How to Become a Fashion Photographer
If you enjoy photography and art, have a good sense of style, and enjoy fashion then you might like to become a fashion photographer. A fashion photographer completes shoots for fashion magazines, clothing designers, and advertising companies that fit into the theme of fashion. Most of the time, they will feature models and designer clothing.
Fashion photographers need a wide range of photographic skills. They need to be able to take a great portrait shot, but also to be able to capture their subject in a landscape or on more creative shoots. They also need to be able to come up with ideas for shots, to be able to position models, and work well with other creative types. Fashion photography is a competitive field, and there are many people who want to work in this glamorous industry.
Education Requirements to Become a Fashion Photographer
Many people believe you need to go to a fine art school to become a fashion photographer. This simply isn't the case. The majority of fashion photographers are self-taught. It's never too early or too late to start your training.
To become a fashion photographer, you will need to gain photographic skills and techniques. A great place to find this is the internet. There are thousands of articles and videos on the subject of photography and there are also plenty of magazines and books dedicated to the subject. The key to becoming a great photographer is plenty of practice.
You can complete a course in photography at community college. You could also choose to complete a photography degree at a four year college. Concentrate on developing a strong portfolio, as this will be important in securing a job later.
You'll also need to know about fashion. Again, the best way to learn is to teach yourself. Read fashion magazines like Vogue, and learn about industry events through the many blogs and websites dedicated to the subject. If you follow your favorite designers and models, you'll learn plenty along the way.
Fashion Photographer Job Description
A fashion photographer shoots photos that will appear in a fashion magazine, or will advertise a fashion brand. They also select things like lenses, make decisions about lighting, settings, and direct models in the shot. They may later develop a photo the old fashioned way, or digitally retouch it.
If you want to become a fashion photographer, you will need to learn the art of self-promotion. Networking within the fashion industry is important. Most photographers are self-employed and rely on contract work, and your reputation can make or break you.
Here are some of the tasks a fashion photographer could complete:
- Taking photos
- Selecting a camera and lens
- Choosing lighting
- Developing a photo
- Choosing a setting
- Retouching a photo
- Directing models
- Working with other people
Fashion Photographer Salary and Career Path
Most fashion photographers are self-employed and get paid on a per job basis. This can mean you get a lot of money for one particular job, but also you run the risk of going some time without work. You are also responsible for your tax in most instances. A small portion of fashion photographers are employed directly by magazines.
Many photographers will supplement their income with other work. For instance, they may shoot pictures for stock photography, work as an image editor, or do similar work to fill the gaps in between jobs. Be prepared for a few slim years when you first begin working as a fashion photographer.
On average a photographer will earn between $30,000 and $60,000 a year. The most highly sort after photographers have the ability to earn more than this. It will take years of hard work to build up this kind of reputation.
Here are some similar roles to that of a fashion photographer:
- Digital artist
- Graphic designer
- Fashion designer
If you're a creative personal and you love fashion, then you might like to become a fashion photographer. It's a competitive industry, but working in an area you are truly passionate about is a great reward. Those who work hard and have a talent for what they do have the opportunity to make a good income from this role.
*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics