Having the proper equipment is essential to get good quality photos. You’ll need reflectors and diffuser’s with you at all times. You’ll need to make sure that you have monopods and tripods as well. When It comes to the proper lens to choose from. I don’t have a specific brand or model that I recommend. I think it’s more a trial and error process that you have to go through first. I always recommend you rent various lens and even different camera models. This will save you from spending money on a lens or camera that you don’t feel comfortable with. Most companies won’t take back a lens or camera after you have used it. The resell market never offers equal value to items you may have purchased. This is the case even if it only has a few hours of use on it.
Now that you know how to use your camera properly it’s time to find some models. I found the best way to get a model willing to do a shoot for free is find one that is trying to build their portfolio. This way you can practice on your technique and both of you can work on building your portfolio. You can try various websites on the internet that can aid you in your search. You might want to beware of craigslist when searching for models. This experience is invaluable in helping you with your lighting techniques and getting comfortable directing a photo shoot. The best part is once you’ve gone through a few shoots you’ll have quite a few photos to work on your editing skills.
No matter what genre of photograph you are in understanding how to use your lighting properly is extremely important. You will be working with different varieties of lighting such as natural and studio lighting. I prefer natural lighting, but I do find that most of my clients prefer studio shots. So, I decided that reflectors were going to be my best friend during my studio shoots. To keep expenses down in my first few years. I chose to use as much natural lighting as I could get away with. It gave me time as well to work on learning how to use various studio lighting. I was lucky enough to have a studio portrait photographer in my home town allow me to practice with her lighting. You can always rent lighting equipment to practice as well.
Editing your photos is another process that takes time and experience to produce a quality and professional final product. There are several different programs out there that you can use to edit your photos. I prefer Lightroom to edit all of my images. You can use either a Mac or PC as well with this program. How you edit your photos is really up to how you want your style to be. It may be a style that’s suited specifically for a particular client. It may be a style that’s total unique or one that you’ve seen other successful fashion photographers use. This is where you get to explore your creative side and determine how you want your post processed pictures to look like.
The fashion industry is in constant change mode. Different styles and tastes come and go with each year that passes. As a fashion photographer you have to stay familiar with the current trends. You need to be familiar with the various designers. It would also be a good idea to know the different magazines that cover the fashion industry. I know the biggest part of cover a fashion show in my early years where the contacts that I made. It’s extremely important to work on establishing relationships with others within the fashion industry. I call this self marketing yourself and it’s probably the second most important only behind the pictures you take.
A fashion shoot is not something that you can do on your own. You’ll need help in most cases with wardrobe changes or with hair and make-up. I have a great assistant that can do all of these tasks for me. Starting out I wasn’t able to afford an assistant so I posted an ad at a local college for an intern. This is a great way for both you and an intern to work on your skills. I was also lucky enough to have a husband that didn’t mind carrying all my gear for me. You would be surprised how much you end up having to carry to an outdoor photo shoot.
Hiring an agent was probably one of my least favorite tasks to complete. I was hoping that once I got my name established and had proven that I produced professional quality photos that the work would start flowing in. Unfortunately, that was not the case for me in my first 2 or 3 years. The big plus for me was that I did have a portfolio to present. Most agents aren’t chasing after you and in some cases it can be difficult to get them to even look at your work. Once you have an agent they will be the one going out and getting your work in front of designers and magazines. Highly recommend hiring an agent once you have a good portfolio.