Fresh Ink

August 1, 2013
Author: Christina Hagopian

Todd & Duncan Photoshoot

A look into the process of art direction for retail fashion.

Model in a photo studio, wearing a dark and light grey horizontally striped cashmere sweater
Photographer taking pics of a model wearing a red Todd and Duncan cashmere sweater
Product photos for the Todd & Duncan e-commerce website are taken against a white background.

Photography for catalogs and e-commerce, as opposed to editorial shots, needs to showcase the product with bright, even lighting, and focus on the single product versus a complete suggested outfit. Pictures are taken at very high resolution using digital cameras, often tethered to a “digital darkroom” application like Lightroom or Aperture, which makes it much easier to preview the final result than squinting at a small camera viewfinder screen.

Back at the studio, these images are later color-corrected, cropped to a standard size, and then rendered at appropriate resolutions for use in zoomed-closeups and “grid” catalog views for the website. Using a white background and consistent studio lighting makes it easier to match photos from session to session, and also to maintain color fidelity, something that’s absolutely key with luxury clothing.

Photographer snaps two models in front of a dark wood panelled backgroundPhotographer takes pics of a model wearing a Todd and Duncan cashmere cardigan seated on a stool
The rich tones of stained wood panels and industrial textures contrast with the gorgeous, vivid cashmere sweaters, while natural light complements the models’ skin tones.

Editorial photography communicates a mood, in addition to showing the clothing in styled combinations of outfits. For Todd & Duncan, the goal was to show the clothes as rooted in history and craft – based on their origins as a wool mill that had been operating for over 125 years – and yet also acknowledge that they were a fresh competitor in the luxury clothing retail space,

For these images, a space was found that had richly stained wood panels, brick walls, loft windows and some industrial wear and tear, against which the vibrantly coloured and richly textured cashmere tops and sweaters would stand out vividly, classics updated and re-engineered for the 21st century.

Several Todd and Duncan cashmere tops hanging on a clothing rack.A copy of the New York Times Sunday T magazine, open to display a full-page Todd & Duncan advertisement.
Left: An array of cashmere tops picked out for the shoot. Right: The results of all that hard work, in the New York Times’ Sunday T Magazine.

Read our Todd & Duncan feature on HOWdesign.com:
6 Keys to Art Directing an Amazing Photo Shoot
By: Michelle Taute