Ladies In a Red Dress

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CC BY-ND 2.0 DE | Source

There are many photographic projects to fill the lives of any photographer. Some projects require effort, time and money. Some can be done with very little gear and props.

But all require a level of expertise and they all require the photographer to be creative and apply all learned skills and techniques to each shoot.

Taking "so-so" shots won't cut it in today's highly demanding business world. You must expect the best from your shots as clients will expect this from you and in return for a job well done, their recommendations will turn into the best forms of advertising.

Nothing beats word of mouth and these recommendations are long lasting since each successive client will recommend you to the next one.

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The tittle should be enough to make you realize that this photo project is nothing more than taking photographs of ladies dressed in red. Why red? Because although any color will do , red is the universal color for love and strong emotions, thus this color is the preferred choice when using one single color.

The title also brings to mind a movie by a similar title;

"The Woman in Red is a 1984 romantic comedy film starring and directed by Gene Wilder, who wrote the script, adapting it from a 1976 French film.

It co-stars Charles Grodin, Gilda Radner, Joseph Bologna, Judith Ivey and Kelly LeBrock, and won an Academy Award for an original song performed by Stevie Wonder." Wikipdeia

The project is relatively simple although your images should be done creatively and the dresses should be creative also.

Store bough ones will do but if you want your images to stand out then the dress should also stand out. Speaking of the ladies, the best scenario is to use a professional models or a lady who is attractive as this also helps to make the photographs stand out on their own.

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Other things that you can do to add flare and interest to the photographs is to use different hair styles, use different makeup , even outlandish styles if necessary, and pick locations that can enhance the set up and emphasize the model.

Looking at various samples of fashion photography should provide you with enough ideas of what locations work best and how they can affect the shoot. This is after all a fashion minded theme although the showcasing belongs to the red dress.

Use a zoom that lets you get in close and especially allows you to crop on the go would be the best choice so far as equipment is concerned.

A flash unit should also be used to fill in dark areas or if doing the shoot at night. Night shots can be especially good since you can use the darkness to isolate the lady in the red dress and give the setup an air of mystery and suspense.

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CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source
CC BY-SA 2.0 Photo number 3
CC BY-SA 2.0 Photo number 3 | Source
CC BY 2.0 Edited to comply with TOS. You may see original by following link
CC BY 2.0 Edited to comply with TOS. You may see original by following link | Source

Adding a digital background can be a helpful. For example you can take a photograph of a lady in the red dress against a plain background like a wall, or even in a room, then using a digital editing program add a surreal backdrop or choose from any of the hundreds that are freely available.

If you want more choices you can even buy some digital ones for a modest prize and the majority can be downloaded from several sites.

Look at picture number 3, the original picture was taken in a parking lot and the digital backdrop was added later. Off course the one with the digital backdrop is much more appealing.

You may not have to get a very fancy dress so long as it is red and lacks any other colors or decorations that may end serving as a distraction from the color.

Some stores may let you borrow a dress so long as you provide them with copies that they can in turn use in their advertising. Just make sure to return it undamaged and clean afterwards.


Apart from your gear, the red dress, the make up, hair stylist and a good location a wind blower can come in handy.

A lady posing for you in a fabulous red dress can be made that more lively if the dress is fluttering in the wind along with perhaps portions of her hair.

Creative light use can also be a make it or break element so close attention to how the lights affects the scene is something worth giving a lot of consideration to.

Consider using color filters on the light sources to highlight the backdrop and give the shot an extra appeal. However this mainly works if the shot is framed against a black or dark backdrop or if the shoot is done at night.

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The model does not necessarily have to be striking a typical pose nor does the dress have to be photographed in its entirety.

Other poses can work just as well such as the lady reclining on a chair, kneeling, laying down, on the stairs and so on.

Look at the image of the lady reclining on a white chair and you see how effectively the photographer used a different pose , the seductive look on the model's face and the small cigar prop. The image works because you want to look and explore the shot further. It also helps that the lady is rather beautiful too.

Also notice that the shots is devoid of any distracting elements and this is achieved by using a plain, black backdrop.

The look should be seductive or even playful what the shots should not capture are scenes that look as if you took a photograph of a lady who stopped and posed for your while on her way to somewhere else.

Something else that works well is to do the shoot and leave nothing but the dress in its original red color while everything else is turned into monochrome. This is a good way of bringing immediate attention to the main point of interest as well as serving as an attention grabber.

Many digital programs have the ability of letting you do this. It just takes practice and attention to details. Always make a copy in case you make any mistakes while editing.

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CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source

© 2013 Luis E Gonzalez

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