How to become a fashion photographer

In my years in the fashion industry, I've learned a lot both behind the scenes and in front of the camera.

Here are some things I've learned about fashion photography:

1. Fashion is one of the most exciting and creative types of photography you can actually get paid for.

2. The wilder your concepts, the more fun the production can be for a team. We make insane sets sometimes, for just one shot!

3. The reward of working with gorgeous clothing, shoes and accessories from world-famous designers every day is pretty special.

4. Sticking to your creative vision is key, but also being able to work collaboratively makes all the difference.

5. When that magical moment happens on set, where everything falls into place and you really know why you're doing this job, it's worth all the work.

6. Make sure your models are happy and fed. You can see an unhappy energy in photos instantly.

 

Thinking of becoming a fashion photographer?

If you want to be part of this world, here are my four tips:

1. Be nice! Be easy to work with, open to other's ideas, yet firm in what your vision is. No one wants to work with someone who can't roll with the punches.

2. Have a very concise vision for your portfolio. Don't have landscapes, and dogs, and people and cars. Curate your portfolio for the editor you are going to meet. Make sure your work reflects the brand of the magazine.

3. Constantly make more work. Even if you're not being hired to shoot, do creatives. Even my biggest photographers still do creatives to keep them moving forward.

4. Think outside of the box. Shooting in a studio all the time is easy. Going to a location and pushing yourself to learn lighting in an outdoor setting will take you leaps and bounds above the rest.

 

There's a lot of work that goes into the post production for your photos.

Here are my tips for making your photos look as great as possible:

1. If you're not a good retoucher, hire someone to do it for you. Retouching is a huge thing in fashion. If it's not done well, your work suffers.

2. Learn lighting. No great fashion photographer has ever made it by just shooting in natural light. Take courses on lighting, rent lighting and try everything until you can master that perfect light.

3. Use great lenses. You can rent professional lenses for about $40 per day. There is no reason to use your kit lens when you have all those amazing lenses to try out.

4. Make sure your images are tack sharp (unless you're going for a dreamy look). Images that are soft or out of focus are unusable for print in our publication. Make sure you know your f-stops, shutter speeds and focusing before you get into shooting with models.

5. Be excited about your work. You won't sell me on your work if you don't believe in it. Be passionate, and know who your influences are, because you will be asked who inspires you!

 

Erin Seaman teaches Introduction to the Business of Fashion Photography at OCAD University's Continuing Studies. She has been working in the photography industry for over 15 years, and has gained extensive knowledge in both film and digital backgrounds through her experience working and shooting in a commercial environment. Erin has owned her own studio, shot for a large range of companies such as Calvin Klein, the Globe and Mail, HELLO Canada and Toronto Life. She holds a BFA from OCAD U and is photo editor at FASHION Magazine.

 

Why isn’t fashion taking part in the wearable tech revolution?

By Robert Tu, founder of MeU, a wearable technology company
 

Wearable tech is a hot topic these days, especially with the release of the Apple Watch. Most devices on the market today, however, are focused on fitness, health or gaming, and most are not considered fashion pieces (with the exception of the Apple Watch). So what about fashionable clothing and wearable tech? When are we going to see that?

There are companies that are exploring fashion and wearable technology. Most of them are embedding LEDs in textiles, such as Cute Circuit in the UK, which makes video dresses for celebrities and other high-end clients. There’s also Switch Embassy, which is developing a social t-shirt whereby it can display tweets, photos and other social media data on your shirt. And, finally, there’s MeU, which has developed wearable digital signage for advertisers and experiential marketers.

Getting the average consumer to adopt this kind of clothing has proven difficult. One of the major reasons is social acceptance. People are not yet ready to wear flashing lights as a fashion statement. And even if they were, the price of these products is not accessible to the average person.

This is because the fashion industry and the tech industry are from two completely different worlds. Getting them to collaborate to make an affordable product will take time because they need to learn each other’s cultures, customs and processes. Another major challenge is the product life cycle of the two industries. The fashion life cycle is seasonal, whereas hardware electronics is annual and we haven’t found a way to resolve these two differences.

