Editorial swimsuit photoshoot . Vancouver . August 2019
As a photographer, one of the most important things to keep yourself passionate about photography is doing creative wok. It’s easy to reach a certain level in your work and be so busy with clients and endless hours of editing that you forget about doing the creative work that got you excited about a career in photography in the beginning. When I was a kid my folks had a subscription to National Geographic Magazine . I was obsessed with the beautiful imagery and although the articles were interesting, it was the photos that I loved. If fact when I was young, in my mind, I was going to be a photographer for National Geographic until I started getting exposed to magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and admiring the work for photographers like Peter Lindbergh and Patrick Demarchelier. Then I became fascinated not only with the advertising photography but specially with the editorials. I was mesmerized by the artfully put together wardrobe, hair, makeup and set design to create a story made up of images instead of words.
Photographers often do collaborative work with other creatives in the industry like makeup artists and wardrobe stylists in to create images for portfolio or for magazine submissions. It’s called a creative and it’s a way to produce a body of work to show potential clients. There’s a saying in the world of photography that says “Show what you want to shoot”. If you want to get hired to shoot a magazine editorial or shoot for certain brands, you have to be able to show that you can produce strong images whether it be shot in studio or on location. You have to be able to show that you can capture a story not just one or two great photos but an entire series of images that have a consistent look and feel. That’s what your job is as a photographer, it’s telling a story whether it’s a fashion editorial or telling the visual narrative of a brand. Most brands have a consistent look and feel to their products, so as a photographer, you need to be able to deliver a set of images that will accurately represent that brand. If you get hired by a brand chances are they are hiring you because of your style anyway.
When you first start to build your portfolio, you may not have a super consistent look and feel to your photography. It takes time to find your style. Maybe you start by emulating the work of other photographers you admire … operative word “emulate” not copy! I’ve had the experience of having someone completely copy my work which always feels very icky but we all make mistakes and learn. When you finally reach a point in photography when people can describe your work with just a few words, you know that you have a definitive style and that is what brands, advertising agencies and companies are going to hire you for. They will hire you with the expectation that you will be able to be on set with models, makeup artists and wardrobe stylist and produce the work that you have shown them.
A few weeks ago, I got an email from London based makeup artist Nora Orthofer about wanted to do a creative while she was visiting Vancouver for fun as she rarely gets to shoot in beach outdoor locations. So we choose Corinne Isherwood of Vancouver modeling agency RichardsModels to be our model for the afternoon and headed to the beach for a simple editorial style photoshoot. It was early afternoon, so the sun was still pretty intense so we shot partly in the shade and some more hard light images in full sun. A translucent and a large white/silver reflector is all I brought with me. It’s amazing what you can do with natural light. Although I use strobes in studio, I tend to shoot mostly with natural light when on location because I’m so drawn to that soft editorial feel as opposed to the very produced look. I used to be afraid of shooting in hard sunlight. I used to think that the only time to do a photoshoot was in the very early morning sun or during the golden hours of sunset, until I realized I could used the sun to create contrasty images but while still maintaining a soft feel.
Our minimalist photoshoot a the beach was a success and here are some of the images that resulted from our collaboration.