Fashion Editorial Submission captured by Photographer: Josiah Mendoza Make up by Make-up Artist: Autumn Benthall ,
Wardrobe Stylist: Nichelle Gibbs ,
Custom suit designer: Kourageaux by Joseph Green,
Models:Monica Scott Haynes,Joy Jewell and Faren Aimeé
11 Ways to Completely Revamp Your Fashion Photography Skills
Written By : Marissa Fey
Maintaining a competitive edge over other Fashion Photographers is vital to grabbing your audience’s attention and keeping them for the long haul. Remember it’s called the long haul for a reason; it takes time to achieve the look that celebrity and professional fashion photographers have created through their photographs. Be sure to read below for my 11 tips on how to completely revamp your fashion photography skills to grab the attention of editors, clients, and your friends!
1. Plan. Plan. Plan. This may be one of the most important steps to taking great photographs. Before, after, and even during the shoot you need to have a plan set in place to make the whole process run smoothly. Trust me, we’ve all been there with long days on set, unexpected roadblocks, and faulty equipment. Rushing to think of ideas on set is the last thing you’ll want to deal with. So plan. Plan. And plan!
2. Remember the fashion in fashion photography I realized early on in my career that the passion I have for photographing has to be equal to the passion I have for fashion. It sounds silly, but too many fashion photographers forget that in the end, it’s about creating photographic concepts to showcase the clothing. The editor isn’t going to pick all those beautiful close-up portraits of the model if she/he really wanted to showcase the new designer pants.
3. Who are you? Every photographer has their own look. Are you into a super-feminine fashion or a more edgy and grunge-y look? Do you like clean, soft light or harsh flash-style lighting? Write it down! This will be a fantastic reference for you and a great way to pitch your photographic style to your clients.
4. Lighting. This one is actually most important. But let’s assume you’ve grasped a general sense of good lighting. Most pro fashion photographers have their own set lighting that they never drastically change. For example, Bruce Weber typically shoots his fashion portraits using one light with an attached softbox and reflector. And we now we all remember his photographs for their consistency (and beauty!). Before you go off getting clients, take the time to figure out what lighting set works best for you. In the case of the studio fashion photographer have your signature style ready, but make yourself familiar with all types of lighting in case that profoto you always use isn’t in the studio that day.
5. Fashion Editor’s eye Do you ever wonder why your favorite photograph didn’t get chosen? It’s probably because you didn’t pay close enough attention to the clothing. Editors see everything. Make sure the clothing is fully steamed. I can’t tell you how many times a photograph didn’t get chosen because the outfit just didn’t look right to the editor. Pay attention to detail and keep it clean!
6. Learn from the Pro’s As a fun exercise, create and style your own no-pressure photoshoot. Research your favorite editorial from your favorite magazine. Think about the clothing style, the lighting style, the mood, the model, composition, ect. In the learning process it is okay to recreate your favorite shoot to get a feel for how you might want your photographs to be lit or styled. In the end it’s important to take what you’ve learned and go out there and make it your own!
7. Design Being a fashion photographer you have to know a bit about fashion too. Don’t just show up with some clothes to set, or pray the stylist you found on Instagram is going to be just as great in studio. Do some research, meet in person, and find killer designer threads to elevate your photographs to the next level. There are a ton of talent that needs low budget look-books done. Time to impress!
8. Casting/Agencies Today, models can be everything and anything! We love it that way. Casting is important because hiring a model is different than having your gorgeous best friend show up for a shoot. Both could work, but in most cases you need to make sure all the work you put into the shoot doesn’t get lost in the modeling just because you were too nervous or lazy to find a model. Find the model that would fit well with your concept. Most agencies are looking for new photographers to photograph their models (for free!) all the time. Don’t be afraid to reach out and build a relationship with them! It will only benefit you in the long run to get feedback from agents who see fashion photographs everyday.
9. Directing. What does a Victoria’s Secret Ad, Bruce Weber photograph, and Gucci Campaign all have in common? They all convey emotional confidence. A great fashion photograph commands attention. Make sure you set the tone with your models for the shoot by giving them a clear and concise mood you need from them. Allow your models to portray the confidence they feel with what they are wearing, and your audience will feel it too!
10. Retouching While retouching is important, don’t rely on a retoucher. The reason your photographs may not be moving to the next level could be due to the lack of attention to detail, lack of photographic style, or lighting composition. Retouchers are great! But only after you’ve perfected your photographs in camera.
11. Keep it consistently your own So now you have all the skills to take your fashion photography to the next level! Now that you’ve found a style you love, keep going with it! Even if you’re shooting different concepts try to keep a similar lighting and style consistent while concepts change. Eventually, you’ll be remembered for it!
Just remember what fashion photography is all about and why you started in the first place. It takes a lot of hard work, experimentation, and rejection to take your fashion photography to the next level. But remember, in the end, if your having fun, it’ll show up in your photographs, and your clients will love you for that fun-loving positive attitude! Goodluck!
Banner Image Credit photographer Thomas Louvagny
10 Fashion Photography tips
“Fashion photography gives the power to transform people’s dreams into realities…literally.” Here are 10 best tips for the fashion photography adorners everywhere!
