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The calendar industry isn't the only one that is always looking for good bikinis or swimwear photographs. The fashion industry does so as well.
Millions of dollars are spend each year developing the latest beachwear and these industries are keen to show photographs of ladies who make their clothing look really good.
It doesn't matter that the regular costumer might not look as good in one piece of beachwear as the model on whom it was seen.
The fact is that if it appealed to the consumer that consumer is more likely to buy it. This is a major thinking or marketing ploy used by all major product manufacturers.
There are many male photographers whose dream job would be to spend all of the time taking pictures of beautiful women and if these pictures involve ladies in bikinis then that much better.
However, there is a very reliable and strong market for taking these pictures and astute photographers, both male and female have taken advantage of the demand.
The calendar industry is always looking for subject matter that will sell their wares and there are many products which appeal mostly to the male side. Thus you feature a lovely lady wearing a sexy bikini on the pages of a calendar which features a product made mostly for men and you have a winning combination.
But not all of the photographs of girls in bikinis are only to make the models wearing the attire look good thus making the clothing look great.
There are other elements in play such as making it appear that somehow because the lady is wearing "such and such" a piece of swim wear she is having a great time.
Therefore many advertising campaigns feature models in exclusive and exotic locations doing "this and that" or something that many of us will actually never get to do such as riding on an expensive yacht sipping champagne by the deck or caroling through an exotic jungle setting next to a "hunk" of a guide. Everything is meant to entice the senses and motivate a sale.
I have done this type of campaign but my focus was always on motivating and capturing the look of the male client so most if not all of my photography did not pay too much attention to what the model was wearing but rather how good looking she was and how could I use that since my clients were mainly calendar producers. If it had been focused on the attire itself then the shoot would have been much different in its scope.
In order to get a better idea of the thinking that goes behind a bikini photo shoot pay attention to the next time that you look at a printed ad for a hamburger.
The product looks super fresh and tasty even though it is on a piece of paper. But when you go to the restaurant and actually order the exact same thing it will never look as it did on the ad.
The same concept applies to any product photography and photographing ladies in bikinis is the same idea, different subject matter but the same nevertheless.
Try different poses to add appeal
Behind the scenes
Crop with the camera whenever you can
Conducting this type of shoot takes preparation and the location must serve to complement it. In other words if the subject is swimwear then water or anything that suggests water must be visible in the overall scene. Otherwise it looks like just pretty girls wearing sexy outfits.
Do not pay less attention to the location than the attention you pay to everything else and this includes the make up, the hair and the poses. All must serve to make the shot appealing.
Using a regular lens is mostly what you need since the majority of the shots will be taken in broad daylight during times when one is expected to be wearing one of these beachwear creations.
Other situations can demand other pieces of gear such as during dusk but this is easily corrected by using flash and reflectors. Otherwise not much else is actually required.
The rest will be in response to the poses. For example if the shot will take place on a speeding yacht then fast film or a fast shutter setting plus flash to help freeze the scene is a must.
Like any other photographic project the situations and the subject matter will dictate what gear to use.
Always remember to take plenty of shots since it is better to end up with more than you need rather than needing more and not having it.
Do not be afraid to think outside the box with this project.
Ladies in all sorts of bikinis and swimwear have been photographed millions of times since the invention of beachwear.
Your images must show quality and technical perfection across the board.
Using your imagination and giving the images your own personal touch is what will probably distinguish your photographs from the thousands of others.
Very important is to be mindful of the style of your shoot and your targeted audience.
If the pictures are too risque then the focus shifts, unless this is your original intention.
Learn to separate tasteful bikini photographs from the more sensual style ones.
Do one theme or style at a time and your chances of getting good photographs increases.
Remember that editors like clear cut ideas or themes.
Presenting a smorgasbord of concepts does not go well with them.
I don't recommend taking on such a project without having first explored the options for selling your work.
It takes models, makeup artists, traveling to locations, refreshments and other factors which can make this project expensive unless you only use volunteers.
Having a possible sale in mind should be your first priority unless you only want to do the shoot for your own personal gain and maybe to build up your portfolio.
In either case keep in mind that money will be required even if doing the most basic; one model, local beach or pool and by yourself shoot.
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© 2013 Luis E Gonzalez