Miami’s fashion houses, businesses and ad agencies have an ever-growing need for visual content. In today’s marketplace, great photos can help your brand stand out and attract an audience.
But in Miami’s bustling fashion industry, how do you go about selecting the best fashion photographer to work with? What should a brand or art director be looking for when hiring a fashion photographer?
As an experienced Miami fashion photographer, I’ve worked with a number of clients. And in my experience, there are some keys that can help brands more effectively work with photographers to bring their creative visions to life.
What a Fashion Photographer Can Help You Achieve
Should you hire a fashion photographer? That’s a common question, and if your goal is to create visuals that sell your brand, the answer is a resounding yes.
Professional fashion photography is more than just general apparel photos that appear in catalogues or on your website.
Fashion photography does something more. It tells an inspiring fashion story for your brand or sells an aspirational lifestyle that your brand promotes. Well-executed fashion photos make your clothing or products jump off the page and show off your brand’s attitude.
And that’s why a professional fashion photographer is so valuable for brands. The best Miami fashion photographers bring your brand to life and make your brand’s story compelling. They do it by using lighting, locations, composition and directing to create a distinctive mood in their work that speaks directly to and inspires your target demographic.
What to Look for When Choosing a Miami Fashion Photographer
You’re interested in hiring a fashion photographer. But what should you be looking for? How do you go about finding a photographer who can bring your creative vision to life?
First, start by reviewing the portfolios of Miami’s top fashion photographers. (Instagram is a great tool!) Of course, you’ll be on the lookout for quality. But also look for styles and techniques that match the creative vision you have in mind.
- Photography Style – Each photographer has his own style. And it’s helpful to choose photographers that have a style that meshes with your brand. Are you looking for high fashion? Choose photographers with editorial fashion photography experience. If it’s a dark and edgy look you’re after, choose a photographer with portfolio examples that speak to that aesthetic.
- Concept – Look at how a photographer has executed creative concepts that you like. The best Miami fashion photographers develop distinctive moods and concepts that can be summed up in a couple of words. During your photographer search, be looking for concepts that inspire you.
- Specialized Skills – Sometimes your vision calls for an experimental or outside-the-box skill (like underwater photography). Be on the lookout for experimental styles that fit into your creative vision.
Tips for Working with a Fashion Photographer
You’ve invested time and resources into developing a creative vision for your brand or campaign. And that’s why it’s so important for you to choose a professional who can help you bring it to life. How can you work successfully with a photographer? Here are a few tips for making the creative process run smoothly:
1. Choose a Photographer Who Meshes with Your Brand
You have a short list of photographers to work with after you reviewed portfolios. These represent photographers with aesthetics that match your brand’s identity. Yet, beyond style, you also want to find a photographer who fits into your culture. Interview photographers on your shortlist to get a better idea of who they are beyond their portfolios.
2. Develop Your Concept
What is the concept for your shoot? Will you be channeling Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Or maybe you want to develop a futuristic, high-concept editorial look? Brands know their story best. And although, photographers are happy to offer lighting or location ideas, it’s best if you approach photographers with a well-developed concept. This eliminates confusion and ensures you get want you want.
Mood boards are one tool you can use for providing a visual roadmap for the photographer. A mood board is a visual collage, which features photos, fashion styling, lighting ideas, textures, makeup and hair artistry, etc. that inspire your concept. This will help photographers more clearly envision the concept and deliver photos that match what you have in mind.
3. Come Up with a Shot List
A shot list is simply a list of photos you want to have taken during the photoshoot. And it’s a great resource for getting you and the photographer on the same page. For the photographer, it helps in planning a photoshoot, and will make the shoot run more efficiently. And for you, it ensures you get the photos that you need for your campaign or lookbook.
As you interview photographers, get to know his process in post-production. Do you have a say in which photos will be edited and retouched? How much time will it take and at what cost? Having a clear understanding of what to expect after the shoot can help clear up any confusion.
High-quality fashion photos can help your clothing or lifestyle brand stand out in a crowded marketplace. Yet, for the brand story to come to life, you have to effectively communicate with your photographer.
That starts with finding a photographer that works for you, and then providing a clear idea of your concept. If you do those two things, that’s half the battle.
Garrin Evan is a Miami and Fort Lauderdale-based fashion photographer.