That being said, a recent announcement by Google and Levi’s sounds promising. Google recently announced a partnership with the iconic jean company: Levi's will make clothing out of Google’s new smart-fabric material. The possibilities are interesting. You could answer your phone by swiping on your sleeve, or take a selfie by touching your pocket.

It will be a while before you see fashionable clothing with embedded technology at your local clothing store. But it will happen. It’s just a matter of when.

You can learn more about wearable tech — and make your own — by registering for Robert Tu’s Introduction to Wearable Media course through OCAD University’s Continuing Studies.

 

 

Robert Tu is a graduate of OCAD University from the Graphic Design program. He also has a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo, and worked as an engineer for a number of years before transitioning into business development at IBM. Since graduating from OCAD U, he founded MeU, a wearable technology company that is developing socially interactive clothing. As a designer, entrepreneur and engineer, Robert is interested in exploring the way we perceive clothing and how wearable technology can change our behaviours and interactions with each other and our environments.

Fashion & Sustainability with Kate Black & Kelly Drennan

Image of two women
Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 9:00pm to 11:00pm

How can we mitigate the social and environmental impacts of a trillion dollar industry? 

Health, ethics and environment interact on a global scale in the fashion industry. Mass-production of fast-fashion garments and toxic beauty products has long been the accepted practice within the arcane affairs of the fashion supply chain. Who is driving meaningful change towards social and environmental responsibility? Join us for a talk by Kate Black, author ofMagnifeco: Your Head-to-Toe Guide to Ethical Fashion and Non-Toxic Beauty, followed by a response and questions from Kelly Drennan, PR and event planner at Fashion Takes Action. 

Kate Black is the founder and editor-in-chief of Magnifeco.com(@magnifeco), the digital source for eco-fashion and sustainable living and EcoSessions®, a global platform bringing together designers, industry and consumers to discuss change. A graduate of the University of Toronto, Kate has lived and worked in many fashion centers of the world and written over 1,000 articles about designers and ethical fashion from her decidedly global perspective. Her book,Magnifeco: Your Head-to-Toe Guide to Ethical Fashion and Non-toxic Beauty, was published in September.

Kelly Drennan (@ecofashionista) is a social entrepreneur devoted to making change within the fashion industry– known for its negative social and environmental impacts including labour, energy, waste, water, and the use of toxic chemicals. Kelly brings her many years of experience as founding executive director of Fashion Takes Action, a non-profit organization that brings social and environmental awareness to the fashion industry.  

Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab) is a centre for research and innovation at OCAD University. sLab integrates applied research, professional engagement, education and skills development to assist private, public, and not-for-profit organizations attain their goals. sLab trans-disciplinary teams draw on the growing SFI community of researchers and practitioners, design and business professionals, teachers and students, who are passionate about creative economies and sustainable futures. slab.ocadu.ca

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University  205 Richmond St. W., 5th floor, Room 510  sLab (Strategic Innovation Lab)
Website: 
http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/fashion-sustainability-with-kate-black-kelly-drennan-tickets-18942526607?ref=enivte001&invite=ODU4NzQxNy9ndmFuYWxzdHluZUBzbGFiLm9jYWQuY2EvMA%3D%3D&utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=invitemodernv2&utm_term=eventpage

Chris Chapman Talks Photography

Black and white photograph of a man with long, dark hair
Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 10:30pm

Chris Chapman is an internationally renowned photographer who has chosen to make his home in Toronto, Canada. Chris was instrumental in the visual attitude and success of the British publication Wallpaper magazine from its inception in 1996, serving as its chief photographer as well as editor-at-large for over three years. Here in Canada, he has been a contributor to all of Canada’s major fashion magazines including Flare, Fashion and Elle Canada. His clients at home have included several major luxury retailers like Holt Renfrew and Harry Rosen as well as Birks, Roots . BMW, Joe Fresh, Hudson’s Bay, Nienkamper, and Club Monaco. Abroad, Chris has shot for Abercrombie&Fitch, Selfridges, The Gap, LVMH, Dillards, Theory, Anne Taylor, Target, Crate+Barrel, and Portico NY as well as publications such as Fast Company,  Travel & Leisure, Out, Space, The Advocate and Cargo. His work has been recognized by the Art Directors Club of Canada and the National Magazine Awards, earning various gold and silver awards in the  fashion, portraiture and still-life categories. Chris is also a graduate of OCAD’s photography program.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University Auditorium, Room 190 100 McCaul St.

Why isn’t fashion taking part in the wearable tech revolution?

A cyclist photographed from behind with digitally lit shirt that reads "stop"
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 7:45pm

The challenges and barriers in making fashionable clothing with wearable technology

By Robert Tu, founder of MeU, a wearable technology company

 

Wearable tech is a hot topic these days, especially with the release of the Apple Watch. But most devices on the market today are focused on fitness, health or gaming and are not considered fashion pieces (with the exception of the Apple Watch). So what about fashionable clothing and wearable tech? When are we going to see that?

There are companies that are exploring fashion and wearable technology. Most of them are embedding LEDs in textiles such as Cute Circuit in the UK, which makes video dresses for celebrities and other high end clients. There’s also Switch Embassy that is developing a social t-shirt that can display tweets, photos and other social media data on your shirt. And finally there’s MeU, which has developed wearable digital signage for advertisers and experiential marketers.

Getting the average consumer to adopt this kind of clothing has proven difficult. One of the major reasons is social acceptance. People are not ready to wear flashing lights as a fashion statement yet. And even if they were, the price of these products is not accessible to the average person.

This is because the fashion industry and the tech industry are from two completely different worlds. Getting them to collaborate to make an affordable product will take time as each needs to learn the other’s cultures, customs and processes. Another major challenge is the product life cycle of the two industries. The fashion life cycle is seasonal whereas hardware electronics is annual, and we haven’t found a way to resolve these two differences.

That said, a recent announcement by Google and Levi’s sounds promising. Google announced a partnership with the iconic jean company wherein they’ll make clothing out of Google’s new smart fabric material. The possibilities are interesting.  You could answer your phone by swiping on your sleeve, or take a selfie by touching your pocket.

It will be a while before we see fashionable clothing with embedded technology at our local clothing stores, but it will happen. It’s just a matter of when.

You can learn more about wearable tech — and make your own — by registering for Robert Tu’s Introduction to Wearable Media course as part of OCAD University’s Continuing Studies.

 

Robert Tu is a graduate of OCAD University’s Graphic Design program. He also has a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo, and worked as an engineer for a number of years before transitioning into business development at IBM. Since graduating from OCAD U he founded MeU, a wearable technology company that is developing socially interactive clothing. As a designer, entrepreneur and engineer, Tu is interested in exploring the way we perceive clothing and how wearable technology can change our behaviours and interactions with each other and our environment.

How to become a fashion photographer

Image of a pair of models in photoshoot
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 4:00am

By Erin Seaman, photo editor for FASHION Magazine.

In my years in the fashion industry, I've learned a lot. Being both behind the scenes and in front of the camera with my team, there are some huge lessons one learns quite quickly. Fashion photography is a tricky world, where your contacts and etiquette reign supreme.

Here are some things I've learned about fashion photography:

1. Fashion is one of the most exciting and creative types of photography you can actually get paid for.

2. The wilder your concepts, the more fun the production can be for a team. We make insane sets sometimes, for just one shot!

3. The reward of working with gorgeous clothing, shoes and accessories from world-famous designers every day is pretty special.

4. Sticking to your creative vision is key, but also being able to work collaboratively makes all the difference.

5. When that magical moment happens on set, where everything falls into place and you really know why you're doing this job, it's all worth the work.

6. Make sure your models are happy and fed. You can see an unhappy energy in photos instantly.

 

Now, if you want to be part of this type of team, here are my four tips to becoming a fashion photographer:

1. Be nice! Be easy to work with, and open to others ideas, yet firm in what your vision is. No one wants to work with someone who can't roll with the punches.

