Male Fashion Photography by Renee Farias

When you think of fashion and advertorial photography, you usually assume it involves female models. For instance, in a previous blog I discussed the topic of editorial photography. The examples all referred back to a female subject. Upon realizing that male photography is rarely discussed, I am dedicating this blog to designers with a male demographic who would like a few photography guidelines to help with their campaign.    

Lighting

If you have read my previous blogs, then you know how often I discuss lighting at a photoshoot. It is very important! It is key to experiment with different lighting angles to decide what is best. Lighting can affect the mood of the image. Depending on what emotion you want to evoke, it is important to choose lighting that is conducive to that atmosphere.

Here are some quick tips:

Fitness: Fitness photography is one of the most common among male models. The lighting and shadows should complement the model’s physique and accent the muscles. Lighting from above often does the trick.

Fashion: Of course, in fashion photography, the clothes are the focus. The lighting needs to show off the uniqueness and colors of the outfit. It is important that it positively portray how the clothing fits and hangs off of the model.

Note: It is good to make use of the outdoors and use natural lighting! Just remember it is best to shoot during the “magic hours,” which are the hours just before and during sunrise and the hours during sunset.

Posing

Posing is often more limited for male models. However, like with a female model, it is important that they mesh well with the photographer. The photographer should be open to giving some direction but still allow the model to have creative freedom. This compromise will often result in a more creative and natural shot. A natural shot is the ultimate goal, as it will more likely be relatable and engaging to the consumer. 

Retouch

Retouching is necessary for any editorial shoot. However, specifically for males, it is important to not overdue it. Most male-targeted brands aim to convey a masculine ruggedness. This in part can be achieved through showing more skin detail, which requires less retouching.

It is important to provide male-targeted brands with guidelines that will hopefully help them get the ideal advertising image. These guidelines, plus bringing on the right photographer and model, will take your campaign to the next level! If you have any questions or would like to schedule a no-obligation consultation, please contact me!

Pet Advertising Photography by Renee Farias

If you know me, then you know I love animals! So I couldn’t leave the subject of pet photography out of my blogs. Do you have a pet product campaign coming up or simply want to schedule a photoshoot with your pet? Then this blog is for you! Pet photography requires a different mindset. It is often a lot more challenging than shooting a human model. The following guidelines should steer you in the right direction and help you pick out a photographer that will get you your ideal image.

Patience

First and foremost, be patient. Neither you nor the photographer can direct the animal like a human model. This often results in a much longer and tedious shoot. Patience is necessary to keep the momentum going and the animal engaged. 

Environment

Try to avoid a distracting environment. It will only take away the pet’s focus and make it harder to shoot. I also recommend using natural light if possible, as certain artificial lights and flash can scare the animal.

Eye Level

The photographer should almost always shoot at eye level. This will result in a more intimate photograph. You can tell a lot about an animal through their eyes. 

Gain Their Trust

Make the pet feel comfortable. The photographer especially should establish a playful and comforting relationship. This will allow the animal to relax, which will result in a better shot.

Pet photography can be a bit tedious and challenging. However, getting the right photographer who has fun with it and isn’t afraid to experiment a bit will end up getting you the best possible shot! If you have any questions or would like to schedule a no-obligation consultation, please contact me!

Editorial Photography Guidelines by Renee Farias

Magazine publications, listen up! Today I would like to talk about editorial photography, specifically magazine covers. The image on the cover of a magazine is the selling point for a publication, so it is important that the final product be fantastic. While there is a standard format and process that I recommend you follow, it is still important to have fun with it and let the creative juices flow so that you can have an amazing cover! Continue reading for some guidelines to be mindful of.

Format

Covers are almost always shot vertically. A vertical image fits perfectly on a standard cover page, which usually measures 8 ½ inches by 11 inches. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask your photographer to shoot both horizontally and vertically if you are unsure of the image’s use.  

Editing

The ultimate goal is to have a cover photo that stands out to the reader. This is commonly achieved with sharp photographs. Whether you go the intense airbrushing route or the minimal editing one, make sure you are consistent with each edition. That way, you will create a consistent personality and brand identity. 