1. “Prep for your equipment ahead of time”
I’ve been saying this for years; fashion photography is another level of photography and it calls for the best lighting. When shooting fashion, it’s important to see the garment and accessories. I always recommend using a softbox to produce the best lighting in order to have your photos magazine ready! Additionally, I love using a beauty dish for fashion glamour portraits because they highlight the best areas on the face such as the eyes.
2. “Use your imagination don’t, overthink it”
Fashion photography gives us the freedom to be highly creative, you can use basically anything in the universe for inspiration to bring your vision to life in photography. The cool thing about fashion photography is being able to capture the true essence of a designer’s vision using everything around you.
3. “Take advantage of the Golden Hours”
I love shooting fashion in a studio because you are in a controlled environment using artificial light, however, shooting fashion outdoors can bring another element to your photo shoot because it’s so much you can do with sunlight. The best times for me are early morning, between 6am and 10am, or during the evening between, 5pm and 7pm, in order to take advantage of the golden hour.
4. “Always have a plan C through Z”
Those first two ideas are fantastic but they may not work for that particular shoot. Having multiple backup plans is never a bad idea, you want to stay four steps ahead of everyone. Try to brainstorm different ideas with people from your creative team just in case the first plan fails.
5. “Location is everything”
In photography you have the ability to turn any location into a beautiful asset to your finished work; in fashion photography you can utilize the location and wardrobe to tie everything together. For example, take Helmut Newton’s 1975 photograph of Yves Saint Laurent’s “Le Smoking” for Vouge Paris, he managed to capture an iconic image of a model wearing a tuxedo while smoking a cigarette on a back street in Paris. He was able to capture the essence of the designer with the location serving as an amazing element to the now classic image.
6. “Work with a decent retoucher”
If you are not experienced in photoshop, it’s okay to seek out and work with a professional retoucher. They tend to give your work the extra boost it needs; your photos will look more professional, polished and uphold to industry standards. Retouchers pay attention to meticulous details that we cannot fix on camera (i.e. smoothing out the model’s skin or ironing the wrinkles out of a shirt).
7. “Research the brand beforehand”
Research is key. It is best to know the style and feel of the brand. When shooting, you want to be able to capture the essence of your client’s vision while also keeping your aesthetic and artistic touch. Research different silhouettes, styles, and even the history behind each garment as well as taking a look at what’s been done already.
8. “Make sure you’re on the same page with your team”
Hair, makeup, and styling go hand in hand with fashion photography, it’s always good to make sure you’re all on the same page. Working with them will help with all of the small details, from finding jewelry and shoes down doing makeup and hair to bring the final look to life. Mood boards are the best way to communicate your vision to your team as well. Assure everyone on set is comfortable and ready to work; if everyone is in a great space they will produce good work.
9. “Stay true to the fashion”
Remember your highlighting a work of art, fashion photography is the bridge between the influencer and the influenced.
10. “Always remember to have fun”
With fashion being so creative and liberating, and photography giving the power to capture moments, there is no reason why you should not be having fun, creating out of the box ideas. Be positive! Great energy will lead to a phenomenal shoot and even better experience (especially if you’re new). There is nothing more rewarding than receiving positive feedback from a client.
– Markel Serraj
Kasia Struss Photographed by Victor Demarchelier
Tips for Today’s Fashion Photographer
Rules are meant to be broken, but first, you must know what they are.
Concepts and techniques are the foundation of fashion photography. Rules have been set by those before you. If you are breaking rules which you don’t know exist, and happen to take a good photograph, you’re lucky, not creative.
But we both know that that is not true! Know about the history of fashion photography. Study techniques, cameras, fashion, art, use it as inspiration and twist it into your own vision.
Study the work of exceptional photographers and keep up with your colleague’s projects and the big fashion house campaign’s. Having more exposure to what is being done, and what has been done gives you the foundation to create something new. Mood boards are a good way to collect all of this research and show the direction your works should be headed. It allows for you to also see patterns in the things you admire which will help mold your style. The industry is all about being different, daring, and the seduction of innovation and unique perspective. Learn from others, but be you.
Rely on your creativity, not your budget.
Let’s face it, doing the unconventional thing doesn’t always earn you the big bucks in the beginning of your career. That’s why the term “starving artists” rings true. Fashion photography has been spun as an extravagant, expensive production. Fashion is a show, but it doesn’t have to be Haute Couture off the bat.
Sure, having a larger budget is freeing in a sense you can afford the stage and props the project desires, but learning to work with what you have is a great way to stretch your creativity. Use what’s around you, but maybe not in a conventional way. It also allows you to be more modest in your design and relying on your skills instead of the materials you combined to create an image.
I have been experimenting with cameras recently, mainly film and it has been interesting to see the results, even if I had my finger in front of the lens on occasion. Do yourself a favor and shoot more than you need to, and consistently.
Subjects look different through the eye of a camera than your own eyes. Shoot the things that you may be hesitant about. You’ll never get a shot if you’re waiting for everything to be perfect. It’s not about perfection. Imperfection and often mistakes give you the most intriguing and different results.
There is a difference between fashion photography and portraiture.
Portraiture is about the person, not the clothing. However, the goal is for the two to compliment each other, not outdo one another. Don’t just plan the style and setting, plan the model. Not everyone has legs for days and a hair and makeup team like the high fashion models. Most of the time the clothing speaks more when individuals who represent real clients are wearing the clothing. Chose a variety of models, not simply the most typical of beauties.