2. Have a very concise vision for your portfolio. Don't have landscapes, and dogs, and people, and cars. Curate your portfolio for the editor you are going to meet. Make sure your work reflects the brand of the magazine.

3. Constantly make more work. Even if you're not being hired to shoot, do creatives. Even my biggest photographers still do creatives to keep them moving forward.

4. Think outside of the box. Shooting in a studio all the time is easy, going to a location and pushing yourself to learn lighting in an outdoor setting will take you leaps and bounds above the rest.

As for the final product, there's a lot of work that goes into the post production for our shoots.

Here are my tips for making your photos look as great as possible:

1. If you're not a good retoucher, hire someone to do it for you. Retouching is a huge thing in fashion, and if it's not done well, your work suffers.

2. Learn lighting. No great fashion photographer has ever made it by just shooting in natural light. Take courses on lighting, rent lighting and try everything until you can master that perfect light.

3. Use great lenses. You can rent professional lenses for about $40 per day. There is no reason to use your kit lens when you have all of these amazing lenses to try out.

4. Make sure your images are tack sharp (unless you're going for a dreamy look). Images that are soft or out of focus are unusable for print in our publication. Make sure you know your f-stops, shutter speeds and focusing before you get into shooting with models, it can be tricky.

5. Be excited about your work. You won't sell me on your work if you don't believe in it. Be passionate, and know who your influences are, because you will be asked who inspires you!

You can learn more about fashion photography by registering for Erin Seaman’s course, Introduction to the Business of Fashion Photography, part of OCAD University’s Continuing Studies.

 

Erin Seaman has been working in the photography industry for more than 15 years, and has gained extensive knowledge in both film and digital backgrounds due to her experience working and shooting in a commercial environment. She has owned her own studio, shot for a large range of companies such as Calvin Klein, the Globe and Mail, HELLO Canada and Toronto Life. She holds a BFA from OCAD University and is Photo Editor at FASHION Magazine.

H&M and OCAD University Introduce ‘Toronto Loves Fashion! Fashion Loves Toronto!’, A Student Competition

Monday, May 4, 2015 - 7:30pm

H&M and OCAD University Introduce ‘Toronto Loves Fashion! Fashion Loves Toronto!’, A Student Competition

The Competition
Cutting edge international fashion retailer H&M and OCAD University’s Faculty of Art are pleased to announce an exciting new competition, ‘Toronto Loves Fashion! Fashion Loves Toronto!, a venture that will feature OCAD University’s fastest growing specialization in the vanguard art form of Digital Painting. H&M is looking for work from up to 8 artists to be displayed on the temporary construction hoarding in front of the H&M Toronto flagship store at Dundas and Yonge Streets. The winning students will each receive:
• $500 in cash or H&M gift certificates
• An exclusive invitation to H&M’s re-launch event
• Lots of public exposure through traditional press and social media

Background
H&M is renovating its iconic location in the heart of Toronto in the Eaton Centre at Yonge and Dundas. During the renovation, the store will be covered with temporary walls (hoarding) and H&M wants to work with creative and talented individuals to help make this project unique and special, incorporating the worlds of art and fashion into a visual creation for people passing by Canada’s busiest intersection!

Specifications
8 artworks will be chosen, each piece is to be a Digital Painting on vinyl output. The final dimensions of each artwork are to be: 3’ 6” x 6’. The artworks will be printed digitally on vinyl and will be treated for durability. Didactic panels will accompany the artworks and include information about OCAD U, the Digital Painting specialization, and information about each artist.

Eligibility
The competition is open to all 3rd and 4th year OCAD University students, as well as recent alumni.

Student Expectations
Please submit all of the following files electronically, via WeTransfer, Dropbox file share, another file sharing service or on a CD or zip drive by May 4th, to Tracy Buchanan in the Faculty of Art office or at tbuchanan@ocadu.ca. Please use the phrase Toronto Loves Fashion! Fashion Loves Toronto! in the subject line of your email or as your folder name.

