Calling all photographers looking to break into the world of fashion photography. If you’ve ever flipped through the pages of glossy magazines and dreamed of snapping away behind the scenes, then this is the post for you. We’ll break down everything you need to know to get your foot in the door of the fashion photography world.
Fashion Photography Definition and History
The earliest recorded fashion photos date back all the way to the 1850s. Although that is the oldest recording of fashion photography, it didn’t really take flight until the 20th century when fashion became more accessible to the common consumer. Edward Steichen is considered one of the pioneers of modern day fashion photography.
Ultimately, fashion photography is a niche form of marketing, designed to showcase clothing, accessories or the two in tandem. Fashion photography is a great source of inspiration for planning outfits and styles. You can almost always count on fashion photography to be aligned with the latest trends.
The main elements of fashion photography are portraiture, posing, extensive lighting, and beautiful locations. From there, the subject of the photo focuses on clothes, shoes, accessories, cosmetics, and/or hair.
Fashion Photography vs. Normal Photography
Fashion photography is different from normal photography in that it focuses on a mood that enhances the garments, accessories, shoes and cosmetics that are the main subjects of the image. Everything is staged to create a storyline. The goal is to convey a certain lifestyle, with the setup and staging of the image much more complex than a normal photography event.
Types and Styles
There are four main types of fashion photography. They are editorial, high fashion, catalog and street. Let’s look at each in some more detail:
Editorial photography tells a story with images. In editorial fashion spreads, the story is told through the outfits and locations. Think of the multi-page spreads you see in fashion magazines like Vogue or InStyle. With editorial spreads, the goal is less about selling products, and more about creating and capturing a particular aesthetic.
Just about every fashion house has a distinct look. Whether it’s dark and moody, or bright and light, designers want you to recognize their style in an instant. High fashion photography plays a big part in creating these recognizable styles. It also involves a lot of production and often defies reality with enchanting styles and scenarios.
High fashion photographers are commonly used for single image ads, like on billboards or in magazines. The purpose is to grab attention. To that end, high fashion photography usually thinks outside the box.
When you look on a website for new clothes to buy, those images would be considered catalog fashion photography. The purpose of this photography discipline is to sell the featured product. Catalog fashion photography is geared towards the everyday consumer. The background is usually plain, or the setting of the image is simple. That way, the fashion featured really shines.
Street fashion photography, or street style shots, are what come closest to lifestyle photography in the fashion photography world. These types of photos are meant to look organic and reflect everyday situations. Street fashion photos can work for a multitude of reasons, but they are most commonly seen on blogs and social media accounts.
Fashion Photography Elements for Beginners
If you’re looking to break into the world of fashion photography, there are seven key things that you should keep in mind. Let’s break them down for you below.
Practice, practice, practice
Practice makes perfect might be a cliché, but it’s absolutely necessary if you’re going to make it in fashion photography. Ask friends to be your models. This will help you become familiar with how to compose and shoot, plus it will help you become more comfortable with working with professional models. Besides, your friends will get some great new profile pictures in the process. Everybody wins.
Collaborate with other artists
Lean on other experienced artists to learn how to master your skills. Looking to peers for help you learn new styles and build your portfolio. You’ll be inspired by their work, and they’ll be inspired by you, too.
Learn how to retouch your photos
Whether you’re trying to achieve a natural look or going for something left field, you’re going to have to retouch images. This is a key skill in any type of photography, but it’s absolutely essential in the fashion photography world. Picsart is a great platform to easily and quickly retouch images.
Find your style
Much like how fashion houses have distinct looks, so too do different fashion photographers. Look to existing fashion photography for inspiration to identify which styles and themes inspire you. From there, you can determine what your personal style will be.
Build your portfolio
The first step to becoming a professional fashion photographer is developing your portfolio. This will show companies and designers that you’re serious about your work and the industry. To build your portfolio, you’ll want to gather a range of images that show off your skills and capture your personal style.
Use social media to get your work out there
Social media is like a live portfolio, out there for all the world to see. Social media has also become the place for professionals to scout new talent. To be sure your work gets out there, use hashtags and post and engage often. There are a lot of fashion photographers on Instagram these days, so you’ll have to make sure your work stands out.
Build your network in the industry
It’s important to build your network in the fashion industry to make the necessary contacts for success. Not only will this help you be aware of opportunities, it will also help you master your craft. You’ll learn from industry professionals and make connections with models and designers who will present opportunities for collaboration.
How to Get Started with Fashion Photography
Once you feel ready to get going with fashion photography, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here’s a step-by-step guide.
- Determine the project basics. Are you shooting for a catalog, or street fashion photography? Be sure everyone, from the client to your models, is on the same page.
- Create a narrative, keeping in mind that the purpose of fashion photography is to tell a story. Consider organizing your vision into a moodboard.
- Determine your shoot location. You want it to contribute to the story you’re telling, but you don’t want it to distract from the fashion. Everything should work in tandem.
- Consider the equipment required. There’s plenty of information you can look to for determining the best lenses for fashion photography, but in the end, you are going to want to keep your equipment simple to start. Starting with a simple set up will help you learn the ropes fast.
- In the beginning, it’s best to keep your models’ poses simple. This will ensure that the outfit, accessories and fashions form the emphasis of your images.
- Retouch images. You can easily edit photos to make them look the best they possibly can on Picsart. This video tutorial will show you how to use all of the features like skin retouching, the hair color changer, and more.
How to Edit Fashion Photography to Sell Clothes Online
As mentioned earlier on, fashion photography for selling clothes online is different from editorial and high fashion photography. There are lots of listings on sites like Etsy and Depop, so it’s important that your photography will really pop.
Edit your images so that they all have a similar look and aesthetic. This way, buyers will be able to recognize your shop based on the look and style of your photography along. From there, be sure to focus on the details of the product you’re selling. If you aren’t using a model, you can create a ghost mannequin effect where you remove the mannequin or person wearing the clothes so that the clothing looks filled out, but only the product is the focus. You can create this effect with the editing tools and background remover on Picsart.
Make Professional Fashion Photography Designs
To take your professional fashion photography to the next level, us the Picsart web editor to create a unique edit that will help you set your images apart online. You can create professional designs with the Background Changer, by adding stickers to your images, or with any of the other wide selection of editing tools. Just keep in mind that while you are trying to create a distinct, unique look, you still want the fashion and narrative to shine through in your images. For example, you can use stickers that compliment the aesthetic of your photography style, but don’t use so many that they distract from the looks you are trying to focus on.
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