Yesterday my first photoshoot of 2016, thanks to my friend and photographer Adrienne Eichner, we put together a group of 6 models to shoot at Jackson Park in Charlottesville.
This park has 4 road access 3 of which offer very distinctive scenarios for street modeling photography.
As for any photographic event I prepare ahead of time by creating a board with the ideas I want to shoot.
I study my light and equipment to use and make sure that we have the concept shared with the models, I could do that with one of the models, Victoria Dean because I have worked with her before at that same location, the other models were new to me and we didn’t know who would confirm until early morning Saturday.
Early Morning Saturday:
Started around 5:00 AM woke up to prepare some home baked bread for my kids before leaving, I live in Waynesboro which is located 10 miles away from Staunton and 25 miles from Charlottesville, left the house around 9AM and headed towards Staunton to pick up some additional equipment, lights, soft boxes, stands and cables, left Staunton around 9:40 and manage to arrive to Charlottesville around 10:15, by then I had my friend Adrienne already in place with the girls and my makeup artist, Belva Talley already working with some of the girls.
Needless to say she did a fantastic job with the girls and I really enjoy working with her.
The level of experience of the models is different, some of them require more guidance, however the work of the photographer is to get what he has in mind out of a shot, for this is very important to come to work with a plan, a clear figure of what you want to achieve with each model.
Street Fashion Photography:
Choosing the Location
You have your camera and you’re ready to start shooting your first street style session. But where? The location will depend mostly on the style you are looking for. If you live in a more or less large city, you’re probably aware that certain districts or neighborhoods are more alternative, some others are of the posh kind, some are trendier than others. When you choose to shoot in a certain area, you know to expect a certain fashion style in that region.
Choosing a good location for your photography is very important.
A great background isn’t necessarily important for a good-quality street style photo, but there are a few things you have to keep in mind. First, make sure that there are objects obstructing the focus or the subject of your photo (i.e. a street lamp). It may seem obvious, but it’s so easy to forget in the spur of the moment! Secondly, if you’re shooting a photo with a wall as the background, the wall shouldn’t have a distracting pattern, so that it won’t draw the viewer’s eye away from the model’s outfit.
The location is vital but so it the time of the day. If you decide to shoot your street style photos in the morning, keep in mind that the light won’t be very good, unless it’s a cloudy day. Sunlight is very direct, so it will make too many shades. Daytime can be a fun time to shoot street style in the university area of your city: you will find students coming and going from one building to another all morning long, so it may be a great time to spot young stylish people. Shooting in the afternoon and evening has got many advantages, especially in the weekends, when people dress their best. However, especially in winter, when days are short, you might run out of sunlight soon, so your street style sessions can’t be as long as they would be in the morning. Adjust your shooting habits depending on the season and the weather!
What to do when shooting public on the street?
As soon as you spot a person with an interesting outfit, don’t think twice and go for it. I have lost so many great chances just because I was too slow! Be confident, polite and professional. Approaching the person you want to photograph is probably the hardest thing for every street style photographer, but if you are confident, it won’t be a big deal. Approach that person politely and introduce yourself in a professional manner, but don’t forget to be flattering towards her/him. After all, the reason why you want to take a photo of someone is because you like the outfit or style. Everyone likes hearing how great they look and what awesome style they have! Give the subject or model you business cards to promote the blog and to let the person know where he or she will be able to locate the photo.
Now, to shoot your photographs, kneel down in front of the model, so the person will look much taller. Then, hold your camera in vertical position. Take photos of the whole outfit, but also pay attention to details, accessories, etc. You will have to adjust your position and posture for shots depending on the space, background, or look. Sometimes the smallest details are what make an outfit great! Shoot many more photos than what you think you need; of course, you won’t post them all, but you will have several photos to choose the best from them.
After you’ve finished shooting all the photos, you can ask your model a few questions to make a small profile, such as their favorite brands or designers, their style icon, etc. Of course, don’t forget to tell them about your blog and provide the url. A great idea is getting a business card done. They are very affordable, look professional, and they won’t get lost as frequently as if you gave out your blog’s address on a piece of paper.
In this case we brought our own models so we didn’t have to hunt for people and we could shoot street style without a problem.