Design

Have fun with the design aspect! Just be sure to stick to the general brand and theme of the publication. When looking at main publications like Marie Claire and Glamour, you can identify specific styles, fonts and colors they use. For example, Glamour often and purposefully blocks out the “M” in their name with subject’s head. Because this is consistent in each edition, that design element has become a part of their brand. Here are a few more design tips:

·         Font color can differ from previous issues; this difference allows readers to know it is a new edition. Just make sure the variations compliment each other and are consistent with the brand of the publication.

·         The cover should always have a reference point, whether it is the subject, headline, etc.

·         The model should be looking straight at the camera. Eye contact is important; it connects with the reader.

·         Make sure the cover background is simple and non-distracting. You don’t want to draw too much attention away from the text.

In editorial photography, specifically cover photography, you have the opportunity to make a statement and establish brand identity. It is important that you follow the guidelines above, but also have fun and be creative with the process! By getting the right people on your team, you will be able to have a powerful end product that is sure to connect with and draw in more consumers. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a no-obligation consultation, please contact me!

Black and White Photography by Renee Farias

When planning out your next campaign, why should you opt for black and white photography? Sometimes it is great to switch things up and go outside of the norm. Black and white photography exudes character and adds a timeless quality to a photo. If you are considering taking a more artistic route for your next campaign or project, explore the benefits and aspects of black and white photography. This blog will cover these benefits and aspects, so that you can have a clear understanding of this type of photography. 

By lacking color, black and white photography allows the viewer to focus more on the subject(s) of the photo. This, in turn, creates more of an emotional connection between the viewer and the subject(s).

Black and white photography also brings out more of the artistic qualities of the photograph through its use of light and tone.

o   Without color as a distraction, there is more of a focus on the lighting aspect. It is important to note the shadows and to be aware of their artistic capability.

o   The tone of the photograph refers to the various shades of gray. The contrast in shade draws more attention to the shape and lines of the subject and its relationship to its surroundings. This relationship adds character and a storyline to the photograph. The overarching goal is to evoke thought and emotion in the viewer. The type of thought and emotion can vary depending on the purpose of your campaign.

If a person is the main subject of the photo, make sure the photographer is aware of exposure in order to capture the skin beautifully. Black and white photography diminishes the appearance of skin imperfections and can wonderfully depict various skin tones. You want to prevent a washed out or shadow look.

It always helps to refer to previous experts. In terms of black and white photography, one of the best is Ansel Adams, who famously explores tones and contrast within his black and white landscape photography. Take a look at his portfolio and make notes of the aspects you like. This will help you shape your own vision.

You don't take a photograph, you make it. – Ansel Adams

In black and white photography, you have the artistic ability to control the tone, lighting and overall mood of the photograph. By knowing the tools at your disposal, you can make the most of your photoshoot. Whether your goal is to sell a product, build brand recognition etc., black and white photography will give you that unique and personal twist that is essential for any successful campaign. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a no-obligation consultation, please contact me!

Fitness Advertising Photography by Renee Farias

Advertising photography not only sells a product, it sells a feeling. Fitness advertising photography is no different. In addition to marketing the fitness product or clothing, fitness advertising photography markets the feelings of determination, drive and motivation, all of which are conveyed through the fit body of the model. Photography’s goal is to capture these feelings as well as portray the product very well. This blog will explore the characteristics of a great fitness advertising photo! Fitness brands, take note of the following guidelines so that you can go to your photographer with a clear idea of what you want!

It is important to remember that the model’s body should be highlighted and stand out to the viewer. The model’s fit body symbolizes what the product can do for the consumer. The body can be accented in the following ways:

·         Keep the background simple. It should not overshadow the model or the product.

·         Be mindful of the model’s angles and positions. The angle of the model should highlight certain aspects of their physique, and in addition should show off the use of the product.

·         For more intense active photos, use a squirt bottle to make it appear as though the model is working up a sweat after an intense training session. With this “sweat,” strategic lighting and angles, the photographer will be able to accent certain muscles and body parts, making the overall photo more marketable. 

