Fashion Styling for Photographers

Fashion Styling for Photographers

Photo: © Lon Liwen

Perfect presentation of subject’s wardrobe in fashion photography and commercial portraits.

Like the townspeople in The Emperor's New Clothes, viewers and even professional photographers can become too preoccupied with the face and pose to notice unsightly details in the packaging of the subject, which is the attire. Whether doing commercial portraits or editorial fashion photography, we must be as meticulous as the designer in paying attention to the tiniest details and making sure these are presented properly in the final photograph.

Surprise! Fashion styling cannot be left completely in the hands of the professional stylist, wardrobe assistant, nor even the designer himself. In a photo shoot, the photographer must remain in total control of every element — as the photographer, director, stylist, and art director all rolled into one. He alone has the WYSIWYG view of what looks perfect for the camera. Not the stylist, who sees wardrobe up close and not through the lens.

Drawing on his experience as successful fashion designer, magazine publisher, and photographer, Lon Liwen guides students in creating the total impression, in which the wardrobe fortifies the intended mood, even for non-fashion-related portraits.

What will be covered

  • Maintaining total control on the set
  • Dealing with clients, stylists, art directors
  • Dealing with subjects and professional models
  • Primer on fashion in photography — form, function, and impression/projection
  • How the fashion fits or conflicts with the personality being projected and the overall theme/concept of the photo
  • Lighting for fashion
  • "Posing" the wardrobe
  • Seeing the details: the creases, folds, cuts, hems, flow, drapes and droops, patterns, colors, etc.
  • To accessorize or not to accessorize
  • Knowing what works and what doesn't

Who will benefit

  • Fashion photographers
  • Portrait and wedding photographers
  • Editorial photographers
  • Corporate, and advertising photographers
  • Art directors


  • Completion of the PCCI Basic Photography workshop, or equivalent experience in photography
  • Preferably, should have attended one of the PCCI workshops on portrait photography
  • For first-timers with studio lighting, the PCCI seminar on studio lights
  • Digital camera with manual exposure control and hotshoe (for the remote strobe trigger)
  • Tripod optional

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