Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

High Quality Images- Boom or Bust As Hours Promotion Is Launched

Gavin Kemp is a lingerie and fashion photographer based on the edge of Nottingham.  With a wealth of experience working with both high-street and luxury brands, here Gavin reveals the challenges faced by emerging brands in today’s changing marketplace and how obtaining high quality images can mean the difference between boom or bust.



Over the last few decades the fashion industry has benefited from the latest photographic technologies as part of the drive towards fast fashion, in which speed to market is key, and the growth of the e-commerce industry has called for far more imagery in a far greater quantity. The quantity and quality of images used has been shown to increase sales.  Customers look to images to understand the market position and quality proposition of a brand. By using imagery as a substitute to physically having a garment in their hands, customers use quality photographs as a means of knowing what they are buying. It has been demonstrated that good photography adds value and increases sales, but what people don't realise is that poor photography or a poor model can quickly destroy the value.  This means that you don't get the sales or the profit that you expect. Give a brand the right photography and it can take on the world- literally.

New brands are often set up on a shoestring budget, and it is not uncommon for designers and brands to call in favours from friends, amateur or student photographers, or even worse,  attempt to create the necessary imagery themselves. This route brings with it a range of problems.  The issues which can arise vary massively. From the shoot being decided by what  the unpaid photographer wants to do, rather than what the brand needs from a marketing standpoint, or the images are so heavily edited, that a customer does not actually know what they are buying, something as simple and getting the colour of a garment right, matters.  In my experience, these can be costly mistakes - that often have to be redone a few weeks later to avoid poor sales.

I have met many young designers and almost all have the passion and business plans to make their ambitions a reality.  The issue faced by many is that the standard of photography they want does not seem to be easily or readily available. This could be down to a lack of new business funding, bank finance, or a plethora of other reasons. There is one common denominator in this however- the brands that do well realise that good photography adds value for their customers, and is a key to online sales success.

Creating a high quality look-book, a professional advertising campaign for your brand, and beautiful imagery for your new website really can sell the garment for you.

Choosing the right model to shoot is also a challenge for new brands.  Model agency fees can be out of reach for new businesses, and many have no idea how to go about selecting the right model for the job, after all very few agencies offer any formal training in the appropriate skills.  There are very few objective measures or benchmarks of a models performance on set and believe me when I say that the vast majority of portfolios are meaningless in terms of skill. At an even more basic level, I have also come across portfolios that look nothing like the model who walks through the door.  It would not be the first time that I've sent a size six girl home because she was booked based on the pictures and measurements of a size ten.

Don’t simply select a model who you find the most attractive. A model should be selected who matches your brand and concept. If your brand manufactures fitness apparel, always choose an athletic (rather than fashion) model for example. You must ensure that the model you cast looks good in your clothes, fits your sample size and has the relevant experience. 

This becomes very expensive when you realise that a skilled models work rate is typically ten times that of a random model found online. In real terms, this means that a job which should take two hours takes four, and even then you are searching for the few images that work instead of the client having six or eight perfect shots of each garment to select from- that is exactly what you can expect from a skilled model. Knowing all this I will let you contemplate the perils of trying to find a model on Instagram!!

To this end, I have launched a new range of promotional days aimed at the new and emerging brand.

These will be held on October 18, 24 and 26.  The offer, which is aptly named Small But Perfectly Formed, is a simple idea, which allows new and emerging brands who have perhaps previously struggled to shoot high quality shots due to budget restrictions, the chance to shoot their garment needs, for just an hour or two.  I have hired three models- a girl, a boy and a classic model and each one can be booked, including photography for just £170 per hour excluding VAT and video is priced at £205 per hour ex VAT on these promotional days.

This will allow new brands to use experienced models, a full studio, and shoot for the minimum amount of time, to obtain such images, previously seen as unobtainable.

Both the photography and video shot on these days will be suitable for every purpose including PR, advertising, fashion, e-commerce, commercial and sales. All stills will be supplied colour corrected, and are ready to go, plus video can even be shot for an additional fee.

To find out more about the importance of imagery for the emerging brand, or to book a space on the Small But Perfectly Formed Promotion, please contact Gavin at



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