"I never cared for fashion much, amusing little seams and witty little pleats: it was the girls I liked."
David Bailey, fashion photographer extraordinaire was never one for being politically correct but he was one of the pioneers in the field of fashion photography who changed the way models and clothes were photographed. Fashion photography in the form we recognize today can be traced to the photographs of Martin Munkacsi in 1936 who shot models on the beach.
It is probably one of the toughest branches of photography to get a break in. Commercial fashion photography attracts many due to the glamor attached with the profession. In order to be recognized it is not enough to just possess talent, it is also important that you know how to market the same. And you must aware about the job entails.
Unlike glamor photography which is more about the face of the person being photographed, fashion photography can have at its center, clothing or accessories. It is used in advertising to promote different fashion brands and houses.
Most fashion magazines use fashion photography to create a visually appealing art piece on a monthly basis to appeal to fashion lovers the world over.
Job Description of a Fashion Photographer
In order to become a fashion photographer you do not need any degree or formal training. If you have an aptitude and an interest in photography, then try your hand at this profession. The most important thing to get a break in the world of fashion photography is to build your portfolio. An impressive portfolio is all you need in order to get a good job.
Most famous photographers agree that in order to become a well-known personality in the field it is important that you have an eye for the artistic and aesthetic. It is important to understand how to set the mood of the shoot and how to capture the same in various ways.
You need to be able to pay attention to detailing for when you are shooting clothes even the most microscopic detail can make a difference. With photography becoming more technologically driven, it is important to be proficient with photo editing software and some graphic designing software.
This will give you an edge in the market. A fashion photographer needs to be a people's person who is able to connect with his clients and the models. The career is demanding and stressful.
As the person handling the shoot for clothing companies and brands you will be expected to understand fashion. Knowing and understanding fabrics, textiles, designs, and details can take you a long way in this world.
Every time you have a photo shoot, come up with a concept, in consultation with the fashion house keeping in mind their taste and image. As a novice in the field it may be a good idea to start off under an established fashion photographer. By interning with, and assisting established photographers, build your network and also understand the world better.
It is important that you have a proper studio where you can work from. Keep learning the trade as much as possible. Understand lighting and how it can be used to create different moods. A fashion photographer needs to be creative, coming up with out-of-the-box concepts for every shoot.
You need to have a good network that consists of good fashion stylists, agents, and set directors. You need to be able to maintain a great working relationship with the models and the clients. One of the best tips that anyone can ever give you is to never stop experimenting. You should have some sort of signature that is identified with your work.
The salary package depends completely on experience, how renowned you are, your creativity, and the assignment itself. Fashion photography in general is a well-paying job and the salary starts at USD 15,000.
As a freelancer, you can earn up to USD 800 per day but this depends on the number of assignments the photographer gets. Fashion photographers, once established names in the industry, earn very good money and lead lifestyles that most people are envious of.
If this is your ambition, then you need to know that the road to becoming a professional photographer in the fashion world is a tough one and requires a lot of perseverance on your part. It is important for you to master not just the techniques of photography but also understand how you can make it artistic and appealing.