How to nail the perfect fashion shot

February 17, 2017


Once upon a time, in four cities around the world, there was a trade show. Buyers and journalists from all around the globe gathered to meet in dark rooms and decide what the rest of the world would be wearing in six months.

Then the mobile revolution gave birth to a new icon: the street style star. Fast-forward to the present, and international fashion weeks have become as much about the people peacocking around the shows as the clothes on the runways. Even the street style photographers are celebs these days. We’ve already shown you how to take the perfect flirty selfie.

And thanks to amazing innovations in the smartphone camera world, you don’t need to lug around a bulky 35mm camera to get the perfect shot. All you need is a high-end phone with sick camera capabilities, like the Huawei Mate 9 (designed with camera pros Leica), Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 edge (or the A3 and A5, if you’re selfie-obsessed) and iPhone 7 or 7 Plus.

The perfect street style shot is a product of many ingredients: one awesome background, two parts editing, a splash of sass, and one killer caption.

Follow our lead and we’ll have you Insta-famous in no time. OK, probably not… but you will make everyone on your feed jealous of your amazing fashion photography skills. And wicked style.

Step One: Do your homework

Before you go out on the street, it’s helpful to know what kind of shot you’re looking for. A quick-burst photo session can help you put your best face – and foot – forward. There’s a reason the bald eagle is always photographed from the side. From the front, it looks like a big ol’ mess, but in profile it’s a bold, majestic beast.

Find the angle that makes you look like a bold, majestic beast and bask in the glory of your professional modelling skills.

Step Two: Find the perfect background and get moving

Every photographer knows that a good location can make or break a picture – and street-papping is no different (we find Paris a great place for a selfie). Finding a pretty street or doorway offers an automatic boost to a lacklustre image. Doorways make framing a piece of cake and give you that “nonchalant girl/boy about town” look.

Take a cue from the best of the best and add a touch of impatience to your shoot. Remember, you’re busy. Super busy. Racing from one important thing to another. Anyone who’s ever seen a street style star in action knows that being in a rush never stopped a fashion editor or two from taking a well-timed “call” or doing a twirl down the street for the photographers. If you’re feeling awkward just standing around having your picture taken, try actually calling a friend or dashing for a cab. Note: a well-placed iPhone is a key accessory in every savvy street-styler’s arsenal.

Step Three: Get the shot

Getting the shot isn’t as simple as point and shoot. You’ll probably take about 100 before you find the one you like.

Pre-empt this by just having your photographer (read: any willing family member, partner or friend) shoot you for a few minutes without checking the results. There’s a reason the pros get the best shots. It’s because they find their subject and shoot until they’ve gotten what they’re looking for. You shouldn’t expect the first few shots to be the best, but once you relax into it, you’ll find a winner.

Step Four: Work some editing magic

The app stores offer more photo-editing apps than you can shake a stiletto at, but unless you’re looking to do some serious face-tuning, you can get a lot done with just your camera app and Instagram’s in-built features. The iPhone 7’s portrait camera feature makes quick work of artfully blurring the background, but if you’re still shooting on a 5 or 6, Instagram’s Tilt Shift function allows you to get a similar effect. Just pinch the highlighted area to expand or contract the area you want to feature.

Once you’ve got your composition set, have a play with some of the other native editing tools in the Instagram arsenal. Vignettes can make a blah picture look moody and vintage and playing with your warmth and saturation can add a bit more life to your shot.

If you want to stick with the pre-set filters, remember that you can always adjust the level of filter by tapping your filter of choice again. A touch of Nashville or a pinch of Clarendon might be just the thing to take your street style shot to the next level.

Getting the perfect street style shot may not be a Herculean feat – but it does take a bit of practice. Don’t be discouraged if you’re not a natural at it, because almost no one is. Just keep prancing and posing and you’ll be fashion week ready in no time.

Main image: Flickr via jaimelondonboy