The impact a model brings to a millinery image
Why would you commission a professional millinery photographer and model?
In one word; impact.
The primary goal of a professionally photographed millinery image is to create impact. Impact that creates an emotional connection between your hat and your buyer.
This is about ‘less is more.’ It is far better to get 4-5 beautifully lit, photographed and retouched hats than hundreds of ok images. What your buyer is looking for is to connect with what you make. These few shots can then be used on your landing page or your social channels to make you stand out. Once you have caught your buyer’s eye they will want to learn more but it is that initial high impact shot that will have helped get them to you.
A picture editor will have neither the time or inclination to wade through hundreds of your images. They want to see a handful of high impact shots. When I talk to magazine picture editorial friends they only want 5-6 great images to review a creative’s work. See the article below, when we collaborated with US milliner Diana Cavagnaro for Life Art magazine. All they used were 4 images that we took and had retouched. Probably 200+ images were taken but we reduced this down to four high impact ones to take to the magazine.
When Anjee and I started The Portrait Kitchen we were probably shooting in excess of 500 images for up to 10 hats. That can be an overwhelming choice for our clients. We have honed that down now to probably 200 images. 200 well composed images. We take our time to get the shot right, which is time well spent for our clients. Our clients entrust in us.
Humans are very visual and respond emotionally to good images. Your clients want emotion from your hats and that means photographing your hats on a model.
Increasingly milliners want more drama both in lighting, composition and how a model emotes. Standard portrait style millinery shots will be overtaken by more dramatic photographs that emotionally connect with the buyer. A good model can help make that emotion happen by emoting in such a way as to make your client want more.
Yes we can shoot hats on stands but we always encourage our clients to use a model because people have a higher propensity to connect and buy when there is emotional impact. And no one does that better than a model.
If you want to have your hats placed in a magazine editorial, a picture editor is going to be far more drawn to a retouched image with your hat on a model than on a stand. They will feel the emotion of that image because that is their job, to create a connection for their readers.
Being a transactional photographer is easy. Making our clients hats stand out is far more of a challenge. But it is a creative challenge that as an experienced millinery photography studio we want to meet and surpass for our clients.