Let's be real: photographing your stuff is a pain. It might even be an impediment to ReFashioning. But it's easier than you think! Here are some hints and tips...
We Want To Make It Easy For You
If you do one thing: Please shoot against a background that contrasts with the piece--this makes it easier for us to edit the photos. (And please make it a plain background, since we only edit the Front photo.)
Phone Shots? Fine
Just don't reduce the size too much. We can't fix pixillation on lo-res images. Jpegs of around 300-600KB are nice.
Styled Shots? Love
Pictures on people are fantastic. Show us how you wore it or would have worn it if you'd ever worn it, or have your friend/sister/cat model it--it's all good. But please also send non-modeled shots because we really need to see the piece clearly.
Do Use the Aviary Editor
After uploading your shots, the edit suite, Aviary appears. Please use it to rotate the pix so they're all right-side-up--your pieces will go live faster. You can also alter lighting and color and crop the photos.
Before you Shoot...
Ironing is Necessary
Why are they always steaming things in consignment and vintage stores? Because wrinkles look cheap!
This is bad:
Here's the same difficult-to-shoot Vivienne Westwood dress, steamed, on a dress form:
No dress form in the house? Either hanging or laid flat would be acceptable:
Both stand out distinctly from the background (even though the dress is a pesky beige).
If you use a hanger, do your best to avoid the limp rag look. Preserve the garment's shape.
If you shoot a piece laid flat, it's important to get high up and shoot straight down, or you'll distort it.
Here they are edited--on hanger, laid flat, and on dress form repectively:
What Not to Do
Yes, we have indeed received ill-lit photos shot on random furniture. We've also been sent sideways wrinkled things.
We have to reject them. As you see here, editing cannot save them:
- Use natural light or plenty of artificial light, and position the piece so that the light hits it directly. Stand between the light source and the piece
- Flash tends to make everything look flat and harsh. Give it a try without and see how it looks.
- Experiment with your camera's settings, or download an app. A color correction and brightness tool is great to have.
- Use your software to edit. eg, you might increase the exposure on a dark piece, then raise the saturation to compensate for the bleaching effect.
- But remember, we edit out the background! We'll also enhance where we can. So just take care of the things we can't fix--ie position, shape, and grooming.
- Remember to shoot front, back, and label. Details are good too, especially if there are any complex bits, or little faults.
Can't or shan't take your own garment shots? Have 10 or more pieces to post? Call in the professionals!
Please note: All photographers work independently from Refashioner.com. While we have approved all of them, you contract them entirely at your own risk. We do not take any fees from them, nor do we pay them anything.
If you are interested in becoming a ReFashioner photographer, please email us with a brief resume and links to samples of your work.
Area: Williamsburg/Greenpoint Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan (below 23rd St)
About: Kathryn has long had two true loves in her life: one is fashion and the other is photography. She is in the process of building her fashion portfolio with the aim of shooting ad campaigns and editorials for her favourite designers.
Kathryn Whitney and Jenna Chin
Area: Manhattan & Brooklyn
About: Kathryn & Jenna are both in the Photography & Imaging department at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Their individual strengths combine to provide advanced lighting technique and professional Photoshop retouching. Kathryn has worked as a staff photographer for The Baltimore Sun, and currently shoots for The Atlantic, among other clients. Jenna has assisted many top fashion photographers
Fees: $60/hr for the pair
Area: Manhattan, Brooklyn to South Slope
About: David is a New York native with an eye for fashion from the photography and Imaging Department at NYU Tisch. For the past few years he has been working for an event photographer and for 17 Magazine, assisting on fashion and beauty shoots. He believes clothes help us express who we really are, so sharing them with the world is an awesome to way to lend our voice as inspiration.
Area: Brownstone Brooklyn and Williamsburg; Soho to Central Park South, Manhattan.
About: Leslie Sheffield is a full time stylist who freelances in digital product photography.
Rate: $75/hr +$15 for processing and emailing of images
Area: Philadelphia and environs (Delaware and New Jersey included). I have my own transportation and am flexible. Please feel free to inquire.
About: I've got experience shooting in an array of settings, whether it be fashion or my own projects. I am fastidious but also work quickly, with an output that is very high quality, providing you with a quick turnaround. I like to light things using as much available light as possible, which means a very un-invasive shoot, i.e. your home won't be a wreck. Client input is welcomed. Will also do expert color correction and edit the images.
Fees: $35-40/hr + travel costs for shoots outside Philadelphia. Min. 1 hr. No job is too small or big, so feel free to contact me to negotiate. Willing to transport clothing to a studio for additional fees.
Area: Boston/South Boston
About: Kathleen has been working in the e-commerce business for seven years, shooting and editing apparel and accessories. She has worked for top fashion designers and retail sites while living in Los Angeles and Boston.
Fees: $50/hr + travel costs for shoots more than 1hr from Boston. Will also edit and color correct for additional charge.