Photography Tips That Will Upgrade Your African Fashion Business

When starting off a business in fashion it can be tough financing a personal photographer for campaigns, marketing collateral and amongst many other business things. However, it has become extremely important for businesses to be able to visually draw an audience to your brand. Fashion as the art of expression is foremost visual. Bad product/service presentation through imagery can break or make your business. Here are 5 steps that will help you excel at taking your own pictures for your brand, particularly if you all you have available is your smartphone or a simple digital camera.

1. Your Composition Matters – Use Gridlines

The rule of Thirds – one of the first ever rules everyone learns when getting into photography, helps you to create a well balanced image.The principle of the rule is to break an image down into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, so you have 9 parts. The balance and symmetry of your photo is as important as the composition of garment designs.
On your digital camera, a settings option should allow for you to turn on the grid.

For your phone, when using:

  • iPhone: Go to “Settings,” then choose “Camera” and switch “Grid” on.
  • Android (e.g. Samsung Galaxy): Open your camera app, go to “Settings,” scroll down to “grid lines” and switch it to “on.”

2. The World is Bright – Use Natural Light

When using flash with your camera, oftentimes your image will be overexposed and colors loose their true vibrance. Take advantage of natural light and shoot your photos during the day.
Now if you do take any pictures at night, remember that there are many editing apps available that you can use to improve brightness, shadows and exposure. The only downside is that this kind of editing requires some skill and knowledge of basic photography. As such, the easiest way to get it right is to keep it simple by taking advantage of natural light.



3. Embrace Negative Space

“Negative space” is simply the area surrounding the subject of your image. When you have a lot of clear space around a subject, the result is that you create a focus and the subject automatically stands out more. The subject also referred to as “positive space” can be anything such as your product, a model, or more. African fashion in its production, material, design and color or prints has so much to offer that when using negative space has power to be the show-stopper. This is very essential to know as this tool enables you to enforce focus on your intriguing designs.

4. Stay Classy – Don’t Use Zoom

Your natural instinct will likely tell you to use the zoom function if you stand at a further distance from the subject you are trying to capture. Unless you have a high definition professional camera, avoid zooming into the subject. Photos taken with thoughtless zoom will have the tendency to look pixilated, blurry and grainy. For the best quality try to get closer to your image, or crop your image later and maximize.

Example of picture taken when using zoom


Example of picture taken without using zoom

5. Think Outside the Box – Create Lifestyle Images

Your images can be more affective than text. This means that when taking photos you should think of what it is you are trying to tell your audience. Images tell stories; successful imagery are the ones where beautiful aesthetics meets cool unexpected subjects. One was to do this is to get in the habit of taking lifestyle photos. Research by Nielsen Norman Group’s into human eye tracking found that people spend much more time looking at well-curated lifestyle photography over simple product photos. Selling your product/ service is about selling the vibe and lifestyle it’s associated with. Current lifestyle brands AfroCraze is celebrating are Richfactory, KISUA, Ékété and many more.

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