If you love clicking pictures and are interested in beauty and fashion, think about a career in Fashion Photography, if you really love photography, you will never have to go to work for a living. Yes, it’s true because you will make money for what you love doing anyway, i.e. clicking photographs.
Apart from having the love for clicking photographs, there are some specific requirements which are necessary to have a successful career in fashion photography.
1. Creativity and Imagination
Photography is a form of art, it’s kind of painting on canvas using camera, it’s authoring an article using camera. Therefore, it requires a creative mind—and plenty of imagination. The advancement of technology has made it extremely easy for anyone to click a decent photo, yet the distinction between an average and a great photographer is what, how, when, and how much of the photograph. Its what the brilliance of the photographer that he can see the invisible within a fraction of second, better and faster than anyone else. It is not just clicking the photograph but interpreting what is visible and what is invisible to express through the photograph.
The “what” and “how much” of the photography is called composition. Though a photograph may be recomposed using software, but a great photographer gets the right composition mostly while clicking and not create a composition as an afterthought during editing the photograph on his computer. There are rules for composition, but a good photographer knows from instinct and practice when to use and when to break a rule to create a great photograph.
2. An Eye for Detail
A good photographer sees like his camera and composes in his mind before evening seeing through the view finder. He has very keen eye for detail and is able see all the elements within a photo – the lighting, the composition, the subject, and everything else in between – he ensures that all the elements are in sync and create a perfect harmony for the picture to “click”.
Key elements that make up a photograph:
Light is the most significant of a photograph, no light, and no photograph, well I am not counting X-ray or CAT pictures. A good photograph uses light intelligently to build his photograph, the direction, intensity, and quality of life using reflectors and modifiers, both in studio and outside using natural light. A photographer’s eye can see the naturally available reflectors and diffusers and uses them intelligently.
Composition is the usage of space and elements in the photograph vis a vis the subject. The awareness and an eye for detail lets a photographer compose an image into a great photograph. There are many rules of composition in the principles of design and a great photographer may not even be aware of those rules and their definition, yet by instinct he uses most of these rules and creatively breaks many of them to create a great photograph.
A photograph which pulls a viewer to itself has a story to tell, the story of the characters in the photograph, story of the moment before the photograph or something which is about to happen moments after, the relationship which is established between characters in the photograph or any communication which may be there to the characters not visible in the photograph. A photograph which prompts the viewer to weave a story by himself or sees the entire story being built up in the photograph. Storytelling makes the photograph last longer and people don’t get bored viewing it over and over again. Storytelling provides longevity to the photograph.
A photograph which invokes an emotion gets connected with people and becomes timeless. Like “The Terror of War”, photograph showing Phan Thi Kim Phuc running down a road near Trảng Bàng, Vietnam, after a napalm bomb was dropped on the village of Trảng Bàng by a plane of the Vietnam Air Force.
Even the tiniest detail can make or break a photograph. So having an eye for detail and being meticulous when scrutinizing every single element to ensure cohesiveness is especially important in producing the perfect photograph.
3. Patience and Flexibility
One of the Murphy’s laws said “If anything can go wrong, it will” holds perfectly true in the field of photography, hence a photographer must be flexible and adoptable, and should be able to innovate. Certain types of photography require a lot of patience, particularly wildlife and children. Patience as an attribute is always advantageous to have in any profession, but more rewarding and desirable in photography.
No matter how much you try to control every variable, things just won’t go your way at times. There will be days when the lighting won’t cooperate, when your models or clients will be exceptionally difficult, or when your camera just won’t give you the desired results.
And of course, there will be times when you’ll have to take a billion photos just to get one perfect photo.
Whatever photography field you may be in, patience (lots of it) is always an essential quality to have. You need to be patient enough to wait for the perfect lighting. You need to be patient enough to deal with crying babies, hyperactive animals, and difficult clients. And most of all, you need to be patient enough to keep trying when you simply can’t get the right shot.
In addition to patience, you also need to be flexible. The two qualities go hand in hand—you need to be patient enough to deal with whatever comes your way, and you need to be flexible enough to make the best of undesirable conditions.
4. Good People Skills
Being a professional photographer means working with people—whether it’s a client, a model, or even a fellow photographer. Thus, being a good photographer requires good people skills — it’s one of the essential photographer qualities. You’ll also need to network to obtain clients and partnerships, so knowing how to connect and communicate effectively with others is imperative.
When you’re photographing people, knowing how to take a good photo simply isn’t enough. You also have to know how to interact with your subjects to make them feel at ease, get them to cooperate, or draw out all the right emotions out of them.
Passion is the most important ingredient which differentiates average from excellent. Passion sets a good photographer apart from the rest.
When you’re passionate about what you do, it will always shine through in your work. It takes a lot of time and effort to make it as a professional photographer, and the ones who do succeed and manage to make a name for themselves are those who are truly passionate about their craft.
Passion makes the photographer—it will always make you work a little harder, push a little farther, and strive to be better than you were the day before.
Being a fashion photographer myself, I can assure you that it is one of the finest, interesting, satisfying and rewarding professions to be, and apart from enriching you in many aspects, it keeps you young, always. Happy Clicking.