Getting in to the "Fashion Biz"

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by benjikan, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. benjikan

    benjikan TPF Noob!

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    From another Forum:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by codiac2600
    Ben you really are an astounding photographer/artist/helpful person lol. These shots you put on this forum are always of such amazing caliber and just makes me want to try and venture into shooting with a model everytime. I have a question if you don't mind and it's in regards to the lens used because I'm in the process of purchasing a few lenses and would love to get such crisp and clear results as yours and would love a basis for my search. Sorry if this isn't thread related by the way .

    Thank you again oh and I do have an interesting tidbit to add where you actually came up in a heated arguement with a very ignorant person I met at my place of work which I'd love to share since I have nothing better to do lol. I do a lot of photography for bars/nightclubs here in town (used to be with my pentax Dl but just had to get the K10 w/ vertical grip which has made a major improvement in what I try to do) and as I was walking around when a gentlemen stopped me and asked to see my camera (the K10d) and was happy to let him see it and the next thing I hear is, "Pentax, why would you use this piece of junk" and proceeds to hand the camera back to me with an evil smirk across his face. Normally I'd smack someone for being so rude, but I chose to ask him why he felt the way he did and all that came from it was he was a some other brand fanatic and proposed that no professional photographer uses Pentax. Knowing that I could use my "piece of junk" to bash him over the head I just told him to look you up and see what a real photographer does with junk. Hopefully you get a few more picture views of of this exciting ordeal lol. Well thought that was a funny thing looking back now and just had to share it with you.
    First off..I am very proud of you for not "Bashing him in the Head" with your Pentax. Can you imagine the damage you might have done to the lens? Not the body off course, it is too well built.

    As to your queries. What I wish to identify here are several points that come together as a composite to finally realize the final single image. Each element is as important as the next and if just one of those elements are too weak, the whole image will fall apart and fail to work.

    What you are seeing when you look at an image I am posting, is not just my photo. It is a team of individuals providing their talent (which in general is of the highest calibre in the industry) and expertise to the final outcome. All of these individuals from the Model, Hair and Make-Up artist, Fashion Stylist and PP Retouch (for skin generally..Never my lighting) are essential in getting the "Film Finished" so to speak. Being that I am based in Paris considered one of the three major centers in the world for my metier, I can draw on this exceptional source of talent. These people gravitate to these centers, just as Hollywood attracts actors and actresses, film directors, producers etc.

    I have had this discussion with so many very talented photographers who become so frustrated with their work because they cannot produce the images they imagine for lack of the talent needed to do so. They ask, "Ben, why do my images lack something that I can't quite define?" And I brutally have to answer.."They smack of being Provincial..." Anyone who has done this God forsaken business as long as I have can smell it the minute they see the image. Everything from So So model, bad poorly done make-up, abysmal hair, no fashion styling at all or perhaps at best borrowed from a local clothing store and totally out dated by my "Snobbishly Arrogant" standards and really badly overdone or incompetent retouching.

    If anyone wishes to do what I do, it is really quite simple. Gain a vocabulary. Go out and look at or buy, Italian Vogue, French Vogue, Citizen K International, Numero, Surface, Issue One, Oyster, Soon, V, etc etc etc..Not the S--Ty mainstream crap. Absorb it, look, observe, look, observe. You must attain a base for even knowing HOW TO OBSERVE and what to look for. DO NOT YET STUDY THE TECHNIQUE!!!That will come later. Look at everything that is happening. Look at the hair the make-up the clothes the model the theme the ambience. Keep doing this over and over and over until you learn how to be "Discerning". To become discerning you need the vocabulary.

    Once you've done that and come to the realization that I might want to try this, you can choose a high end provincial market or "THE MARKET"...I started with Toronto, stayed one year, moved to LA to NY to Milan and eventually Paris. You can get some pretty good talent in Chicago, LA as upper echelon almost there markets and get away with it. You can get the good models in Chicago when they come in to do the shows. Chicago have some good model agencies.

    Never do a test without all of the "support team" I mentioned. Hair, Make-Up and Fashion-Accessory stylist and of course the Model. "IF YOU DON'T HAVE THIS TEAM YOU WILL BE WASTING YOUR PRECIOUS TIME."

    We can talk about how you can and will get a relatively good serious working model and support team for your shoots and what to say to get them. A model agency will know immediately by the questions you ask if you are a novice or advanced shooter. Ask the wrong question and BYE BYE..You'll smack of...OH, just wanna meet models, forget it buddy! Never F--K around with Model agencies. Always be as forthright as you can with them. They can screw your career when it is just starting with just two or three phone calls. When you get to my level, it is the inverse.

    Oh yeah...What lenses...Ah I don't give a S--T what I use as long as it gives me what I want to do. But for you I'll recommend these. Depending on your funds I would suggest the 12-24 for wide angle shooting, which I love, stopped down one stop at least. A 28-75 Tamron f2.8, brutally sharp. If you can afford the 40L and 70L lens get it and the 100 Macro by Pentax. I love zoom lenses and 90 percent of my magazine stuff up until Pentax was shot with the 17-40 L by Canon.

    Speak Soon
    Ben
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Congradulations, I guarantee I never want to be part of that hassle. It sounds like a stressful working environment. It seems the fashion industry is so pedantic it takes the fun out of photography. I respect you people who can put up with that on a daily basis.
     
  3. dewey

    dewey TPF Noob!

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    LMAO... yeah I'll take an angry MOB over that anyday.
     
  4. benjikan

    benjikan TPF Noob!

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    I beg to differ. I would rather deal with an angry model...
     
  5. Cuervo79

    Cuervo79 Guest

    Wow, simply put, and to the point. Man thanx for sharing this, I want to get better and I allways come up with "something's missing" the "work with a great team or die" never passed my mind, most of the shoots I'm doing right now I have to worry about all that. Specially if you're working just to get experienced (not the hassle of payed work). I will also have to get some $$ in buying some vogue cause only US vogue gets to my country. Any tails about how to go "international" or get noticed? hehe in my country fashion is still in its pregnancy, not even in daipers (sp?). hehe

    I would gladly work with an angry model any day hehehe (fashion photography is my dream)


    Holly crap, mein got: hehe wow I've just took a look at the webpages you have on your sig, all I can say is wow hehehe.
     

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