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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 12 Dec 2012 (Wednesday) 10:35
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Shooting Clothes

 
Moin
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Dec 12, 2012 10:35 |  #1

Hi,

My mom runs a boutique and wants me to start shooting her dresses so she can put them on her Facebook page. I'm going to buy an Canon 430EX II and a backdrop in a day or so. Is there anything else that I need? Umbrella's etc? (Can't afford more flashes for now though).

Looking for tips on how to set up the whole thing since I never used an external flash before, or even the built in one on my 600D.

Thanks in advance.


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dmward
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Dec 12, 2012 11:01 |  #2

I hope you accept this as constructive suggestion.
If your mom wants to sell her clothes and is using Facebook as an advertising medium she should also consider what her competition is doing. Look at the catalogs, magazine ads, etc. You have to create images that are equal or superior to those.

An art director told me many years ago, long before there was social media, that the purpose of my picture was to stop the reader from turning the page. Today, its to stop them from clicking to the next website.

I doubt that you will be able to accomplish that with one speedlite and some background paper.

Your best bet is to find a model, find a good location that complements the clothes and shot on location. Use the speedlite for fill. Best on a lightstand with an umbrella, which raises the question about how you plan to trigger the speedlite.


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RPCrowe
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Dec 12, 2012 11:40 as a reply to  @ dmward's post |  #3

This can be done with a single speedlight...

This shot was done with a single 550EX mounted on a Stroboframe Camera Flip Bracket and modified with a Joe Demb Flash Diffuser Pro.

IMAGE: http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/photos/i-spnwpCd/0/L/i-spnwpCd-L.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://rpcrowe.smugmug​.com …211231&k=spnwpC​d&lb=1&s=A  (external link)

I shot it using a Canon 7D and 70-200mm f/4L IS lens...

See my images at http://rpcrowe.smugmug​.com/ (external link)

  
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Moin
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Dec 12, 2012 12:09 |  #4

dmward wrote in post #15357660 (external link)
I hope you accept this as constructive suggestion.
If your mom wants to sell her clothes and is using Facebook as an advertising medium she should also consider what her competition is doing. Look at the catalogs, magazine ads, etc. You have to create images that are equal or superior to those.

An art director told me many years ago, long before there was social media, that the purpose of my picture was to stop the reader from turning the page. Today, its to stop them from clicking to the next website.

I doubt that you will be able to accomplish that with one speedlite and some background paper.

Your best bet is to find a model, find a good location that complements the clothes and shot on location. Use the speedlite for fill. Best on a lightstand with an umbrella, which raises the question about how you plan to trigger the speedlite.

Constructive criticism/suggestions are a blessing in disguise so thank you for this and I agree to everything you just mentioned.

For start, I'm planning on using a mannequin or may be hang them / lay them out. I do have couple of big lights handing in my basement & am planning on using those with a white backdrop and flash from left or right side with a trigger? (that's where I need help - to understand how artificial light works).

This is, as I mentioned, just a start and I want to learn before I start investing in more speedlights and what not.

This shot was done with a single 550EX mounted on a Stroboframe Camera Flip Bracket and modified with a Joe Demb Flash Diffuser Pro.

Good one RPCrowe, this looks great.


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jcolman
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Dec 12, 2012 14:53 |  #5

Moin wrote in post #15357916 (external link)
Constructive criticism/suggestions are a blessing in disguise so thank you for this and I agree to everything you just mentioned.

For start, I'm planning on using a mannequin or may be hang them / lay them out. I do have couple of big lights handing in my basement & am planning on using those with a white backdrop and flash from left or right side with a trigger? (that's where I need help - to understand how artificial light works).

This is, as I mentioned, just a start and I want to learn before I start investing in more speedlights and what not.

The lights in your basement will not be the same color temperature as a speedlight. You would be wise not to use them.

For simplicities sake, use a single speedlight fired into an umbrella or softbox, placed about 30-40 degrees off camera. Place a large white piece of foamcore opposite the light, and behind the mannequin to bounce some light back onto the dress.


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Whortleberry
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Dec 12, 2012 15:39 |  #6

dmward wrote in post #15357660 (external link)
I hope you accept this as constructive suggestion.
If your mom wants to sell her clothes and is using Facebook as an advertising medium she should also consider what her competition is doing. Look at the catalogs, magazine ads, etc. You have to create images that are equal or superior to those.

An art director told me many years ago, long before there was social media, that the purpose of my picture was to stop the reader from turning the page. Today, its to stop them from clicking to the next website.

I doubt that you will be able to accomplish that with one speedlite and some background paper.

Your best bet is to find a model, find a good location that complements the clothes and shot on location. Use the speedlite for fill. Best on a lightstand with an umbrella, which raises the question about how you plan to trigger the speedlite.