Represent the clients not just the fantasy.
There is a particular person that may come to mind as the persona of the subject in a fashion photograph, and this is most likely not your average client. At the end of the day, you’re selling more than a photograph, you’re selling a product. Something I hear very often from people is “I love that, but I could never pull it off.” Part of the job of a fashion photographer is to make someone want to buy what is being visually presented to them. Even if someone loves the photograph, they may not want the piece because the image you have created is so unattainable for them. You can diversify models, settings and found objects within the image to create something that is more relatable.
Bloggers do a wonderful job of creating relatable images. It’s easy for someone to put themselves in the average blogger’s position, but there is still an admiration for the quality of the image. Use drama to draw the viewer, but embrace commonality to keep the buyer present.
Light can come from more than studio equipment or sunshine.
Living in the age of technology our world is continuously glowing. Take advantage of any and all light sources, neon signs, computer and tv screens, projectors. Anything that will cast a shadow onto the subject can make for an interesting concept and often offers colors you cannot replicate with natural or studio lighting.
Graphic design is just as important to learn as anything else.
Layouts in magazines require layering of images. Photographers and graphic designers have a range of skills that mix and match very well together. It’s valuable to your clients to have skills combined which will also allow you more control of the end product and perception of your photography. Photoshop, collage, and graphic design are a big part of editorials nowadays. If you don’t know how to edit further than lighting and color, learn. There are many useful tools out there to enhance your images. Some of these tools may even be hand techniques if you aren’t skilled with computer programs. You can print your images and create collages, paint over them, take photos of the photos; just be creative, and don’t be afraid to experiment. The worst that can happen is it doesn’t come out the way you expected- but you will learn something, and you may just end up with your next best piece.
Throughout it all, just remember to study current and past events in the fashion industry, push yourself in new directions, and remember why you are taking the photograph.
The Biggest Problem in the fashion photography Business, And How You Can Fix It
No matter how much I like fashion photography, especially when I remember the reasons why I got involved with this industry, inspired by Vogue and photographers like Guy Bourdin, Ellen Von Unwerth and Alessio Bolzoni; my relationship with this industry will always be unstable. I do not remember how many times I said “ok. This was my last shoot “or” I’m officially out of this… I’m out”… as if I had ever really been “in”.
I think that fashion photography has lost it’s essence over the years. At some point in history, photographing a celebrity, started to be more important than the true concept of the entire production.
Talking about fashion photography nowadays is talking about how “goddess” is the model you got for next Tuesday’s shooting, about the fact that she/he has 100K followers on Instagram and how that shooting with that famous celebrity will possibly opens the doors to a thousand other productions.
I started to realize the situation when a very good friend told me:
“If you had – a celebrity – in this picture, you would be famous.”
That comment woke me up. It made me realize what I was getting into and how irrelevant my work seemed to be by not having someone important in front of the lens.
Undoubtedly, this industry is led by contacts, followers and fame, leaving talent, technique and the conceptual burden of each production aside. I think that to be effectively good at something, you have to be good with nothing. Without money, without contacts, without fame or agencies that support you. I believe that a good professional must know how to solve a problem with very few resources he or she has, and making the most of them in order to prove how good he/she is.
I definitely think that fashion photography is based on teamwork. Working with good professionals and a team that shares the same moral values and goals, makes the difference in every way. But I also believe that no profession should overshadow the other.
I understand the professionals who are permanently trying to shoot famous models, because of the diffusion that their work would have, and because they would have a minimum possibility for being seen by someone relevant and standing out among the wide variety of photographers in this saturated industry… However, I think it is important not to lose focus, and just stop looking for other’s acceptance in order to let the photographs speak for themselves.
Although I do not consider myself a fashion photographer, I like doing fashion photography. I started working with friends, people that I just met and wanted to be part of a shooting. I consider myself very lucky because I could really find people with whom I do not only share a particular taste for fashion, but I had been able to work with people who really understood my vision and what I wanted to communicate at each shooting. They have always taken it very seriously, and they have understood the concept at a truly meaningful level, which allowed them to transmit it through the body and gaze in a very powerful way.
I believe in old photography; which generated value over things by photographing them. It differs from the current photography in which the things to be photographed are already overvalued. Today the object in front of the lens gives value to the photo, when it’s actually the photograph which has the power to make something worth to be seen, by the decision of capturing it forever. Leave it registered in time. Make it eternal.
I do not think there is a solution to this particular problem, I do not think there is a way to stop it, but definitely each professional can decide how to practice the profession. There are two options:
The first one involves hanging on others fame and recognition without ever really knowing how much your work is worth. And the second is to stop talking about “followers” and start talking about lights and concepts.
If the idea is good, consistent, and if there is willingness to work and a group of people wanting the same goal, the results will not fail. Find the people who respect your work and value it, not because of the fact that they pay you, but because of they want to work with you for your way of perceiving the world.
The solution is to focus on what matters, on the profession, on the team, on the concept and trust your work, believing that this will take you where you want to be. The solution is to keep working focused. I know this is so easy to say but it is the only way to really know how far you can go and the actual value of your work. That’s the most important thing, not only for self-realization and professional self-acceptance, but to stay in this challenging industry forever.
