Most often people associate the job of a fashion photographer with luxurious settings, beautiful models, exotic locations, glamorous lifestyle and to top it all, good money. While all of this is true for those who have become brand names, the going for freshers is tough and there is a lot of behind the scene hard work, which demands a high aesthetic and visual sense, a refined sensibility, and the ability to constantly reinvent ideas that makes someone a true fashion photographer and creates an individual signature and character.
Although traditionally fashion photography meant shootings models, today the scope has expanded a lot and one also needs to shoot products aesthetically to boost advertising campaigns. All this requires a combination of technical skills as well as an eye for detail. The trick is to understand the brand or product and lend it a quality that in turn will grab maximum eyeballs. A fashion photographer must have a deep sense of aesthetics. He or she should be comfortable around people. Different people have different sets of idiosyncrasies. You have got to know how to handle that. You have to stay current and be abreast of what is happening around you. Lastly, you need lots and lots of energy.
A fashion photographer essentially should be a good technician with a sense of color and balance. He should be critical of his work in terms of quality. A fashion photographer must constantly teach oneself. He should have patience and have the knack to handle people well.
One of the biggest motivating factors for fashion photographers is that their profession does not have any room for redundancy. Every day brings forth new challenges. As a photographer puts it, he is a people’s photographer and would really get bored to shoot women in bikini day in and day out. He likes shooting people and my models differ with every assignment, thereby keeping to turn any profession into a lifelong vacation.
For a fashion photographer there is no dearth of opportunities in the print and electronic media. He or she can work for different newspapers, magazines, periodicals, products, agencies, or do freelance work. And how do agencies go ahead to select a fashion photographer for a particular assignment? We usually start by looking at the portfolio of a photographer. Then, we see whether the photographer has fresh ideas and is inclined to break the clutter. There are times when for a particular campaign, we zero in on someone who has never done fashion photography before.
The emphasis is on a fresh and contemporary look. A good fashion photographer should create something out of this world. He or she must keep coming up with new ideas ad keep changing the style. The capacity to reinvent and not become redundant is critical to his or her success. Fashion is all about pushing the envelope and creating something that has never been seen before. There should be a wow factor, an aspiration quality. A fashion photographer should make ordinary people look extraordinary. They must look at the brand they are shooting for because different brands have different tone they must understand that and be sensitive towards that.
A lot of people think that being a fashion photographer will bring in a lot of money. If that’s your attitude then you better join something else. Only if you do it passionately and not for now lucrative it is, then you will enjoy as well as succeed. If you think you are only going to hang out with glamorous people then you better look for a different vocation.