Produce a photograph and 3 supporting images suitable for the cover of a fashion magazine aimed at both male and females between the ages of 16 to 24.
Explain the thinking behind your magazine front cover idea
I want to create a cover that is mysterious and intriguing for both male and female audience. Coloured lighting effects and the models wearing wispy scarfs to hide their faces help generate the effect. The obscured faces is intended to introduce an androgynous look. The viewer has to look closely to decide if one of the models are male or if both models are female.
The photographs were taken in a studio so that the background would be clear and uncluttered and not cause distraction for text to be added to the magazine cover.
I shoot the photographs in portrait with space above the head and to the sides of the models to leave room for the magazine title and details of feature articles inside the magazine.
My intention was not to use Photoshop to change the appearance of the models, no “Airbrushing” or modifying shapes. I want the images to be as natural and untouched as possible.
Discuss how your front cover will appeal to the audience:
Fashion photography is about the image of beauty, the perfect face, toned body and perfect shape. Tall slender female bodies with long legs, flat tummies and long necks, faces with high cheek bones. Male models with broad shoulders narrow waist to give a triangular shaped torso and toned abdomen muscles. Chiselled face.
I wanted to use models with ‘real’ body shapes from the magazines intended age range, wearing casual clothing available from high-street stores. The intention is that the audience find it appealing and can identify, be inspired by the image, not feel defeated by ‘perfection’.
What worked well?
I believe these pictures have worked well, this is because I have managed to use high contrast pictures that standout making you more interested and inclined to look deeper in to the pictures. These pictures have also worked well because I created what I intended with the scarfs covering the models faces, making the picture more about the clothing instead of the issues of beauty about the models. This approach makes it easier for the audience to put themselves in the shoes of the models as it is not based on looks. I also think that these pictures have worked well because they all fit in with each other as a sears of pictures and as they have a common theme running through the pictures.
How can I improve the pictures?
I can improve these pictures by using similar dark coloured scarves. The dark coloured scarf worked best, it did not reflect the light from the lamps so that the outline of the models face is just visible and the suggestion of some of the facial features. The light coloured scarf reflects more light so the outline of the models face is not as visible.
I will clean the lens filters to ensure there is no dust particles on the camera filter this would. This will prevent any specks of dirt appearing in the picture.
If there are any specs of dirt on the picture I will edit the images with Photoshop using the healing brush tool just to remove the flecks. I can also improve the series of pictures by making them all landscape or portrait making all the pictures consistent and uniform with each other.
How much of my original idea did I have to change?
I didn’t have to change much from my original idea. The one change I did make was to photograph the models against a white background and use coloured lighting to create the mood. My original idea was to use Rembrandt lighting against a black background.
I decided to shoot my pictures using a white background as I thought the lighter background would be brighter and contrast better making the clothes standout more. This change also made the pictures fit better with the brief to show the fashion.
Does it fit in with the brief?
I have managed to make the pictures appeal to both male and female audience. I achieved this by hiding the faces to bring in a sense of mystery and ghostly effect on the models.
The obscured faces is intended to introduce an androgynous look. The viewer has to look closely to decide if one or both models are female or if one of the models is male.
The coloured lighting effects also sets a mysterious mood that both sexes will find interesting and intriguing.
The photograph is not too busy or distracting, there is space around the models for the magazine to add additional text graphics and feature article information.
How did I create the pictures?
The studio lighting was configured, two studio lamps set at body height 70o-80 o on either side of the models. One light with a red/purple gel, the other with a blue gel to throw colour on to the models and the white backdrop. The use of two lamps was to prevent any of the lights leaving one of the models in strong shadow. A low powered flash was used, placed in a Softbox above and at 45o to the models generate highlighting.
Photoshop was used to increase the clarity and contrast of the image. This also helped to make the pictures stand out, making the colours brighter and more eye-catching. I did not use Photoshop to change any of the physical attributes of the models.