There are a number of different kinds of fashion photography types that you could be shooting on any given day – from studio shoots to outdoor set ups. It’s important to properly plan out the photoshoot beforehand and have an idea of what you will be working with, in terms of lighting, backdrops, etc. This plan should include deciding the technical tools you will need to bring on the day of – like the camera, lenses, and lighting options.
Prior to the shoot, you need to understand what the purpose is – will your photos be used for catalogue, editorials, or high-fashion? You need to understand whether the photographs will be used solely for social media or blown up to display across a building wall. This will help with coming up with the creative designs and also with developing the technical tool kit you will need in your camera bag.
Fashion photography is shot both outside on the streets and inside of studios. If you don’t have your own studio or are shooting in a new location, do your best to get yourself acquainted with the location before the day of. When you do have the ability to choose, make sure you arrive at pre-planning meetings with some location options you are comfortable with. This will help you get the most of the fashion photography photoshoot because you’ll know the kind of natural light you have and what you need to bring with you. The more you can limit surprises that may come your way, the better.
It’s always important to make sure your blog is up-to-date with your most recent shoots. The fashion photography industry is highly competitive and if you are shooting high-fashion, you’ll probably be working on a big-budget photoshoot. To continue to build your network and land more shoots within the industry, be sure to share the spread of your photos as well as the creative process behind your work is highlighted on your online portfolio. Format has a number of different online portfolio website options catered specifically to fashion photography!
It’s important that the models trust you and are comfortable in front of your camera. Fashion photography is about selling a lifestyle, so it’s important to be able to capture the story of the model so people can connect with the photography. Having good rapport with your models will help you capture their essence, synonymous with the brand’s. Meeting with them before the shoot, keeping things light during tense moments, and developing a human connection with your models can help with rapport building.
Fashion photography is an evolving industry so staying fresh in developing new looks and creative directions for photoshoots is always important. A photographer should spend time doing things that cultivate creativity – like browsing through magazines, following other high-fashion photographers on social media, and staying up to date with trends. Having a worldly view or knowledge on what fashion photographers across the world are doing can also help you develop new and fresh ideas.
Have we mentioned that the fashion photography industry is a highly competitive one yet? Creating your online portfolio is one way to market yourself, but going beyond your work it’s important to be able to market yourself as a professional, reliable, creative, and competent photographer. Focus on networking with industry professionals and other photographers or brands you want to work with. Social media is another avenue you should use to market your skills. You can post stories, answer questions, or go live to showcase your ability and further market yourself as a photographer.
The camera you choose to use will depend on a lot of factors – mainly, the style of the shoot, how far along you are in your career, and the location of where the photoshoot is taking place. For an in-depth rundown of fashion photography tips, including camera types, check out the Top 10 Questions on Fashion Photography and Design. If you are shopping for a first-time camera, make sure you take the time to do your research, read the reviews, and have an idea of the style of fashion photography work you will be seeking out.
Beyond the technical skills – like camera, lighting, lenses, etc.– having a good grasp on the intangible aspects of becoming a professional fashion photographer shouldn’t be overlooked. This includes improving your organization skills, communication ability, leadership skills, and your ability to adapt. Intangibles are just as important as the technical skills to the job and will be integral to your ability to make a good impression and continue to land more jobs. Ultimately, they will help you build yourself as a full package photographer with all-around skills.
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