For shooters looking to explore fashion photography, or for those who simply need new ways of coming up with great ideas, look no further; fashion shooter and tip master Lindsay Adler (who also shared with us how to shoot a pronounced nose) recently sat down with B&H Photo and Video as part of its Prospectives video series to divulge the ins and outs of being a shooter in the industry and how to keep the creative juices flowing.
Adler, who recently released a book called Creative 52, used to think creativity was luck, she says, until she thought of a helpful creative exercise. Knowing at least one element about every shoot (the model’s facial construction, the location, the accessories), she plays off that one element by brainstorming and writing down what it reminds her of, what she likes about it and anything else that pops in her head. This exercise allows her concept to develop and evolve, soon giving her a pretty good idea of how she’ll want to approach the shoot.
To give an example, Adler talks about the first professional fashion shoot she ever did in upstate New York, among a group of trees that her grandfather had meticulously planted all in a row years earlier. Being drawn specifically to the symmetry and repeated patterns of the environs, Adler says, “The best shoot that I could possibly do would somehow incorporate those elements, and I would use that as my starting point for inspiration.” She ultimately found herself playing off the symmetry by placing a model dressed in symmetrical clothing right in the center of converging leading lines and positioning her in a perfectly balanced pose.
Adler also talks about being a fashion photographer in the industry in general, explaining that what first attracted her to fashion was that “there weren’t any expectations, there weren’t any creative restrictions,” she says. “I could do whatever I wanted, whatever I imagined.” But this freedom comes with certain compromises, she explains, as editorial shoots don’t pay very well. Adler calls editorials an “advertisement for yourself.” And though editorial photographers may not be compensated for the shoot, Adler says that payment may be returned tenfold if the work is discovered by an advertiser or potential client.