Fashion photography: a genre of photography devoted to displaying clothing and other fashion items. Over time fashion photography has developed its own aesthetic in which clothes and fashions are enhanced by the presence of exotic locations or accessories – Wikipedia
The popularity and success of fashion blogs has far surpassed expectations which many trend forecasters had more than 5 years ago. Thought to be a trend that would die out, fashion blogs have grown; becoming innovative, launching otherwise unknown brands to the pedestal of high fashion, turning everyday people into fashionistas of note and of course providing a providing a platform for aspiring stylists, models, photographers and writers to showcase their talents.
Fashion photography has always intrigued me… there is so much power in the way an image is captured. The feeling evoked when one sees a picture of a woman’s slender legs, carelessly hanging over the arm of a luxurious sofa, a pair Gucci sandals on her feet, a Prada bag lying on the floor and a Shimansky bracelet on her wrist. The feeling is overwhelming! You suddenly want these fashion items. The light bouncing off the diamonds beckons you. The bag, seemingly neglected, begs for you to touch it, to run your hands on its royal purple leather. The shoes… you already put together an outfit in your mind that will complement them. And you fantasize of yourself walking down a street or into a restaurant, even work; rocking that bracelet, that bag, those shoes and all eyes will be on you. Just like a movie!
Fashion photography can be an art. Sometime we really don’t see the wearer, our eyes focused on the real star of the show: the clothing or fashion items. Yet this does not mean the model is unimportant; far from it. A model gives the fashion a personality and it’s dependent on the model which way this pendulum swings.
Good fashion photography, though, depends on a number of factors which the photographer may not even be in control of, such as the styling, the fashion and the model. However some photographers are given all the right ingredients and fail to bring out the wow of the fashion. With fashion blogs left, right and centre, many bloggers are taking up cameras and doing the photography job themselves. This blog boom has led to the art of photography being ridiculed as I have come across atrocious, weird and plain stupid so-called fashion photographs. Mind you, that’s how I also started with my blog and I can’t help but cringe (and laugh) when I look at the early photos from my blog.
For some bloggers fashion photography is just about taking a snap shot of a well-dressed dude and but for some, fashion photography is their skill and passion; they spend time planning their shots, using the correct cameras, lights, locations and creativity. These professionals need to be afforded the recognition they deserve. And funny enough, there are those who started out like us, taking snap shots of street fashion but realised that the fashion they were shooting deserves the wow factor. These individuals did what any passionate artist would do; they perfected their art.
I have come across a couple of photographers who, educated in photography or not, have managed to fine-tune their skills and capture fashion in a refreshing way. These photographers choose their subjects with care, take the time to capture the finer detail that eventually makes the image a work of art. These photographers are to be celebrated.
And, for those like myself who are still dabbling with cameras unable to move from automatic to manual settings, the results may be stomach-churning compared to the pros but if the passion is there, one has to start somewhere. As long as we don’t get comfortable with producing mediocre work, we will be alright. Otherwise, let’s leave the photography to the experts, the ones who do this for the love of it and not just for the sake of doing it. For those claiming to be producing art but in fact are dragging the fashion photography name through the mud, leave it to the ones who know how to make us experience the images. And I say it again, let us celebrate fashion photography; the real fashion photography.
The Shoot: visit his website
The Photographer: Anthony Bila
“A South African artist, photographer and videographer bringing Africa to the world & the world to Africa.”
There are so many more great fashion photographers in South Africa… So stay tuned!
*all pics from Anthony Bila