• A maximum of 2 digital images (350 dpi, at least 5” on smallest side) by May 4th (only one per student can be chosen)
• The Artist Participation Agreement
• Short Artist Statement (50-100 words) to present the artwork and its artist
• A brief bio (50-100 words)

Selection Process and Timeline
The jury will be comprised of 3 members from H&M and 2 members from OCAD University. The jury will meet to view submissions on May 6th. The winners will be contacted by email on May 6th.
The work is to be completed and delivered by the winning student by May 22nd.
H&M will install the temporary construction hoarding and all the artistic elements by May 29th.
The winners will meet with H&M and OCAD U to admire the pieces on the H&M store hoarding and will be rewarded with their $500 cash or gift cards on June 5th.

Venue & Address: 
H&M Toronto flagship store at Dundas and Yonge Streets
Email: 
tbuchanan@ocadu.ca
Phone: 
416-977-6000 x 330

Bradley Quinn predicts the future of digital fashion

Photo of Bradley Quinn, UK fashion forecaster
Image of dress by Robert Tu of MeU featuring embedded LED lights
Friday, March 6, 2015 - 4:30pm

Fashion writer and design expert Bradley Quinn spoke to a packed auditorium of 300 OCAD U students, faculty, media and fashion aficionados on February 24, 2015. Thirty-year fashion journalist Jeanne Beker introduced Quinn and moderated the Q & A after his hour-long talk.

Quinn described advances in wearable technology since the first clunky attempts he saw at MIT in the mid-nineties. Most people just think of coloured LED lights sewn into clothes, he says, but, “Now the technology can engage with the wearer and interact in a different way where it can actually tell how the wearer feels. This is a huge shift.”

Advances in nanotechnology mean that microchips are increasingly robust and affordable. Inventions like programmable upholstery measure the consumer experience and send data to corporations for use in future designs. Three-D printing is another driver in wearable technology because of the ability to print conductive materials.

Quinn predicts a “radical shakeup” in the fashion industry five years from now. He says that the fashion graduate today is graduating with “a completely different skill set,” and can code, incorporate algorithms in their design process, and experiment with a wide range of technologies. “They are changing the fashion industry today,” Quinn told his audience, “more than the graduate of only six yrs ago.”

 

 

 

 

Startup Fashion Week: The Future of Fashion Runway Show & Closing Party

Group of male and female models with wearable technology
Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 11:00pm to Friday, October 10, 2014 - 3:30am

 

Startup Fashion Week is all about Fashion, Technology and Business.  Join us at our Future of Fashion Runway Showcase & Closing Party. This event will support our charity partner Windfall Basics, who have recently launched their campaign for WearWhite4Women. The first 50 guests to bring & donate new health care produsts upon arrival to raise awareness for their campaign will get a swag bag!  Note that there is ample FREE PARKING behind the venue in a parking lot!

For more info on our events happening on Oct. 7 & 8 please see:www.startupfashionweek.com/events

Media or Fashion Blogger? Contact: info@startupfashionweek.com

Event Schedule: 

  • 6:00 - 7:00 VIP Experience only
  • 7:00 - 8:00 - Registration / Cocktails Sponsored by HPNOTIQ
  • 8:10 - 8:45 - Runway Showcase
  • 8:45 - 12am - Closing Party / Seminar Series 

 

About the Event:

Join us to celebrate Startup / Emerging Designers as they showcase their collections on the Runway.  This is not just any ordinary showcase - we will also feature aspects of technology into the Runway experience.  Participants are from across Ontario and the US. 

