And, while it may seem like life as a fashion photographer might be as shiny and glossy as the most well-heeled stiletto; it’s actually about ‘strapping up your work boots’ and being prepared to ‘do the hard yards’. Here’s a guide to approaching this endeavour.
Embrace new technology
If you didn’t realise it already, the photographic industry is driven by technology. The fashion world is fast paced, experimental and fickle. Put the two together and you have a combination of factors emphasises latest technologies (with a strong need to constantly improve your game). And, while you may not have the most expensive and widely acclaimed camera or associated photography equipment as your disposal; there are ways to embrace new technologies in creative ways.
Just take the applications of this company offering photo booth hire in Sydney as an example. This tech-forward business has found the perfect way to carve a niche. This has been achieved via means of a non-traditional photographic medium, ie. the photo booth. Their products are perfect for fashion events, after-show parties and more. With high definition options and even instagram printers, this is an example of a business who is able to provide photography, innovation and entertainment all in the one package.
Assist other creatives
Assisting on a shoot is a great way to get some practice in fashion photography, and also places you in one of the best settings to make the right connections. As this blog attests (by fashion and fine art photographer Zhang Jingna) spending a few years assisting at shoots may eventually lead to a ‘break through’ in the industry. However, there is never a firm guarantee.
So, it’s important not to go in with ‘stars in your eyes’. Collaborating and a genuine appreciation of the craft is key. So, enjoy yourself; make friends with like minded people and ‘do your thing’. First and foremost, see this opportunity for ‘just what it is’; a chance to learn the ins and outs of fashion photography in the practical sense. Plus a unique ‘bird’s eye view’ on just how the industry operates.
Do it for the love
One of the most important things to remember about fashion photography is to ‘do it for the love’. This applies even if you are a seasoned professional. Creative impulses come and go, and commercial imperatives can really stifle this flow. It’s amazing to realise how drastically things can change when you start doing something you used to enjoy as a hobby for money. It may be due to the cold and clinical nature of transactions, deadlines and other people’s expectations (the list really is endless) that you wind up losing your inspiration and creative spark.
That’s why you should always keep up the ‘personal work’. Your portfolio should always be a reflection of your unique style. Also, consider work on developing a relationship with a gallery where you can showcase your work. Even though there may not be much initial money in laying this groundwork, it’s all giving your work the attention it deserves. After all, maintaining a deep respect for your own work it what it’s all about.
In a an already saturated playing field, sometimes it can be wise to approach fashion photography simply for ‘the art itself’. In essence, let your skills and passion be your guide; rather than your expectations. Beyond merely ‘a snapshot’, you have the scope to be pleasantly and wholeheartedly surprised as to what new and exciting panoramic vistas this all might lead.