Fashion and Colour

If you have moved on with your equipment and experience, you may be about to try Fashion Photography Outdoors, which can be tricky and demand a lot of patience. Make sure you start off in a studio, learn the MUA rules, the dos and don’t of hair, and what you can get out of artificial lighting, before you attempt to charge people for an outdoor service.


For me, there are only only two rules I follow when taking fashion shots outdoors. One is related to movement, and the other is the Sky.

If you are going to use Colour I think both are important. Hair or clothes should be moving if the body is not, and what is very important is the sun and blue sky. Light brings out colours and our eyes only pick up three of them quickly. Red, green and blue, the rest are different shades and combinations.

Your eyes have 3 cones and these allow you to pick up a million variants of colour but your mind does not compute this, it simplifies it. Some individuals have 4 cones, and so the maths is greater. When playing golf it is always better to mark your ball with a red or blue marker, as the white ball is surrounded by green.

Why is all this important? It’s important because the sky is blue, so if your model is wearing no green red or blue the first colour your eyes will travel to will not be your subjects. Now imagine this on a poster.

If the sky is grey Black and White is the only option I choose, or I shoot in Colour and revert in Lightroom or Photoshop Pro. The grey blends everything, so by doing everything in Black in White I rely on hair movement for a headshot or eye contact. Something must draw the viewer in. If it was braille a blind person would go to the centre of a piece of art and work out, my photos therefore start at the middle and work to the bokeh (blurred background) edges.

If it’s a colour headshot I use the hair again also trying to get an element of movement. Below you can see two headshot examples of this with the same model Jessica Ruxton.

Model Jessica Ruxton beside the River Liffey Dublin
Jessica Ruxton in front of the Custom’s

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