Skip to Main Content

Fashion Photographers

The Job

Fashion photographers can work in any of several different areas of the fashion field. They provide artwork to accompany editorial pieces in magazines such as Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vogue and trade journals such as Women’s Wear Daily. The advertising industry is probably the largest employer of fashion photographers who create the pictures that sell clothing, cosmetics, shoes, accessories, and beauty products. Catalog companies employ photographers to provide images that will sell their merchandise through print or online publications. Fashion Web sites also hire fashion photographers to take photos for online publication.

Fashion photography is a specialized form of photography that requires working on a team with designers, editors, illustrators, models, hair stylists, photo stylists, and makeup artists. Shooting takes place in a studio or on location, indoors and outdoors. Photographers use cameras, lenses, filters, lighting equipment, props, and sets. Some may still use film but the speed of digital photography and the ability to edit images digitally has made film photography more of a fine art. Most fashion photographers use digital cameras and edit the images on computers with image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop. If the photographer is working on location, meaning away from his or her studio, the images can be stored on portable devices such as compact discs, memory cards, and flash drives. Their first priority is to satisfy the client’s requirements. Some photographers develop a unique artistic style that earns them recognition and higher wages.

Photographers may work as freelancers, and must handle all the tasks of running a business. These responsibilities include billing clients promptly and appropriately, keeping track of expenses, ordering supplies, hiring staff, and keeping their businesses going by lining up new jobs for when a current project ends.

Related Professions