fbpx

BLOG

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 đŸ˜‰ 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.


B*Witched The Big Reunion photo shoot

B*Witched The Big Reunion photo shoot

On a side note – I have written this post good few months ago but due to exclusive rights agreement had to keep it secret until now. Although it is slightly outdated I still think it’s an interesting story worth sharing.

Do you remember the 90’s girls band B*Witched (‘C’est La Vie‘, ‘Rollercoaster’, ‘Blame it on the Weatherman‘)? They have recently got back together for ITV2 series “The Big Reunion”. Following the show’s major success came the Reunion Tour and talks about a new album.
And here my part begins… One afternoon I received a phone call from Lindsay Armaou. After a break of over 10 years the girls didn’t really have much photographic material to promote the tour, new single and all other activities that started flowing in.

Of course I was very excited to become part of this project. We had very limited time so we started planning right away. Girls have decided that since they are no longer teenagers the photos need to be different too, little more classy, elegant and sophisticated. We were shooting in October. It was freezing cold, windy and raining so we had to cut the location shots to absolute minimum.

B*Witched Big Reunion photo shoot. Edele Lynch, Lindsay Armaou, Sinéad O'Carroll, Keavy Lynch. Music photography London. Celebrity portrait.

We started off with the shot above that had to be executed in literally 5 minutes before the girls turn all blue and frozen.

As we were shooting it, rain came over. My assistant handed the girls our lighting umbrella to use as a cover and since it still had the light attached to it I have quickly fired couple of shots just for fun.

Turned out that girls liked it so much that they decided to use it to promote their Christmas Party Tour.

All I had to do was turn rain into snow!!! After couple of hours, through the miracle of Photoshop I came up with the picture below.

B*Witched Big Reunion photo shoot. Edele Lynch, Keavy Lynch, Lindsay Armaou, Sinéad O'Carroll. Music photography London.

Cold and wet we got back to studio. First on agenda was a classic band shot on a white seamless that I have decided to spice up with some fancy lighting. Because of that I had to shoot each girl separately and put it all together in post.

B*Witched Big Reunion photo shoot. Sinéad O'Carroll, Edele Lynch, Keavy Lynch, Lindsay Armaou. Music photography London.

Next up were the individual headshots. Beautiful women, fancy hair and makeup, nice light, easy job đŸ˜‰

B*Witched Big Reunion photo shoot. Sinéad O'Carroll, celebrity portrait, singer headshot.

B*Witched Big Reunion photo shoot. Keavy Lynch, celebrity portrait, singer headshot.

B*Witched Big Reunion photo shoot. Lindsay Armaou, celebrity portrait, singer headshot.

B*Witched Big Reunion photo shoot. Edele Lynch, celebrity portrait, singer headshot.

 

Last was a group shot again but this time a little rougher, moodier, with more character.

B*Witched Big Reunion photo shoot. Keavy Lynch, Lindsay Armaou, Sinéad O'Carroll, Edele Lynch. Music photography London.

And here is just cool BTS shot. Girls with my assistant Pawel Spolnicki.

B*Witched Big Reunion photo shoot behind the scenes photo. Keavy Lynch, Lindsay Armaou.


Model Portfolio London – How not to get scammed.

Model portfolio London, modelling portfolio London, portfolio book

Model Portfolio London – How not to get scammed.

The Ultimate Guide For Aspiring Models

 

I have decided to write this article touched by increasing volume of rather sad phone calls and emails I receive from young boys and girls that dream of modelling career.

They all have one thing in common, they are victims of their own dreams and ruthless people that are prepared to shamelessly take advantage of a vulnerable, young person and run with their money. By now you are probably wondering what I’m on about? I am talking about so called “professional model portfolio” or modelling portfolio photo shoots.

*

The story is always the same. One way or the other (they are really good at marketing) they get your attention and lure you in.

Along the way they convince you that you are absolutely gorgeous or insanely handsome and the only thing that stands between you and the cover of VOGUE is lack of “professional” portfolio.

You can not believe your luck when they tell you that today they have very special offer and the £2000 package goes for mere £750. What a bargain!

While wave of excitement washes over your body, you empty your account, squeeze something out of your parents, maybe even call your grandma. You are completely green in this field so nothing triggers your suspicion… until few days later you proudly present this marvel to a modelling agency. Unfortunately this time you deal with real professionals and after quick scan they reject your photos and tell you to come back when you’ll have something they call a portfolio.

You are shocked, speechless, wondering how this could happen?

You just became another person that have been scammed. I personally work with several modelling agencies so feel qualified to explain you why.

Reputable modelling agency would NEVER put on their website anything that is even slightly below their current standard. That would lower the agency’s perceived quality and damage their reputation.

If you are really drop dead gorgeous and the agency wants you very much, they may offer you a test shoot (more professional term for model portfolio building session) but this time with real professional from within the industry rather than some weekend warrior/happy snapper or your local high street studio that is guaranteed to deliver results matching their standards.

Then they deduct the cost of the shoot from your future earnings so it all happens painlessly, without further damage to your budget.

Only few of you will be that lucky though. Unfortunately most will have to prove their potential before they would be accepted.

*

So what do you do next?

Have really good look at your agency’s website. See what quality of photography they display and find photographer that will deliver it.

Don’t panic, it’s not going to cost you arm and leg again. You may be surprised that often real commercial or fashion photographer will charge you less than your awesome, flashy local studio. The point is that our main source of income is commercial photography for commercial clients and we don’t feel the urge to scam naive, young people.

We are actually happy to help, give something back to the industry, not only take professional looking photographs but also teach you something along the way.

Give you advice on styling, latest trends on hair & makeup, shed some light on posing techniques, even give some homework so you can practice and progress on your own.

I often get to work on commercial projects with models that few years back have showed up at our door green and clueless as you are right now. But they’ve worked hard, they’ve persevered. Some of them failed… but some have succeeded and they say it was worth it.

Please share your thoughts and related experiences in the comments below.

More information on this topic in my other article Modelling Portfolio – Expert advice.

UPDATE:

Please note that I do not intend to comment on particular studio, agency or other individual cases as they are all different. My intention was to give you information and advice that is hard to find elsewhere and enables you to make conscious and rational decision before you send your hard earned money. I really hope it serves the purpose.

Yours truly

Model portfolio London, modelling portfolio London, portfolio book

 

Model portfolio London, modelling portfolio London, portfolio book

 

Model portfolio London, modelling portfolio London, portfolio book

 

Model portfolio London, modelling portfolio London, portfolio book


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


Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2

Hi Guys,

Today a quick update on our Miss USSR UK project. Casting Nr.2 was held at trendy night club Jalouse. Again we were simply dazzled by the beauty of our contestants, celebrity guests and organisers themselves.

Below few official photos of the contestants followed by some after-party snaps.

Enjoy!

 

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 official contestant's photo

 

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 official contestant's photo

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 official contestant's photo

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 official contestant's photo

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 official contestant's photo

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 official contestant's photo

 

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

You can also see my pictures from Miss USSR UK Casting Nr.1 right here and all of the Miss USSR UK contestants on their official website.

If you would like to join the fun and vote for your favourite girl, voting page will go live in December.