Influential fashion photographer Rob Jamieson

29 March 2018

I can describe Rob Jamieson’s body of work as professionally polished. Paying attention and applying his expert tips and tricks will motivate you to go out there and shoot something worth sharing.

“I have always been into fashion trends and magazines.” As a child, Rob’s mother, a wildlife photographer, introduced him to photography, but when a friend asked him to take a few portraits of her new clothing brand it somehow changed everything.

How do you make a model comfortable in front of the camera?

There is a huge difference between working with an experienced versus inexperienced model. Rob mostly works with professional models, but when working with a model who is still new to the industry, it is very important that you, the photographer, make him/her feel comfortable in front of the camera as possible.

  • Play music the model enjoys listening to.
  • Be well prepared for the shoot.
  • Have confidence in your ability and skill. It’s okay to tweak the lighting/set to accommodate the model, but avoid looking stressed or frustrated in front of the model if things aren’t going as planned.
  • Communicate as much as possible before the photoshoot.
  • Talk to the model, let them know what you’re doing and what you want to achieve. Give positive feedback with good posing tips. And if the model wants to see the images, show them.

Getting top results from each model and shoot…

Over the years he found what works best is collaboration between model and photographer. Give the model a description of what you want and give her feedback and advice during shooting whilst keeping a consistent tempo and flow to the shoot.

If the model is a professional who’s aware of their strengths and weaknesses in posing, he’ll give the model a quick brief on the look/s he’s after. Then, he’ll leave the model to pose his/herself giving feedback throughout the shoot.

If the model is less confident or new to modelling, he’ll give her a step-by-step guide to some poses. He’ll ask her to keep moving during the shoot to help keep the flow.

What makes a woman most attractive?

Rob says that nothing is more attractive than happiness and confidence. People are automatically attracted to happy, positive people as their happiness rubs off on them. A positive, confident vibe before and during a shoot always helps with getting the best shot.

Rob Jamieson photographs a model looking very comfortable in studio
Rob Jamieson photographs a confident model in a Denim Jacket

“I like to have full control of my images from the moment I press the shutter to the final product.”

Rob says that he can’t even imagine using other software than Photoshop for photo retouching. During photoshoots, he uses Phase One – Capture One to tether his camera to his laptop. Shooting tethered allows him to see photos on a larger screen while and enables him to do basic alterations showing them to clients/models. It also helps to speed up the post-production afterwards.

Go-to studio setup

For studio fashion portraiture his go-to lighting setup is a two-light setup including a key and fill light.
As for a key light, he uses an Elinchrom BRX500 studio light with a large Elinchrom Rotalux Indirect 150cm softbox positioned approximately 45º to either the model’s left or right (depending on the poses or model’s preferred side). The Elinchrom Rotalux softbox gives punchy yet soft light that is both flattering and easy to control. He generally shoots with a medium grey background using this lighting setup, as he can darken or lighten the background to taste by angling the key light slightly.
As a fill light, he uses an Elinchrom BRX250 with a smaller Elinchrom Rotalux Rectabox 60cm x 80cm softbox as a fill light on the opposite side of the key light, generally on a low lighting stand near the floor. He controls the shadows with this light, adjusting to suit the wardrobe style and model’s complexion.
By placing a negative fill or black V-flat card on the opposite side of the key light, controls the shadows on the model’s face and the mood of the overall image.

A detailed list of Rob Jamieson’s gear

Camera Body
Sony A7R ii

Lenses
Sony 70-200mm f/4
Carl Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8
Sony Carl Zeiss 55mm f/1.8
Sigma 35mm Art f/1.4

Lighting & Modifiers
Elinchrom BRX500 Studio Lights
Elinchrom BRX250 Studio Lights
Elinchrom Softlite White Reflector 44cm Beauty Dish
Elinchrom Rotalux Indirect 150cm Softbox
Elinchrom Rotalux Rectabox 60cm x 80cm
Softbox Elinchrom Rotalux Stripbox 50cm x 130cm
Softbox Godox AD600 Battery Powered Studio Light
Westcott 114cm – White Umbrella
Studio V-flat Cards (Black & white) for fill light
California Sunbounce White/Gold Reflector

Social Media. Marketing. When done properly, it’s priceless.

Rob gets about 70% of his bookings from Facebook and Instagram. Social media has been fantastic for his photographic career and is a great tool for photographers to promote their work. Only post the best of your work and don’t saturate your social media with “okay” images. Shooting with models that have good social media following and/or agency is good advertising, both before and after the shoot. Behind the scenes pictures and live videos all help get you name seen and heard in a very congested market.

The dos and dont’s of shooting fashion

It’s crucial that you build up a solid repertoire with a team of creative professionals like hair stylists and make-up artists. This will rocket your images to the next level and give you time to focus more on photography.

Keep up with Rob Jamieson

Rob Jamies on fashion portrait with black background
Rob Jamieson black and white portrait of woman

About the Author:

Wouda McMicken spends her work days as part of the driven Outdoorphoto team. She enjoys photography, especially with her treasured Nikon Film camera.

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