Noel Daganta, Los Angeles
A Career In Fashion Photography
We see them everywhere, in Magazines, on the Run Way, in advertisements on TV. They are the slender women strutting their stuff or extra ordinary Beauties with their sultry looks flashing their pearly whites while wearing the newest Styles from the hottest Designers. We are talking about the fashion models of today, yesterday and tomorrow. They are everywhere we look, but who brings them to us? Their images are captures with care and precision, patience and that special look for style, color and lighting composition. I am talking about the fashion photographers.
In the fashion circles famous names like Mario Testino (easily one of the hottest names out there) and Eva Mueller (photographer for Fashion Magazine Allure) are just as sought out if not more then those men and women sauntering their way into our conscious.
High Paychecks and glamour’s Lifestyle of hob nobbing it with the rich and famous might be the dream of many young shutterbug, however it is not easy to reach the golden Staircases of the well-known fashion houses and magazines. For every one talented photographer, hundreds are left panting at the sidewalk, only dreaming about the moment that their photo will be chosen.
Here are a few tips for the novice and dreamer of dreams in getting started in fashion photography. Study your subject. You can never learn enough. Read and look at any fashion Magazine you can get your hand on. There are fantastic books on Fashion and fashion photography available. Amazon.com has a true treasure trove available.
You need one or two good cameras, tripod and a lighting system. Always make sure that you have plenty of film and batteries available. SLR and digital cameras take different photos, so make sure you find the best for your field.
When submitting your work, hopefully to give a chance you have to have a portfolio on hand, just in case the editor of the fashion magazine wants to see samples of your work. I assure you if they consider working with you that is going to be a fact.
The sharp, bright images of a 4X5” transparency show of your work to its best effort. If you have already had a publication, no matter if, it was a small neighborhood magazine/paper or a contest a tear sheet (literally a sheet you tore out of the magazine) works well. If neither is at hand a good high quality 8 X 10 “is acceptable as well. You want to make sure that you have a minimum of 20 photos in your portfolio and preferably different styles. You want to show your expertise in full figure or just partial body parts.
Remember, fashion includes jewelry and accessories. Sometimes a watch from a famous maker on the slender wrist of a beautiful woman is a good fashion shoot. If you are applying for the job, be prepared to leave your Portfolio behind for an extended period of time, sometimes as much as a couple of weeks. I would advice you to make copies and have several on hand. This comes in handy when showing your work to many different people for consideration for fashion work.
In the time of modern technology, it is good to display your talent as a fashion photographer online as well. Set up a website; submit your photos to contests. Submit them to an online fashion gallery. This helps with getting your work seen and people can see what type of work you actually do and can do for them.
Most editors are looking for your personality in the photos you take. Each fashion photographer captures the soul of the fashion and its model differently. Most importantly, if this is your dream, don’t give up. Keep trying and I hope to see your images on the cover of my next hot fashion magazine.