A Fashion Editor's Guide to Taking a Good Photo

Tips and tricks on how to take a photo fit for Vogue.

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In an age where anyone who has a phone or camera believes they’re a professional photographer, photography has become less of an art and more monotonous.


I’ve noticed that most people lack the creative ability to take a good photo. People are concerned more with quantity over quality. In the push for quantity, the art aspect is lost.


Over my three years working and studying in fashion journalism and photography, I have strengthened my skills and you can do the same. Sharing these skills with you will give you the ability to transform your photos and give them more of a professional vibe.


These skills can be used to take an Instagram photo or, in my case, for fashion magazine spreads.


1. YOUR MEDIUM

What you use to take the photograph with is so important and key to creating a groundbreaking photo. My approach to taking any photo whether it be an Instagram photo or for a magazine spread, is to use my Canon camera. It makes the photo much more defined and gives you the opportunity to manually change the camera’s shutter speed and exposure. Being able to control the shutter speed and exposure will enhance the photo much more than taking a photo on your phone. I then move the photos from my camera to my phone and upload to Instagram from there. If you are more comfortable with using your phone or do not have access to a camera, I have you covered. When taking a photo on your phone, I recommend using portrait mode. It properly sizes the photo and gives you the opportunity to properly center yourself. I would also test each photo you take with the flash on and then off. This method gives you the chance to see if the flash helps or hurts the lighting of the photo.


2. Location Location Location

I can’t express enough how important the location of where you take a photo is. A good location or background can make or break a photo. In fact,

I believe the location is more important than the person in the photo.


That’s a very bold statement, but from experience I can tell you that location has been the defining aspect of my magazine career. When choosing a location or a background, I encourage you to find a site that conveys your personality. For instance I like cafes, restaurants and random city streets therefore, I like to take photos in those areas. Those locations reflect my aesthetic and convey the type of person I am. It’s important to know what type of places fit your personality or aesthetic because it will enhance the photo. Soft lighting and the architecture in a cafe might flatter you or a greenery and natural light in a park might suit you better. I believe it comes down to who you are as a person in order to determine what fits best.


3. Styling

Every photo an individual takes should be well thought out. Good photos come from the result of pre-planning. Any time I do a shoot either for my personal instagram or for a magazine spread I spend lots of time planning. One of the components is of course what one should wear. It’s important to wear something that fits well and makes you feel confident. You will be comfortable taking a picture in something that flatters you.


All of these tips will likely enhance your ability to take a great photo. The only way to improve your ability to take great photos is to practice and see what works best for you!