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Fashion photographer

A fashion photographer takes photographs of the latest clothes, accessories, hairstyles and make-up.

Fashion photographers are responsible for how clothing is presented in advertising campaigns, catalogues and fashion magazines. They work closely with designers and fashion houses to ensure they are portraying the desired image for the brand. They work in studios or carry out shoots on location.

The fashion industry is highly competitive; most photographers work on a freelance basis and must build up their reputation and eventually have their own studio if photography is to be a sole source of income. Periods of little or no work are common.

Work activities

  • Meeting with designers to generate unique concepts for photo shoots.
  • Understanding fashions, style and fabrics and how to shoot them.
  • Using different types of light and modern technologies in photography such as photo editing software.
  • Directing on set; instructing models and other set personnel.
  • Producing portfolios of work.

Work conditions

Travel: is a feature. Work is usually based in a studio; some on location shoots require international travel and periods away from home.
Working hours: can be very long and unsociable.
Location: Most fashion houses and photography studios are based in large cities. Locations for shoots can often be uncomfortable, taking place in all weather conditions and settings.

Further information

A degree is generally not necessary; however qualifications in photography are useful in order to gain knowledge of the ever-growing technology and equipment used in the industry.

Talent and work experience is essential; undertaking assistantships and networking can improve prospects.