a headshot, crop from just below the shoulders to the top of the head
- Try shooting headshots from a higher angle, which will emphasise the eyes. Headshots from below are not so effective.
Fashion and Lifestyle Photography is Dixie Dixon’s guide to becoming a stand-out fashion and lifestyle photographer, and succeeding in the commercial world. Dixie is a Nikon brand ambassador and highly successful photographer who loves to share her knowledge and experiences to help you find your vision and realise your potential.