After you obtain your ideal images, the next step is for the photographer to edit and fine-tune these photos. Just make sure that the final product is not overdone. The purpose of retouching is to simply remove any skin and hair imperfections, while still keeping the raw power of the photograph.

In fitness advertising photography, you almost always want to make the consumer feel motivated, powerful, strong and capable. By making them feel this sense of empowerment, they will be drawn to your product. The ideal image suggests that by purchasing the product, the consumer can achieve the motivation and strength that the model feels. This, in turn, will increase your brand recognition and product sales! If you have any questions or would like to schedule a no-obligation consultation, please contact me!

Accessory Photography Guide by Renee Farias

Accessory Advertising is common in the commercial world, and I would like to dedicate this blog to the jewelry, bag and other accessory designers in need of some guidelines. Photography is necessary to brand and sell your product, and the following guidelines will give you an idea of what it takes to get the ideal photo. Keep the following advice in mind before you book your photographer, so that you know the proper questions to ask and have an expectation of what the standard of work should be. 

Before the Shoot

This is the time to get a sense of your budget, expectations and requirements before meeting with the photographer. It is common knowledge that 50% of the work takes place before the actual shoot. Take your time and be thorough during this preparation phase. Develop a sensible budget. Know the expectations you will have going into the shoot. And remember this quote by Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.”  

While meeting with a photographer, get a sense of their working style and don’t be afraid to bounce ideas off of them. Their experience can benefit your project!

At the shoot

Here are the important things both you and the photographer should be focusing on during the shoot:

Background

·         Set the mood with the proper background. Whether it is a simple white background, or something more colorful and intricate, the mood needs to complement the essence of the product. Who is the target audience? How is this product supposed to make them feel? Determine the mood and background off of these questions.

Props

·         If you are using props, make sure that they do not overshadow the product. The purpose of a prop is to help tell a story and explain the use of the product. 

Angles

·         Think strategically about your angles, as they add excitement and interest to the product. Angles shape the way the product is perceived. They add personality and branding to the shot, making the viewer more interested.

Following the above guidelines will help you have a smooth and effective shoot. Even though the photographer is taking the shots, it is important for you, the client, to be in the loop. That way, you can offer your own opinions and be as involved as you would like in order to ensure your satisfaction with the final product. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a no-obligation consultation, please contact me!

Auto Advertising Photography by Renee Farias

Automobile companies! It is time to start preparing your 2017 advertising materials. Auto Advertising Photography can make or break your campaign. In this blog, I will discuss what goes into getting that perfect auto shot, so that you can be aware of the process before booking a professional photographer. It is essential that you put some thought into the following areas in order to get the best possible portfolio. 

Location

First, determine your desired location for the shoot. Would you prefer a natural background or more of a studio feel? Make sure that it is within your budget. There are so many options, so have fun with this decision! Just remember that the background should not be too distracting; your car needs to be the primary focus! The background should rather enhance and compliment the appearance of the vehicle.

 Light

Next, take time to figure out the lighting. With lighting, you can highlight certain aspects of the vehicle and really define the style and mood of the car. Natural light is best, especially if you shoot during the “magic hours” which are the hours just before and during sunrise and the hours during sunset. This way, you will achieve beautiful warmth and sunlight without having the light be too harsh. However, if you are shooting indoors, artificial lighting works just fine.   

Angles

Don’t be afraid to explore different angles and vantage points. A common angle is to shoot from just above the ground, which makes the vehicle look larger than life and adds a powerful essence to the photo. Always test out various positions to figure out what works best with your car.

 Exterior Details

Once you are happy with the full shots of the car, it is time to focus on any exterior detail shots that can enrich your portfolio.  Start thinking about the unique design features of your car so that you can let the photographer know what to look out for.  

Interior Details

It is also important to remember the interesting interior features of the car. Some great interior shots include capturing the logo as well as any unique and valuable design elements. Just make sure the lighting is sufficient when shooting these interior shots. 

This may be a lot to remember, but it is good to get an idea of what a qualified photographer will be looking out for during the shoot. If you have any questions, please contact me for a no-obligation consultation. With thorough research and attention to the above details, you will get an effective advertorial portfolio that is sure to make your 2017 car model a success!

