How to Take the Best Outfit Photos, According to a Style Photographer

Gerard Ortiz
  • Photographer Johnny Cirillo has been documenting New York’s fashionistas given that 2016.
  • His account @watchingnewyork has 920,000 followers on Instagram, and approximately as quite a few on TikTok.
  • Cirillo shared his finest strategies for setting up and staging outfits that glimpse good on camera and onscreen.

On the same working day famous model photographer Monthly bill Cunningham died in June 2016, an additional photographer picked up his camera and strike the streets of New York Town.

Johnny Cirillo desired to honor Cunningham by seeking street model photography, but he now experienced a good deal of expertise powering the digital camera. He labored as a freelance photographer for functions like weddings, engagements, and maternity shoots, making time for imaginative endeavors on the side.

Cirillo, now 42, instructed Insider that he failed to have an curiosity in capturing road style until finally he stepped into Cunningham’s sneakers.

“When I seemed at his pictures, I failed to constantly glimpse at them simply because of the manner. I appreciated what he was carrying out in the streets and how a lot he was hustling,” he claimed.

For Cirillo, the appeal of manner photography was its complexity. He required to photograph apparel the way folks wished them to be seen, which offered an attention-grabbing obstacle in the city’s fast paced sidewalks. He was hooked.

What began off as a small project became @watchingnewyork, an account where by he chronicles NYC’s most trendy. The page has amassed much more than 920,000 followers on Instagram and additional than 886,000 followers on TikTok, where he shares interviews with his topics.

Seven many years into the enterprise, Cirillo shared his finest guidelines for expressing yourself with garments, exuding assurance, and obtaining the suitable lighting and angles for your most effective ‘fit photos nevertheless.

Go daring with your fashion — thrift suppliers are excellent for one particular-of-a-variety merchandise that help your private style flourish

Stylist Sara Camposarcone walks down the street in a pink and red outfit with blue shoes

Cirillo advised Insider that stylist and written content creator Sara Camposarcone thrifted her complete glance.

Courtesy of Johnny Cirillo

Cirillo instructed Insider he is normally on the lookout for “the bold, the one of a kind, and the imaginative.” He endorses locating an inspirational outfit photo and recreating it with items from your closet very first.

For these who you should not have what they have to have at property, the photographer explained, “You can locate every thing at a thrift shop.”

Whilst Cirillo is aware of additional about pictures than fashion, he stated he is figured out about type from his topics, even thrifting with them on situation. He pointed out that textures like fake fur and corduroy can pop onscreen.

The vital to nailing the perfect outfit shot is self-assurance

A woman in an all-pin outfit adjusts her glasses and walks down the street in New York City

“When I see anyone with a self-assurance that is going for walks, it variations their full outfit,” Cirillo advised Insider.

Courtesy of Johnny Cirillo

Cirillo stated self-confidence is an “underrated” element that can make someone’s ensemble search even superior. He prefers to take candid pictures from a distance — in which he are not able to be noticed — just before asking topics for authorization to share them.

“When you halt any individual and say, ‘Hey, can I acquire a image,’ the complete essence adjustments,” Cirillo stated. “You bought to capture them off-guard … So ordinarily self-assurance interprets in the way somebody’s going for walks … When you see it, you know it.”

To replicate this system, Cirillo advised Insider you can inquire a friend to take photos from distinct places while you walk. He advises accomplishing what arrives the natural way without repeating movements or strolling as a result of the exact same space more than when. 

“Pick up your cellular phone if you have to look at it for a textual content message or what ever and just go about your enterprise,” he said. “Candid photography to me is when you actually see the authentic particular person.”

Figure out what angles and lights do the job greatest for you

Two people in colorful outfits walk down the street in New York City

Cirillo informed Insider that he defines particular fashion as the blend of what will make you really feel superior and what lets you to convey you.

Courtesy of Johnny Cirillo

Whilst cloud cover can diffuse severe mild from the sun, Cirillo claimed he prefers to take photographs from the shadows — in which he are unable to be viewed — since it would make editing easier for him.

“The sun’s wonderful and it is amazing, but it can also be genuinely unflattering when it truly is coming straight down on someone’s deal with, casting weird shadows and things,” he reported. “You will find sufficient worries as it is to different folks in this gigantic metropolis … and so with the solar included much too, I try out to retain every little thing wonderful and even.”

Continue to, Cirillo recognizes that not anyone will use his approach. He suggests investing a day taking images in distinct mild to find your choice.

When it arrives to angles, Cirillo likes to shoot “straight on,” lining his shoulders up with his subject’s shoulders as they walk. Because images taken at a lower angle can mess with proportions, he recommends taking pictures from eye amount, even when you might be on your own.

Ultimately, Cirillo appreciates that self-expression via fashion and images is a way to explain to the globe who you are.

“Your clothes are yet another way to communicate to persons who you are,” he reported. “It really is our conversation with no saying anything.” 

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