Être Cécile case study – Maintaining a Consistent Visual Approach
Founded by Yasmin Sewell, Jemma Dyas and Kyle Robinson, regular client Être Cécile make high-end, chic, eye catching female fashion items. It’s Photography Firm’s job to shoot their latest designs. They favour the invisible mannequin approach and are very particular about the styling of their garments so we’ve worked alongside them to develop a shooting and editing approach which meets their needs. Mannequins vary in size and shape and it’s possible to drape the clothes on them in different ways with a pull here or clip there so the first time we shot for Être we sent them through some different options for the collar, shoulder etc. until we were able to establish how they liked their garments to be presented. They like the photography to reflect the considered aesthetics and cleanliness of the French fashion that inspires their work.
The varied nature of our studio business and tightness of deadlines means we cannot always have the same photographer or retoucher working on the same client’s products when a new batch arrives, so we realised the importance of developing a system for consistent imagery across their ranges. Having already established the style guides for the various types of garment with our client, we developed some template overlays in photoshop which could be used alongside the raw images to ensure consistency and quality. We keep these shape guides in a library on our system so the appropriate template can be used in conjunction with the Liquify tool when editing any given Être product. The resulting images retain a homogenous visual identity which both reinforce the brand and look neat and tidy displayed together on a website, regardless of the fact they may have been shot months apart.
In terms of lighting, we use a standard clothing photography system, over-exposing our white backdrop by roughly a stop, whilst flagging stray backdrop light from hitting our garments. This makes cutting out our items easy. Some products require front and back photography (we mount the mannequin on a turntable to make this easy) and sometimes it’s necessary to comp in rear details, such as inner cuffs, collars, hems etc. which might initially be obscured by our not-so-invisible invisible mannequin. In this way, we always ensure we cover ourselves when shooting so we’re not floundering in the edit having couriered the clothes back to the client. For more detail on how to achieve great mannequin photography, see our blogs on The Art of Invisible Mannequin Photography and Shooting “Invisible Mannequin” clothing. We also automate some aspects of our workflow using recorded actions to speed up consistently executed processes such as flattening and saving files. Read our blog on Recording actions to save time editing In Photoshop to see how you could improve your digital workflow and leave yourself more time for the beach!
By establishing an agreed visual approach with our client and using a system to translate this across all our work, no matter who is carrying it out, we ensure our finished products are consistent, striking and reflective of the great brand they represent.