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.