I love fashion photography. It´s fun, exciting and I will have to say it is also tough, specially breaking into it. One of the many things I love about it though is that I get to work with different people and in turn we get to create new work. I want to share with you some tips on How to Break into (the awesome) Fashion Photography industry.
1. Build a Strong Portfolio
No matter what genre of photography you are in, it is crucial to have a strong and cohesive portfolio. When portfolio building, you want to be able to photograph the things you want to be hired for. In other words, if your focus in fashion photography, don´t mix food photography in the same portfolio. There is nothing wrong with having different bodies of work. The important thing is to have them all together under one same and cohesive theme.
2. Find Inspiration
Finding inspiration is incredibly important when you are starting of your career as a photographer. By researching other photographers you can learn different things such as: lighting techniques, retouching, posing, business workflow and so much more.
3. Build Your Team
Fashion photography is not a one man´s job. A successful fashion shoot is not just about the photographs, it´s also about the wardrobe, the model, hair and makeup, if it´s not in the studio, then the location. If it´s in the studio, then depending on the concept of your shoot, you may require some production design. Fashion photography is truly a group effort. Now, I bet you´re asking yourself where will you find a hair stylist, a fashion designer, AND a makeup artist. Well like you, there are other artists and creatives out there that are in the portfolio building stage. You can check out Model Mayhem which is an online platform where you can find other creatives in your area who are willing to work for trade. Another option is to contact a local cosmetology school and see if some of their students are interested in collaborating.
4. Assist Another Photographer
This is truly a great learning experience. I´ve found that by assisting other photographers I´ve learned things that I can apply to my own photography practice and my business. On the other hand, I´ve also learned about practices that don´t quite work for me that I wouldn´t have known about if I had not assisted during a particular shoot. This is also helpful because having another set of hands around to hold a reflector or to help move some lights is always welcome! Trust me, they will appreciate the help and more than likely, they will offer to help you out as well.
5. Shoot, Shoot and Shoot Some More!
Practice makes perfect, and even then we can´t really reach absolute perfection. This doesn´t mean that you can´t better your craft and excel at what you do. It is extremely important that when portfolio building, you shoot as much as possible. Although it might become exhausting, this will stimulate your mind and creativity and help you refine the technical skills that will help you move into another level.
6. Have Fun!
Photography is a beautiful medium. Enjoy the process and embrace it. Then do the happy dance! :)