There is nothing more satisfying than getting what you want by having earned it.
By Lucila Abdala
15 Best Instagram accounts of All Time About a fashion photography
Article created by JÖ (Jörgen Paabu), Instagram: @killedbyjo , www.killedbyjo.com
We live in the era like no other. There has never been more artists, fashion designers, trendsetters and photographers posting on social media than now. Our time favourites, avant garde and rising stars. Discover and get inspired by the following list of 15 Best Instagram accounts of All time about fashion photography.
Ben Duggan grew up in Los Angeles and started taking pictures when he was given a plastic twin lens camera as a teenager. He then worked at A&I in Los Angeles printing for Helmut Newton and then went on to assist Playboy, Miles Aldridge, Francesco Carrozzini, and was Matthias Vriens’ assistant for 5 years. He moved to New York and shot Lady Gaga with Francesco Vezzoli for French Vogue and helped start UltraViolence Magazine. He now splits time between Los Angeles and New York shooting for Guess and Marciano, Nike, Ralph Lauren, Sony Records, BMG and AS Collection.
Australian born and raised, Chris Colls, developed his creative expression through his interest in photography, art and architecture which he continues to pursue with a relentless passion. New York based, Chris contributes regularly to Interview Magazine, French Vogue, W Magazine, British Vogue & various International Vogue titles. His commercial clients include MaxMara, La Perla, Lui Jo, Frame Denim, Karl Lagerfeld. His Work effortlessly captures the unique intimate relationships that he creates with his subject, enabling him to collaborate with the industry’s iconic talents.
@bellahadid Shot on location in Mexico Wearing @marcjacobs by @themarcjacobs for @voguemexico @karlamartinezdesalas styled by @valecollado makeup by @fulviafarolfi hair by @estherlangham nails by @julieknailsnyc production @mccolective @serlinassociates @philippaserlin @imgmodels @ivanmbart @luizmattos1906 xxxx
Fashion photographer known for being half of the group Mert and Marcus. They’re known for photographing women and have been featured in magazines like Vogue and Numéro. They are the creative tour de force who have styled and shot some of the most powerful brands and personalities of our time, from Miu Miu to Angelina Jolie, Givenchy to Gisele Bündchen. “One of the most influential photographic practices in contemporary fashion”, says Vogue, London.
Steven Klein is a celebrated American photographer who won acclaim for his photography style, which has been described as eclectic, conceptual, sexual, and subversive. Klein has said that the artists Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon have greatly influenced his photography style. Always in demand by today’s hottest and most influential tastemakers, Klein continues to inspire, challenge, and provoke the senses with his work.
ANDY WARHOL’s INTERVIEW MAGAZINE CLOSED ITS DOORS TODAY. I am very grateful to have had the opportunities to work with so many great people over the past years. Especially THANKS to Fabien Baron, Karl Templer, Ingrid Sischy and Sandra Brant plus all the numerous editors and interns that contributed to make this publication unique @interviewmag @fabienbaron @nicolekidman @tyson_ballou
Nicholas David Gordon “Nick” Knight is a British fashion photographer and founder and director of SHOWstudio.com. He is an honorary professor at University of the Arts London. Knight studied photography at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design and published his first book of photographs ‘Skinhead’ in 1982 when he was still a student at
the school. In 2016, he was commissioned to shoot official portraits of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles for the Queen’s 90th birthday.
Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin are a Dutch fashion photographer duo, whose work has been featured in fashion magazines and advertising campaigns. Their list of editorial contributions includes luxury fashion titles Vogue, Paris Vogue, Vogue Italia, W, Visionaire, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, as well as style magazines Purple Fashion, Interview, V, V Man, Self Service, Another, Pop, i-D etc.
Charlotte Rutherford shooting icons from Amber Rose to Paris Hilton, and for OKgrl to Sophia Webster. Charlotte Rutherford is a self-taught artist who speaks the language of colors. Her work brightens up everyone on the way. Funky, hyped, dreamy and LaChappelle’isk aesthetics combines the perfect getaway into Charlotte’s colourful world.
Miles Alridge is a London born fashion photographer. His influences include film directors Derek Jarman, David Lynch, Federico Fellini, Antonioni, the photographer Richard Avedon and the psychedelic graphic design of his father, Alan Aldridge. His work is highly controlled with a cinematic effect. Miles cinematic taste of work has reached to magazines like W, Numéro, Teen Vogue, Vogue Nippon, The New York Times Magazine, GQ, The
New Yorker, Harper’s Bazaar and more. He has also shot for noted fashion designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent etc.
Mario Sorrenti is an Italian born photographer who’s work is well known for sexual editorials. He has worked with Kate Moss for Calvin Klein and publications are found in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, W, The New York Times, Vanity Fair and more. He said in Interview Magazine that “I was shooting Polaroids all the time, I was creating diaries, I was painting, I was drawing. My work was my life, and my life was my work, and there was a kind of blur between reality and what was being created.” The raw imagery combined with strong aesthetics is beautifully captured in his timeless work.
Luigi Murenu and Iango Henzi are a photographic duo who has mastered the black and white photography to another level. Their pure silver-clean, dark, in leather and in motion fashion photography has featured in W, Vogue Italy, Vogue Japan, Vogue Germany, Harper’s Bazaar and collaborated with today’s most wanted models, actors and icons like Gisele Bündchen, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Julianne Moore, Jennifer Lawrence.
