The composition of an image affects how the viewer interacts with your portrait and its subject. All the typical rules of photography can apply. Keeping the subject in the rule of thirds helps give strong composition, yet breaking this rule
and centering the subject can result in a successful composition. There are no special rules of composition with fashion or portrait photography. You should just remember that traditional tools of composition, such as leading lines and framing, are still important methods of improving your imagery.
Fashion flair is essentially more creative than typical portraiture and pushes the boundaries of traditional portrait imagery. It is your opportunity to try out unusual techniques to create extraordinary photographs.
You can experiment with unusual locations, unusual clothing, or unusual shooting techniques. Try for something eye catching that your clients know they could not find elsewhere.
One such unusual photographic technique is painting with light. That’s a technique in which you create an exposure in complete or near darkness, and you “paint” the illumination on your subject using a variety of light sources. You control the direction of light, intensity of light, and color of light on the subject and the scene.
Figure 6.19 is an example of a painting with light to create striking results. Painting with light requires a great deal of trial and error. You must experiment with different light sources, gels, and lengths of exposures. This figure was shot at 16mm, ISO 400 at f/2.8 using a 15-second exposure. During this exposure, the subject was illuminated for approximately 5 seconds with a warm tungsten balanced-flash light. My camera white balance was set to tungsten so that the tungsten light appeared almost neutral in tone. I flashed the background and the tree several times with a daylight balanced off-camera flash/strobe. Because I set the white balance to tungsten, the daylight strobes created a blue illumination on the scene.
Obviously, painting with light is just one of many unusual techniques you may consider experimenting with.