[Editor’s Note: When we started to put models on the cover our readers noticed! The first issue with a live model featured a beautiful cover photograph of Kathleen Nowak Tucci’s piece Unidinia on a live model. This eye-catching shot generated so much positive buzz in the forums and on Facebook, we decided to go in-depth for our readers and ask a photographer for her point of view on jewellery photography.]
Shooting fashion and beauty is a creative endeavor that entails exploration in order to attain a meaningful photographic expression.
When producing a shoot as a photographer/stylist, I start off with a concept. Along with the input of my creative team, I let the photo-shoot process take on a life of its own to see what can be accomplished. First—I scout a model that suits the look I am aiming for.
In terms of styling—with the established concept in mind, I proceed in getting the right clothing and accessories to accomplish the planned look. I then consult with my make-up artist for complimentary beauty looks to match the concept. It’s an enjoyable process that allows freedom to transform ideas into even greater ideas. Last, I seek a location that coincides with the theme of the shoot. Finding the right location with the right amenities for make-up, hair and wardrobe prep can be tedious at times. It is very exciting when all components come together on set and the creative process comes alive. When shooting, I keep my concept in mind and continue to evolve as ideas arise on set.
I direct the models to pose at certain angles that not only evoke the mood of fashion but also that flatter their stature. When shooting fashion photography, it’s all about the lines the body creates that enhance the look.
When shooting jewellery, the model has to be aware of the juxtaposition of the piece in question. The piece has to be showcased to its utmost potential, demonstrating its beauty and flattering angles. The model’s stature has to remain relaxed; this diverts attention away from the model and places emphasis onto the piece being featured. The model has to pose in ways that show off the piece and make it more than desirable. When modeling a bracelet or a ring, wrists and fingers should remain relaxed. This displays accessories in the most effective manner.
When styling a shoot with a fashion aesthetic in mind, it’s all about staying away from the norm and trying unconventional poses. It’s about pushing the envelope with the emotion factor and also not matching wardrobe, accessories and make-up in a conventional manner. Before each shoot, I create an inspiration board consisting of collages of fashion images and poses that coincide with my concept. Going through various fashion magazines is great reference material for developing a keen eye on ideas for photo shoot projects.
Preparing a photo shoot is exciting but also a lot of work. It is fun to see your concept transform through the creative process. Finding the right model, make-up team and great interns contribute tremendously to the final product. What I enjoy about working with such a great team is the constant ideas that we bounce off each other on set. As for the post-process, when choosing a final photo I always look for the picture that speaks to me and sends a message. An image with strong emotion, great composition and that evokes the purpose of the shoot. When shooting Jeanette LeBlanc’s line, I wanted to showcase her beautiful jewellery creations with the utmost elegance. A crisp, white background with the right model made these images exude the confidence and elegance that a woman should feel when wearing this fabulous jewellery. Once I choose a final photo, I make notes on what needs to be retouched; i.e. stray hairs, skin blemishes, adjusting of lighting if needed etc. If I am going for a darker or edgier vibe, I will change the lighting of the photo to affect the mood of the image with the use of Photoshop. This allows complete creative control of images and permits altering one’s work to take it to the next level.
The photographic experience is ever evolving and will transform itself throughout the creative process to result in exactly the anticipated vision. At times it could end in a different manner—which may be a fantastic surprise. The most important factor is to keep the subject of the photo shoot in mind at all times and remember the absolute message you want to convey with your final photograph. Last of all, it’s all about infusing your personal touch to your photographic endeavor and letting your creativity flow without limitations. This is what will make your work truly authentic.
1) Headshot of model: Choosing a final shot that conveys strength and demonstrates the model’s striking features is perfect for a model portfolio headshot.
2) Photo of make-up artist/model: The make-up artist is an intrinsic part of the photo shoot process. It is important to consult with your make-up artist and conceptualize the appropriate make-up that will complement the context of the shoot; the right choice will result in a finished and professional photograph.
3) Photo of my intern/mentor: Working with a great team is very important—with great energy, new ideas will emerge on set. Additionally, when shooting fashion, it is important to have extra help. A fashion intern is important to have on set in order to assure the piece looks great at all times while the photographer shoots.
4) Photo of me/my mentor/model: Models should always be fluid in movement as well as aware of the positioning of the prop in question. A slight turn or tilt of the head can make all the difference.
5) Photo of me shooting Jeannette’s jewellery: It is always important to keep the subject of the shoot as the focus. When shooting jewellery, the emphasis should remain solely on demonstrating the utmost beauty of the jewellery; therefore the model poses in a manner that displays the decadence of the jewellery.
Cover photo that inspired us to have more covers with models:
James Amerson photographer, Camille Dauchez model, jewellery Kathleen Nowak Tucci.
Photography: Marcia B. –
Make-up/Hair: Ariana Assadi – www.arianaassadi.com
Final shots of models: Phtography: Marcia B.
Make-up/Hair: Abby Lynn Parent
Photo credits for photos of Marcia B. working:
shooting jewellery – photo credit: Kate Forrest ( Intern)
shooting model with fruit – photo credit: Kaitlyn Montgomery (Intern)
in pink: Amanda
Jewellery: Jeannette Froese LeBlanc
Marcia B. Marcia B. is a beauty & fashion blogger who enjoys photography, styling and writing. Throughout various artistic projects, she has worked closely with designers and fellow fashion lovers to create portfolio development for everyone involved. Currently working in fashion production and wholesale in Montreal, Marcia continues to chronicle her fashion adventures via her blog MarciaBcreative.com.