The best fashion photography combines aspirational styling with visual storytelling. Women do not want to look at fashion shots and just see other women wearing pretty clothes. They want to be transported to a different time and place. The pictures that are used to advertise designer clothing are meant to make women not only want to look like the models, but also want to be more like the people they imagine the models to be. Clothing ads do not just sell clothing. They sell lifestyles.
Even when fashion pictures are not taken expressly to be used in advertisements, they still aim to convey a certain feeling or sell the virtues of a particular look. This type of photography usually depicts beauty as an aspect of general affluence. Photographers sometimes use real-life settings and landscapes to further express this idea.
This gallery perfectly displays the differences between studio and outdoor photo shoots. Studio shoots give models the opportunity to deploy their best poses in controlled environments. Models who know the best angles for their bodies and facial features excel under directed studio lights. The models are the stars of studio shoots.
On the other hand, outdoor shoots are much more improvised. It is impossible for a photographer to dictate every aspect of a natural setting. This does not mean that good pictures are products of mere luck. It means that while perfect precision might not be possible, the photographer and model have to be talented enough to capture a moment in an ever-changing environment. The model has the added challenge of making a pose look completely natural and casual. While a studio shoot is expected to look orchestrated, an outdoor shoot has to look unplanned and candid.
The setting for an outdoor shoot has to be carefully considered. It is not enough to place a beautiful and well-styled model in a breathtaking environment. The location has to complement the outfit and posing, and it also has to work with the story that the photographer wants to tell. A photographer has to have good taste and a sense of restraint to properly sell the concept of extravagance.