Titel picture for tip 6 by Heidi Rondak

How outdoor locations appeal

Does your fashion label need new photography in order to show the brand-new collection of yours? I’m happy to give you some tips on how to plan and realize it. You might have read my last article with lots of indoor location inspiration and how places appeal to the viewers’ eyes. Now it’s time for part no. 2 treating the possibilities of shooting outdoors. As I mentioned in my tip no. 4, there’s a list of questions you might want to ask yourself before deciding to situate your images under the open sky. If you have the right solutions to all those upcoming “problems” and you’re still eager to plan your production open-air you are welcome to soak all my following ideas in and eventually choose one of them for your very campaign. Me personally, I’m a great fan of any outdoor shooting theme, because a real existing place can look very authentic plus, when lucky with the weather, daylight can be very favorable for any kind of photography. One thing you should probably know is the fact that the midday sun is usually too strong for taking good-looking pictures. So in the best case, there are many shady spots to use for the time between 12 am and 3 pm. If there aren’t be prepared for your photographer suggesting some uncivilized hours to start the production, so he or she can benefit from the morning light. After a long lunch break, the afternoon sun will do the rest. To be able to make use of the noontime as well, there’s another possibility: you will need a diffuser to smoothen the light and either is it given through a cloudy sky, which is the best weather for shootings by the way, or the team uses a big canvas instead (but beware of the wind!) However, before I’m talking too technically, let’s go on to the location samples. Enjoy!
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Titel picture for tip 5 by Heidi Rondak

How indoor locations appeal

You’re the commissioner and you want to get the best photo shooting results from your photographer? I’d say that it’s advantageous to know exactly what you want because there are so many possibilities. In order to define the appearance of your future pictures better, you should learn a little about the visual effects of different locations, perspectives, colors, dynamic or static poses, hair and make-up of the model, additional styling and props, so you can decide easier. Therefore, the following articles are going to treat these factors one by one and help you estimate more precisely what’s best for your next campaign or lookbook. 
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Titel picture for tip 4 by Heidi Rondak

Set the scene within the limits of your financial resources

You are planning to work with a photographer and commission your campaign photos, lookbook, or other photographic works? I’ve already been giving you some tips on how to find the right imagery regarding your target group (tip no. 1) and the planned media for publishing the photos (tip no. 2). I also gave you some technical details about different possibilities with different formats in my last tip. But to all these factors another one is prior: your budget. 
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Titel picture for tip 2 by Heidi Rondak

Decide before the shooting where you are going to use the photos

You are wondering how to tickle the best results out of your favorite photographer? You can indeed do a lot about it. My first tip was to find the right imagery for your target group – you can read the article here. So assuming that you already have a rough notion of what’s going to be in your pictures, besides your product, the next step should be to think of the last one: determine the ways of publishing your campaign. Where would you like to reach out with your advertisement? For the photographer, this is, on the one hand, good to know, so he or she can estimate the sizes and aspect ratios of the images you need. But we are going to give this the once-over in my next tip-article. On the other hand, knowing the medium can help you contrive your pictorial design better. You will find out why in the following.
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Titel picture for tip 1 by Heidi Rondak

Try to find the right imagery for your target group

As I already said in the introduction of this column: it’s fundamental to know who your target group is in order to define the imagery of your brand. You’re the one who knows the product best, so you may decide which generation and which lifestyle your clothes are made for. Social media channels can help you find out more about current trends affecting your customers. You can see who they follow, e.g. influencers and bloggers, and what they’re interested in. The reason why this is so important to know is the model you are going to choose for your brand. She or he is supposed to represent your target group perfectly and therefore collecting as much information about your potential fans as possible makes it easier to picture your future model and find that particular face. 
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Title picture of Heidi Rondak's column "Tips for Better Shootings"

#introduction to my TIPS FOR BETTER SHOOTINGS

I am happy to announce that this is the first article of a new column I’m starting in my journal. The series of articles shall be a guide for everyone who’s planning on shootings with the photographer of his or her choice. In other words, I’m trying to create a “How to”-advisor for clients. There’s going to be plenty of tips and learnings on what’s good to know for the time before, during and after a fashion shooting, so you can indeed profit from a best-performing campaign or from whatever else you want to have captured, e.g. pictures for a look book, image photos, etc.
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Title photo for Journal entry "Starting Still Life Photography"

Starting Still Life Photography

I’ve been thinking about shooting stills for a long time already and now I’ve started doing so. I enjoy images reminding of old paintings and Vanitas imagery and couldn’t help but growing the desire to make some own works in this direction. Firstly I love arranging things and make them look good together. That’s why I’ve often created the whole set design when shooting fashion by myself. The problem here is that you need to focus on too many different things and also spend a lot of budgets when you rent a studio AND all the props (given that it is a free project). So you have to be quick and it kind of gets dirty through that.
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Title photo for Journal entry "A Merry Christmas Time"