Advertising Photography Guide by Renee Farias

Hello all! In a previous blog, I discussed the importance of product placement in lifestyle photography. I thought it would be helpful to flesh out this idea and talk more generally about advertising photography. Advertising photography requires a thorough understanding of what the brand should exude, accurate target marketing and meticulous planning and execution. In this blog, I will explain each of these requirements in more depth so that your company can be on its way to selling its product!

Branding

The first step before booking your photographer and scheduling that advertorial shoot is to figure out the essence of your brand. This website offers some key guidelines to determine your “brand personality.” Brand personality “is a set of emotional and associative characteristics connected to a company or brand name. These things shape how people feel about and interact with a company. Often a brand’s personality mirrors that of the target customer base.”

Here are some recommended questions and tips that will help you figure out the personality of your company:

·         How would you describe your product or company to someone?

·         Determine your company voice and make sure it is consistent.

·         As stated in Code My Views, “almost every brand can be described as one of these five personalities: sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication and ruggedness.” Which one is your company?

Target Marketing

After determining your brand personality, it will be easier to determine what the target market will be. A target market is a group of consumers who will most likely purchase the product.

When determining your target audience, get an idea of the stereotypical characteristics of a target consumer. This will include factors like age, gender, job description, hobbies, etc. From there, consider how this product will enhance the target audience’s life.  How will it help with their professional and/ or personal goals? 

Planning and Execution

Finally, check these tasks off your list to ensure a successful shoot:

·         Create a clear message that you want to send to your consumers. This will help determine the staging of the shoot. The message should communicate what you are selling and why it is important for people to purchase it.

·         Before meeting with a photographer, start brainstorming ideas of what you would like to include in the photograph. That way, you can give the photographer an idea of what you want. 

·         Schedule a consultation with a professional photographer. During this session, you will coordinate a budget, seek their advice and present your own ideas.

·         After the photo shoot takes place and the photographer has spent time proofing and editing the image, make sure you double check that the end product meets your expectations.

Hopefully these guidelines prove to be helpful! If you have any questions or would like to schedule a no-obligation consultation, please contact me.  Advertising photography is key to a successful campaign. By following these guidelines and doing the proper planning, you will be on your way to selling your product! 

The Importance of Beauty Photography by Renee Farias

Listen up cosmetic companies! Beauty photography plays a key role in marketing your brand. While it is best to hire a professional to accurately and beautifully shoot your product, it is important that you are aware of the following guidelines before you book your photographer. These guidelines can even apply to dermatology products such as acne medicine.  

Let’s start with the energy of the photograph. Before anything else, there needs to be a great chemistry between the photographer and the model. The model should exude confidence and intimacy that will draw in the viewer and allow them to trust him or her. Once the model is trusted, the product is trusted. The result can be very powerful. This connection, along with proper lighting and framing, will produce that money shot! 

Now let’s talk more technical. Because your make-up brand is going to be the primary focus, the images should clearly convey how this product enhances the facial features of the model. Proper lighting will really help excentuate the face. Think of the face as a blank canvas for your product; there shouldn’t be too many other distractions. Here are a few ways to achieve this:

Background

A minimalistic background is best. The main emphasis will be on the face. This could simply mean using a blank wall.

Framing

Try and stick to the standard types of framing in order to highlight the cosmetic product. The different types are as follows (as stated in Julia Kuzmenko McKim’s Secrets to Crafting Top-Quality Beauty Portraits: Posing & Framing):

  • From top of the shoulders up with a little bit of negative space around the subject's head (face takes up around 40-50% of the frame)

  • Tight closeup from right under the chin up to the forehead (85-95%)

  • Macro closeup of just one facial feature in the frame (usually an eye or lips)

Angles

Angles are a crucial part of showing off the product. I’m sure you have heard people mention their “best side” before getting their picture taken. Well, that same mindset applies here. You want to play with various angles and capture the model’s “best side.” This is going to make your product look its best. Angles will help your photo express elegance, gracefulness, etc.

