Think of your brand
What is your brand about? What is its mission, goals, values? And how would this translate to images? Having a clear concept in mind of what your brand is will help you make decisions like type of model and concept for the photo shoot.
What types of photos are you creating?
Are these photos for your catalogue or online store? Are they going to be featured on your homepage or a magazine? Knowing before hand what the pictures will be used for will determine the types of shots you’ll take. For example, photos for a catalogue or an online store are mostly shot against a white or neutral background in order not to distract from the clothing.
What are the experts doing?
Look at the latest ad campaigns of famous fashion brands. What are they doing? What’s trending? Do you want to repeat them or go in a different direction? Research famous fashion photographers and get acquainted with their work. The more research you do then the more resources you’ll have to produce your photo shoot.
Create a look-and-feel and/or mood board
Mood boards can be a very effective tool when it comes to visualising a project. They’re particularly helpful during the early stages when sometimes words are just not enough to flesh out what we have in our heads. Simply put, mood boards are a collection of images that represent a larger idea.
Use the best model
The model you’re going to choose is the person who will ultimately become the face of your brand (for a season, at least) so the task of choosing her or him should not be taken lightly. If you have little or no budget to hire a model here are a couple of ideas:
Use a friend/family member: The good ol’ trick. Chances are you have at least one friend/second cousin/former church chorus colleague who is good looking. Even if it’s just a friend of a friend, someone is bound to do you the favour and if they’re reluctant, you can always pander to their vanity. You may be surprised by how much people’s attitudes can change if you stroke their ego.
Go online: Online, you’ll find platforms like Model Mayhem which will allow you to hire amateur models for little or no money. You may not be able to give them a paycheck, but you could give them free merchandise or at least a discount of your online store in exchange.
Ask a stranger: This might be a bit weird, but have you ever been walking on the street and seen a person so gorgeous that you thought “Must be a model.” Why don’t you go and ask them? This handsome lad was discovered at a McDonald’s, after all. Chances are they might say no, but you’ll never know.