Fashion Photography

        The world of fashion photography may seem like a glamorous one that offers excitement and a chance to travel all over the world. And, indeed, these are some of the elements of this profession. Everywhere we look, we see glimpses of the fashion photography; television, magazines, the Internet and other forms of media. Fashion models selling various products and concepts are located in just about every aspect of the marketing world and, of course, they are all brought to you courtesy of the fashion photographer. But, of course, there is more to the world of fashion photography than just glitz and glamour. There are the gruelling hours of preparation and the honing of skills that are needed to succeed in this business.

        To a young and enthusiastic potential fashion photographer, this profession may seem like the perfect opportunity to enjoy all the adventure that goes along with world of fashion. But fashion photography is a lot more than just taking photos and meeting rich and famous celebrities and stunning models. You may not be aware of this, but for every successful fashion photographer there are hundreds of others who may spend many years looking for that one big shoot. Because of this, many will give up, while others may go on to successful careers. Here are some tips that you may wish to keep in mind if you're interested in fashion photography.

        First of all, learn your craft well. This is where many an aspiring fashion photography will make a critical error. They may become so preoccupied with "style" and glamour that they forget some of the basics that will make a shoot perfect. In other words, they are more concerned with looking good than shooting well. Learning has no end, so you need to continually study until every aspect of your profession will come naturally to you.

        Along with extensive knowledge, comes the right photography equipment. Unfortunately, it is a fact that you can't be a good fashion photographer without the ability to afford some pretty expensive equipment. Cameras are costly and new models come out every year. Without a very good camera coupled with a good lighting system, your expertise will be mostly useless.

        A successful fashion photographer will also need a good portfolio in order to obtain jobs. This means that you'll need to carefully select your best work. Preferably, you should carry the best 4 x 5 images that you've shot. Even though some may prefer to have prints made, it's advised that you carry the slides, especially when having a discussion with an experienced photography professional. The prints will come in handy when you're meeting a designer, since they will prove more convenient.

        Finally, a successful fashion photographer should have an engaging personality and a strong, original and individual point of view. This is important because editors are looking for originality, when they're searching for talented photographers. You can certainly be inspired by another professional but just make sure you add your own unique touch!


        Magazines such as Allure, Vogue and Vanity Fair are known to display some of the best fashion photography that you will ever come across. Photography is a way of showcasing models wearing the trends in clothes, jewelry, sunglasses, hairstyles, necklaces, shoes and other items. The first known record of fashion photography was the portfolio of the Countess de Castiglione, Virginia Oldoini in 1856. The world's first fashion photographer was Adolphe Braun, as he was the one responsible for shooting the first fashion model. Spark and color were added to fashion magazines once halftone printing was introduced to the fashion photography industry. The first magazines to make use of fashion photography were the French magazines Les Mode and La Mode Practique.

        At first, fashion photography consisted of staging the shoots in natural environments using natural poses. Baron Adolf de Meyer was the person who first developed and adopted this practice. In the first part of the 20the century, the magazines that were the leaders were Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. The moguls of the industry still pay tribute to the likes of Yva, Edward Steichen and Cecil Beaton, and George Hoyningen Huene. These were the individuals who help to establish fashion photography in Europe. Irving Penn, Richard Avedon and Martin Munkacsi made significant contributions after World War II.

        A majority of the artists of earlier times deserted their adopted forms, and took on a more independent and natural style. 1936 was the year that models were first photographed at the beach in different poses, by Martin Munkacsi. After World War II, fashion photography became quite popular among young men who loved to hold a camera in their hands, and among young women who had the ideal body type of a fashion model. Today, fashion photography has evolved into a life of its own. Models and photographers are now seen as international celebrities, and enjoy the lifestyle of the rich and glamorous. But make no mistake this it is no easier for the photographer then it is the models, only a small percentage of those trying to make it actually succeed.

        Fashion can be showcased in various avenues. Some of these well appreciated and well paid avenues include celebrity portraiture, art photography and fashion advertising. Fashion moguls such as agent Gloria Cappelletti and photo editor Clio McNicholl both agree that the fashion photography industry is quickly evolving.

        For anyone wanting to become a fashion photographer it is important to keep up on trends and aesthetics of the industry. Study the images in the top fashion publications and try to understand the images and what attracts editors to them. Its interesting to look back at some of the really great photographers from a few decades ago. Interesting that some of the fashion photographers appear to have disappeared. The ones still shooting are the ones that accept change and reinvent their style all the time, fashion photography can become dated almost as quickly as the fashions they showcase.

As a professional photographer, apart from your camera, the most important tool that you can own is your portfolio. Your portfolio is actually your gateway to the industry. There are certain guidelines that you must follow when submitting your portfolio to a fashion editor. Once you are able to follow these guidelines correctly, you will on your way to becoming one of the world's renowned fashion photographers.

Be a good fashion photographer

        So you wanna be a fashion photographer? Sounds very exciting? Sailing around on yachts with models. Shooting in the Caribbean or Tahiti or maybe even Paris with your favorite model is a perk of the job right? How fun it must be to shoot models for Victoria's Secret and Sports Illustrated! Who would not want to travel to exotic locales and make a fortune and work with and befriend the most beautiful women in the world?

        Everything listed above, while possible, is not exactly what we do. I know, i know it looks like that in the movies and on television. And yes, i was in Greece this year, Rome and the Caribbean working on shoots with very lovely models. But it is not that simple or everyone would be doing it right? Right!

     1. Get some basic courses in photography so you can understand the functions of a camera.

     2. Go out and take some pictures of models. There are many websites out there that have models who are ready to shoot with you and who live in your area. Start with an internet search to find model websites.

     3. After you become comfortable taking pictures of amateur models and have some great photographs in your book approach local modeling agencies by giving them a call or sending and email and ask to shoot their models for their portfolios. You may be able to shoot their models for free and perhaps get paid in the process of doing so.

     4. Open the magazines that you want to be in and study their style. In time you will be able to shoot as well as the photographers in the magazines you want to shoot for. When you are ready submit your pictures to the photo editors of these magazines. You will find their contact info in the first few pages of the magazine or you can call them directly.

     5. Network and maintain relationships with people in the industry. Social networking sites are great for this as great fashion photographers, fashion designers, makeup artists, hair stylists, magazines and photo editors can be found online. It may take some digging but social networks have a ton of resources to aid you in your quest.

     6. Develop an original style. When you first start shooting in the beginning it is easy to fall into the trap of copying other artists and trying to shoot their style. This is not always bad. For centuries painters and sculptors have swarmed to the Louvre in Paris to duplicate the Mona Lisa and other great works of art. After your done practicing, however, it is important to move on and forget about trying so hard to imitate the great masters. Instead imitate life. That is what art does. Work on developing your own style and you will be rewarded for it handsomely.

     7. Do not fuss too much over gear. If you are using a digital camera try to find one that is at least 12 megapixels so you do not have to worry too much about poor image quality. Get a couple of great lenses. In the beginning and at the advanced stages of your career you will find yourself working a lot with natural light. Harness that power. It is the greatest light there is. Of course at times you will find yourself working in the studio as well. Get a few quality lights. Afterwards, focus on the craft of photography. Man made the picture and the picture made the man.

     8. Be nice.

     9. Keep shooting. The road to becoming a successful fashion photographer can be a long one. Do not give up. Shoot in the beginning as a hobby in all of your spare time. Create as often as you can. The experience will be invaluable.

     10. Get an agent. An agent can be instrumental in promoting your photography career. When you are armed with a portfolio full of pictures start approaching them. They are extremely competitive in the major markets and it will be a task to get your work in front of them but well worth the effort.

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