Psychology of Selling 101 - A I D A.
Attention (make folks stop and look)
Interest (make them want to know more)
Desire (make them WANT the product)
Action (make them do something about it - with money)

In the heyday of off-the-page selling, it was reckoned that you had no more than 3 to 4 SECONDS to capture people's attention before they flipped the page (same with magazine covers, btw). In the "I-want-it-NOW" culture which pervades society today, I doubt if you even have that long. That increases the pressure on you as a photographer to create images which stop folks dead in their tracks. Like David, I seriously doubt that you can do that in so simple a manner as you describe.

Scrutinise what the competition are doing and analyse just WHY you stopped at a particular image. Did you ever wonder why so many high-prestige shoots involve exotic locations? Not because the photographer fancied a holiday at someone else's expense, but to use attention-getting backgrounds. There must be somewhere in your locale which can be used at little or no cost and provide the viewer with a "that's interesting" background. Tower Bridge may scream 'glamorous London', the Manhattan skyline likewise 'New York glamour' - there's no clue to your location and I'd not dream of suggesting that sort of location but anything is better than a bit of seamless paper.

If you first define your objectives, you can then work towards achieving the goal your Mom has set you. I bet the request went something along the lines of "Can you just....." but unfortunately there is no "Just" about it at all.


Phil ǁ Kershaw Soho Reflex: 4¼" Ross Xpres, 6½" Aldis, Super XX/ABC Pyro in 24 DDS, HP3/Meritol Metol in RFH, Johnson 'Scales' brand flash powder. Kodak Duo Six-20/Verichrome Pan. Other odd bits over the decades, simply to get the job done - not merely to polish and brag about cos I'm too mean to buy the polish!
FlickR (external link) ◄► "The Other Yongnuo User Guide v4.12" by Clive Bolton (external link) ◄► UK Railway Photographs 1906-79 (external link)

  
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BrandonSi
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Dec 12, 2012 15:44 |  #7

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you use a steamer on the clothes.


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dmward
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Dec 12, 2012 18:01 |  #8

BrandonSi wrote in post #15358795 (external link)
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you use a steamer on the clothes.

And a lent roller if they are dark. :-)

Wortleberry's comments get into the meat of advertising photography.
Today, on the net, probably especially Facebook. striking images will be critical to get them past the A to the I.

And, to carry my art director's thoughts farther along, That's the Headline and Copy writers responsibility.

Rather than empty cloths in the basement, I'd look for a striking background that creates visual dynamics relative to the clothes. As RP Crowe illustrated you can get acceptable images with a single speedlite and some planning. Attractive models, nice clothes and an attention grabbing background that visually contrasts with the models and clothes are good ingredients for your pictures. Then, its time to execute. :-)

You're about to find out why fashion photographers are highly paid specialists. :-)


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Whortleberry
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Dec 13, 2012 03:53 |  #9

dmward wrote in post #15359284 (external link)
And a lent roller if they are dark. :-)
You're about to find out why fashion photographers are highly paid specialists. :-)

.... and why, on the prestigious shoots, there are a raft of other folks there - the stylist(s), the hairdressers, the make-up artists, the photo assistants, the art director, the client, the models. Big, big job with huge attention to detail required. You're about to enter the wonderful world of godets, darts, bias cuts, tucks, skew hems, voile, jersey, mercerising and all that malarkey. Oh, and don't forget the crystals - enjoy!!

Ps You'll find it's quite hard work.:shock:


Phil ǁ Kershaw Soho Reflex: 4¼" Ross Xpres, 6½" Aldis, Super XX/ABC Pyro in 24 DDS, HP3/Meritol Metol in RFH, Johnson 'Scales' brand flash powder. Kodak Duo Six-20/Verichrome Pan. Other odd bits over the decades, simply to get the job done - not merely to polish and brag about cos I'm too mean to buy the polish!
FlickR (external link) ◄► "The Other Yongnuo User Guide v4.12" by Clive Bolton (external link) ◄► UK Railway Photographs 1906-79 (external link)

  
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Moin
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Dec 13, 2012 08:54 |  #10

Haha, Stop scaring me already :D


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Whortleberry
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Dec 13, 2012 09:45 |  #11

:o Oh, pardon me, I forgot to mention the dressers.
Be afraid; be very, very afraid. :D;):D


Phil ǁ Kershaw Soho Reflex: 4¼" Ross Xpres, 6½" Aldis, Super XX/ABC Pyro in 24 DDS, HP3/Meritol Metol in RFH, Johnson 'Scales' brand flash powder. Kodak Duo Six-20/Verichrome Pan. Other odd bits over the decades, simply to get the job done - not merely to polish and brag about cos I'm too mean to buy the polish!
FlickR (external link) ◄► "The Other Yongnuo User Guide v4.12" by Clive Bolton (external link) ◄► UK Railway Photographs 1906-79 (external link)

  
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