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Tips for Breaking Into Fashion Photography

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 11/7/2010

If you want to break in to the editorial fashion photography business, then you need know something about the process. But how do you get started? Learn more here.

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    Establish Your Photography Reputation

    Editorial photography involves the photographs within a magazine or newspaper that have nothing to do with the ads. Editor fashion photography involves pictures of models, usually wearing clothing or jewelry that has something to do with the editorial content. While you can find this type of photography in the fashion sections of newspapers, you most often see editorial fashion photography in magazines.

    If you are interested in breaking into this photography, there are some techniques and etiquette that you need to learn. First of all, you need a good freelance photographer portfolio. Very few photographers are kept on staff, and those that are, are either news or sports photographers. So, you need to create a name for yourself in the business.

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    Create Your Concept

    Next, you need to know how to interpret the instructions of a fashion editor, who will generally either give you an outline of what they want, or simply a couple of words about the piece. It is your responsibility to set the mood and feel of the photographs.

    Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/arcticpuppy/4857151308/sizes/m/in/photostream/ If the piece has already been written, ask to get a copy. If not, then you need to pick the colors and the message that you want the audience to take away from the piece.

    Work with the stylist. She is the one that provides you with the clothes for the shoot, and she can also give you an idea what the editor is looking for. Next, you need to get models that fit the overall look of the clothing and ones that can actually fit into the clothes. Sizes tend to run small so look at the clothing that the stylist brings. Then, use the makeup that brings out the clothes and the feel of the shoot

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    Establish the Shooting Schedule

    Figure out when you need to have the shoot down. This will determine how early that you need to start setting up. Remember, makeup can take several hours depending on how intricate it is.

    You also need to set up the photography lighting. Since most editorial fashion photography shoots take place in a studio, you can set up lighting, reflectors and fill flash wherever you need it. Since most editorial fashion photography has props, set up the props first, and then use a model stand in to figure out what will give you optimal lighting with that particular set.

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    Put the Subject in the Best Light

    While taking the photographs, pay attention to the subject of the shoot. If it’s the clothes, ask the stylist to make sure that the clothes Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pictiurfear/4277662619/sizes/m/in/photostream/ look good throughout the shoot. If the focus is hair, bring in the hair stylist to ensure that the hair stays in place and shoots the way it’s supposed to. Same thing goes for jewelry and makeup. It’s best to have all eyes helping you, especially specialists in their fields.

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    Post-Processing

    Keep your crew on schedule, and end on time. You should do some post-processing to make sure that the photos look their best, including touching up exposure, contrast and temperature. But, you should check with the editor some want to do their own post-processing.

    Finally, be prepared to give your input on the layout. You won’t have to do it yourself, but the editorial layout staff may bring you in to help them.