Fashion Campaigns, Catalogues and Lookbooks
The dramatic shift to digital platforms has transformed traditional fashion catalogues and lookbooks, and fashion photography campaigns have largely become digital-first with social media and web driving the requirements. Many fashion businesses have shifted away from using formal catalogues and lookbooks and now engage with their audience through many digital channels. Understanding the difference between catalogue photography and lookbook or campaign photography is still critical though in order to plan and produce strong, professional, compelling and ultimately successful content.
Fashion Catalogue Photography
Fashion catalogues are typically used by brands to show and list and market their available goods along with all relevant information such as sizing, fabric, measurements, etc. Old print catalogues have been replaced by web catalogues and online stores and video now also plays an important part. Images for fashion catalogues should be simple and must feature and highlight the garment with neutral, uncluttered and non-distracting backgrounds. Studios with cycloramas (infinite curves) or coloured paper rolls are the best and most common choice. Minimal or no props are used. Lighting for catalogue photography is generally clean and flat avoiding strong shadows so that the garments can be clearly seen and understood. A fashion catalogue will normally include 3 to 6 images per garment including variations of front, side and back views as well as closeup shots showing fabric texture or design details. Although images may be of full outfits and ensembles, the focus is on one particular item. As fashion catalogue photography is focused on the clothing, not the model, it is not uncommon to see images with the model’s head partially cropped out to reduce the licensing/usage fee payable to the model. Catalogue photography can also include flat-lay and mannequin images without models.
Fashion catalogue shoots often include a large number of garments and an efficient workflow process is critical to minimise costs while ensuring high-quality results. While the creativity of a fashion catalogue shoot may not be the priority, the editing and post-production present opportunities for transforming vanilla looking images into impactful content for social media and the web.
Fashion Lookbook and Campaign Photography
Fashion lookbooks and photography campaigns differ from fashion catalogue photography in that they are focused on the overall style and look of an ensemble and representation of a brand. Shoots are often both on location and in-studio and focused on seasonal collections. Images need to be of higher quality and will typically be used as header images on websites introducing a collection and focusing on the overall aesthetic more than the details.
Find out more about Fashion Photography and view our fashion photography gallery here.