Conceptualization of a Fashion Photoshoot

Learn about the creative development of a fashion publishing house from the photographer's viewpoint

VIRIDIANA (@holaviridiana) has worked as a photographer and fashion editor for some of the most prestigious international magazines. Her credentials make her an expert on how fashion publishers develop creative concepts.

Whether a magazine or editor contacts you to offer to collaborate on a fashion photoshoot or you get in touch with a publication to show them your portfolio, you'll find that you'll need to develop a creative concept of the session that will require decisions that go beyond the photographic aspect.

Read on to see how the conceptualization of a fashion editorial shoot develops.

Alexander Dummer
Alexander Dummer

Briefing and first contact

Suppose you are contacted by a magazine to carry out an editorial feature to publish in their pages. In that case, they will most probably provide a briefing with their preferences and requirements. They will attach examples of the image they are trying to achieve with the photoshoot. Then, they also have to consider your style. You need to explain your choices, dictated by your professional and creative knowledge, and how these fit the brief. Magazine photos reach many people, and if we are in disagreement with the values they transmit, it is better not to go ahead and find work with which we are more comfortable.

However, you most likely are sending your photographs to the editors and art directors of these publications. VIRIDIANA advises not to despair if they do not reply or if the correspondence does not materialize into a shoot; continue to improve and try again as this could lead to a big opportunity when you least expect it.

VIRIDIANA. Blank Magazine
VIRIDIANA. Blank Magazine

The mood board

When publishers get in touch with us to do a photo shoot, they tend to have a clear vision of what they want in their magazine and are likely to send us a mood board of ideas. If we are completing the job independently, we need to create a board with all our concepts, from the most generic to the most specific. Make a note of poses, color palettes, hairstyles, and outfits; list the locations where you would like to set the shoot.

VIRIDIANA. Blank Magazine
VIRIDIANA. Blank Magazine

Find the perfect location

According to Viridiana, this is a good starting point when planning a fashion photoshoot. She can develop a full creative concept from a place that inspires her. Although she is not always looking for locations, when she does find a place that seduces her, she can’t help but begin planning how to shoot there. She will start her search to find out how to contact the owners to get permission to go back to the site with her camera.

VIRIDIANA. Blank Magazine
VIRIDIANA. Blank Magazine

Generating ideas

Although a photographer's job does not involve styling the models or doing their hair and makeup, they must keep up to date with current trends. Fashion changes constantly. It is essential to be informed on what is happening—and what is about to happen—to keep pace with the publications and ensure our editorial work is relevant.

Shoots are often completed months ahead of publishing, and in this sense, it is vital to be at the forefront of trends and not be left behind.

VIRIDIANA. Blank Magazine
VIRIDIANA. Blank Magazine

In her course Editorial Fashion Photography Step by Step, VIRIDIANA teaches how to create a fashion editorial, from mood board to editing, and professional photo shooting.

English version by @acesarato.

You may be interested in:

- A Short History of Fashion Photography
- How to Get an Image Ready for Print in Photoshop
- History of the Photobook


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