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5 tips for urban fashion photography

uses gritty backstreets to produce eye-popping fashion shots
(Image credit: Sophia Stefellé)

Photography helps me connect with individuals artistically, which has led to wonderful growth for me. Collaboration and creating wider projects involving others is a great passion: I love to get involved and plan the entire process of my shoots.

I always style or assist with styling on my fashion shoots, in order to create the right vibe and aesthetic; additionally my love for clothes has drawn me greatly into being a photographer. Urban street fashion is my favorite genre of photography to shoot – I love the intensity of the colors and creating imagery that is more than just the subject within it. 

How to become a fashion photographer (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Sophia Stefellé)

Street portraiture creates a painterly outcome every time. And, luckily for me, living in Bristol (home of the UK graffiti scene) I’m never out of luck to find a cool spot to shoot in. 

I’m always keen to keep my eyes out for new pieces of art, as new art can change the same location into something completely different photographically. I usually shoot in the same spots; however the outlook is always changing due to the graffiti. 

See more of Sophia's work on her Instagram (opens in new tab).

(Image credit: Future)

Sofia's 5 top tips for urban fashion photography

(Image credit: Sophia Stefellé)
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01 Shoot low and wide

I’ve found that by using a wide-angle Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lens I can get really close to my subjects, enabling me to shoot in some tight situations without objects like cars getting in the way. This also offers up a pretty unique angle for the final shot.

The best Nikon wide-angle zoom lenses (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Sophia Stefellé)
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02 Use pockets of light

Harsh light can present problems, but I’ve learned to harness it to my advantage. It might mean that the outer areas of your shot are darker, but the key elements are your models and you can use pockets of light to make them stand out.

(Image credit: Future)
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03 Use dark backgrounds to make your colors pop

Contrast is another important aspect in photography. Light and dark areas brought together create impact and make your colors, models and clothing the most eye-catching parts of your image.

(Image credit: Future)
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04 Shooting settings

I’ll typically leave my aperture fixed around something in the middle, like f/8 or f/9. I’ll also leave my shutter speed around 1/125 sec, making sure the models are sharp. All that’s left is to adjust your ISO: depending on the light, I go between 100 and 500.

(Image credit: Future)
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05 Carry inspiration

In the wonderful world of mobile phones, we’re never too far from any information we want. Although I have my own style, it’s really handy to have an album made up of poses you like, which you can share with the group easily to convey a certain style or vision.

Read more:

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The best Nikon portrait lenses (opens in new tab)
How to take edgy fashion portraits with one light (opens in new tab)

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