Chris Adval's picture

Finding the Right Models for Fashion, tips?

I've been getting more into fashion. But been having a very difficult time finding the models that give that fashion feel, like 5'8+. Can you or have you done any fashion images with shorter models? If so, please share the images and your experience on trying to make the image look and feel like a fashion image.

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Peter House's picture

The model in this image is 5"7. It certainly helps if they are taller, but you can work around that if you have to with clever posing. Arms raised over the head, standing on their toes, etc. Also, shooting full body from their hip line or even slightly lower will give them a towering appearance.

Wardrobe can also help a lot. Slimming pieces, items with vertical lines, etc. For example, the high waisted slim skirt in the image gives the effect that the model has extremely long legs. The crop top exposes a thin waist among loose fabric which adds to length, and the long sleeves make the arms appear very long by comparison to the short top. Long limbs are a trademark of tall people, so the illusion is of length and tallness.

Don't forget about your environment too. Vanishing points and relative objects can help distort the perception of height. For example in this image, the vertical columns give a sense of upward motion and length. By shooting in a way that shows them getting smaller in the background, the model looks quite large by comparison, and it skews our perception of her height.

Hope that helps.

Chris Adval's picture

very much helpful thanks Peter!

Chris Soo's picture

Hi Chris, one of the main reasons why fashion models are usually taller is that most designers, make their garments in a 9 head height or length.

Therefore if the model is shorter than 5'8" a long dress or a gown might not fit perfectly. There have been cases that a designer will re-design something for a model that he or she absolutely have to have in the images. For example Kate Moss.

If in fact, you do have a model shorter than the norm for fashion, then it would be up to you or the stylist to put the model in the right outfits. Example short dresses, pants, crop tops. Then find angles to make the model seem taller or get them in poses that are not so.... vertically challenged? haha

The model in the image below is only 5'6" ish. But she's got great proportions. Put her in a not so usual poses. Peter made very good points with the environment.

There are a lot more about fashion photography then just putting a beautiful girl in nice outfits, You have asked good questions. Keep on clicking and good luck!