Elizaveta Porodina the Moscow born experimental fashion and fine art photographer travels through time and space. Her work is melancholic, ambiguous, cinematic and documentary imagery has featured in Elle, GQ Style, Numero Russia, Schön!, Vogue Germany, Vogue Ukraine. Her work has been exhibited in Berlin, Amsterdam and Vienna. With the integration of painting-perfect touch and fashion forward taste she has developed a new sense and style of fashion photography in these days.
David Sims is a British fashion photographer who first made his name in the early 90’s with magazines such as i-D and The Face. Shaping the global fashion industry David Sims was initially known for the stark modernism, plain backdrops and the graphic posing in his work. American Vogue remarked that Sims’ work was “setting a new standard” for fashion photography. His commercial clients represent fsahion’s biggest players like
Givenchy, Stella McCartney, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Alexander Wang among many more.
Caroline H. Grant is a LA/NYC based photographer specializing in Fine
Documentary, Portraiture, Music, Album ART, and Day In the Life editorial. Grant Shoots Mostly Hasselblad, ConTax and the Occasional Digital Image. Clients include New York Magazine, Vice Magazine, Fader, Playboy, Complex, Rolling Stone, Texte Zur Kunst, and Topshop & Lanvin. She is the younger sister of American singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey. She has done many photoshoots with Del Rey to promote Kill Kill, Lana Del Ray, Born to Die, Paradise, Ultraviolence, Honeymoon, and Lust for Life.
Emily Soto is a photographer residing in New York City. Her distinct visionary and
romantic style characterized by a perennial stream is emotively captivating. Soto’s bold yet playful images appear on magazine covers, in editorial spreads and campaigns for
national clients. Her work has been published in Vogue International, Teen Vogue,
V, Allure, Glamour, Marie Claire, Paper, i-D and S Moda to name a few. Soto’s recent exhibitions include NYC, London, Paris, and Berlin
Patrick Demarchelier is a French fashion photographer. For his seventeenth birthday, his stepfather bought him his first Eastman Kodak camera. He has worked with Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Chanel Deline, Dior, Luis Vuitton, Calvin Klein and many more. He has shot the covers for nearly every major fashion magazine. The work of his is classical and timeless yet the brilliance in his work makes him today’s world one of the best photographers.
Banner image by Freiburg fashion photographer Sebastian Schmoellerhttps
Marketing Your Photography on a Shoestring Budget
Setting aside a budget for marketing is a wise investment that will not return void; however, many photographers with budding careers don’t have the capital on hand to pour into that area of their business. Fashion photography, in particular, is a bit tricky, since it’s not a service widely needed by the general population the way lifestyle photography is. Connecting with our audience and finding potential clients takes a little more strategy and effort, but can be done effectively with little-to-no budget.
STRATEGIC NETWORKING & COLLABORATIONS
In a day and age where everything is online, face-to-face marketing may seem obsolete, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, if you think about it, we are so used to scrolling through post after post of well-taken photos, well-thought-out ads, and other targeted content, that we’ve nearly become numb to it. We look and keep scrolling. Not to say that online marketing is useless, but there are more options out there than just paying for sponsored ads or boosted posts. It’s never been more important to get yourself—and your work—tangibly in front of your audience, which in turn will ultimately lead to increased online recognition. Here are some simple, yet effective, ways to do that.
- Find your local fashion-related events. In Arkansas, we have North West Arkansas Fashion Week. Photographers from across the state volunteer to photograph various aspects of the event; behind the scenes, catwalks, and styled shoots with designers. Once you get your feet wet locally, step it up the next year and apply to photograph at fashion weeks in larger cities. Think of all the real life, face-to-face connections you are making with designers, models, stylists, venues, event planners, boutiques, and agencies. These aren’t just new follows on social media, these people who are seeing you work your photography magic right before their eyes. They are seeing their work represented in your photos and will share it on all their platforms. Not only do you get the connections and experience, it’s a great form of cross-promotion, as every person involved (designer, model, hair, makeup, stylist, florist, etc.) will be sharing the final product. In addition, you’ll likely come to mind when that model you met needs updated digitals or that designer you’re now friends with needs a new lookbook.
Other events that may provide strong connections are charity fashion shows, boutique grand openings, bridal expos, hair/makeup shows, and other fashion-related conventions. Volunteer your services at these events, but make sure to bring plenty of business cards. I know that working for free doesn’t seem beneficial, but if you’re in the right place you just might meet a boutique owner who has been looking for someone to photograph their new inventory, or hair stylist needing to hire someone to create content for their site. Not to mention, you get plenty of new fashion-related content for your own social media platforms and portfolio.
***BONUS TIP: Don’t pinch pennies on your business cards! They are still extremely relevant, and the quality you choose will reflect upon your business. Moo.com gives you the option to choose multiple different images for the back of your cards, so you have a variety of options to help you impress the specific client you are targeting.
- Get your work published. Websites like Kavyar.com have made it extremely easy to find magazines who are looking for photography submissions, even giving you details as to what they’re looking for and specific submission guidelines. Through this site, I have been published in two print fashion magazines, and have now had a magazine reach out asking me to shoot an editorial specifically for them.
