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Men's Fashion Photography: How to Take Stunning Photos

Fashion is an industry sure of one thing. It will constantly evolve (and revolve) and change. Men’s fashion is certainly no different. What was "in" one month, is "out" the next. Not everyone is able to visit the latest catwalks to see the clothes in action, instead, they rely on photographers to see what trends are about to explode. There’s more to men’s fashion photography than simply taking photos of people wearing different outfits. The very best photographers will use their equipment, the model, and the surroundings to showcase the clothes and, importantly, develop a story and feel.

Understanding Men’s Fashion Photography 

Men’s fashion photography is a melting pot of creative ideas, technical skills, and an understanding of how the audience interacts with a photograph. It’s a discipline that requires dedication and a willingness to live and breathe the fashion world. Even if you get to the stage where you’d die for fashion, you still need to have the technical prowess to show off your work. You need to be able to work a camera, really work it, and understand all of the important composition notes a photo requires. There’s so much more to a men’s fashion photograph than the clothes. A genuinely brilliant photographer will encapsulate mood, attitude and begin to weave an intriguing narrative. A single photo has the opportunity to change the very direction of the zeitgeist.

- Darrel Hunter
- Darrel Hunter

The Tools Of Men’s Fashion Photography 

There are certain tools and pieces of equipment that you won’t be able to do without. Some are obvious, others you might have missed: 


It goes without saying. You’ll need a camera, a quality one. Yes, technically you could take a photo on your phone, but reserve that for street or candid shots when your camera isn’t to hand. A digital SLR with the ability to interchange lenses is a must. 


Speaking of which, you’ll want to have a selection of lenses to hand during a shoot. Plan the shoot ahead and consider the lenses that you’ll need. Shooting from a distance? Then pack the telephoto. Larger scenes with lots of people or backgrounds? Take the wide-angle. 


If you’re working in a studio or even outdoors, a tripod is a great way to free your hands and get out from behind the camera. Especially when paired with a remote trigger. That means you’re able to interact with the models and give them direction as required. 

Photo Editing Tools 

Once the shoot is over, it’s time to start post-processing. There are endless tools out there, many are using Photoshop, but there’s still a steep learning curve, especially if you are just starting out. 

Pro Tip: Opt for more accessible web-based tools that provide quick and easy background remover tools, magic erasers, image upscalers, and recoloring all in one solution.

- Adam Katz Sinding
- Adam Katz Sinding


What lighting you’ll require will depend on the location of the shoot and the mood that you’re trying to capture. Some photographers like to darken the set to try and set an intriguingly moody image, whereas others like to have the clothes from and center, lit with a strong light from all angles. Whatever you choose, the right lighting setup could include multiple pieces of kit, such as: 

- Continuous light 

- Flashlight 

- Strobe light 

- Flashguns 

- Softboxes 

- Reflectors 

Men’s Fashion Photography Tips 

If you take nothing else from this article, remember these important tips: 

- Use hard lighting to accentuate texture and shape. 

- Guide your model verbally and, only if necessary, physically. They’ll give you what you want if you give them direction. 

- Where you can, work with the environment around you and incorporate it into your shots. 

- The lower the angle you use, the taller the model looks. 

- Just because the session is over don’t stop shooting. If the model is still in the outfit, some candid shots can be amazing.

- Jonathan Daniel Pryce
- Jonathan Daniel Pryce

Key Takeaways 

To be successful in men’s fashion photography you need to embrace it and allow it to become part of your life. Passion and effort will get you so far but when paired with an understanding of photography equipment and a skillset to match, you’ll develop into a respected professional. 

- There are two key places to start in men’s fashion photography, learning the equipment and becoming enveloped in the culture. 

- Always prepare your equipment for the shot well ahead of time. 

- Don’t feel compelled to learn Photoshop when there are more accessible options on the market at a fraction of the price.

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