fbpx

Fashion Photographer London – World of Neons

A Day of Hard Work of London Fashion Photographer

Fashion photography London, photo by fashion photographer London Jarek Duk. World of Neons.

Hi Guys,

Few weeks ago I had a great pleasure to shoot for Dark Pink London fashion brand.

It is a rather young brand but over past couple of years they have really taken London by storm. As the company grows and matures their advertising guidelines get more ambitious and conveniently there is a decent budget to support it.

So for this year’s “AW 2014 Look Book” we have decided it was a time to take it to the next level.

We wanted something really cool and unique. Enormous amount of time was invested in scouting for that “perfect location” but it was really worth it. We have found this warehouse full of neon lights, vintage signs, and stage props.

An absolute dream world for a fashion photographer in London, where every possible spot has been used and abused for years!

Below iPhone snapshot of the location.

photo

Since the cost of location alone was £1200/day plus a model, make up artist, stylist, assistant etc. I had to really make sure that final result looks like $Million Dollars!$

No pressure, right?!?

Day before the shoot I have spent good few hours on selecting and packing the right gear for the job. I like to be over prepared, as some would say, but I find that this process lets me keep the “What if?” stress level at minimum so on the day of the shoot I can entirely focus on the creative process rather than technical difficulties.

The fashion shoot went really smooth, entire team has worked really hard but we also had great fun along the way. My client was extremely happy and felt that the money spent was a great investment. So much so that we are already planing the next shoot!
Below short behind the scenes video from the shoot and few of final images.
Enjoy!

Fashion photography London, photo by fashion photographer London Jarek Duk. World of Neons.

Fashion photography London, photo by fashion photographer London Jarek Duk. World of Neons.

Fashion photography London, photo by fashion photographer London Jarek Duk. World of Neons.

Fashion photography London, photo by fashion photographer London Jarek Duk. World of Neons.


How to sell clothes online – e-commerce fashion photography guide.

E-commerce fashion photography London, ASOS style garment photo, look book. Photo by Jarek Duk

E-commerce fashion photography guidelines and practical advice.

We are lucky to live in times when selling clothes, fashion, shoes, accessories, you name it, is easier than ever.

You no longer need big pile of cash for rent in prime location, elegant interior, fancy furniture, attractive sale representative etc.

Instead of all those things you only need one – your website.

Sounds easy but since now all your efforts, hard work, investment and simply success or failure depend on this one thing, you better get it right. Long gone are the times when you had to spend thousands of pounds for custom built e-commerce website.

There are countless template based services that for small monthly fee will have your very own, beautiful website up and running in no time. However there is still one thing of the highest importance of all – the images.

No amount of words, descriptions, marketing and advertising will sell your clothes if the image your potential customers are looking at just before they commit is unattractive.

E-commerce fashion photography, as we call it in the industry, contributes to a large part of my business and I am happy to share here some essential and practical information. So how do you attract the potential buyer, knowing that an average time people stay on one website counts in seconds?

Here is how:

1. Your images have to be clear and simple so the garment is the only thing that stands out.
2. No destructing backgrounds.
3. Image has to be well lit.
4. Attractive model always helps (there are few options, that I’ll discuss later).
5. Do not use wide angle lenses. They introduce distortion and make people/clothes look unproportional.
6. Pay attention to your camera colour balance so you won’t get complaints and returns because colour of the garment on your website does not quite reflect the actual colour of the product.

Very often when I am receiving calls from my clients the first question is:

“Do you do pictures like the ones on ASOS?”

For those of you that are not aware, here in UK ASOS has become in last few years one of the largest online fashion retailers on the market. Of course they must be doing something right!

As you can see on their website all their images adhere to the rules above. There is also consistency in it, which is quite important for your brand image. So the answer is “Yes we do images like the ones on ASOS”. As a matter of fact many brands selling on ASOS Marketplace are my clients and using my images.

Although the images are rather basic there is still few choices you have to make when it comes to e-commerce fashion photography. It may seem not extremely important at first but will have an impact on your presence, costs and turnaround time. Also remember what we said above, all images across your website have to be consistent so whatever choices you’ll make on your first photo shoot will stay with you for long, long time.

Wonder what I’m talking about?

First is a choice of background colour. That will largely depend on the colour pallet of your website but also the look and feel of your website design. Standard options are white (or nearly white, will explain that in a second) or various shades of grey.

