How to kick-start your career in fashion photography

Posted: 30th of January 2019 by kris@notgoingtouni.co.uk

How to work in Fashion Photography?


Considering a career in fashion photography, but struggling to find a way in without enrolling on a university course? Lucky for you, we caught up with Joe Parker, Photographer and Social Media Administrator at designer clothing and accessories retailer Garment Quarter. Here, the Bristol-born prodigy shares his top tips for breaking into the fashion photography industry without higher education.

Getting your fashion photography career kick-started can seem daunting, especially if you don’t plan on heading off to university to pursue it. But, don’t let that stop you. There are plenty of other ways you can get your foot in the door while building up your skill set and having fun with it.

To get you started, I’ll be sharing my top tips for reaching your goals and making a name for yourself in the fashion photography industry.

 

Define your shooting style

Fashion photography is an incredibly competitive market to be in, so setting yourself apart from the rest of the photographers out there is a must. To be successful, you need to be creative, and this includes asking yourself questions about what type of fashion you want to shoot, what you shoot, how you shoot it, and how you edit the final photos.

If you’re struggling for inspiration, finding a group of like-minded people who are willing to help and offer you constructive criticism on your pieces is a great way of refining your individual shooting style. There are plenty of Facebook groups full of creatives where they share inspiration, so it’ll be well worth checking these out if you need advice from both current and prospective fashion photographers.

Create a shareable, online portfolio

One of the most important tips I can share with you is to have confidence in your own abilities. This doesn’t just mean taking photos and feeling proud, but also being open to showing other people the content you’re working on and demonstrating how your skills are progressing over time. And, the best way I found of doing this is by creating an online portfolio of photos that can be shared.

There are so many different ways you can get your work out there, especially with social media platforms like Instagram really taking off in recent years. I know that fashion photography is a competitive industry, so I’d advise placing your portfolio in as many online spaces as you can to build as much excitement and momentum around your work as possible.

Learn how to promote yourself online

There’s no point creating great content if you’re not going to do your best to get it out there, so learning how to promote yourself online in a way that gets people engaged and excited is really important.

To do this, you’ll need to be dedicated enough to post consistently. It’s hard for people to ignore your content if you’re putting it out on a regular basis, so be persistent with it. If you’re using social media for this, make sure you look up some of the most searched related hashtags and add them to your caption for increased exposure.

Additionally, you need to look at your analytics, like impressions, and understand what they mean. This will help you identify when your target audience is most active, so you can get begin structuring your uploads to this time frame, giving you the best chances of gaining exposure along the way. All it takes for you to kick-start your career is one or two photos gaining enough attention, so persevere with it.

Take on as many new opportunities as you can

Apprenticeships are one of the best ways to learn industry tips and tricks, while making money alongside it to get your career off the ground. Before I got my current job with Garment Quarter, I did an apprenticeship with Out of Hand where I managed the company’s social media channels. Although not directly related to fashion photography, it was a great way to get my foot into the door of the arts industry.

Taking opportunities shouldn’t just be limited to professional ones either. Gathering some friends and doing test shoots with them to practice different techniques and styles is a great way of developing your skill set, and two heads are sometimes better than one when it comes to this kind of thing!

Breaking into the fashion photography sector can be difficult, with so much new competition cropping up every day. But, with my top tips and some self-belief, you can get to where you want to be. Good luck!

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