Tips to Get Started in Fashion Photography

Editor’s Note: new item from Iaio with everything you need to know to get started in fashion photography. A succulent article. Make yourself comfortable and happy reading.

Photography has historically been used as a means to inspire and influence people through the message that they carry implicitly. This is why, around 1920, the big brands, understanding the impact that photography had on people, decided to use it as a means to promote and direct consumption, through advertising.

Since then, photographers have been experimenting and specializing in this new branch of photography, which saw the light in that context and which today, thanks to advances in technology, continues to be a fertile field full of opportunities for you to start experiment and show the fashion world what you are made of.

Becoming a recognized fashion photographer is not an easy task, but here is a guide so that you can begin to walk this winding, but not impossible path, on the right foot.

What is fashion photography?

Fashion photography is not just a model posing a dazzling dress, but is a set of elements related to clothing, accessories, jewelry and makeup, with which as a photographer, you will have to work to give them an entity.

Over time, fashion photography has evolved and developed its own aesthetic, where clothing and accessories, while still being the protagonists, are usually accompanied by stories, places and exotic environments prepared by photographers. to achieve this entity.

Fashion photography’s main purpose is to sell products, so being aware of the latest trends in fashion and business will be essential. As a professional, you must capture the demands of designers, artists and brands in order to translate them into photographs that manage to unite the commercial with the artistic and thus cause the desired impact.

In this type of work, you must demonstrate and fully exploit: your creativity to prepare the scene and all the technical knowledge about portraits, composition, lighting and retouching, which you have been acquiring from the Photographer’s Blog. Don’t worry, you can always reread them to refresh your memory.

Types of fashion photography

As I said before, in fashion photography, it’s not all about tanned models walking down a catwalk, as it also encompasses other photographic disciplines What:

  • Campaign photography: It consists of taking very varied photographs that manage to express the concept and image of the brand. Being able to convey this concept clearly and throughout the entire photographic production will be key when it comes to its success. To do this, you must develop the campaign idea together with the client in the most creative way possible, plan how it will be carried out, with what aesthetic and human resources, in what place, and of course, make it a reality. These types of projects usually require a production team that manages to cover all the areas to be taken into account, such as: premises, selection of models, necessary lighting, permits and any other type of element that may arise during the production. the same. Later in the post, I will talk about this topic.
  • Product and catalog photography: This type of photography can be either photographing each of the products individually in a studio or with a light box, or with a more elaborate idea, where the aim is to convey a concept or tell a story highlighting the accessories in question. This type of photography includes: shoes, handbags, jewelry, bijouterie, perfumes, hats, scarves, and all those products and accessories that stores offer you, even if you have not the remotest idea of ​​what they can be used for.
  • Design Photography: This branch includes both design photography, as well as architecture and decoration. As it is already a constant in fashion photography, the communion between aesthetics and advertising is essential. Let’s not forget that with photos, the client wants to sell products.
  • Photography for editorials: They are productions that are made for fashion magazines, supplements and catalogues. Magazines cater to brands and live off them. When they put together the notes or reports, if the advertising agencies do not send the photographs for them, the publishers usually send a photographer from their staff to take them. It is important that magazines and publications know about your work, because if they do not have a photographer from their staff available to carry out the session, you can be that extra camera that they are needing.
  • Parade and event photography: fashion shows are an excellent opportunity for you to start entering the world of fashion photography. Covering the parades and events will allow you to have a portfolio of photographs that you can then present to the different agencies and thus gain popularity. These types of events can give you the kick start to a career as a professional fashion photographer.

Who can be your client?

Although it is difficult to enter the world of fashion photography, it is far from being an impossible mission. Today, in the era of the Internet and Social Networks, there are more and more opportunities that are waiting for someone who knows how to exploit them.

As a result of the impact that social networks have on people’s lives and on how they consume information, fashion photography has taken on a leading role for brands that seek to position themselves in them. Almost any business, regardless of its size, uses these networks as a means of promoting its products.

Fashion photographers take photos that are mainly used in advertisements, such as illustrations in magazines, posters and brochures, or on the internet, and given the growing need for companies to exploit these new communication channels, you are in an unbeatable situation to launch yourself to the market and start offering your services.

Here is a small list of potential clients so you can outline your strategy to address them:

  • The end consumer: the client requires to have professional quality photographic material, called Book, to send to advertising agencies and thus be able to offer their services. In this way, you will not only be able to make yourself known among consumers, but also among the agencies themselves.
  • Small and medium local stores: who do not have the budget to commission an advertising campaign from a specialized agency and who require a professional to make their products known.
  • Independent fashion professionals: Like small stores, to offer their designs, they need to have a catalog to upload to the Internet or send to their customers.
  • Advertising agencies: They require very varied photographs, involving large work teams that deal with lighting, artistic elements, etc. It is a very specific type of photography, where the circuits where you must move are usually very closed, so it may be difficult for you to enter at first, at least until you gain more experience or are more recognized.
  • Event organizers: They may require your services to take pictures at parades and events, and then present them to advertising agencies, which are usually the recipients of such work.
  • Magazines and publications: As I mentioned before, they serve the brands and live off them, so they constantly require photographic material to mount their reports and notes.

Keep in mind that a satisfied client will tell an average of 7 acquaintances how good the experience with you as a photographer has been, so they will become potential clients. But, make sure you do your job well, because if the experience turns out to be negative, it is likely that you will tell many more people about your traumatic experience.

Services you can offer your client

  • Production: It is necessary that you analyze together with the client where and how the production is going to be carried out, in order to define the concept of the project. To the extent that you manage to understand what the client expects from him, the better prepared you will be to satisfy him.
  • Location: The place where the fashion production is going to take place is essential for its outcome. Organizing a session outdoors is not the same as one that requires a photographic studio. Likewise, don’t worry if you don’t have your own studio yet, there will be time for that. In the meantime you can rent a fully equipped professional one.
  • Lightning: If for photography itself, light is fundamental, for fashion photography it is much more so. You must demonstrate your skills in handling lighting and make the most of your technical knowledge to do so.
  • Digital retouch: whether you like it or not, photo retouching is common currency in fashion photography. If you’re not familiar with photo editing software and retouching techniques, I’d suggest trying to get someone on the team who is.

What do you need to start practicing fashion photography?

Know the sector and the competitors:

Fashion photography is a very competitive sector, where only the most creative manage to be recognized, turning themselves into a brand. A good way to understand the medium in which you are about to start is to search the Internet. “Fashion in Madrid” “fashion photography in Valencia”, etc. They can be some of the search strings that you can use to get an idea of ​​how the sector is made up in the place where you live, who are the referents, what stores there are, the events that take place, and thus, take a real dimension of what your clients, models and main competitors can become.

Previous knowledge:

As I mentioned before, fashion photography will put to the test all the knowledge and techniques that you have incorporated so far, and will strip down those in which you still need to specialize a little more. As I mentioned before, there are 4 major fields in which you should specialize if you aspire to go far in this sector, with all that they imply:

  • Management of light indoors and outdoors.
  • Composition techniques.
  • Digital photo retouching.
  • Pictures.

Do not despair, you will always have time to read and train yourself, but no matter how much theoretical knowledge you study, if you do not translate it into practice you will not be able to really incorporate it. If you have time, you can always sign up for a specific master’s degree or course in this branch of photography.

The minimum team:

Each type of fashion photography will require specific and high-performance equipment if you want to achieve professional results. But since at this moment you are probably starting out in…