Heidi’s Christmas Calendar

I really love Christmas time, even more than the holidays. It’s a time when everything is illuminated, the first snow comes and you keep meeting your friends at Christmas markets. You start thinking about how you can make other people happy and you get plenty of chances to do so. There is the tradition of giving gifts which we do on Christmas eve in Germany. There is St. Nicolas’ Day on 6th December and there is the possibility of making someone a little present every day during the advent season – with an Advent calendar. I came up with the idea to do so with a photographic calendar in November 2016 already. Unfortunately for the Christmas season of that year, there wasn’t enough time left to make it happen. So I started the new year of 2017 with the early intent to make an Advent calendar for the next season. And so I started with the first shooting in March already.
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The 10th GreenTec Awards 2017

I’m a little late with this entry as it’s already about three weeks ago, but the GreenTec Awards are still fresh in my mind. I’d met a lovely menswear designer, Joyce Darkoh, and we worked on a little Lookbook with sustainable fashion by DARKOH. The label is all about suits, mostly bespoke. The wool e.g. comes from English sheep and is eco-friendly. I fell in love with the idea and really enjoyed working with Joyce. The suits and pictures were then presented at the GreenTec Awards’ exhibition, May, 12th.
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Braids Test: Lady of the Flowers for Trend Privé Magazine

This is a little test on braids and fishbone braids with Model Ania P. from Most Wanted Models hair styled by Isabell Schwan. It’s a commercial-like story, very female, very light. I tried to have fewer shadows and soft light, the colors very fresh but earthly with some colourful touches that come with the floral styling and foreground. This is a series where I tried to style the model myself. I enjoy doing the styling sometimes when it’s an easy-going shooting with fewer people. Here we were only three persons in a very private atmosphere, nice and personal. I’m aware that styling is a thing much more complex than choosing some dresses and shirts and combining them. Stylists have to follow complicated rules when it comes to the seasons, trends, crediting, etc. which I admire. A thing that I intentionally didn’t mind in this case. Once in a while you just have to do your thing (; But this is why I like to say that this is just a test shooting that doesn’t make it into my actual portfolio.
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Remove the Fences!

I don’t want to sound like a guerrilla person, but sometimes I’d just like to go to forbidden places and/or do shootings on other people’s private property. Don’t get me wrong, I would never try to invade someone’s privacy. But you can find lots of abandoned and lost places (which usually are private property) or public spaces that are not accessible with a camera. In a time when everyone can take a photo with his or her smartphone camera and no one seems to care, a photographer’s DSLR seems to be seen as a weapon, a danger that has to be removed immediately. But why?
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The Most Powerful Tool of a Photographer

This little sentence has always been the best advice and guideline for me, definitely. I belong to those people who develop an immediate passion for things they see and find beautiful. When I get inspired I also get quite excited visualising new ideas. There is so much aesthetic around everywhere, so I’m always collecting details passively. Then I get curious and start making inquiries that create more ideas. The list in my head has no end for sure. When I was studying my professors always told me to dismiss everything unnecessary from my drafts. I always got frustrated, because I loved my ideas and I wanted to add too many of them to one single project. But I knew that they were right and they had years-long experience in what they did. So I reluctantly took their advice realising every time, that the result was better than before. With every new student project, I more and more learned how to decide by myself what to drop from my layouts, movies, or photos because I trained my vision to good and effective designs and compositions.
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The best shooting mishaps

Sometimes shit happens. We all know that and as long as you can laugh about the past, you clearly have learned something from the situation. That’s the essence of growing with your job. I’d love to share my best and/or funniest shooting breakdowns with you. As you might have already read in the other article (Why I name my editorials after songs or lyrics) I had some troubles when shooting editorial “Trouble”. If you haven’t read it yet, you are welcome to click on the link in brackets and read about that cold and rainy shooting night.
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The Special Editions QUIZ

Editing is a great part of a photographer’s work. A one day shooting automatically implies several days of retouching work. Of course, the amount of time that is necessary depends on the shooting and images themselves and it can vary a lot. Editing can be fun, at least when you start doing the first pictures and see the result. After a while, it can surely get exhausting as your back and eyes get stressed from sitting and staring as well as your hand starts hurting.
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Why I Name my Editorials after Song Names or Lyrics

To correct myself: Not every editorial of mine gets the name of a song or of some lyrics. But many of them do and I’ll explain to you, why. But first let me tell you about the editorials that I give independent names to. Sometimes while I shoot, I already have a certain feeling coming up, that a special word or sentence is the right description for. They just pop up in my head. That’s when I realise, that I’ve already found the perfect name for the series, without even having searched for one already. The perfect example is, when I worked with Celso Da Costa Hamelink for the first time and he had already organized everything for the shooting. Model Stephen Thompson should be shown in very classy styles, looking like a rich business boy on his way to work. It was very much “GQ style”, though the editorial got published on The fashionisto, which I think was perfect for it, too.
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How I Became a Fashion Photographer

I grew up with my father taking pictures with an old Russian Zenith camera every time an event took place or the family went out for a walk. He was a semi-professional photographer who used to be booked for weddings back in his 20s when digital photography wasn’t established yet. Since I was always curious about the procedures in a photo lab, the first internship I chose at the age of 14 was in a photo studio. Unfortunately, the photographer didn’t develop her films on her own but used to send them to an external lab.
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