Photographing a Lookbook: A Few Steps to Consider

In this article, you will learn about shooting a lookbook for your retail clients. For those looking to expand on their photography, shooting for lookbooks and e-commerce can be profitable and should keep you busy.

You Only Have One Camera and One Lens. Can You Do This?

Photographers created a situation where we often assume that not having enough gear means that there's a lack of talent. That is hardly the case! It is always about the talent of the person holding the device, and the type of camera hardly matters. If you understand lighting and composition, the photograph should look beautiful.

Cody Callahan by Walid Azami

Cody Callahan by Walid Azami

Cody Callahan by Walid Azami

Cody Callahan by Walid Azami

Remember that if gear mattered as much as we sometimes lead ourselves to believe, the client would rent the correct camera and that'd be it! In this photo shoot, I used a 7D, because the 5D needs repair currently. 

I only used a Canon 70-200mm lens for this shoot, no primes and not my favorite Canon 24-70mm lens. That was my only lens, and I used only natural light. It was overcast at the beach and we had more muted photographs versus the harsh contrast images of direct sunlight.

How Do You Pick a Photoshoot Location?

I wanted to focus more on the shirts and the model's attitude instead of the location. I think picking a location is like picking a spot that can steal from your image. Picking a location is a balancing act, because it can overshadow the actual focus of the photoshoot. 

For that reason, I choose Venice Beach, CA as the backdrop to the photo shoot with Cody Callahan. Venice Beach has basketball courts, chainlink fences, stores and colorful walls, people, isolated spots, a skate park, alleys, and hipster coffee shops. There are options everywhere!

Cody Callahan by Walid Azami

Cody Callahan by Walid Azami

Cody Callahan by Walid Azami

Cody Callahan by Walid Azami

Giving Your Client's Brand an Edge or Pushing Boundaries

Collection ELA (shirt brand) is a newer brand from the stylist/designer Eric Archibald (Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson, Ciara, Future, 5th Harmony), and they offer comfortable menswear that can be athletic wear, dressy casual, and many other options. For this photoshoot, we decided to capture their t-shirt line but avoid the traditional e-commerce. The stylist and designer of the brand create images for some of the world's biggest stars. 

Knowing that about the creator of the brand and the path of the brand, I wanted to select a model with an edge. Cody often looks like a bad guy in a photograph. He's a handsome man with strong features and rarely smiles. He books many body jobs, like Diesel underwear campaigns. He looks intimidating! Funny thing about it is that he's one of the most spiritual, accepting, and intuitive people I know.

Cody Callahan by Walid Azami

Cody Callahan by Walid Azami


I hired Cody for this job, because Cody has an edge (on both ends of the spectrum). We also decided to photograph him in the "day in the life" format, just Cody working out. We don't know where he is, but that he's very comfortable in the shirt. 

My intent was also to photograph Cody where the shirt isn't the main focus. I wanted the lifestyle to be the main focus. The lifestyle will dictate the type of guy who wants to purchase Collection ELA. It's an extension to what the brand has, but not a leap. It's another step in rebranding, but still true to their core base.

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