After the Runway show we will celebrate the 3 Day Launch of Startup Fashion Week with our Closing After Party, which will include the following:

  • Free makeup touch ups by Motives Cosmetics & Free Business Headshots taken by a Professional Photographer
  • Vendor Room Showcasing various local Innovative Fashion Brands
  • Art Installations
  • PhotoBoothTO - take fun and silly photos with other guests
  • Seminar Series - we will feature 6 different 30 Minute Seminars presented by: Winfall Basics, Product Magazine, Motives Cosmetics, Novella Magazine, Toronto Fashion Academy and Kim Du Salon

 

Event Official Hashtag: #StartupFW

Venue & Address: 
HangLoose Media Studios 28 Logan Ave  Toronto, ON  M4M 2M8
Website: 
http://meet-make.myshopify.com/pages/schedule
Cost: 
Free

Put Art in Your Pocket: Launch

Put Art in Your Pocket: Launch
Saturday, November 2, 2013 - 8:00pm

Harry Rosen collaborates with acclaimed artist and OCAD U alum Gary Taxali on Canadiana-themed pocket square collection

This fall, Harry Rosen introduces a new collection of five special-edition
pocket squares designed by Canadian artist Gary Taxali.

The 100% silk pocket squares, created exclusively for Canada’s premiere menswear retailer, Harry Rosen, will be available in select stores across Canada and online at www.harryrosen.com
on Saturday, November 2, 2013. The collection will be launched with a special in-store signing by the artist at Harry Rosen’s flagship store in Toronto at 82 Bloor St W from 4 to 6PM.

Celebrating the culturally-rich heritage of Canada and featured cities – Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver, each of Taxali’s unique designs plays off of the character, culture and landmarks of each city. The result is a colourful and comical, yet highly wearable, collector’s item.

“I was inspired by how diverse our Canadian cities are, and I tried to capture the different moods and stories of Canadian life in a playful way,” says artist Gary Taxali.

Each piece of artwork is reproduced on high- uality Italian silk, with hand rolled and stitched edges creating a fluid canvas that Gary says “shows that fashion is art and art can be fashion.”

Gary Taxali is an award-winning illustrator whose work has appeared in GQ, Esquire and Rolling Stone. He visually blends now with then, drawing influence from vintage comics and advertising art to communicate the ironies and comical essence of pop culture.

“We’re passionate about pocket squares,” says Larry Rosen, CEO, Harry Rosen Inc. “It’s important for men to inject some playful elements into their wardrobe, and these unique artistdesigned accessories pack a lot of personality.”

The Gary Taxali for Unfamous Pocket Square will retail for $95.

About Gary Taxali
Gary Taxali is one of North America's foremost contemporary artists. His work consists of retro stylized characters, iconography and symbols reminiscent of the 1930s rooted from an award winning illustration background. His art has a lowbrow/highbrow appeal and hence can also be seen not only in galleries around the world such as The Andy Warhol Museum but is also instantly recognizable in magazines, products (such as the Royal Canadian Mint Coins), designer toys and fashion. Gary has upcoming exhibitions at Waddington’s (Toronto) with Concrete Contemporary Art on January 29, 2014 and at Jonathan Levine Gallery (New York) on February 22, 2014. The Unfamous brand was founded by Gary Taxali and his sister, Vandana Taxali. More information can be found at www.garytaxali.com.

About Harry Rosen Inc.
Harry Rosen Inc., Canada’s leading quality men’s wear retailer, is celebrating its 59th year in business in 2013. Founded in 1954 by the man whose name the chain still bears, Harry Rosen Inc. has grown from a single 500-square-foot store in Toronto to become a powerhouse in Canadian retailing with 15 stores across the country, accounting for 40 percent of the Canadian market in high-end men’s wear, as well as an ecommerce site at www.harryrosen.com. Harry Rosen stores offer extensive collections of the world’s finest men’s wear labels including Tom Ford, Brunello Cucinelli, Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, Armani Collezioni, Brioni, Canali, Ermenegildo Zegna, Versace, Hugo Boss, Cole Haan, Salvatore Ferragamo, Loro Piana and J.P. Tilford by Samuelsohn.

For more information, photography, products samples, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Tim Gallant
Public Relations Manager
416-935-9224
tgallant@harryrosen.com

For Gary Taxali/Unfamous:
Vandana Taxali
416-865-0800
vandanat@rogers.com

Venue & Address: 
Harry Rosen’s flagship store 82 Bloor Street West Toronto, Ontario

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