TOYEN – I Shot A Student Fashion Exhibition

Had you asked me last month how likely it was that I would find myself interested in fashion photography I probably would have responded negatively with how difficult it can be to get into.

What I hadn’t expected is that I would be shooting dozens of people a week in a studio as regular work. The studio I am working in is a little sketch. It’s the kind of place where people are booked in as potential models and are then sold a portfolio package after the shoot.

I should probably be morally opposed to it but frankly, I enjoy the work. I don’t have to pitch anything, I just work on shooting and editing images to the best of my ability in a short amount of time which is like crack for me.

My biggest challenge when I started was working with the models. being that these people aren’t experienced in any way, they fully rely on me to pose them. Searching online for different poses is one thing, but seeing and understanding subtle differences between a strong pose and a weak image is a real challenge.

Frankly I am far from mastering working with models and this opportunity that has been presented to me offers me a wealth of experience. What’s really great about it is that I am working with more experienced photographers that can help guide me if I have any questions.

Outside of working at the studio I accept offers to work with students, sometimes paid, sometimes not. The creative talents of students often dwarves the professionals. The only difference being that one is paid and more experienced with timelines and polish.

I have lots of experience shooting events and only a tiny, recent amount working with models in a studio. When I accepted a recent gig with some Man Met fashion students I genuinely believed that I was there to photograph an event and nothing else. When I arrived I was confronted with a group of cool kids stood around a full hanging set intended for a fashion shoot. I gulped but played it cool and absolutely winged it. The basic knowledge I had picked up with my recent work at the studio had helped massively. I knew how to somewhat direct the models and how to position the lights to get the effect that I wanted.

As I always am when I send my images to a client, I worry that the final product isn’t good enough, that they’re going to regret asking me to shoot for them. But despite this shoot being something completely new to me, I felt that I managed to give the students and the clothes some justice. I was proud of myself when editing the images and when I pressed send on Messenger. The set and the clothes that these uni students threw together were really cool. I hope my images highlight the efforts put in because I was amazed.

Follow @toyen240 on Instagram to see more shots from the event and for information on upcoming shows they’re putting together.

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