REVIEW – Fashion Flair for Portrait and Wedding Photography by Lindsay Adler

by Mike on February 23, 2011

Book: Fashion Flair for Portrait and Wedding Photography
Author: Lindsay Adler
Best Price: ~$25 – $26 at
Publisher: CENGAGE Learning
Pages: 298
For: Portrait/Wedding/Fashion Photographers

Yesterday, I ventured out to Barnes & Noble, and came back with fashion photographer Lindsay Adler’s new book Fashion Flair for Portrait and Wedding Photography.

I’ve been interested in this book for a few reasons. I’m something of an aspiring portrait photographer, but have little interest in churning out smiley, Sears-syle images. The photographs I gravitate towards have been created by fashion photographers like Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, Steven Meisel, and Peter Lindberg – not by mall-operated photo kiosks.

So if you’re like me, and you’re interested in making portraits with an edge, picking up Fashion Flair is a no-brainer. I was worried that this book would lean toward the fluffy side, Fashion Flair is surprisingly dense with details and information. It almost feels like an entry-level textbook for portrait and fashion photography, and I mean textbook in a good way.

Ms. Adler’s prose is very clear with a minimum of jargon. You won’t come away asking yourself “what does she mean?” often, if at all. Everything is clearly spelled out in plain English.

Fashion Flair is stuffed cover-to-cover with impressive images that should give you plenty of ideas to use in your own work. I would have liked more lighting diagrams, but regardless, the photographs you’ll see should have you walking away with your own imagination cooking.

The book assumes you know little-to-nothing about the topic, and so it clearly spells out the basics of the following topics, among others:

  • equipment choice
  • location and studio lighting
  • logistics
  • fashion posing
  • concept development
  • styling
  • makeup
  • props

This won’t be new information to experienced shooters, but it helps the book serve as an excellent soup-to-nuts resource for beginners to portrait and fashion work.

There is also a 50+ page section devoted to retouching workflow with programs like Photoshop, Lightroom, and Portrait Professional, and another section devoted to business concepts and marketing.

Overall, Fashion Flair is a great package, and much more impressive than I expected, especially for the price. At just $25, the bang for the buck is pretty big here. There are a lot of crappy portrait, fashion, and lighting books out there that cost a lot more, but deliver a lot less in terms of helping you get results.

So, I heartily recommend Fashion Flair for people in the following categories:

  • Portrait and wedding photographers looking to inject some edginess into their wok
  • Anyone serving youth markets like high-school seniors
  • Photographers looking to blur the lines between fashion and portraiture
  • Beginning photographers that just want to make some cool portraits
  • Beginners to fashion photography

More seasoned folks would do well to check out Michael Grecco’s Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait, which will give anyone tons of cool portrait ideas and lighting setups.

But for everyone else, pick up Fashion Flair for Portrait and Wedding Photography at

Official Book Overview:

Fashion Flair for Portrait and Wedding Photography teaches photographers how to take the concepts of fashion photography (including preparation, styling, props, lighting, posing and post-processing) and apply these techniques to their portrait and wedding photography. By adding fashion flair to their work, photographers can distinguish themselves from their competition and demand a higher price for their images and creativity. Fashion photographers use preparation, styling, props, lighting, posing and post-processing techniques to achieve the desired visual effects in their high-end shoots. Yet these very same techniques can be applied to the images of portrait and wedding photography to create outstanding work that will differentiate a photographer from the competition. Clients want to feel like they are models, and live in a fantasy and this book will help them feel edgy, striking and high-end through a unique approach to their portraits. This book is not about becoming a fashion photographer – it is about using fashion photography techniques for successful portrait and wedding photography.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Steve February 24, 2011 at 12:52 pm


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