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Live Show Recap: Fashion with Roxy Rodriguez

This show was so fun! Roxy is an absolute delight and was such a wonderful guest. If you aren’t familiar with Roxy’s work, you can see her portfolio here. She was a contestant on Top Photographer and was a fan favorite. Roxy reviewed your fashion photos with us this week.

You may have heard rumors of Tony and Chelsea being the cheese couple, you can see why here.

Next week’s topic is animals! And Cowboy was in the studio with T&C.

We start the show off with some photo news:

Now to your pictures, here are our favorites and some fashion photography tips:

  • pay attention to details! Hair ties, nails, etc.
  • coat
  • “I think her arms are looking great, but her knees need work.”
  • great tips on styling here
  • a big theme this show seems to be mismatching the clothes and the setting

Time for a portfolio! Daniel Skog, you get a man card. Maybe combine your categories and pare down photos. Your architecture is a stand out.

They get real weird with the Squarespace ad here.

Now over to me for your questions:

  • how do you define fashion vs lifestyle or boudoir? Attitude. Tell a story in an image that fashion is just an element of.
  • what percentage of your shots are planned vs incidental? Roll with the punches, it can go either way.

Back to photos:

  • glamour, frokeh
  • “fashion is so boring”
  • cloning out stray hair is hard
  • lots of people shooting with the 50mm f/1.8
  • Roxy has shot with a 60D almost her whole career with a manual lens! Then Adorama gave her a 5D Mark IV.
  • Chelsea sings some Journey
  • bored dude
  • howbouda?

Back to me for some questions:

  • my dog tries to break into my house
  • how do you style, shoot and model yourself? Don’t! Get a team.
  • what do you do when you shoot a model but it doesn’t come out well and you don’t want to share the photos? Tell the model they can share it without your name!¬†
  • is it harder to do a creative shoot when you don’t like the fashion? Yes.

Back to some last photos:

A few more questions from you before we head out:

  • how to get paid shoots as an experienced photog? Act like you have clients! Do test shoots to fill out your portfolio, shoot what you’re looking to get hired for.
  • Roxy, the colors in your photos? Use color to tell the story you want for that shoot.

And that’s our show! Check out Roxy and follow her on Instagram. It was great to meet her and we look forward to working with her in the future!

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Beginner Photography: Fashion

I am SO NERVOUS about this post. This week’s topic was fashion, and I’m sorry to say, but it’s just not something you can shoot and be successful at without proper resources. But it was certainly good practice, and I would love to attempt it again.

In this case I was lacking: 

  • a studio
  • clothing worth modeling
  • lights
  • a model

But I had one day that it didn’t rain, an urban setting, my dumb face, and some old coats! If you want some great tips on shooting portraits, there’s a whole page of videos here, starting with this one on outdoor lighting:

And this great video on shooting fashion and glamour (watch Chelsea’s outtakes at the end!)

So here’s what I did:

  • set up my camera on a tripod, a bit below my eye level and as far away from the background as I could
  • I chose a rolling metal garage door as my backdrop, I wanted something gritty to match my styling
  • I chose two coats to model, as it was cold out. I wore jeans, a crop top and heeled boots, items which were neutral and wouldn’t overwhelm the item I was focusing on. I wore a hat because I was having a bad hair day, and red lipstick for some pop.
  • The day I shot was overcast, so the lighting was pretty even, but it was a bit dark. I shot in aperture priority with my aperture as wide as it would go, in this case f/4.4. This means the camera was choosing the shutter speed, which wound up being 1/200th to 1/250th, which is was faster than it needed to be. My ISO was at 200, but these pictures still wound up noisy.
  • I set my camera on a 5 second delay, shooting 5 images with 5 seconds in between so I had time to pose and change positions between each shot.
  • I chose a focusing point where I though my head would be, and then just crossed my fingers for facial recognition to take over. I don’t think it worked. This is where it would have helped to have a model, or at least a stand in for myself to focus.

I think I achieved the look I was going for, but my focusing is for sure off. This shoot made me want to start working on my Photoshop skills, because I would have loved to edit my skin, change the color of my hat, and maybe blur the background a bit. (All things I can learn from our Photoshop book!)

Without those skills, though, I simply used Lightroom to adjust the exposure, straighten, and crop the photos.


I could’ve used some fill flash for my face here


 Ahhh I just noticed the shoulder piece is not through the loop on the right side. Styling, people!


Hands up


So that’s what I got. I tried some more shots with a different background, against the green ivy on our back wall, but it didn’t work quite as well. I sure wish I’d noticed that shoulder bit before I posted these.¬†

So how’d I do? What could I have done better? This felt very much like a test shoot, so I’d love to find ways to improve on it.¬†

I think I’ll use this tutorial of Chelsea’s to tool around with the editing this week:


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Live Show Recap: Fashion Photography

Happy Cinco de Mayo! It’s not a real holiday. America loves to steal culture as an excuse to get drunk during the week.

