So you got a new digital camera for Christmas. And somehow you were able to take a few photos without getting your finger on the lens. And now you say you’re ready to photograph the world’s elite supermodels.
Not so fast!
First, you need to get the book Fashion Photography by Bruce Smith. Bruce Smith has been a world-class fashion and beauty photographer for thirty years, and he also teaches master classes in France, Italy, and the United States, as well as runs workshops in the United Kingdom. In his new book Fashion Photography: A Complete Guide to the Tools and Techniques of the Trade, Bruce Smith explores every aspect of fashion photography, from high-end couture and beauty for both editorial and commercial clients, to runway, swimwear, lingerie, and more. His book provides the information, inspiration, and tips and tricks the aspiring fashion photographer needs to create stunning, commercial pictures and to open industry doors.
At nearly 200 pages, Fashion Photography by Bruce Smith provides you with the knowledge necessary to get a good head-start in the industry. The book starts with a very brief look at the equipment you’ll need, including the different types of cameras available, computers and software, studio lighting, location lighting, and other equipment. Needless to say, at two pages dedicated for each of those topics, you’re not going to learn everything you need to know about cameras in two pages, but I think that’s expected; you should learn more about cameras from other sources and your own experience. The brevity in this part of the book seems to serve merely as an introduction and starting point for the book.
Next, Bruce Smith explains building and working with your team of assistants, stylists, makeup artists, and models. He provides insight into showing respect to models and other members of the team to ensure everyone works together well to produce the best pictures possible. He writes: “If you want to get the best out of your models, don’t do anything that will upset them or cause them to lose respect for you as the photographer. It’s all part of generating a good vibe. The same can be said about any member of your team. Show everyone respect and you will gain respect yourself. You will also have a happy team that thrives on positive energy — pictures don’t work without it!”
In his book Fashion Photography, Bruce Smith covers a very wide range of topics, including but not limited to pre-production steps such as building a set, various types of lighting, and production considerations on the day of the shoot such as metering, composition, and directing models. In the last part of the book, Bruce Smith writes about many more topics such as post-production work and editing, marketing yourself, and developing your individual style.
The book seems to be very thorough in covering what’s needed to get started in fashion photography. Most importantly, the advice seems sound. Fashion Photography is well designed with very large, inspirational photographs. The text could be larger and heavier, but I guess that would also mean the book would need to be larger and more expensive. Nonetheless, the content is very valuable if you’re looking to expand into fashion photography. It’s a bargain at less than $20 on Amazon.com.
Fashion Photography is published by my favorite book publisher, Amphoto Books, which also publishes Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson. Understanding Exposure is listed as a prize each month for the Photobird Photo Contest, but the winners actually get to choose a book. Winners may choose one of the books listed on the page at http://amphotobooks.com ; click the book covers and if “Amphoto” is listed under the ISBN number at the top, then the book is available as a prize. The following books are also available as prizes:
Enter the Photobird Photo Contest for your chance to win Fashion Photography!
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