“Fashion Photography, A complete guide to the tools and techniques of the trade” by Photographer Bruce Smith – Book Review

Fashion Photography, A Complete Guide to the Tools and Techniques of the Trade, by, Bruce Smith

Fashion Photography, A complete guide to the tools and techniques of the trade“, by English fashion photographer Bruce Smith, is a truly fabulous instructional on the topic of professional fashion photography.

This book explains how to enter the world of fashion photography, for readers who are at an intermediate beginner to semi-professional levels.

You must already know about exposure and so on.

From here, Bruce takes us through equipment, lighting, location, and the business of fashion photography.

I particularly liked, though am a bit put out by the price tag of some of his favorite location light modifiers.

For instance, the way Bruce describes using the California Sunbounce Sun Swatter gives me a huge case of the equipment envy.

Sun Swatter, California, SunBounce, California SunbounceWith a Sun Swatter,  one assistant can easily hold over your subject’s head a 4’x6′ diffusion fabric, mounted on an easily transportable frame, which is mounted to a pole handle.

This provides a soft light, at about 2/3 stop less intensity, on your model in all kinds of locations, with ease.

The reduced intensity of the light also helps create a separation between model and background.

Bruce explains these nuances.  He also explains you might have to bounce some light into the foreground in front of the model.  Why?  Because you will probably desire the ground in front of your model exposed similarly to the background.

Bruce’s writing style is clear, succinct and flows nicely.

At 10 x 9 x 0.5 inches and 192 pages, about half of the books content is words, half demo photos.

Fashion Photography, Book, Rear Cover, Bruce SmithThis word to photo ratio provides just about the right amount of discussion and easy to follow example photos to demonstrate principles, clearly and adequately.

Topics Bruce covers include:

  • Work Flow
  • Retouching
  • Shoot Planning
  • Packing for a Trip
  • Time Budgeting on a shoot

And, perhaps most importantly, … marketing.

After all, if we cannot market ourselves, we remain forever advanced amateurs.

You have heard it here before, from working professional photographers, marketing is the great separator between amateurs and pros …

Bruce’s insight into the requirements of the professional fashion photography is fascinating.

The marketing ideas and much of the photographic tips apply across many photography genres where people as the subject.

I recommend Bruce Smith’s “Fashion Photography” to any photographer interested in breaking into fashion photography, and to those seeking photography marketing ideas generally.

Bruce’s treatment of equipment, lighting and set building will also be useful for and interesting to all intermediate skill level photographers of people.

Amazon provides a 27 page ‘LOOK INSIDE!‘ preview of “Fashion Photography” available by clicking here.

Preview Includes Several Photos Plus:

    • Table of Contents, Index and Glossary
    • Sample Content, Introduction plus first 6 pages of Chapter 1
    • Standard Model Release

If you photograph people, I recommend this one highly.

To find “Fashion Photography” by Bruce Smith, new or used, on Amazon, click here.


For a listing of Books Reviewed on GlamourPhotography.co, click here.

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