Considering a career in fashion photography? Do you know enough about what this entails? With more and more photographers keen to develop these skills and enter this lucrative business, we hope to give you the know how about this fashionable field of photography!
First of all, what is fashion photography? It basically involves working with and photographing not just clothes (commonly on models), but other fashion items also. Once upon a time, this industry wasn’t anywhere near as glamorous as it is now and was simply a means by which brands could advertise and sell their fashion collections. Nowadays, this is a much more glitzy world, providing the most talented photographers the opportunity to work with famous models and designers, travel worldwide, and be involved in the whole production!
It may therefore seem logical that being based in one of the fashion capitals of the world, such as London, Paris, Milan or New York, would be advantageous as you are already located where the IT is all happening! However, just being located in the right place isn’t enough. You need to possess not just the right photography skills, but also personal skills like patience and dedication that are needed to progress in this field. Someone who is an excellent landscape photographer for example may not possess the specific skills needed by a fashion photographer, and therefore it is advised that you consider a fashion photography course to equip yourself correctly. Dedication is a must because this work is far from glamorous at the beginning and can consist of long days and nights, demanding models and crews, and plenty of self sacrifice.
So let’s focus on the all important fashion photography course. Where do you start? There are many courses available. Whilst no two courses will be identical, they will all teach you how to work as part of a crew, how to plan a fashion shoot and use of lighting techniques, how to work as part of a team to create a fashion image, and help you to develop your portfolio. By no means is the course just about how to take the right photograph, but it can be highly academic with studies concentrated on subjects such as the history of art and photography, exploration of different fashion styles, critiquing of past fashion campaigns, and cultural issues within the world of fashion photography.
There are short one day courses or much more focussed degrees you can undertake in fashion photography. Courses are even available online. With such a variety to choose from, you need to consider your key objectives and what you hope to get out of the fashion photography course. The shorter courses may not be so suitable if you are hoping to progress in your career as a fashion photographer as recognised degrees and qualifications are sought. Making contacts in the industry is another excellent way to gain experience on larger shoots and to learn ‘on the job’. Combining the skills picked up practically with those taught in a more formal environment can really facilitate in your developing your own style competently.
Of course the prices of fashion photography course vary hugely depending on the skill of the tutors, the exposure gained during the course, the length of the course, and the strength of the qualification gained. These factors should be considered careful before booking onto a course and you are encouraged to ask any questions if you are unclear about any issues before committing to a particular course. Word of mouth is also an excellent way of gaining both positive and negative feedback about courses, as well as the opportunity to view the portfolios of previous students.