In many ways, the fashion industry is related to many other industries, including the photography industry. In March, we had an exclusive with Lifestyle and Fashion Photographer, Adedeji Majekolagbe (Majek) on building an outstanding fashion brand from a photography viewpoint.
In line with that, this week, we spoke with Olamide Egbinola of egbinolamide photography on how fashion entrepreneurs can use photography as a tool to boost their brand’s image, how to successfully run a fashion photoshoot, and things to look out for while conducting a photoshoot for fashion brands.
Ms Olamide Egbinola Titilope, aka egbinolamide, of egbinolamide photography, is a Full-time Photographer, born and bred in Lagos state. She specialises in fashion, portraits, sports, newborn, events, and weddings photography.
A lawyer by education, she obtained her first degree from the University of Lagos. Olamide, who has always had a knack for storytelling, was drawn into photography just after a year of practising law. She describes herself as a sometimes extroverted introvert that loves watching movies, hanging out with friends and making friends, reading interesting books, visiting new places, and spending time alone.
What is Fashion Photography?
According to her, “Fashion photography is a genre of photography. It is generally used for advertising fashion items/products in ways that make them more attractive to a brand’s target market since the whole point is mostly to sell the fashion item.
“However, fashion photography is not only about the items, it can also be used to power an ideology or a movement. The product itself is one aspect, the functionality is another, and aesthetics is yet another angle,” she further explains.
“It is the ability to project an idea through images, following principles of design that would compel an audience to vibe with it. Balance, proportion, proximity, line, shape, shade, colour etc are all important elements in fashion photography as there are almost no rules governing the genre.” – Olamide Egbinola.
Types of Fashion Photography
There are different types of fashion photography and each is interpreted differently by different photographers. Among the types of fashion photography are; editorial fashion photography, portrait fashion photography, street fashion photography, and catalogue fashion photography.
How can Fashion Entrepreneurs use Photography to Build their Brand Image?
“When conducting a photoshoot, the photographer you choose does the bulk of the work. This is why it is important to pick the right fit for your brand. The process of creation involves the photographer from start to finish, from the pre-production to the shoot itself to the post-production stage. ” – Olamide Egbinola.
An image is the representation of the external form of a thing, that is, an image replicates what is on the inside outside in the best way possible. Everyone’s image is important to them and there is an image we want people to have of us when they see us.
This same goes for fashion brands. The image you give to your fashion brand determines how people will view your fashion brand to be. Your brand’s image should be able to pass across a message to customers and potential customers who come in contact with your brand and tell them your brand story.
“Photography is a tool every fashion entrepreneur can use to tell a story.” – Olamide Egbinola.
It helps your target market’s imagination and helps them recreate what your brand can do for them. As a fashion entrepreneur, knowing that not every customer is meant for you is the first step in defining what image you want to give your brand.
When you know who your target market is and what attracts them, you will be able to interpret this through photography. This, in turn, translates to having done half of the marketing your brand will need to attract customers.
“People are generally moved by what they see and if it comes in an appealing way, then boom, you have done a great job.” – Olamide Egbinola.
When people see a picture of your product on someone, they tend to imagine themselves in what the person is wearing or carrying. Their imagination begins to work taking over from what you already started with the possibility you have created for them through a simple but captivating photograph of your product.
What can Fashion Entrepreneurs do to Make a Successful Photoshoot?
The process of a successful photoshoot and what a fashion designer can do to make the shoot a success starts from the creation of the outfit, which is done by the fashion designer, to the mood board.
The mood board acts as a guide to determine what direction you want to go in. It helps you decide the style of photography you want for the shoot, who the makeup artist, hairstylist, model(s), and set and fashion stylists will be. It also helps you decide who the photographer will be.
As a fashion designer, having all or most of these professionals on board will make the shoot better and easier because they know what story exactly you are trying to tell with your brand. You can share your mood board or create a mood board with your chosen photographer who will advise, from experience, on what works and what the best way to achieve your desired results is.
Being early to your photoshoot and ensuring you keep to time when there also ensures the success of the shoot.
“Be sure to get professionals who are actually professionals and know what they are doing, a team that works well together creates magic, trust me, when you have this, most of the job is done.” – Olamide Egbinola.
As a fashion entrepreneur, you must be available throughout the shoot. You are the brain behind the brand and you know what you want to achieve with the shoot, so never leave the job for someone else to do.
Also, ensure to provide food and drinks for your team as it shows that you have empathy, the right work ethics, and care for the people working with you. Everyone is exerting energy and, shooting can be exhausting.
Imagine shooting 30 looks with 3 models who will wear 10 outfits each, the makeup artist will change makeup and hairstylist will change the hair, fashion stylist is changing accessories, the photographer is posing, standing and shooting for hours.
A friendly chat over a snack helps lighten the mood and foster future relationships.
What are the Important Things Fashion Entrepreneurs Need to Look out for during a Photoshoot?
Before you decide to go for a photo shoot, you need to decide on the location, style, colour combinations, accessories to be used, props, lighting, and so on. Also, be sure to send reminders before the shoot day and make calls if you have to. Never leave anything to chance.
During the shoot, the main goal is to achieve “perfection”, you want your product to come out the perfect way, so, the most important thing is that your brand is being represented the right way. If it is a dress you are shooting, ensure the style is the way you want it to be in the pose the model strikes.
For example, if a sleeve needs to be puffy, ensure it is. Pay attention to the little details. You designed it, you will see it.
Also, create a checklist of things that need to be done so that you do not leave anything out and there is no cause to rush, have headaches or always have to improvise when it could have been avoided. You will have to help the photographer and other professionals.
If you have a particular sequence you want the shoot to go, make sure everyone is in on it so the model knows what they are wearing next and there is an easy flow from makeup to the outfit to the styling and the shooting.
In closing, Ms Egbinola said, “If you have never tried having a photo shoot, try it out. Having a photoshoot is advisable as it gives your clients something amazing to work with and look forward to. Give them a story they can imagine being theirs. The same way you would not compromise on giving your clients the best with the best raw materials available to your target market, do not compromise on getting the best out of a photoshoot.
Invest well in professionals – photographers, models, makeup artists, stylist – the entire team. Look at the bigger picture, let me paint it for you, “you pay what you consider ‘expensive’ for a perfect job, you use this perfect job to attract your target audience who buys over 50 pieces of just 1 outfit.”
Also, sometimes, you, your family and friends are not fit to be the models for your brand so you will need to hire professional models to sell the actual look of the outfit. People resonate with premium looking brands and photography plays a key role in the portrayal.
Always be on time, help during the shoot in whatever way you can to make the job easier for everyone and representing your brand every minute of the day. Have FUN and have an amazing shoot.”