Anyway! We’re looking at your fashion photos this week, and some of you nailed it! Some of you tried to sneak in regular portraits, or really nice shots that weren’t fashion! I didn’t let lots of those in.


  • The “affordable” Leica M-D
  • We are borrowing the Canon 1DX II¬†you’ll see our video on it soon
  • Phantom 4 quadcopter We’ll be testing it out in California in a few weeks.

Ok, we get into your fashion photos here, these are our notable submissions:

  • garbage bag dress
  • contrast (good for next week!)
  • monster street fashion
  • great studio shot (by our friend and blogger Anushila)
  • fashion/product¬†of ties
  • go see Best in Show. And by go see it I mean rent it somewhere because it’s old.
  • great catalog shot
  • “It seems like one thumb through the belt loop is the most you can do in a photo” “Sometimes you have to push the limits. That’s fashion!”
  • click here¬†to hear Chelsea’s incredible British accent
  • great photo story¬†“I’m gonna give it a pick. But tell her she can do better.”
  • lean back, lean back, lean back lean back lean back
  • this one is just crazy awesome

Let’s go over to me for your questions:

  • How do you pose for fashion? Frame the object/garment or post naturally? Depends on the model and what you’re shooting.
  • When would you use exposure compensation? When a subject is backlit, to expose for the subject. You should be using automatic shutter speed otherwise.
  • Where’d you get your shirt, Tony? You look fresh.

Okay over to a portfolio review. Great portfolio, Vladimir! No real feedback.

Now to Chit-Chat!

  • we got complimented!
  • Chelsea is into Tony! Ewwww.
  • Nathan For You is conflicting

Okay, back to photos:

And that’s our show! Next week’s topic is “high contrast!” So make it work, people.

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Everything You Need to Prepare for a Fashion Shoot

Image od a woman with a long dress
Image od a woman with a long dress
Bloom by Sarah Bowman

Here are a list of resources from Tony, Chelsea and our bloggers to aid you in setting up and executing a successful fashion shoot.

Video Tutorials:

  • In this first video we cover a glamour shoot in-studio. Chelsea will take you through her lighting and gear, challenges you may have, makeup and styling, posing, and post-processing.

You can see some more of our post processing tutorials here for Lightroom, and a video on how to add makeup in Photoshop here.


  • In this next video we follow Tony and Chelsea on a fashion shoot on the beach. They’ll show you how they set up test shots, shooting to make a composite, working with a model, and post processing the image into what became the cover for our Photoshop book!



  • Start off with¬†10 Tips For Your First Fashion Shoot¬†by Anushila Shaw. In it, she gives you ten easy to follow steps on setting up you first fashion shoot;¬†from finding inspiration, hiring models and stylists, to¬†marketing. A must-read for everyone!
  • Our friend and blogger Sarah Bowman has written multiple tutorials on shooting incredible portraits. You can read those here:
  1. How to Composite a Dress is the tutorial that Tony and Chelsea followed to create the image in the Glamour Photoshoot posted above

  2. 10 Tips to Improve Your Portraits gives you simple and critical tips on shooting great portraits; lighting, posing, depth-of-field, perspective and more!

  3. Self-Portraits: How a Selfie Can Improve Your Portraits Selfies are a great way to practice shooting portraits before bringing in a model. This post will teach you how to get comfortable in front of the camera to improve your work behind it.

Live Show:

  • Our¬†previous live show on fashion photography will give you some great tips and show you previous work from our talented viewers! You can read my blog on that show here for highlights.


We hope all that information leaves you prepared for a great fashion shoot. We’ll be reviewing fashion photos on our live show this week, Can’t wait to see what you came up with!

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10 Tips For Your First Fashion Shoot

Welcome to the exciting world of fashion photography! In this article, I will take you through a whirlwind 10-step process for organizing your first fashion shoot. As you will see from this list, in addition to technical merit, successful fashion photographers must be adept at managing a team and networking in a fast-paced, global industry.

I love fashion photography because I get the opportunity to work with talented & creative professionals in fun and stimulating shoots involving beautiful clothes‚ÄĒwhat more could a photographer ask for?!

1. ¬†Organize a test shoot‚Ķactually, lots of them!¬†Your first several fashion shoots will be ‚Äútests.‚ÄĚ Tests are a great way to improve your technique, test creative ideas or equipment, build a styling team you work well with and develop your portfolio.

2.  Create a mood board. A mood board is a powerful tool to organize and direct your shoot. Mood boards consist of inspirational images collected from other sources (often fashion magazines) that will help the model and styling team understand the looks, poses, backgrounds or locations for your shoot.  I collect images on Pinterest and make a detailed mood board for every shoot.


