Examples of High Fashion Photography

Female model in gown made of fashion magazines

The Best Fashion Photography

The best of high fashion photography includes photographs that are cutting edge. Expect to find unusual makeup applications, dress styles, and locations where the photos are taken. Being a successful high fashion photographer requires innovation, a definite sense of style and the ability to work with people from all walks of life. The mood and styling are essential in a high fashion photograph to create a stunning aesthetic.

A high fashion photographer must be able to work well with individuals and get a large and varied group of people to work together for successful photo shoots. These photographers will have to work with models, agents, and fashion designers. In some cases, they will also have to work with the parents of the models.

Male model in black with yellow bold background

Male Haute Couture

Many photographers break into the high fashion photography business by doing portfolio shoots. Agents use these photographs to market their model clients. A bold but simple background can really put the focus on the model, and contrasting colors makes the image stand out.

Men and women in futurist clothing with seascape background

A Commercial Look

Agencies that like the way a photographer shoots photos will often become repeat customers. Knowing what the client wants is a big part of the job. Photographers can use a variety of different elements to evoke a certain mood or feeling in a photo that helps sell products. Here, the clothing looks bold and modern, and is offset by a natural background that creates a striking contrast and allure that will intrigue the audience.

Japanese model in white dress

Play up a Model's Attributes

Model brokers often choose models based on certain attributes. This photo plays up the Japanese heritage of the model. The use of color in the prop stands out against the white dress, and the black rock formations in the background help play up the sheen of the model's dark hair.

model with dress that looks painted on

An Editorial Look

High fashion photographers will take photos of models in a variety of looks, which helps to show their versatility. These photos will help agencies to pair the model with the right photo campaigns. Fashion photographers also utilize post-processing effects to create unique images that tell a story. Here the lines between the model and the painted background begin to blue and create a stunning and creative look.

pop art fashion and makeup image

An Artsy Look

Doing photo shoots using unusual makeup artistry is one of the hallmarks of the high fashion industry. Photographers will partner with makeup artists to create the right look for an ad campaign. Here the model's makeup clothing, and background reflect a pop art aesthetic, elevating seemingly simple elements like the bold lipstick and pale complexion to a new level.

Creativity Counts

The ability to use a model, lighting, and color in interesting ways is essential in high fashion photography. Photographers can also create very different looks depending on how the model is posed, where he or she is looking, and what parts of the body the image focuses on.

woman in bright dress and grunge city backdrop

Grunge Background With Colorful Fashions

Juxtaposing a dark background with bright, colorful fashions can create an incredible impact. Here the grunge background provides a strong contrast against the model's brilliant flowing dress and dramatic beauty. There are many elements at play to provide interest in an image like this, from the model's windblown hair to the background graffiti.

woman in a lounge pose on top of building

Casual Pose and Dramatic Cityscape

From dramatic to subtle, a high fashion photo can awe in many ways. Here the casual lounging of the model is an attention-getting shot when placed against the dramatic background high on top of a city building. The blurred buildings in the background also provide intense focus on the model.

Male model in rain

Unique Effects

Photographers can also create amazing effects than enhance even the most simple images. Here the bold look of the male model is seen through the blur of falling rain. Creating intrigue like the mystery of this shot draws the viewer in and invites him or her to really look at the photo. Some of today's top fashion photographers are experts in such techniques.

bride under swirling clouds
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Stunning Bridal Shot With Natural Background

Finding new ways to showcase fashions is essential for a photographer. Here, rather than the standard smiling bride next to a groom, the shot highlights the model's beautiful bridal gown against a natural background and under a swirl of darkening clouds.

model in swimsuit underwater

Underwater Photography

Thanks to modern technology, images can be taken even in some of the most unusual environments. A shot taken underwater lends a whole new dimension to a model's look, from the swirling of her hair underwater to the mirror effect of the water above.

double exposure of a model among flowers

Double Exposure

Using special effects can create one-of-a-kind shots, and one of the most unique is using double exposure to create an awe-inspiring image. Here two images, the flowers, and the model, are superimposed so she appears as an ethereal being among the blooms.

exotic desert background with huge cactus

Exotic Backgrounds

Exotic and dramatic backgrounds help make a fashion photo stand out, like this unusual desert shot. In addition to the stunning background, the model is also posed almost as if she is walking, and the natural pose adds more visual interest and appeal to the image.

glamour shot in Paris

High Glamour

High glamour is another hallmark of high fashion photography. Not only is the background image here in Paris, the glamorous red dress that looks as if it is being blown in the wind creates an eye-catching look that has incredible beauty.

model posing upside down on stairs

Unexpected Poses

Another way to make high fashion photos stand out is with the use of unique and unexpected poses, like the model here that is posed precariously upside down on the polished wooden stairs. The stark background and attention-getting pose make of a photo like this guaranteed to be noticed.

dramatic electric lighting
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Dramatic Lighting

Lighting is important to any good photograph, but high fashion artists can take this to a new level by using dramatic and unusual lighting techniques. Here the bold electric lighting not only creates an amazing backdrop, but the way the lighting is directed places total focus on the model.

romantic mirror look

Soft and Romantic

High fashion doesn't always have to use bold colors or dramatic backgrounds to make an impact. Here the photographer focuses on muted colors, soft textures, and a subtle mirror image of the model to create an alluring and romantic look that is as just as eye-catching as a more dramatic photo.

tropical shot with palm shadow

Shadows and Light

Using natural shadow and light in unique ways can also create exquisite photos. Combining the elements of natural sunlight, gorgeous beach-inspired colors, and the focused shadow of a palm tree evoke a relaxed, vacation-like feel. The fact that the image is taken from above adds another level of complexity.

spotlight on model and geometric shadows

Spotlight Techniques

The opposite of the previous shadow effect happens here, as the model is highlighted with the most significant light on her, while geometric shadows are manipulated around her to create beautiful neutral colors and shapes.

woman among huge flowers

Whimsical Props

Although not always necessary for high fashion images, the use of special props can add a fresh look. Oversize or other whimsical props create a sense of illusion or distortion that can evoke a surreal mood, as is done here with the model in a pretty pastel skirt and top among huge oversize flowers.

striking model poolside

Striking Appeal

One of the attributes of high fashion artistry is that photographers don't just snap a picture, they utilize complex elements to create a mood, showcase a certain vision, or evoke a lifestyle. Here the stunning model poses poolside in a deceptively simple photo that combines beauty on a variety of levels to create an image of a posh, relaxing lifestyle.

model on eroded wall in Iceland

On the Edge

Getting the perfect shot can mean taking risks, such as trying new poses and shooting in out-of-the-box locations. In this image, for example, the model perches on a piece of an eroded wall off the south coast of Iceland, looking down. The combination of the model's stance, the background, and the apparel conveys a sense of both vulnerability and strength that invites the viewer to gaze at the image.

The Sky Is the Limit

Photographing models may take a fashion photographer to new heights. In this case, it may include the rooftop of a New York City building! From playing with extreme lighting and unusual effects to using exotic or unusual backgrounds, there is no limit to what can be done today in high fashion.

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Examples of High Fashion Photography