Trends in Fashion Photography

Trends crop up pretty often all over the place. Be it trends in culture, in society, in food, in technology or, one of the most obvious, in fashion. Fashion trends are often easy to pick up on because they’re highly visible, being right in front of us everyday as we walk down the street.

Thus, trends in fashion can filter through other facets of the industry, creating trends in other areas such as fashion photography. Now, when I say this, I’m not referring to the photographing of trends, i.e. animal prints are on trend so every editorial has to feature them. I refer to trends in the style of photography that is shot, for editorials, advertisements, etc.

Anyone noticed the proliferation of streetstyle ads being used by several retailers this Fall? Walking past Banana Republic I noticed their store windows filled with photos of models shot street style, and then onto Cole Haan, also store windows filled with people shot street style. Then today I decided to browse Club Monaco’s latest looks online. First thing to pop up on the screen? The Fall 2010 Lookbook shot by street style photographer Garance Doré. Don’t get me wrong, I love Garance’s blog and her shooting style, and I quite enjoy street style photos.

Images via Retailer Sites and The Selby

But is it maybe a little much when every other retailer you pass by is featuring the same style of photos in their advertisements? Garance and The Sartorialist have their own, yet very similar styles in their street photography. In fact, I would say that about many street style photographers. While each can try to tweak things here and there to make it their own style, they’re all essentially photographing the same thing, stylish people on the street, therefore it can be difficult to really differentiate ones style of photography. Often, street style photographs by any photographer will look quite similar next to another, Tommy Ton and The Face Hunter aside I would have to say. Can you tell the difference in the above? Who shot them and for which retailer?

So, is this good or bad? I suppose it depends on how you look at it. While I think it’s great that street style photography has become so popular, I think it can be tricky when it starts to filter into mainstream fashion brands, being used in ads and the like. Why? Because unless you’re brand is VERY distinct in and of itself, the ads are going to look very similar and may be less likely to make the brand stand out. Cole Haan and Banana Republic for example are fairly similar in their style, so looking at a Cole Haan ad next to a Banana Republic ad, both shot in the same style, may not be so great for the brands themselves even though they may be lovely photos and definitely in keeping with current trends.

Furthermore, when I look through various magazines, I want to see a variety of editorials, not several that all look the same and could easily be swapped out for one another.

Thoughts? Noticed any other trends lately?


About Brandie

I'm a freelance photographer based in Paris.
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6 Responses to Trends in Fashion Photography

  1. kaitgray says:

    I think that, while it is important to develop your own style as a photographer, you also have to consider your subject in every photograph. What is this subject about? How can I convey that? Now, I know next to nothing about fashion, but it makes complete sense to me that a style of clothing would lend itself to a style of photograph. If you want to convey a style that is posh, you could set a scene that is opulent. Or you could set a scene that’s really stark, so that the clothes stand out in contrast. My guess is this trend in street-style photography is a trend in campaign, it says “these are clothes you can live in.” And I would say the marketers behind this campaign are looking less for a originality and more to send that message.

    • Brandie says:

      True, I see your point. Did you recognize that the three photos are actually from three separate brand campaigns and not from the same one? I would definitely agree with what you say about sending a message of being “clothes you can live in.” That makes sense, but I think it’s interesting that so many brands have chosen to portray that message by all using the exact same style (streetstyle) photography.

      Thanks for checking out my blog!

  2. kaitgray says:

    I think they’re using the same style because they’re selling the same sort of look. At least to my untrained eye. Apparently this year skinny heels are in, lots of long bare leg for fall, layers. The jackets in the first two photos even have a similar cut.

    I like your blog. It’s much prettier than mine. It has pictures and things 🙂

    • Brandie says:

      Agreed, the style of all three brands is absolutely very similar. Skinny heels I can handle, just hoping they aren’t pairing heels with socks again! I don’t think I can pull that look off.

      Thanks! I like the photo that you have as your blog header 🙂

  3. GeorgeUK says:

    Possible trend in fashion photography
    Back to using long telephoto lenses
    Mario Testino, Patrick Demarchelier, Hans Feurer

  4. Selina says:

    We stumbled over here by a different web address and thought I might check
    things out. I like what I see so now i’m following
    you. Look forward to looking into your web page for a second time.

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