My Test Shoot mood board on Pinterest. This is a great resource for styling ideas, poses, lighting patterns and much more. Connect with me on Pinterest to see the rest!
My Test Shoot mood board on Pinterest. This is a great resource for styling ideas, poses, lighting patterns and much more. Obviously, I have a thing for intense black and white portraits! You, too, may learn something surprising about your style and preferences when you collect your favorite photos into one place.  Connect with me on Pinterest to see the rest.


Pages from an actual mood board that I used for a shoot. Note the styling notes in addition to the pictures.
Pages from an actual mood board that I used for a shoot. Every photographer will make a different type of moodboard.  Mine usually include detailed styling notes as well as images.


3.  Build your styling team. Connect with creative professionals who are also getting into the industry and will contribute their skills in exchange for images from the shoot for their portfolios. Makeup and hair styling schools are a great place to meet talented and trained artists. At a minimum, you will need a makeup artist (many makeup artists are also proficient at basic hairstyling). Eventually, you may add a hair stylist, wardrobe stylist, nail technician, photography assistant and more.

4. ¬†Cast a model. ‚ÄúNew faces‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúdevelopment models‚ÄĚ are the newest models signed to an agency; these models are seeking test shoots to build their book and gain experience. Reputable agencies will typically ask to see samples of your work before booking a model. An agency may also request a meeting in person before your first shoot with their model. Before you approach an agency, shoot your most photogenic friends or cast models directly through industry websites like Model Mayhem or Model Management to build your portfolio.

5. ¬†Prepare each look. I typically shoot one to three looks for a test. For each look you will need to assemble the clothes and accessories as inspired by your mood board. Seek out local designers or boutiques that will allow you to ‚Äúpull‚ÄĚ (borrow) clothing and accessories for your shoot in exchange for credit or images. ¬†Fashion photography is a subset of commercial photography, the purpose of which is to sell the photographed items. Be thoughtful in how you select and photograph these items. Eventually, you may work with a talented stylist who will handle this task, but as the photographer, you still have the final word on the overall look.

6. ¬†At the shoot. My favorite part of the entire process! I typically have my styling team arrive early for set up and to discuss the plan for the day. Once the model arrives, he or she is put into the hair and makeup station. ¬†This can take quite long‚ÄĒfrom 30 minutes to an hour‚ÄĒso this is a good time to set up your lights and backdrop. Finally, because fashion shoots are quite physically taxing, I like to provide healthy snacks and drinks at longer shoots to keep everyone energized. Great music will also pump up the energy and keep the good mood flowing on set.

Where the magic happens! You don't need lots of fancy equipment, but a basic neutral backdrop and lights are essential. While natural light shoots are becoming popular, a fashion photographer must be a master of studio photography.
Where the magic happens. You don’t need lots of fancy equipment, but a basic neutral backdrop and lights are essential. While natural light shoots are becoming popular in the industry, a fashion photographer is still expected to be a master of studio photography. ¬†I often shoot at home but will also rent studios and equipment when I need space to get creative.

7.  Back Up. Back up your files!! Back up your files!! Back up your files!! Fashion shoots have lots of downtime during hair and makeup changes, so use this quiet time to review your work and…back up your files.

Talented makeup artist Keisha Kerr touching up model Madison (ILAND Models) on my set. My team hard at work!
Talented makeup artist Keisha Kerr touching up model Madison (ILAND Models) on my set. My team is hard at work!

8.  Review and edit. Each shoot will generate several hundred to over a thousand photos. Review your work and select the best images to process. In fashion, quality counts over quantity. You only need two to three GREAT images for each look, and you will probably spend several hours carefully selecting and processing the chosen images. Your styling team and the model’s agency may also request specific photos for their portfolios.

Lightroom is a powerful tool organizational tool. I took over 600 shots at this recent shoot, of which less than 20 are likely candidates to be edited and shared with the world. My beautiful model is Pilar (B&M Models).
Lightroom is a powerful organizational tool. I took over 600 shots at this recent shoot, of which less than 20 are likely to be edited and shared with the world. My beautiful model above is Pilar (B&M Models).


9.  Share your finished photos with the world. Marketing is everything in fashion photography. Share your best work on your website and social media, and remember to credit your team members. Facebook, Instagram and Behance are all popular social media and photo sharing sites for fashion photographers. Marketing your portfolio will build your brand and name recognition in this fiercely competitive industry.

10.  Rinse and repeat. Evaluate your work with a critical eye and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from your team members. I love this entire process, and as soon as one shoot is over I find myself thinking of and planning for the next one!


Read Anushila’s other posts here.