Other colours are rarely used because of their attention distracting nature. So the most common choice is “nearly white” background.

Let me explain. Without going deep into technicalities it is very hard to take a picture that straight out of the camera will have pure white background. So simply speaking if you insist on pure white background it needs to be done in post production which is going to take some TLC (Time, Labour and Cash) and quite frankly those are two things that no one has in excess.

Pretty much all of my clients stress out the importance of short turnaround time. When you receive the shipment of your garments you want them photographed and displayed on your website ASAP.

Every day of delay is a lost business. For the above reasons the smarter option for e-commerce fashion photography is “nearly white” background that can be achieved in camera so it is both quicker and cheaper since it does not require extensive post production.
Darker backgrounds are more suitable for brands and designs that have more character. I personally see it as slightly more elegant option and less e-bay like.

There is few samples below so I’ll leave it to your taste.

All images in this article are exactly as delivered to the client. There is clearly visible difference in the level of retouching depending on client’s requirements (just one more thing to consider).

E-commerce fashion photography London, ASOS style garment photo, look book

E-commerce fashion photography London, ASOS style garment photo, look book , catalogue. Photo by Jarek Duk

E-commerce fashion photography London, ASOS style garment photo, look book , catalogue

The second important choice you’ll have to make is a model.

There are generally three options here:

1. Hiring a beautiful, attractive model which no doubt is by far the most appealing to your potential buyers but also the most expensive.
2. So called “headless” shots (for a lack of a better name). Where no model’s face/head appears on the picture. Of course it is not visually as pleasing as the one above but lets you save some money. You don’t need top class models which is cheaper already but you also save money on hair and makeup stylist that in this case is no longer required. Headless shots typically work better with men’s e-commerce fashion photography.
3. You can photograph your clothes on a mannequin or laid flat. This sure requires minimal investment compared to the other two but also gives you minimal chance for success so we won’t be exploring it any further. Yes, ASOS in their photography guidelines does not recommend it either.

So as you can see e-commerce fashion photography is simple but at the same time more complex than it initially seems. Get it right and you may become next ASOS, get it wrong and you’ll end up with a warehouse full of last season’s garments.

If shooting few hundred outfits for 10 hours straight does not excite you enough 😉 check couple of my other fashion photography articles that touch on slightly more exciting and adventurous side of it. And one more on men’s fashion. Enjoy!

E-commerce fashion photography London, ASOS style garment photo, look book

E-commerce fashion photography London, ASOS style garment photo, look book , catalogue

E-commerce fashion photography London, ASOS style garment photo, look book , catalogue

E-commerce fashion photography London, ASOS style garment photo, look book , catalogue

E-commerce fashion photography London, ASOS style garment photo, look book , catalogue

As always if you have any questions regarding e-commerce fashion photography please leave a comment below and I’ll try to answer them in a timely manner.


Fashion Editorial. Fashion Photography London

Editorial shot

fashion editorial, fashion photography London, men's fashion, winter collection, moody, intense

Today I would like to share with you nice fashion photography editorial I have shot recently.

I have to be honest with you, although I have real passion for photography like in any other job some days are better then others. This particular day has been great from start to finish.

For this editorial we had planed mostly studio setups with an option of shooting one quick shot outdoors. However as I was driving to my studio the beautiful, golden, low winter sun has presented itself and I knew that we will definitely have to take advantage of this rare occurrence here in London on the middle of winter.

I have managed to gather really great team for this shoot. Our model Ash is full of character, charisma and generally cool and good looking chap. I can’t stress enough the importance of good hair and makeup artist (yes, even for guys)!

While ago I have started cooperating with Gosia Peruzynska, not only is she very professional and does some black magic to people’s faces but also brings to the shoot tones of humour and positive energy. I also had a great assistant, fellow photographer Pawel Spolnicki.

Quick side note to anyone that is just starting out and willing to take their photography to next level. You will NEVER make it as “one man band”! Behind any successful photo shoot stands the whole TEAM of people. Yes it is a challenge and yes it takes time but once you’ll find the right people and build those relations your work will improve dramatically. So if you wonder what step to take next, make team building your New Year’s resolution and see where you stand at the end of the year.

