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!