- Beneficial collaborations are key. Most fashion photographers have done TFP shoots until they are blue in the face. This is a great way to build a professional-looking portfolio, but if you want to get your work SEEN, you have to be smart about who you collaborate with. Focus on models, brands, boutiques, websites, bloggers, influencers, and other creatives who have a large reach with an audience significant to you. For example, I frequently work with an alternative model known as The Black Metal Barbie whose social media reach is nearly 100k. Multiple brands send her clothing and accessories to model, which I photograph her wearing. Not only does The Black Metal Barbie share the images, the brands share them as well. Am I getting paid? No. However, this collaboration results not only in followers, but my work is being recognized by brands and featured on their social media and websites. It looks good on your resume and gets your name circulating.
- Get your work OUT THERE, in the real world. It’s very important in today’s world to have an online presence, but that’s no reason to believe that displaying your work somewhere in-person is an obsolete option. Here are some ideas on how to do that:
- Coffee Shop Galleries. I can think of several coffee shops in my state that display paintings, photography, and other forms of artwork. Some of these shops will have an online forum where you can request to display your work and provide a link to your portfolio. If they don’t, bring a physical copy of your portfolio to the shop and speak with the manager about setting up a display for a certain time frame.Sometimes selling prints is an option, but that will vary shop-to-shop.
- Art Galleries. Do your research and find which galleries accept fashion photography and if they prefer in-person submissions or online. Like the coffee shops, the option to sell prints may be available.
- Salons, boutiques, and other fashion-related businesses. Meet with owners of high-end fashion-related businesses about setting up a trade. You will shoot an editorial shoot featuring their hair/makeup skills, clothing brand, etc, and in exchange, they will agree to hang large prints of the images (with your name displayed) in their place of business. It’s a great way to get your name out there as a commercial fashion photographer and provide an example to show other businesses when you are pitching your services. Though I have greatly stressed the importance of showing your work in-person, there are simple things you can do to keep your online presence in the forefront of your audience’s minds.
- Keep your Instagram feed consistent, and post regularly.
- Use Instagram stories to show a mix of behind the scenes, sneak peeks, and your everyday life. Keep it interesting! Engage your followers with questions and polls.
- Create a Facebook GROUP for your photography. Members of your group will be more likely to see posts than those who follow your page.
- Create short videos that you can share on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, featuring informative content; styling tips, lighting tricks, editing tutorials, etc.
- Don’t forget Pinterest! Where do most creatives go for inspiration? Pinterest! And guess what—many magazines also use Pinterest to create mood boards for upcoming issues, so having your work Pinned there with specific keywords is a great way to get it seen.
- Constantly direct all social media to your website. Make sure your site is frequently updated and has content for both fans of your work, as well as potential clients.
Regardless of whether it’s online or in-person, marketing is about making a CONNECTION. Be on the constant lookout for opportunities to make new connections and to show those in the fashion industry what you can do!
Sydney Rose Halcumb
Banner Image Credit Photographer: Alex Evans
How to Create a Fashion or Beauty Shoot
Photoshoots are so much more than simply picking up a camera and snapping a few pictures. As a photographer, I constantly find myself in awe of the artistic process involved in transforming an idea into a visual medium. Given the endless possibilities for innovative content, it’s crucial to have a unique and creative concept that can be translated into a photograph. I find that the two types of photoshoots that best accomplish this are tied to fashion and beauty. Whether you’re going for simple or showy, fashion and beauty photoshoots have a distinct way of showcasing a vast array of talent. With that being said, I’m going to share eight-step process in developing the perfect beauty and/ or fashion shoot.
STEP ONE: THE VISION
Going into a photo shoot with no vision is like hopping off an airplane with no parachute; it’s simply a terrible idea. An excellent way to get started is to ask yourself some questions to get those brain juices brewing. What inspires you? What’s your style? What does your perfect shot look like? Once you figure this out, now it all must come together. Be as extra as you want. If a look seems impossible to pull off, that’s all the more reason to try it out. After all, this is your shoot. Why not do whatever you want? However, if you’re still having trouble developing your vision, no need to fret. Step two will help you out.
STEP TWO: RESEARCH IDEAS
If you have yet to hear about Pinterest, finish this article, go straight to the app store, and download it immediately. However, if you want to skip the app store or the internet altogether, inspiration is everywhere you look. If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, let the hues of nature be your guide. The beauty of flowers and sunsets never goes out of style. If you’re more of a homebody (like myself), just look around your room. Perhaps you’ll notice certain colors or details in your comforter that weren’t there five minutes ago.
STEP THREE: RALLY THE TROOPS
A photographer is only as good as his/ her team members, so once you feel your vision is ready for execution, fire up the group chat to ensure everyone is on the same page. I can’t emphasize this enough, but articulate exactly what you’re going for. Do yourself a favor and eliminate the number of problems that may arise later on.
STEP FOUR: PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!
Now that you have steps one through three on lock, it’s time to set the date. This goes without saying, but make sure you, your team, and your model are all available on the same day at the same time. For instance, if your model only has a one-hour time slot to dedicate to your shoot, postponing is always a viable option. Even the most minimalistic shoot can eat a huge chunk of your day, so be sure to plan out every detail, and include some extra time for incidentals. This includes but is not limited to fashion faux pas, makeup mishaps, etc. Just remember to take a deep breath and not stress too much when things don’t go according to plan.
