How To Become A Fashion Photographer

A fashion photographer is responsible for photographing apparel, accessories, and fashion models. The goal of the fashion photographer is to highlight the apparel or accessories when photographing a model or a mannequin. Fashion photographers may work for fashion publications or fashion journals. If you have a strong work ethic, a passion for photography, and enjoy the fashion realm, you may want to pursue a career in fashion photography.

Why Become A Fashion Photographer

Fashion photographers are responsible for overseeing the entire fashion photography production. From makeup, hair styling, apparel, and lighting. The role of a fashion photographer is to ensure the final photograph of the product meets the satisfaction of the publication or client.

Fashion photographers have an exemplary eye for design. They understand how to perfectly highlight the perfect features within a photographic scene. Overseeing photography assistants and fashion stylists are also a part of a fashion photographer’s job responsibilities.

The fashion photographer makes sure that the fashion shoot is going smoothly. They interact with models or stylists. Establishing lighting moods or schemes, displaying the proper apparel and accessories, and choosing the model for the photo shoot may be a part of a fashion photographer’s responsibilities.

A fashion photographer translates a client’s artistic vision, while making sure the artistic vision comes to fruition in the final photograph. They will understand how to properly utilize camera equipment, lighting, and light metering equipment to ensure a successful photo shoot. A fashion photographer may choose the final images that will be submitted to a client for approval. Editing and touch-up work will also be done prior to the submission of the fashion photographs.

Once the photographs are presented to a client, the client may choose to publish them within their fashion publication or advertising campaign.

Skills & Qualities For A Fashion Photographer

If you wish to pursue a career within the fashion photography field, you should possess the following skills and qualities in order to obtain a position as a fashion photographer.

  1. Communication Skills – As a fashion photographer, it will be imperative that you have strong communication skills, as you will be working closely with fashion stylists, makeup artists, and hair stylists.
  2. Creativity – Fashion photographers utilize their creativity to photograph models and products at various angles, while imagining the final outcome for a fashion publication or assignment.
  3. Patience – Fashion photographers may carry camera equipment and stand for very long periods of time while photographing products or models. Fashion photographers typically work very long hours throughout a photography assignment; therefore, the position requires a vast amount of patience to complete a task.
  4. Manual Dexterity & Visual Skills – As a fashion photographer, it is imperative that you are able to move with the action of a model or various angles, while holding the camera in a steady position. Furthermore, fashion photographers must be able to clearly visualize and see what they are photographing in order to achieve the perfect shot.

Fashion Photographer Work Environment

Fashion photographers typically work as freelance fashion photographers or for magazines. A fashion photographer may be employed by a designer, fashion house, fashion publication, advertising agencies, or beauty publication. The work of a fashion photographer can be strenuous and grueling. They typically spend hours on their feet shooting photographs.

A fashion photographer may sit in front of a computer for extended periods of time, editing or touching-up photographs. Depending on the deadlines for a publication or assignment, a fashion photographer may work over-time. They may even work throughout the holiday season.

Fashion Photographer Salary

The median annual wage for fashion photographers is dependent on their experience, education, area of employment, and region of employment. Fashion photographers within the Northeast region of the United States earn between $52,000 to $69,000 annually. Fashion photographers within the West coast of the United States earn between $42,000 to $65,000 a year. The median annual wage for fashion photographers within the Southern region of the United States earn between $49,000 to $69,000 annually. Fashion photographers within the Midwest region of the United States earn between $46,000 to $62,000 a year. The median annual wage for a fashion photographer is approximately $59,000.

Fashion Photographer Career Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not specifically report on the career outlook of fashion photographers. It does report on the career outlook of general photographers. The career outlook for a photographer looks to grow slower than average than the other career areas, with a projected increase of 4%, from 2012 to 2022.

The overall growth of photographers is projected to grow slowly. This is due to appeal and competition between other photographers within the field.

In order to achieve employment within the fashion photography field, a prospective photographer has to have a strong portfolio. This includes exemplary photography skills, and strong attention to fashion trends and details.

Fashion Photographer Degree

In order to become a fashion photographer, you will need to obtain an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Photography. The field of fashion photography is typically not offered as a full degree program. You should enroll in a Photography program.

You may choose to emphasize your learning within the field of performing arts or fashion. Your academic coursework may include camera equipment, visual techniques, lighting techniques, business skills, editing software, composition, and licensing laws.

Your coursework in fashion photography may allow you to work with makeup artists, stylists, and fashion professionals. As a prospective fashion photographer, it is important that you understand fashion trends, photographic trends, and the fashion realm.

An entry-level fashion photographer should obtain an apprenticeship or internship within the field of fashion photography. Many fashion publications may offer internships and apprenticeships within the field of fashion photography. A fashion photography internship or apprenticeship will teach you valuable skills, allow you to network, and gain a deeper understanding about the photography and fashion realms.

As a prospective fashion photographer, you may be faced with deadlines and a hectic work schedule. It is important that you can think creatively and remain calm under pressure.

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