LCCA HND Fashion Show

Fashion photography is an extremely competitive industry, and entering it requires commitment to your craft, dedication, hard work and talent. So, if you are an aspiring fashion photographer, take a look at this blog to improve your fashion photography and get some tips to enter the industry.

What is fashion photography?

Fashion photography showcases fashion accessories and apparel, which is mainly carried out for advertisements, magazines and fashion websites. There are several different types of fashion photography:

  • Editorial fashion: This type of fashion photography is usually carried out for magazines and websites. Styling plays a key role here and there is generally a theme running through the photoshoot. Models are photographed throughout the day in various outfits, which builds the portfolio of the chosen fashion theme.
  • High fashion: High fashion photography is common among designer brands and fashion houses. The photography elements, which include clothes, accessories, styling, theme, location and lighting, work in cohesion to create a perfect image to attract consumers. In addition, these photos usually feature famous supermodels or celebrities. For example, luxury Italian brand Bulgari featured advertisements with supermodel Bella Hadid to highlight their 2018 spring collection.
  • Catalogue: Catalogue photographs are done by many types of organisations to attract consumers’ attention towards their products. This isn’t necessarily done for fashion brands and could be for any form of a product.
  • Street fashion: This involves capturing the style and fashion sense of people in the streets, typically in major urban centres.

Skills necessary to become a fashion photographer

  • Technical skill: This involves completely understanding your camera - its features, parameters, limitations, etc. It is also important to know about lighting, photo editing, lenses and other elements that help improve the quality of photographs.
  • Artistic skill: Being artistic is one of the key traits of a successful photographer. These professionals need to understand how to portray a theme, decide on a location, styling, lighting, background and mood, for which being artistic is important. Furthermore, they also need to balance the artistic side with commercial elements, which helps in creating successful fashion photos.
  • Teamwork: Teamwork is important in any industry, and fashion photography is no different. You will have to coordinate with models, stylists, clients and other stakeholders to ensure that the end product is attractive.

Tips to improve your fashion photography

  • Prepare your concept in advance: It is important to plan your photoshoot in advance and make decisions regarding the elements required for the shoot, such as styling, make-up, background, lighting, props, etc.
  • Experiment: Every fashion shoot is unique, which gives you the license to experiment. Using different colours, lighting and angles can help make the shot look even better. You could also coordinate with the models to try different poses and perspectives.
  • Form an excellent team: Successful photographers count with the collaboration and support of a quality team, without whom a photoshoot cannot be successful. Generally, a team for a fashion photoshoot should consist of wardrobe stylists, hair stylists, makeup artists, set designers and models.
  • Keep an open mind for collaborations: Collaborating with other photographers, artists, editors and other fashion professionals is a good way to improve your photography skills. For example, working on a project alongside another photographer can help you pick up tips and ideas to hone your skills, as well as making professional connections that could do wonders to develop your career.

Tips to enter the fashion photography industry

  • Understand fashion history, categories, trends, terms, etc.;
  • Work with experts in the industry and learn from them;
  • Learn about fashion lighting and retouching;
  • Understand how to use professional tools and techniques;
  • Keep practising;
  • Regularly update your portfolio and social media;
  • Create your original style;
  • Collaborate with other artists;
  • Network, network and then network some more;
  • Complete a professional photography course.

Fashion photography is a niche industry that is notoriously difficult to enter. However, with talent, experience, connections and a professional photography degree in hand, you can take the first steps towards a successful career in this fascinating industry. If you want to become a professional photographer, London College of Contemporary Arts (LCCA) offers an HNC/HND in Photography.

This article was written by Varun Mehta and edited by Luna Campos.