STEP FIVE: GET THE GOODS
While having an awesome photoshoot idea is, well, awesome, you must have the necessary tools to execute these ideas swirling around in your head. It’s like expecting a painter to paint without any paint (try saying that five times fast). Some basic things you’ll need to create the environment for a photo shoot are proper lighting, a DSLR camera, a makeup artist, a model, a backdrop, and software for editing(my recommendations are Photoshop and Lightroom). If you’re doing a fashion shoot, you must add in clothing, props, and any necessary permits if you plan on shooting at a specific location. This may sound overwhelming and potentially expensive if you don’t currently have these items, but the internet can be a magical place. There are countless apps and websites you can pillage through to purchase on the cheap, borrow, or even rent anything and everything you need. Now, if you have all these tools, what do you do with them?
STEP SIX: LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
Congratulations! The big day has finally arrived! This means that it’s time to haul out your equipment, play some music, and get to work. Before you get all gung-ho on your shutter button though, be sure to check your lighting and camera settings. Keep in mind that soft, natural light can work, but having studio lighting is ideal. A Speedlite unit, beauty dish, and reflector are great tools to give proper lighting and reduce appearances of flaws in the skin. This also entails constantly checking to see if the image is under or over-exposed. Don’t think you can fix everything in post! Additionally, understanding your camera settings on manual mode is the best way to shoot because you are in control of how the picture turns out. Settings will vary, however, based on the mood, lighting, and theme of your shoot. For example, in my most recent publication, the settings were at ISO 125, f-stop was 5.0, and shutter speed was 160.
STEP SEVEN: CONCENTRATION ON COMMUNICATION
I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase “communication is key.” Well, this is quintessential when it comes to photo shoots. Without effective communication, your entire shoot could be ruined. You may feel like a nag with having to open your yapper every second, but this infinitely beats the alternative, i.e., all your pictures coming out undesirable and unusable. Let your model know what poses your thinking of, and don’t be afraid to correct him or her if the pose isn’t exactly what you want. The same goes for your team; if they’re doing an awesome job, let them know. If they aren’t doing such a swell job, suck it up and let them know.
STEP EIGHT: HAVE FUN!
Last but certainly not least is my golden rule. Don’t forget that with fashion and beauty photography, there is no right or wrong way to be creative. The technique is still a crucial part of creating an image, but don’t let the stress of attempting to create a perfect image take away from the enjoyment of photography.
Authors: Alexa Tokich and Jenna Morgan
Editor: Jenna Morgan
Instagram handles: @tokich_photography and @jenna__layne
What separates an Amateur from a Professional Photographer?
By Nicoletta Kavvadia
In an online social world where anyone, who owns a full frame camera or a smartphone with a high definition camera, can automatically call themselves a “photographer”, we found ourselves wondering; “What is the difference between a professional and amateur photographer”?
While back in the day, a photographer would be someone who would have mastered the craft, by assisting a Master Photographer as an apprentice and later on practice the craft as a professional himself, nowadays, anyone, can be called a photographer. By attending online classes, either from well-established institutions schools and online platforms and personalised photography workshops, which, however, are sometimes organised by under qualified “professionals”, everyone, wherever in the world they may be, can provide themselves with credentials, “proving” the mastering of the Art of Photography.
In general, amateur photographers are the ones who take up photography as a hobby, an escape from everyday’s obligations. Some of them don’t even know the fundamentals of lighting and posing when it comes to portraits, however, being behind a camera and capturing whatever catches their eye attention makes them happy and that is why the continue to do it. Although amateur photographers have full-time jobs and a standard salary at the end of the month, some pursue photography learning in a deeper level.
As photography technology has been improving more and more over the years, photography enthusiasts have been growing alongside it as well. Passionate amateur photographers, who need some time off from their full-time jobs, their everyday family stresses and personal anxieties, have been buying camera bodies and lenses to ensure the best quality possible for their hobby. To ensure that all these expenses do not burden their families, these group of photographers, tend to create for themselves take upon them small, part-time photography careers, photographing small weddings in the weekends and family portraits on Sunday mornings, so they can earn some extra money for this expensive hobby/occupation while doing something they truly love. In many cases, photographers who started of as amateurs grew to become top in their craft.
Having said that, we ask ourselves again, what will separate an amateur photographer from a professional one?
Differences can be found in every aspect of this artistic occupation, however, it is very difficult for one to distinguish one from the other, especially when many “professional” characteristics are adopted by amateurs and many “amateur” attributes are used by professionals.
Trying to shed some light in this mystery and taking quality into consideration, we can’t help but notice that many amateur photographers produce some ah-mazing photographs, while professionals of the craft share some mediocre photos as a result of their paid services, that disappoint their clients, rather than pleasing them. Needless to say that these disappointed clients, who are fed up with paying such big sums of money and not get the images they’ve been paying for, tend to hire now more than ever before, amateur photographers who deliver them the quality they want and need for their businesses, when professionals, most of the times, lack to deliver.
Since quality did not lead to a satisfactory explanation / answer to the main question in hand, consequently, the only real difference, nowadays, between a professional and an amateur photographer (at least the one who is taking on paid work), is that the first is trying to sustain a successful business through photography.
