Finding a woman’s essence
I’m Tatiana Mandziy, a fashion photographer born and bred in Russia, Kamchatka. Due to the beauty of the nature there, I decided to learn and persue photography. Kamchatka is a wonderful place that inspires me so much! In 2009 I decided to go professional and since then I have worked with many different people as my subjects. I moved to Korea in 2010 and have continued to take pictures here.
I like to find the essence of a person by photographic means, showing them something about themselves they never knew before. I do not shoot for magazines. I work with ordinary women, who often have often never shot with me before. I don’t know whether there are any clear canons in fashion photography and if one should follow them, but I think that because I’m a woman, I find it easier to discern the nature of a woman and show her fashionable beauty. Certainly among the world’s top fashion photographers there are a lot of men, but nevertheless I believe that a woman finds it easier to understand a woman.
When a model comes to me, it’s not to say that she wants to grace the cover of a magazine, only that she wants to look and feel beautiful. She wants to break away from her everyday life and take flawless photographs. Every woman deserves that.
And the woman looked like she should be fashionable and stylish in the photo and the more it will look different outfit from everyday life, the more daring it is, the more photos will be closer to the fashion image.
Before we get into my guidelines, a photographer first needs to understand what fashion photography is. The answer: Fashion photography is a genre of photography devoted to displaying clothing and other fashion items. Fashion photography is most often conducted for advertisements or fashion magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, or Elle. Over time, fashion photography has developed its own aesthetic in which the clothes and fashions are enhanced by the presence of exotic locations or accessories. ~Wikipedia
And so what do you need for a good fashion image?
Of course, you must love this genre. You have to spend time looking at the photos of the great photographers and be inspired by them. Thus, your eyes will be able to over time, distinguish a good image from a bad one. Look at fashion magazines as a photographer: paying attention to posture, ideas, styles, trends.
For fashion photos, ideally one needs a designer and a stylist to take care of the clothing and a unique model. It’s all about the teamwork. Unfortunately, I have no access to such resources and I find all of these components myself. The model and I decide on the looks for the shoot together, then raid each other’s closet for clothing and accessories and buy anything that’s missing. It’s often possible to make an interesting outfit just with a piece of fabric and also makes for a unique photo.
Makeup is a very important aspect too. Find a makeup artist or ask the model if she is able apply her own. A model in beautiful clothing and makeup will behave confidently in front of the camera, she’ll be able to step into her role quickly and the actual shoot will more enjoyable and easier for everyone.
You should know how to correct your model’s poses and she should be comfortable in every pose. Help your model. The positioning of the hands is also very important. It can make or break the photo. Telling your model to take a deep breathe helps to relax her and makes the pictures look more natural. It is important that the neck is always visible, and do not miss the natural moments! Remember that fashion poses are always a bit pretentious and less conventional. And a smile too, is rarely appropriate in this genre. Women in fashion photography have to be confident, inspire others and be the envy of their viewers.
Lighting is very important to make the image three-dimensional. Play enormous attention to light and shadows. The model should always be looking at the light. During the shoot I’m constantly telling the model to “work the light” or I ask “where is the light?” If the entire face is not intended to be lit, then at least the portion intended to be lit should face the light source.
And finally on the post-processing side of things, you need to have good knowledge of image retouching and color correction in the software that you are working in. The effect of gloss gives a good snapshot look to the processing. And by good I mean painstaking. Do not look for easy ways – there is no easy way! Processing a large facial portrait takes me about 2 hours and in my opinion that’s not a long time to work on an image. Fashion photographs require something unique in the final product too. For example, try deeper color saturation in some areas. Again, I have no quick method to process my images. They are all done individually and because I work in Photoshop I cannot copy my settings to the next photo. However, I believe that for every photo it must be cohesive to the set of images, but I still have it’s own unique element.