A Vintage Theme

01st July 2014
There currently seems to be a penchant for vintage styles in the world of clothing/fashion. I'm not going to analyse why, maybe nostalgia has always been there. Whatever the reason it is an opportunity to do some product photography with a twist.

I've recently enjoyed a few studio shoots with a group of local businesses. (Links below). It has to be said, that these shoots are primarily for advertising which dictates the type of lighting set up. Its no good looking for too much mood and creative lighting at the expense of clearly illustrating the product i.e. the hair and frocks. So, nothing too creative undertaken...

All the shots provided to the client are, obviously, in this day and age going to be used for social media; Facebook advertising and so on but, to the photographer the end product is always considered a high quality print (for trade advertising media, event media and so on)so images are always provided at the highest quality as well as LowRes - in my case a minimum of 5500px longest side. To my eyes, this is still the best way of looking at an image.

The results are very pleasing - and the client is a happy client……...

Doing a shoot like this also requires more post-production than normal as each image can be processed a couple of times from RAW. You always do an illustrative 'straight from camera' shot. Then you have a judgement call on other processing techniques which would give these an appropriate vintage feel. Usually the majority of this is done in RAW conversion, but I have built some Photoshop filters to give the impression of age - be it fading, scratches, old film looks and so on.

It would be easy to overdo these, but you have to bear in mind that the images will be used for illustrative purposes and are not artistic portraits - nor are they novelty shots.

Simple is often best, as is seen in this out-of-camera shot of Helen.

Organising a shoot can be complicated - just getting everyone together in the same place at the same time. Planning and timing the course of the day, shot list, set-up time, take-down time………… keeping the kettle boiled (obviously), water, bananas and jaffa cakes and so on.

It is also a big advantage for the photographer to have willing models who can take subtle direction. The models we have used so far have been splendid. The more relaxed and enjoyable the day the more the models relax and feel comfortable……. therefore, better snaps! Simples…...

A nice clean shot of Aimee, highlighting the vintage hair style - which is what the shot is all about….The same shot with an extended background give plenty of room for copy

Aimee in another 'vintage pose'

The same shot differently converted from RAW, to give an aged feel. You can even put in a subtle vignette on conversion - although a web LowRes such as this has done its best to highlight some jpeg artefacts

Aimee again, highlighting the hair and corset. Back to the 1920's

Kitty. Up to the 1960's

Helen, looking suitably demure and 1950's

Same outfit and hair but with some Photoshop filters taking it back to the 1950's

As above, different finish. Monochrome conversion and frame. A strip of these makes an interesting vertical banner

For frock illustration purposes, these triptychs are popular. Its not as simple as stitching three together as you have to equalise the background and ensure that shadow is realistic.

Another triptych. Trying to replicate the feel of an old pattern sheet.

Helen - showing three sides of the hair. Another finish - very 1940's, probably.

A simple illustrative triptych, highlighting the red dress (Thanks for nothing LowRes web jpegs)

A triptych of five! Kitty stepping out in a variety of frocks. Useful for banners & page headers….

Helen in a variety of finishes…..

Another shoot is being planned - maybe I will build in some personal shoot time and do a bit of light tweaking!

I have a project in mind trying to recreate a 1930's Berlin nightclub - better start planning….

Maybe this isn't vintage, but it has an appropriate feel. Anna looking tremendously severe, showing off one of her corsets.

Mandy, getting toward a silent film look

Please get in touch if you are interested in a vintage-style shoot, or any portrait work.

Happy Clients:

Jacqui http://www.tiptophairdesign.co.uk


Anna http://www.honeybeecorsets.com


Helen http://www.lovebirdsvintage.blogspot.co.uk


Mandy https://www.facebook.com/NattyTitfers