5 Tips Starting Out as a Fashion Photographer

If you currently a photographer looking to break into fashion or beauty photography or maybe you’re just getting started with photography and are looking to launch into your next phase? Then this post is for you! 

Growing up my parents were photographers. We had an in-home photo studio, so at any point in the day they would be photographing newborns, seniors, families, etc. (Back when everythinggg was done in studio and people didn’t believe in the natural light portrait yet) I was not into photography at all growing up or even in high school, but I was very into modeling and fashion. Long story short, I got into photography because I found myself always need to capture my art or designs. I increasingly got better, but did not find a real passion for it until I found my niche in the photography world!

And this is how I found my niche:

1. Start a Series

I wanted to get better at photography, but primarily to try and hone in on what my style was. I honestly didn’t know at the time. I knew I liked photographing people in a stylized way,  I love to sculpt the scene into a very specific story. I am not a documentary photography. Some people can stroll around town and capture stunning candid images, but I knew that wasn’t me. I also love fashion and styling, so I knew that should play a large role.

I should also note, I did this on the side of my full time job. Anything that is important to you, you will make time for!

I started a series featuring different artist in the Savannah community and designing sets inspired by them and their work. I called it the, “If I Don’t, I Won’t” series. My constraints were that I had to create 1 shoot a month from start to finish, had to be someone with a story not just a pretty face that I could interview, and the environment had to be stylized. OH and I could only spend $20 on the shoot!

Kelsey was my very first interview of “If I Don’t, I Won’t” and me and Kelsey have been close friends ever since. I knew I wanted to feature Kelsey because I was inspired by her story and her whole vibe! The photos weren’t perfect, but I was proud of them. More than how they turned out, I was excited to start something and get momentum going. 

Here are a couple photos from different photos created within the series (including one that landed me in Vogue Italia):

2. Make Yourself an Asset

Go assist as many people as your can whenever you’re breaking into a new field! By assisting on set you are able to network and learn on the job. Asking a peer “Hey, I would love to help you with a shoot sometime in whatever way I can help.” is so much more effective than, “Hey, can we can lunch sometime so I can pick your brain?”. Think of ways to help and contribute and others will be so much more gracious to teach you and help you network. 

3. Assemble Your Team

They say you’re only as good as your team and well…they’re not wrong. Befriend other people that have similar goals. When you’re planning a shoot for fun, ask your friend who is getting into hair or makeup to be a part of it, or your stylist friend. The more people you have as part of a shoot, the more exposure you will get. The models, hair & makeup artists, stylist will share with their followers too creating an even larger reach. (bonus points if they have a large reach) Not to mention, how much better quality a shoot will be with different creative minds collaborating together! Believe it or not, people want to help! People want to be a part of something fun, especially something you are passionate about!

Below are images made JUST FOR FUN. Each shoot had a team of about 4-5 people, all working for free to make something that they love!

Hope this has helped. Best of luck. xoxo

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