Making a Start in Fashion Photography – Tips for Success

Fashion photography is seen as a glamorous and exciting world, and it’s one which many photographers are attracted to. Often large scale and with big budgets, fashion photography shoots have an obvious appeal. They often involve visits to exotic locations, and are a combination of travel, portrait and glamour photography.

If you are interested in entering the world of fashion photography, the following tips will guide you in the right direction.

Range of skills

Technical photography skills are just one of the broad range of skills you need to make it as a fashion photographer. The most successful fashion photographers are highly creative people with a strong sense of vision. Fashion photography usually involves working with a team, so the ability to get on with people is essential. As well as models, you must be able to work with make-up artists, hairstylists and fashion stylists. Larger fashion shoots may also have production coordinators and representatives from magazines or fashion houses. Each person involved will need managing and directing, and it’s often down to the photographer to bring everything together.

Creating mood

Fashion photography is all about creating a mood and image. The skill is in working with models to present the clothes and fashion accessories in the most appropriate way. Most fashion brands represent moods and feelings, and these need to be communicated and captured in photographs. A photographer needs to be able to communicate the messages of the brand in his work, and this can require great skill. One fashion shoot might require a seductive and sensual style, the next might need to reflect humor and a sense of fun.

Managing models

One of the most crucial elements of fashion photography is getting the best from your models. A background in portrait photography can be a good foundation for fashion photography, and many of the skills are the same. Communicating a vision to a model, and posing and directing them effectively during a shoot comes with experience. Experienced photographers are often involved in casting for fashion shoots, but new photographers may not have any say in who they have to work with.

Eye for detail

Although fashion shoots are often very artistic and creative, the photographer needs to show the clothes and accessories at their best. Using a combination of posing, lighting and shooting angles, it’s essential that details are captured. The photographer must always remembers that it’s the products which are the subjects of a fashion shoot not the models wearing them.

The law

Fashion photographers need a good understanding of the law to ensure they stay out of trouble. As well as understanding copyright laws and the legal rights of models on a shoot, there are laws to protect everyone involved. As fashion shoots often take place overseas, the photographer also needs to understand local laws which may apply in other countries.

Developing a style

Fashion photography is a highly competitive world, and to be a success you will need to develop your own style. Although you must work to a client brief, there is always room for some creative interpretation. The photographer who is able to offer a unique approach and to consistently produce creative images will never be short of work.

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