Retouching

The final images should have just enough (but not too much) retouching. Retouching is like icing on a cake; it is not the most important part, but will make the image look that much better. Generally speaking, this means that the model’s skin should look smooth and blemish free. All frizz and out of place hair should be removed as well. 

It is important that you take these guidelines into consideration before you book your photographer. That way, you will be fully informed and get the perfect shot that will properly market your brand! For more information and to schedule a consultation, feel free to contact me.  

Lifestyle Photography by Renee Farias

Hello everyone! Today I thought I’d talk about lifestyle photography and its relationship to product placement. Proper product placement can significantly enhance sales, so if you are a lifestyle or clothing brand in need of some great product placing tips, this blog is for you!

First off, let’s discuss what lifestyle photography entails. The goal of lifestyle photography is to capture the “art of everyday life” and simplistic, realistic moments in an artistic way. When in accordance with product placement, the goal is to showcase the product’s use and impact on everyday life. It is essential that the product be orchestrated in a way that is natural, yet obviously adds value and positivity to the image’s scenario. 

The photo should allow a potential customer to envision how this product could enhance his or her own life. The context of the photo should convince them that this product is essential to achieving that “picture-perfect” (no pun intended) feeling. In fact, the context is just as important as the product. The product should not be shown as an object, but an experience.

In order to achieve this, we are going back to the elementary school basics – Who, What, Where, When and How. Ask yourself the following questions:

·         Who will be interested in and most likely use the product?

·         What other items will be associated with this product?

o   Explore placing other things around your product to create context for it. Potential customers can then figure out its intended use. However, be cautious to not allow these items to outshine or take away from your product.

·         Where will this product be used?

o   The shoot should take pace in the object's intended environment.

·         When will this product most likely be used?

o   During the day or night? Rain or shine? The time of the shoot should be based off of that.

·         How will this product be used?  

Putting together a lifestyle shoot can sound overwhelming which is why it is best to hire a professional. The goal here is to sell your product, so meticulousness and quality are critical.  Please contact me for a no-obligation consultation and make the first move towards increasing the sales of your product!  

Fashion Blogging Tips by Renee Farias

If you read my last blog, you may remember a few of the look book guidelines I provided to new designers for when they first start out. I thought it would be helpful to expand on these guidelines and apply them to fashion blogging. Fashion blogs are extremely popular and, as with look books, can help a new designer gain customers and direct traffic to their site. If you are a start-up or aspiring blogger who needs guidance, read on!

First of all, there are a lot of fashion blogs out there. Thousands, in fact. In order to build a substantial audience, you need to bring a unique perspective to the table. Ask yourself, “How am I different from other fashion bloggers?” Like with look books, you need to figure out who your audience is. Your type of audience will influence the content of your blog. You need to develop content that they will actually enjoy and find useful. 

When you think of a fashion blog, you probably think of a blog that mainly focuses on looks and style. Although the appearance and images of a fashion blog are obviously important, the blog still needs to have a vibrant and likable personality. You need to be relatable in order to build a strong following. This, in part, comes from blogging about what you are passionate about. Be true to your voice and don’t try to be someone you are not.

You also need to make an effort to build your social media presence, which is significantly important and can either drastically hurt or help your blog. In this day and age, social media is so vital to a fashion blog’s success. Your complete online presence includes both your social media handles and your blog. This means that you must consistently update them with the best possible content. If you are a fashion blogger, you have to have an Instagram. There is no question about it. You need to make sure that your Instagram is up to par with your blog. This is done mainly in part by acquiring some quality photos. By having a popular Instagram, you can build your brand and gain the exposure you need to be a successful blogger. 

 Renee Farias is a Los Angeles Photographer specializing in Model, Actor, Celebrity, Headshots and Beauty.

Fashion is primarily photo based and excellent images are essential to a great fashion blog.

To view some more suggestions from a few top fashion bloggers, check out this slideshow: http://www.teenvogue.com/gallery/blogger-tips.

While you may feel like an amateur if you are just starting out, it is important that you get professional fast! This means getting the right people on your team so that you can showcase the best photos, videos and graphics. Contact me to set up a consultation and be on your way to creating a superb blog! 

