Fashion photography is the glamorous art of displaying designer clothes as part of advertising features. This post provides an outline of the history of fashion photography.

Fashion photography has existed almost as long as photography itself has been around. This branch of photography has always changed with the times, depending on what the latest trends are.

The first fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar hired artists to draw illustrations in the magazines, instead of making use of photography. Though these publications were established in the 1800’s, it wasn’t until the early 20th century that photographs were used. Vogue hired their first photographer in 1913 – Baron Adolph De Meyer.

Location

Nowadays, it’s not just about a beautiful model and her clothing or accessories. Location is also a big factor. The most well-known fashion publications set aside large budgets to film in luxurious international destinations. The practice of taking models out of the studio and outside for background views of city skylines and exotic beaches only began in 1936.

With the rise of fashion models beginning to become household names in the mid 50’s and 60’s, fashion photography took a whole new level of importance.

As many Western cities now become increasingly cosmopolitan, so too have fashion magazines, as now we see a whole host of models from a variety of backgrounds and races featuring in global publications.

Social media

With the use of social media, and in particular Instagram, fashion photography has once again changed. You no longer need to subscribe to magazines to see the latest work produced by talented photographers. Most magazines now have a Snapchat or Instagram account, so fans can get an immediate look at the latest trends.

Any budding photographers can use social media to their advantage by publishing their own work and testing how popular it becomes online.

If you enjoyed this post, and would like to explore academic opportunities within fashion photography, take a look at LCCA’s HNC/HND Photography course.