Shooting a J Crew Catalog Look

Recently I did a photo shoot with Diana, an experienced model, a college senior and soon-to-be graduate student in English Literature.  Diana and I both like the look of some recent J. Crew catalogs, and so this shoot was about replicating the J. Crew Look.

This look is about pale colors, including pastels, fun poses and models that are smiling and having fun. The photography usually has very soft and flattering light.  Shooting in this style is a bit of a departure for me, as I tend to be drawn to bold colors.

But we had great fun with the shoot, and I hope you will enjoy these images as much as Diana and I did shooting them.

Before the shoot, I had just bought a huge white umbrella – 5 feet across – to shoot through. The large size means very soft lighting, and this was just perfect for the feeling we were trying to achieve.

This shoot took a lot of planning ahead of time – as do most of my shoots.  Diana, with whom I had worked before, spent a fair amount of time finding and putting together the outfits.  We talked ahead of time about poses  and the general setup for each shot. I bought some pastel colored background paper especially for this project.  On the day of the shoot, we had a good overall plan for the images.

As mentioned above, we liked the fact that the models in the J Crew catalog are, for the most part, smiling. It continues to amaze me that in most fashion magazines and fashion catalogs, the models tend to look bored and a bit imperious. Why is this? It’s done on purpose for sure. Does it sell more clothes? As a man, I’m not sure what motivates women (I have to be careful here!) to buy something, but to me, if the model seems to be enjoying herself, shouldn’t this make the viewer more likely to bring out the charge card?

I hope readers will weigh in with comments on this – I’d like to know what I’m missing here. To leave a comment, click on “leave a comment” just below the title of the blog.

Another part of the J. Crew look is motion. The model might be in the air, as in the shot on the left.

Thank you, Diana, for all the hard work you put into this shoot.


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