A licensed professional photographer will take care of how he presents himself on a potential client. His spelling and grammar are spot on and he responds to all inquiries in a polite and professional way, whether he is hired for the job or not.
Furthermore, price range vary from professional photographers and amateur ones and here’s why; every professional photographer, making a sustainable business out of his name, has to pay taxes, whereas amateurs do not. Taxation requires to be making a living on a regular base so it can be paid off. That is one of the reasons professionals get frustrated when amateur photographers take on paid jobs. The later can afford not to charge extra money for taxes, which makes them more eligible to be hired for a venue than the former.
However, in a similar, business-wise concept, on one hand, professional photographers have the ability and are able to provide, at any given time, a sample of work for a client to review his work / portfolio, in order to decide upon hiring him or not. On the other hand, amateurs, who start their part time, often illegal, photography career don’t have the same ability.
One can also add to the whole issue that professional photographers can be characterised often as more dedicated to their own brand, exactly because they need to make a living out of it. Being a professional photographer is all about branding your own name and letting potential clients know the worth, value and quality that separates you from other, fellow professionals and, better yet, amateurs.
The fact will remain as is; professional and amateurs will always be “at war” when the later intervene in the former’s fields, however, every day is a new day and one can learn new things, arts and crafts. No one should be prevented from doing so, and if a creative career is what makes one happy, he should do so, no matter who will be insulted or not.
In the end, photography is a form of art and whether you do it for full-time, part-time of for a hobby, it should be treated with love and respect.
The common goal for any aspiring photographer is to one day see their work in the glossy pages of a magazine. Unfortunately, many photographers make several common mistakes when submitting their hard work to publications. In order to avoid rejection and set yourself apart from the herd, read on to find out 10 mistakes photographers make when submitting to magazines:
KNOW YOUR STYLE- For every interest, hobby or art form there is a magazine. It is important to do your research and find the right magazines that fit your personal style. Even if you’re sights are set solely on fashion and beauty, understand not all fashion and beauty magazines are created the same. Some are more artsy and experimental, some are minimal, others provocative. Find the magazines that match your personal aesthetic and focus on them.
Resolution– You want the pictures you submit to represent you at your best. Sending poorly pixilated pictures or files that are too large won’t do you any favors. Lowering resolution might save you some space on your computer, but will convey a negative message to those you’re submitting to. Sending files that are too large can be a nuisance to those trying to download them. If you don’t know what size your pictures should be, fret not, most magazines provide the answer, all one must do is search their submission page. For example, Flawless magazine requires pictures to not exceed 1024 pixels. If you can’t find a submission page, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask.
Theme- Every so often a magazine decides it wants to center an issue around a certain theme. If you are going to be submitting to a magazine like this, you must make sure your photos fit the theme. Even if the magazine itself does not require a theme, your photo set should still have one. Your images should form a cohesive story. Having one picture dark and Gothic while the next one is flowery and bright doesn’t make much sense. Let your images tell a story that is truly captivating as a whole.
Credit- It wouldn’t be very nice if someone used your images without crediting you, so why do it to someone else? It’s proper decorum to make sure you attach a list of all contributing creatives with your submissions. Everyone who helped work on the photo-shoot with you should get a credit as well as all labels worn by your model. Most magazines require this and won’t even look twice at your submission if credits are not included.
Editing- You’re photos need to look professional. Over editing images or using filters can make you look like a big amateur. Your main goal when taking pictures is to get the lighting right before the camera even clicks. A great picture should require very little tweaking. Let your photography skills shine through in every photo you take.
Emails- Take your submissions seriously. Having your images in a magazine is a great way to get your foot in the door of an incredibly competitive industry. Magazine editors tend to be busy people so remember to be courteous of their time. If they respond back to your submission, be sure to answer in a promptly fashion. Failure to answer on time can potentially result in your images not being published. They are busy and they have deadlines, respect it.
Photo Limit- Magazines set specific guidelines. They let you know exactly what they want for a good reason. You might think all three hundred pictures you took are top notch but no one has time to look through them all. Editors are busy, often spending their days pouring over dozens of submissions. Flawless Magazine asks photographers to only send ten images, other magazines commonly ask for less. If they like what they see they might ask for more.
Simultaneous Submissions- Submitting to different magazines at the same time is absolutely fine and encouraged. What’s seriously frowned upon, however, is sending the same photos to multiple magazines at the same time. It’dbe mighty embarrassing to have separate magazines like your work only to realize someone else wants to publish it too. Publications want pictures that have never been seen before so be sure to keep track of simultaneous submissions. Know who you sent to, who rejected you, and be sure not to resend anyone the same pictures again.
Unoriginal- What’s the best way to ensure no one will notice you? Blend in. It’s a good idea to take a look at the kind of images a magazine publishes. It’s not a good idea to try to replicate them. Use them as inspiration but don’t try to emulate flat out. Magazines want fresh and new images, so originality is extremely important. Be creative and be yourself. Let your artistry be apparent.
Deadlines- Every magazine has a deadline for submissions. They must get everything compiled in a timely manner to send off to the press or to publish online. It does not matter how good you are, a magazine will not hold the presses for you. Be sure to check deadlines and to respect them.