What is a "lookbook"?

What is a lookbook and what to expect?

Googles definition of a lookbook:

"A set of photographs displaying a fashion designer's new collection, assembled for marketing purposes."

So basically a 'lookbook' is a set of photographs taken of a brand/designers collection that they use to market their label to customers and/or retailers.

Often these days lookbooks  are used printed and also online as ecommerce images.

A lookbook can be shot many different ways, with different designers wanting different feeling/lighting/styling/poses. Some lookbooks consist entirely of just standing straight up and down with minimal expressions,  whereas others will want a lot of expression and more posing. Often Lookbooks are shot in a studio but sometimes they are shot out on location and look more like a campaign than a traditional lookbook.

A lookbook can have more outfit changes than any other types of shoots (matched by eccommerce work) as the designer most likely needs to shoot the whole collection on the day. I recommend checking with your agency if the client will pay overtime as often these shoots can stretch a couple of hours longer than you are booked for.

Here are some sample images from some different lookbooks I have shot in the past:


  • I literally was dancing on set to get some movement into the garments. The lighting is quite over exposed and the expression is friendly and fun without being too smiley.

Wheels & Dollbaby

  • Wheels & Dollbaby's slogan is "Clothes to snare, a millionaire" so it goes without saying that the brief for their photoshoots is to be sexy, confident and expensive. The brand is very retro and pin-up girl. All the poses were to show of curves and be uber feminine. The styling was big voluminous curled hair, with a smoky eye and sexy red lip.


  • This lookbook was shot more in the style of a campaign. It was out on location and all of the shots look quite different. With this style of shooting there is a lot more emotion needed to convey some kind of story. The posing was natural and appropriate for the surroundings and props. All of the hair and makeup was very natural and pretty to suit the collection and location.

Tali Roth

  • This lookbook for Tali Roth was mostly shot straight up and down with a confident strong expression. We used three different backdrops: white, yellow & pink. Each outfit had an option for an extra pose that was a little bit more out-there. The end result was really cool. Styling involved silky smooth straight hair, that was to stay behind the shoulders and clean beautiful makeup.

Minty Meets Munt

  • This shoot was quite dark. Messy hair, dark eye makeup and strong poses with props. The feeling of this collection is definitely a lot darker and tougher than the others. This style of shoot is very grunge and the end result was the images looking like they had been taped onto the pages on the lookbook.

Life With Bird

  • Like the Latopic lookbook these images are overexposed, but the posing is a lot more unusual. I remember being told to just do weird things and so I did. It's all about the photographer being able to catch the right moment. The makeup was very clean and the hair was a bit messy. The garments in this collection are lovely simple silk pieces.

(Images sourced from my own collection of images from jobs I have had, all images are owned by the photographers and designers.)