Look Book Guidelines by Renee Farias

Let’s start with the basics. What is a look book? Well, here’s a clear-cut definition (thanks Google!):

A look book is “a set of photographs displaying a fashion designer's new collection, assembled for marketing purposes.”

For designers and clothing lines, look books are necessary to show off their best work of the season. If you are just starting out, it may feel overwhelming and can be confusing on where to begin. As a photographer and having worked on numerous look books, I can tell you that the photography element must be carefully executed in order to create a product that will actually help your brand.

The following bullet points are some guidelines I follow when shooting. They are important for the client to know as well!

  •        First thing’s first. Before shooting begins, figure out your target audience. This will influence your design.

  •     Keep it simple! Opt for subtle backgrounds that don’t take away from the look.  

  •     The model should be relaxed and natural. Photos that are too posed will look artificial and forced. For example, take a look at this photo. The model’s stance is very natural and fluid.  

  •        In most cases, it is preferable that the layout be vertical and should capture as much of  the look as possible. Look at the following photo. See how the model is shot head to toe but is still fairly close? That is ideal. 

  •        Detail is key! Be aware of every little thing from the model’s arm placement to the wrinkles on the clothes. Every detail matters.

To make things a little easier and less stressful the day of the shoot, make sure the clothes are clean and ironed before and throughout the shoot. Also, be sure to bring safety pins in case any of the clothing items need better fitting on the model.

Once you have quality photos in your possession, it’s time to focus on the design aspect of your look book. Just like with the photo shoot, simplicity is key! You don’t want to confuse the viewer. Remember, your look book is to showcase your fashion designs, so the graphic design should not overpower them. Every design element should add value to your clothes. If it does not, it is not needed.

Here are a few design guidelines:

  •        Make use of whitespace. This breathing room draws more attention to the clothes.

  •     The ideal length of a look book for a start-up should be around 4 pages long while a larger designer with a bigger budget could do between 8-16 pages.

  •     Don’t get crazy with the font. Again, simplicity is best here.

In addition to following the above guidelines, looking at current look books can provide additional suggestions and inspiration. Referring to the photos in this blog will help you visualize all of the recommendations I have mentioned. You need to start prepping now for spring and summer, so feel free to contact me if you have any more questions or would like to get started planning your 2017 look book!

The Age of Branding by Renee Farias

Building your brand... The importance of branding…. Brand awareness. These are all common phrases that new companies often encounter when looking into expanding their business. Branding is such a key concept nowadays, but why? Every company needs to be familiar and trustworthy to its customers. Branding not only helps with that, but it also brings personality to a company. Personality will attract more consumers, and thus add more financial value to the business.  

Society becomes so attached to certain brands. Just look at powerhouses such as Coca-Cola, Apple, and Nike.  They have 3 things in common:

1.      Consistency: These companies have a clear product. Coca-Cola produces soda. Apple produces phones and computers. This makes it easier for someone to associate the company’s name with what they do. There is no confusion. It is very straightforward!

2.      Memorable: These companies have very memorable logos, taglines, and personality. “Taste the feeling.” “Just do it.” I don’t even need to attach the company name to the slogan for you to know what it is!

3.      Uniqueness: Establishing a brand identity requires something different. For example, Apple is known worldwide for their innovative products and minimalistic, futuristic appeal.

So how does photography tie into all of this? Well, it is important that the photo embodies all of these branding necessities. Photography plays a crucial role in the storytelling of the brand and should embody the energy and persona of the company. For example, the photos in this blog depict a very distinct essence that relates to the brand. Whether the vibe of the company is minimalistic and sophisticated or more youthful and colorful, it should be apparent in the photograph. It should also make someone want to achieve the sensation conveyed in the photo.  

“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.” ― Ansel Adams

Branding is essential and photography is such a key component to its success. While figuring out where to start can be a daunting task, doing your research and turning to the right people can make a big difference.  If you are in need of some guidance, feel free to contact me to schedule a consultation.  By taking your time and getting the right people on your team, you will be on your way to creating a more recognizable and distinguished company!