5 Suggestions for Beautiful Costume Images

Tips for beautiful costume photography

There’s been an explosion of curiosity in costume pictures over the previous couple of years. From film cosplays to historically-inspired portraits, there’s no finish to the type of costumes that want photographing – and these pictures can inject loads of selection into any up-and-coming portrait shooter’s portfolio.

Moreover, capturing somebody who’s taking part in a job will add an entire new dimension to your pictures; when individuals are pretending to be another person, they typically lose their discomfort about being in entrance of the digital camera, which may end up in surprisingly real pictures.

However how are you going to guarantee gorgeous outcomes? On this article, I share my high 5 tricks to create wonderful photographs. By the point you’ve completed studying, you’ll be able to seize – and course of – stunning costume pictures!

1. Be impressed by historical past

Because the early days of pictures, artists have created portraits primarily based on historic clothes and characters. Julia Margaret Cameron was a Nineteenth-century British photographer who used to shoot individuals dressed up as characters from Shakespeare, whereas her up to date, David Wilkie Wynfield, photographed his associates carrying fancy costume within the type of the good Sixteenth-century Venetian artist, Titian.

So check out the work of different photographers and see what you may be taught. You may even be impressed by sure costumes, lighting kinds, and moods, all of which you’ll attempt to incorporate into your personal pictures.

And don’t simply take a look at pictures, both; there are literally thousands of years of painted portraits to take inspiration from, too. For this subsequent portrait, I used to be impressed by a da Vinci portray referred to as La Belle Ferronnière:

Costume photography tips

I’ve additionally been impressed by different painters; when you’re unsure the place to begin, attempt viewing Rembrandt’s portraiture and see when you can recreate the Rembrandt lighting sample, which tends to look wonderful.

By the way in which, by no means be afraid to attempt self-portraiture once you’re experimenting with completely different lighting strategies and appears. It may take a little bit of follow to get an excellent consequence, and you may be your personal most affected person mannequin. The shot above was the results of an hour spent in my studio experimenting with mild!

On a associated word, most artists of the previous used out there mild, and when you’re typically a flash shooter, costume pictures generally is a nice time to step out of your consolation zone and check out one thing completely different.

Costume photography tips

2. Verify the costume’s faithfulness

I’m not suggesting that you must obsess over historic or movie accuracy in your costume portraits, nevertheless it does pay to assume by means of the entire components that your topic is carrying earlier than capturing the ultimate shot. (You must also verify the topic’s environment and background; a contemporary automotive will definitely look misplaced in a Renaissance-type scene!)

In a dressing up portrait – much more than with an everyday portrait – each side of the clothes and make-up, in addition to any props you add, ought to contribute to the story being advised by the ultimate picture. Ideally, nothing ought to seem within the remaining picture that wasn’t put there deliberately to reinforce the narrative.

So when you’re capturing a portrait impressed by a interval of historical past or by a movie or comedian e-book, simply take some time to analysis your inspiration earlier than scheduling a shoot. Verify that the costume, equipment, props, and environment aren’t going to work in opposition to the story you’re attempting to inform.

In the event you’re new to styling portraits, that is the place it may be worthwhile to seek the advice of a dressing up designer. Their recommendation may prevent an terrible lot of time and heartache in the long term! After all, there are at all times alternatives to lease costumes from theatres, too (which generally is a surprisingly cost-effective possibility).

Costume photography tips

3. Set the scene

Take into consideration the scene that you really want your character to inhabit. Do you goal to {photograph} them as royalty sitting atop an exquisite throne? Or do you need to seize a post-apocalyptic warrior monitoring hazard within the forest? Scouting out a location and sourcing props to suit the scene may be half of the enjoyable in terms of staging a dressing up portrait!

In the event you’re struggling to establish an excellent location in your portrait, take a breath. You may typically discover nice alternatives in probably the most shocking locations. I’ve shot in entrance of big curler shutter doorways on industrial estates, in scrubby bits of forest that got here out trying like a dreamy property, and in opposition to an outdated stone wall in my yard. With the correct lighting, portrait lens choice, framing decisions, and post-processing, probably the most mundane places can provide you exactly the outcomes you’re after.

After all, you don’t at all times want to hunt out places; there’s at all times the choice to move into the studio as an alternative. Actually, when you take a topic into the studio and place them in opposition to a plain backdrop, the ensuing pictures will typically spotlight the story you’re attempting to inform by means of their costume and look (by placing the main target squarely on the topic).

That mentioned, this type of studio capturing generally is a double-edged sword. Given the elevated deal with the topic, there’s much less room for errors in managed studio portraits – however the payoff may be greater than value it!

Costume photography tips

4. Give your topic a personality

When individuals normally sit for portraits, they play themselves. So when you have got somebody sit for a dressing up portrait, it may be useful to have them play a job. In my expertise, this strategy might help them get into the correct mind-set rather more rapidly and simply.

So earlier than you do a shoot – when you’re figuring out the correct styling and site – take into consideration the character that you just’re seeking to seize and write down a number of ideas.

Is your topic a brooding younger Victorian poet who misplaced their love? Or are they an underground insurgent attempting to uncover a authorities conspiracy 4 a long time sooner or later? These particulars might sound pointless, however the character and their motivations are the driving drive behind your complete shoot. Do your greatest to actually carry the character to life by fleshing out the related backstory, then talk the narrative to your mannequin.

As soon as your topic is dressed up, outfitted with props, correctly briefed, and in your location of alternative, all these components ought to come collectively to assist them painting the character. It’s their capability to inhabit the function that may shine by means of, inform the story, and actually make the photographs portfolio-worthy.

Costume photography tips

5. Don’t overlook about post-processing

You’ve styled a tremendous shoot in a fantastically atmospheric location with an amazing staff, and also you’ve collaboratively advised a compelling story. So what’s subsequent? Must you share your pictures with the world?

Not so quick. Earlier than anybody else sees your pictures, you must spend loads of time post-processing the information. You see, the alternatives you make on the pc or within the darkroom will actually assist emphasize the story. In my expertise, good post-processing can elevate a portrait to one thing extraordinary.

However don’t essentially comply with a normal portrait post-processing workflow. You can also make stylistic decisions that you could be want to keep away from when capturing common headshots or household portraits. For example, after I seize pictures with an apocalyptic theme, I have a tendency so as to add numerous layers excessive to create a grungy look to the piece. And if I’m capturing a personality impressed by a sci-fi film, then I typically push the colours to resemble the movie grading utilized by cinematographers. Lastly, if I shoot one thing designed to look medieval, I normally uninteresting all the colours down and make the completed photographs look dusty and worn.

With follow, you’ll develop your personal type for post-processing costume pictures. Simply bear in mind: All the things about costume portraits is totally completely different from how most individuals strategy portrait pictures. So view the post-processing stage as an opportunity to experiment!

Costume photography tips

Costume pictures suggestions: remaining phrases

Now that you just’re armed with my high suggestions for capturing costume portraits, it’s time to take some pictures. So begin enthusiastic about some pictures you’d prefer to create!

Bear in mind to flesh out a backstory, set the scene, and thoroughly take into account each ingredient that you just place within the picture. That method, you may inform a compelling and constant story that shines by means of within the remaining shot.

Now over to you:

What costume portraits do you intend to seize? Share your ideas (and pictures) within the feedback beneath!







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