Editorial and product photos for layout pages for DK's The Fashion Book

You'd never think of a low book budget as being a good thing, but it was for me, as I got to be the photographer for the teenage spin-off to the original DK's Book of Fashion. I loved it, and I realised I needed photography (and video) to be a bigger part of my life and my work.

DK is a global co-edition publisher, highly-illustrated 4 colour books for up to 90+ countries. The colour remains the same for all the editions, and the printing plates just change for the text for each language. Therefore they have strict technical and branding rules that have to be followed so that they can print their books without any issues and also to uphold a consistent high-quality look across all of their lists.

The deliverables






Product photos

—Photos of single objects which would later have their backgrounds cut out before being placed in the layout

Fast turn-around

—24-hour turnaround of images on a weekly basis during the project

Editorial photos

—BTS (behind the scenes) shots of rising stars in fashion and make-up on their arts projects or jobs

Following the 'DK' look and style

—DK need photos shot in a consistent way in order to be able to manipulate the images easily in post for their layouts, especially as they use images from multiple sources

how we achieved this...

I was asked to leave lots of "Room" around my compositions to allow the designers to crop the images to fit their layouts later on, as at this stage they had no idea what size or shape they would need each image to be.

As they were going for a 'young' teenage style, I took images at slanted angles as well as straight horizon images.

I was often surprised at which images were chosen for the final spread—it wasn't always the images I felt were best.

you lose control over the composition and colours for editorial photos—ultimately the image has to 'fit' the page and the text.

As a photographer, I found it hard to like the 'crushed' blacks and colour filters applied, but this was essential as they wanted a grungy vibe which was very trendy at the time.

photoshoots were done on different days and it was important to get lighting and white balance consistent across all the shoots.

the backgrounds were often functional and cluttered, but needed to be left like that as the designer wanted realism and for the photos to be true to life—so people could really feel what the artists' lives were like.

although you can't see them, the book designer also came to the shoots, so they could also get inspiration, and provide direction for the images they felt would work best for the layouts.

product shots for The Fashion Book

Shooting for 'cutting out' images needed to be done to minimise work in post at the prepress stage of the book production process.

DK always almost always cut out images from the background and apply their own style of shadows to the images, so the priority here was not to get pretty looking images, but to capture enough detail for each object, and to have them sharp from back to front, and enough contrast to be able to easily cut them out or make the background transparent. The less time they took to cut out, the cheaper the pre-press work would be.

Click on the arrows to see the slideshow...

Check out these examples of the product shots for DK's The Fashion Book for teenagers. Darker objects needed the details brought out, and lighter objects needed to have enough contrast for cutting out the backgrounds in post. Models also needed to be posed so that their arms or legs wouldn't get in the way, so a whole item could be extracted from the photos.

Do you need editorial photography?

I offer fast turnaround to your technical and branding guidelines, as well being able to shoot for 'cutting out', so that you can get this work done as quickly and cheaply as possible. I can also arrange for the cutting-out if required.

Why not get in touch to let me know what you need and I can give you a quote within a few hours.

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