*

Back to our topic. As the weather was great and light beautiful we have shot a few outdoor setups. All with natural light and little help of a silver reflector. After couple of hours we have moved back to studio and finished it off with couple of moody photographs where Ash although cold and tired still gave me his 110%.

I’ll let you judge the results. Please leave your opinions in the comments below.

fashion editorial, fashion photography London, men's fashion, winter collection, moody, intense

fashion editorial, fashion photography London, men's fashion, winter collection, moody, intensefashion editorial, fashion photography London, men's fashion, winter collection, moody, intense

fashion editorial, fashion photography London, men's fashion, moody, intense, model portfolio

fashion editorial, fashion photography London, men's fashion, moody, intense, model portfolio

fashion editorial, fashion photography London, men's fashion, moody, intense

fashion editorial, fashion photography London, men's fashion, moody, intense


Fashion composite image – Fashion photography London

Fashion photography London, dramatic and dynamic picture of woman in a red dress, night scene.

Have you noticed that most of cool fashion and commercial images have one thing in common? Yes, they are all shot at beautiful, luxurious or exotic locations.

The commercial trends and fashion photography have changed a lot in past few years but this one thing remains constant. For one simple reason… It works! There is only one problem. Sending entire team (photographer, models, make up artist, hair dresser, wardrobe stylist, assistants) plus all their equipment, tools and accessories to not even very distant and very exotic location quickly adds up to ridiculously high bill and not every business can afford it.

Instead they settle for another boring shot that “fits within the budget”.

Thankfully that is no longer the only option. Today’s technology allows us to create stunning images at fraction of the cost. So how does it work? Once you’ve picked your dream location, instead of sending there your entire team you just ship over your photographer (hyper economic, 5th class ticket or as a parcel, whichever comes cheaper) with minimum equipment to take bunch of photos.

Once he’s back you can proceed with rest of the shoot in a local photo studio and then through miracle of Photoshop blend those images together.

The final results are both unique and realistic. The polished look of big production that… has never happened.

*

Base image taken on location before any retouching:

Template for commercial and fashion photography London composite image

Fashion photo of a model taken in my studio (straight out of the camera):

One of elements for commercial and fashion photography London composite image

And last image from which I have “borrowed” the hair. Just because it looked cool.

One of elements for commercial and fashion photography London composite image

Credits

Model: Vivien Monory (Base Management London)

Hair & Makeup: Cheyenne Raymond


Homework before the shoot. Fashion photography London.

Homework before the shoot. Fashion photography London.

Fashion photography London. Beautiful romantic dress, stunning beach location at sunset.

Today I’d like to walk you through my preparations process before a fashion shoot.

I chose this particular one for couple of reasons. It had some extra factors that you normally wouldn’t consider and it makes rather cool story.

*

So let’s start from the beginning.

I stumbled upon this location while shooting different job near by. I liked it so I came back the next day for a closer look. I took some iPhone reference photos.

I love the geotagging function. It let’s me easily find where exactly this photo was taken.

You’d be amazed how many old photos of really cool locations I have but can no longer remember where they were taken.

photo 2

iPhone photo

Fast forward couple of months and I got an assignment to shoot this beautiful dress for one of my clients. The dress was made from very fine fabric. It felt weightless and somewhat romantic. So we decided to focus on those qualities. We wanted to produce picture that would feel like sort of modern fairytale.

We’ve agreed on the concept.

I have shown pictures of the location to my client and they were very enthusiastic about the whole thing. What they didn’t know that our “perfect location” for best part of the day is submerged good couple of meters below the River Thames surface. I’ve checked the tides time table for our shoot date an it looked like we’d be able to shoot for around two hours.

Next step was the lighting. Whenever I shoot outdoors, I always check the sun’s position and direction so I know what to expect and can plan accordingly.

There is great iPhone app for it called Sun Seeker

Sun Seeker app screenshot.

Sun Seeker app screenshot.

Turns out that although the beach will be available for two hours, the sun sets one our earlier leaving us only one hour to shoot. So there was no time for mistakes and experiments I had it planned all to last bit.

*

On the shoot day we have arrived on location about an hour earlier. Needless to say that when my client saw deep, filthy water instead romantic beach she started to panic! We have used the spare time for some finishing touches on hair and make up. Although it was rather dull and cloudy day within that hour beautiful golden, setting sun broke through creating most amazing light we could hope for.

London sunset reflection on Canary Wharf buildings.

