Fashion photo shoots only bring to your mind adverts of great fashion designers? Doesn’t have to be this way! It is also an engaging narrative marketing tool, and a good way to present companies from various sectors. You don’t need to be a Coco Chanel or a Giorgio Armani – a good design will do.
Narrative marketing is currently believed to be the most effective image building method by many experts. The world’s largest brands make conscious use of that technique, gaining a serious competitive advantage. This is a proposition for companies looking for state-of-the-art solutions, who want to be heard and not drown in the sea of omnipresent information. Why photos? Simple – viewers love images, because they help them visualize certain ideas, dreams and goals. “I see a great potential in fashion photography. It can help you tell a story in an interesting way, build certain associations and re-inforce brand identity.
This form of advertising is engaging for the viewer, it draws attention and, what is crucial, it is not trident. It can be even more effective when combined with a good, catchy article,” says experienced photographer Jacek Piotrowski, who has been collaborating with our agency at various projects. We developed such an inspiring session e.g. for Dove. Unilever’s goal was to present this way one of their antiperspirants which does not remain marks on black fabrics. Since that was the Carnival time, we decided to take the photo shoot in the Ostrogski Castle, presenting evening attires – naturally all in black.
Another photo shoot was a project for custom magazine “Farmacja i ja”. In that case the aim of the photo shoot was to get closer to women readers of the magazine and show them in a different light – not as specialists wearing white smock, but as attractive, charming women wearing fashionable attires. The chosen readers went through a makeover by stylists and make-upists, and the results were published in the magazine.
Both these projects were very different – with different business goals, different cooperation on set and different scenography. But in each of those cases there was a particular intention. “Fashion photography is about consequence and coherence. It is crucial to decide what we want to show in the pictures, what the styling will be, what counts is the idea,” says Jacek.
We know that a photo shoot needs a precise concept. But the idea is not enough. You also need knowledge and a group of professionals working on the set: a photographer, models, make-upists, stylists – who will know what is best for a given situation. Carefully applied daily make-up is not enough to look good in the picture. People who have little to do with photoshooting usually do not realize that the choice of make-up largely depends on the lighting used by the photographer. We need different make-up for warm light, different for cold light, and different when the light is soft or sharp. This is where you need an experienced make-upist. “Photography make-up is different to daily make-up. It is much more expressive. We focus more on contouring and emphasizing cheekbones. We don’t wear this kind of make-up on an everyday basis as it would look unnatural, but it is perfect for taking photos. Photo shoot is also a perfect time for pushing a bit with eyeshadows – here you can choose intensive colors and contrasts we wouldn’t normally have the courage to wear,” says one of our make-upists.
What is most important for the photographer? “When it comes to photo shooting, no doubt it’s about clothes. A good photographer knows how to highlight them, how to make them look better than in any shop window or on a catwalk. Another crucial element in any photo shooting, not necessarily a fashion one – is the model – her face and what it carries constitutes the value of the shoot. Models also set the lighting direction for the photographer. The whole entourage is in the background.
So what it’s like with the setting – is it important or not? If the styling is great, it does not require rich setting, a simple studio will often do. Any additional elements may distract the viewer from what is really important. But if there is to be a deeper meaning in the photographs, if there’s a philosophy behind them, if we want to show a story and evoke certain emotions, then the setting plays an important part.
The shooting usually takes the whole day, but many things need to prearranged. Preparing a photo shoot we always first listen to the customer’s needs, define the goal and all the necessary details. We guarantee a professional attitude and comprehensive service – from the concept, through the photographer, professional models, equipment, studio, make-upists, stylists, to good catering. We try to guess the customer’s intentions and suggest interesting solutions. It is the same with the team we cooperate with. “If I know some idea would be better, for instance the choice of the background color, I try to visualize this to the customer during earlier meetings, or sometimes on the set before we start the shooting, to suggest a better variant. It is the same with the lighting or the choice of the studio – it is always worth prompting the customer and suggesting the most effective solutions,” says the photographer.
Crucial for each photo shoot is the mutual understanding and collaboration at each stage of carrying out the project.