How To Make It In Fashion Photography


Thinking of getting your photos onto the pages of Grazia or GQ? Well, you’re not alone. By entering into the world of fashion photography, you’re joining a highly competitive field in which time, talent and determination are a must if you want to end up on top.

With that in mind, here are a few tips on breaking into the fashion photography business.

Photograph as much as you can

Naturally, it would be foolish to expect to simply walk into the offices of Cosmopolitan or Glamour and demand a fee for your photography, and to expect to be paid at all in the beginning is setting the bar too high.

Instead, it’s a good idea to simply start taking photos. Just as a writer writes and a painter paints, a photographer should be taking photographs at every opportunity, figuring out the nuances of lighting, focusing and the differences in lenses until they become second instinct to you.

And, in the process of doing this, you’ll also be able to build up a portfolio of your best work, making that dream position in one of the pillars of the fashion industry a more realistic prospect.

Get a photography degree

With a photography degree under your arm, the respect your potential clients will have for you will increase immeasurably.

To have a degree shows that you really understand the ins and outs of how to be a photographer, and can take shots instinctually and with a solid idea of how they’ll turn out before they’ve even been snapped.

Again, this will give you another great chance to build up a portfolio, and allow you the experience and tutelage of true professionals.

Know your kit

While you can experiment and make mistakes as regularly as you like when you’re taking photographs on your own time, it’s important to really illustrate that you know what you’re doing in a professional context.

Understand the specifics of lighting, the difference between a wide-angle and a telephoto lens, and the textural qualities that differ in digital and analogue photographs to really be taken seriously by an employer.

Know how to speak to your subjects

The fashion industry isn’t interested in a drab and lifeless photo, but vibrancy and newness. And, as a fashion photographer, it’s part and parcel of your job to coax an interesting look and motion from your model.

Learn how to be personable, approachable and relaxed with your subjects, projecting those qualities onto them to gain a great performance in their expression. You should be moulding your subjects to not just simply be modelling some clothes, but expressing an idea about what they’re wearing.

Decide which area of employment works for you

The photography industry in general is rife with opportunities for more independently minded individuals, with the chance to travel down more freelance avenues available to you.

However, some magazines or other employers will take on staff photographers in order to gain a consistent output. Really, if you have the skills then the option is yours.

As long as you make sure to be a reliable and interesting photographer with an eye for the eye-catching, then the fashion industry will be sure to take notice.

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