Do you want to be a fashion photographer? Fashion photography is an extremely tough market to break into, but if you are willing to work hard, have a good imagination and hold the ability to take perfect images you are off to a good start.
A fashion photographer must be good in two photography disciplines. First, you need to be a great portrait photographer – second, you need to be able to create images for the advertisement market. You must be able to combine the two if you are going to succeed.
To be a successful fashion photographer you must also have a love of fine design clothes – without it you will never achieve the heights that bring success. A fashion photographer must stay up to date with all the latest fashion and have the ability to use his/her imagination to sell new designs.
Selling is the key – the fashion photographer must be able to sell his images to the fashion editor. Fashion photography is advertising and selling clothes.
To establish a reputation in fashion photography, the first thing you must do is set up a portfolio. Your portfolio should display your best work and be your first selling point. The second, and equally as important as the first, is to set up an online portfolio – your own personal Website.
To set up a portfolio you first must hire a model. Contacting your local modelling agencies can do this. You don’t need to hire a well-known model for your fashion portfolio – you need someone who will act well in front of the camera.
To be very successful you need to build a good relationship with models. Some models can be tough to work with so people psychology will play an important part. If you intend to shoot from your home studio supply a changing room for them.
If a model becomes unhappy for any reason the photo session will be a waste of time. Allow your model to make their own suggestions – regardless of how trivial it may be, it will help to keep them relaxed and you may get results that may be useful.
Once your portfolio is created you need to get exposure for it. If you have previously published work – use them as a statement with the picture editors. You need to establish a good working relationship with all fashion editors that you’ll be working with. So be professional.
Fashion photo editors are looking for concise images that clearly communicate an idea. You must, as a fashion photographer, have the ability to create unique settings.
When you do gather a large amount of fashion images, submit them to a fashion agency: Women’s magazines all over the world buy hundreds of stock shots every month. Photo agencies exist to sell photographers images – some of the larger fashion agencies have buyers all over the world. Some agencies can also re-sell your work in several different markets, and others will give you great career advice.
Keep up to date with fashion magazines, study the market and always be on the lookout for changing trends.
Don’t be afraid to take the first step. If a fashion editor has no interest in your work – don’t worry – try contacting different magazines or agencies – most great photographers have their work rejected some time during their career.