Fashion Victim

Actually, I am not. A fashion victim. Rather the opposite – I am never too sure what is on trend and what isn’t. And that is one of the reasons why I was never particularly interested in fashion photography. Just like couture, I always thought it wasn’t for me. Until I started assisting on fashion shoots with my fellow diploma-students Cristian Turcan and Eilish McCormick. I realised that fashion photography is by no means all pouts-frocks-and-white-background but can be a mini-narrative in one shot. And so I finally pushed myself to try a fashion shoot myself.
I will admit that the opportunity for this shoot fell into my lap, really. I was assisting my friend Karl Burke last week. Jeeez, sorry, is this turning into a name-dropping post? Well, then wait for the next piece of info… Our model was the stunning Joanne who has been one of the final 13 on Britain & Ireland’s Next Top-Model. She is looking to complete her portfolio and suggested we do a little shoot together. Guess who jumped at the chance…
To make things easy for ourselves, we made this a two-women-show. Joanne did the styling and make-up herself, I organised lighting and location. And off we went. We shot for about three hours one evening, trying to squeeze as many different set-ups out of my living room and drawing room as we could. I tried to keep the lighting simple – one softbox did the trick, occasionally only supported by a backlight onto the backdrop to get rid of shadows.
There is still a lot to learn for me, but mainly, we had fun on this shoot – trying different backgrounds and clothes and how they worked together. Joanne is a total pro – offering poses without prompting, moving and looking natural, suggesting set-ups and backgrounds. Nonetheless a shoot always takes a toll and I only noticed after we had called it a night, how mentally exhausting the process of creating an editorial is. Concentration on lighting, background, styling, poses, facial expression. Releasing the shutter is the smallest part, really. I could get into it – if I always had great sitters like Joanne.

4 thoughts on “Fashion Victim

  1. Mette Abel

    Sonja, the photo is spot on (pardon the pun) the colours are just right – can I ask you something, knowing you are a fan of symmetry, is the curtain slightly off on purpose? Well done, and well written post! oh, yes, we do read it!!


  2. Sonja

    Thanks Mette – ok picture for a first try, I hope. As regards the symmetry – yep, I took the shot from a slight angle, deliberately. I have other shots that are straight on but liked this one for the pose. I'll probably put some more shots on on FB or so…



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