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5 WAYS TO USE FABRICS CREATIVELY FOR YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY

As a fashion stylized portrait photographer I always have to be looking for new creative ways to make my subjects stand out. There are many places that I frequent every month to shop for props and materials and Spotlight is among my favourites. Both at our Sydney studio and on location I've experienced first hand how incredibly useful (and inexpensive) large beautiful pieces of fabric can be. Today I'll share some of my favourite DIY ways of putting these fabrics to use and hopefully you'll realise why you should also start your own collection as soon as possible.


#1 TO CREATE INTERESTING BACKDROPS

Hanging fabric from a stand is a simple way to effortlessly create an interesting backdrop for your portrait session, adding yet another styling element. This is a cheaper and easier to store alternative to paper rolls, not to mention that if taken care of they can last forever!



#2 TO USE AS FLOOR

Good floors become essential during full body shots and their importance shouldn't be underestimated. At The Garage Photo Studio we even have ways of faking different textures, such as wooden tiles, in order to create more options for our portraits. Fabric can be a quick easy way to add an extra element to the scene you have already created. It can also be draped over chairs and stools to make the scene more cohesive.


#3 TO CREATE A POSING TABLE

Posing tables are an easy way to add elegance to your portrait session. But before you go all crazy googling where to purchase one you can use this simple trick to turn any ordinary pile of stuff into one. All you need is a pile of boxes or furniture that reaches a comfortable height for the model to lean on, with the element on top being of a large rectangle shape (-we use a wooden sign that we purchased off Kmart for 10AUD). The last thing you need to do is drape a fabric with a colour that harmonizes with the backdrop and voila, you now have a posing table.



#4 YOU CAN IMPROVISE A DRESS

If you were able to access the behind the scenes from some of your favourite fashion photographers you would be surprised at how many incredible gowns are actually just long pieces of fabric expertly draped. There are even online courses dedicated to this art. You can use them to improvise anything from a strapless top for beauty shots, to a flowing dress or a long skirt.


#5 YOU CAN GET CREATIVE

There are other ways to use fabrics that don't necessarily match the categories above. It's simply a stylizing element that can help bring an image together once added to the frame.

It brings to mind this one time I was down with my team at Cong Wong Beach doing a night time beach photoshoot and we wanted to take a last frame of the model standing on the water. We all couldn't help agreeing she looked strange standing there in the darkness. That's when we decided to submerge the red fabric we had been using as part of the set into the water and make her stand on top of it. That simple action made the image so much more successful. It was no doubt a pain carrying a wet sandy 5mt piece of fabric back home but after throwing it in the washing it was ready to be reused on another photoshoot.


So remember, make sure to pack a few fabrics with you to take to your next photoshoot. I can promise you will be surprised of what you can accomplish with them.



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