Beautiful sunset light (straight from the camera)

The shoot went great. We had our image and were really happy with the result.

After the sun has set we have manage to take last couple of shots with beautiful and soft dusk light that I have later converted to black&white to complement the mood.

*

So here it is, if it wasn’t for careful research and planning to the smallest detail this shoot could quickly turn to a total disaster. My advice, always do your homework.

Fashion Photography London, fashion shoot preparations.

Fashion photography London shoot BHS

BHS photo taken by my lovely assistant Jen.

.

Fashion photography London. Romantic pattern dress on moody, nostalgic beach location.

Fashion photography London. Romantic pattern dress on moody, nostalgic beach location.


Modelling Portfolio – Expert Advice

Modelling portfolio London

Expert Advice – How to get it done – A Perfect Modelling Portfolio in London

Over the past few years I had a pleasure to work with some of the top London’s agencies and modelling schools.

I am also being regularly invited to various seminars and modelling courses where I try to help those beautiful and ambitious young people to get on the right path to successful modelling career.

I guess I have become kinda known for it so I receive a lot of questions in that matter but one particular question comes over and over again: “How do I build my professional, modelling portfolio?

So lets start with the definition.

Modelling portfolio or model portfolio (also simply called “book”) is a book that should present the model and showcase model’s work.

It is collection of high quality photographic prints (no smaller than 8×10 inches and no larger than A3 size) presented in elegant sleeve or case (London Graphic Centre carry good selection of decent and inexpensive portfolio books).

It should contain somewhere between 10 and 24 images but remember, always put QUALITY OVER QUANTITY! Five great photos will get far better response than twenty average ones.

So what kind of shots do you need? The answer is all kinds. You should include at least one headshot, one “polaroid” (unretouched, full length picture in bikini or basic underwear on a clean background), couple of studio shots, couple of indoor location images, couple of outdoor location images and your best commercial work.

The most common mistake that beginners make is filling up your book with images from one photo shoot. Even if you plan to start your portfolio with only one session, make sure each image looks different (different outfit, hair, make up, different photographic style, location etc.).

No one will hire a model that has only done one photo shoot so you need to create an impression that you were building it for some time.

Modelling portfolio London

Modelling portfolio London

Now, if you reading this article you probably just starting out and don’t have anything to show, right?

There are two ways to build your portfolio from scratch.

First: You can ask your friend to take couple of pictures for you then sign up to one of the websites that bring together models, photographers, make up artists and other people from within the industry (Model Mayhem and Star Now are both good place to start, at least here in London). Once you get your profile up and running you look for photographers that would be willing to cooperate with you on TFP basis. TFP stands for Time For Prints, which is slightly archaic because most likely you will only receive images on CD rather than prints. Anyway you both invest your time for mutual benefit, you learn how to pose and your photographer learns… well, photography, but there is no money involved. Following this long and winding path you sure saving money but risk wasting countless hours with unskilful, unexperienced photographers resulting in images that will rarely be on acceptable level to be included in your portfolio.

Second: The other way can kick start your career and get you paid jobs within weeks rather then years. It will require some investment but hey, that’s how the world works. If you wanted to be successful musician, doctor or lawyer you wouldn’t expect to get there without an investment. Same applies to modelling. Basically you need to hire someone that has knowledge and experience to help you achieve your goals – professional photographer. I feel obligated to give you a warning here! These days every guy that owns a camera and likes to look at pretty girls calls himself “professional photographer” and that’s definitely not what I had in mind! I mean working full time commercial, fashion or portrait photographer. So please take great care when choosing one. Check his work, website and credentials or you will end up wasting your money on images that will be too low quality to be accepted by any serious modelling agency. However if you hire good photographer not only you will have fantastic images that you will be able to submit to agencies but you also acquire tones of skills and knowledge like posing techniques, styling advice, casting contacts etc.

*

I hope I have answered most of your questions and cleared some of your doubts. If there is anything else please do not hesitate to ask me in the comments below.

All of the images in this post are of non professional models and were taken during portfolio building sessions.

More on this topic in my article Model Portfolio – How not to get scammed

Modelling portfolio London

Modelling portfolio London

Modelling portfolio London

Modelling portfolio London

Modelling portfolio London

Model portfolio London, modelling portfolio London, portfolio book

Modelling portfolio London