Fashion Photography

5+ types of fashion photography you can opt for

You might wonder what is the difference in fashion photography from any other photography. Well, the display of clothes and accessories as per the latest trends, via photography, is referred to as fashion photography. However, if the importance is given on the model's body then it is more of a glamour image rather than a fashion image.

Fashion photography has developed gradually over the past years. In the beginning, it was just about clothes and other fashion items and now it is mostly about the art and the aesthetic.



Back in 1856, Adolphe Braun, a French photographer issued a book that contained 288 photographs of Virginia Oldoini, Countess di Castiglione, who was a Tuscan noblewoman at the court of Napoleon III. Then, during the first decade of the 20th century when advances were made in halftone printing, it enabled fashion photographs to be used in magazines.  La mode pratique and Harper's Bazaar were the first French and American magazines to use fashion photographs and soon in 1909 when Condé Nast took over, Vogue also followed their path.



'Fashion photographs' are photographs that are taken for advertisement or fashion magazines. There are several types of fashion photography and they differ in many ways.


1. Fashion Editorials


People generally confuse fashion editorial with commercial editorial. In spite of what people think, there is no such budget involved with fashion editorials. The photographers and his team generally take responsibility for the cost of the shoot. Fashion editorial is more of a 'building one's portfolio' photoshoot in the hopes of getting exposure and to get hold of commercial jobs.


2. Beauty Editorials

Beauty editorials are more or fewer fashion editorials only but in this case, the photographs are focused on the hair, makeup and mostly the accessories. In beauty editorials, only the head with the shoulder is shot.


3. Commissioned Editorials

When a magazine hires or commissions a photographer, models, and a whole creative team to shoot for that magazine then it is called commercial editorials.  Magazines often hire renowned or runaway models and even sometimes celebrities for the commercial editorial shoots. The art director of the magazine doesn't need to direct the shoot, most of the time the magazines give their concepts to the hired photographers and their teams and they do the photoshoots accordingly.


4. Shooting on Spec 

When a creative team of photographers, stylists, models, and makeup artists work together to create something for free expecting of getting their work published it is called shooting on spec. At present, the chances of getting published are high and so is the competition. Creative teams all over the world compete with each other to reach their goals. For this kind of shoot, there are no art directors as such. The photographers themselves come up with a concept and with the help of their team execute it. They manage the whole shoot, decides the location, the outfit and the kind of makeups they want and they also look after the production works. The photographers act like art directors in this case.


5. Test Shoot

When a creative team comes together to test their concepts it is called a test shoot. It is a free photoshoot and no one is getting paid. People generally do this to improve their skills or to make their portfolios. Sometimes, the modeling agencies sent their models or new faces to these creative teams for testing them out and to make their portfolios.


6. Commercial Photography

Commercial photographs or catalogs are shot to sell fashion items. In this work, more budget is involved than editorial photography. Commercial photography can be as minor as working with local designers or businesses to create a lookbook or as major as working with a high-end brand to shoot for a makeup ad, designer campaign, or album cover.



Though the camera preferences depend from photographer to photographer,  the cameras mostly used are A7SII and A7RIII (both sony) and the Canon 5D Mark III and any standard CP2 Lens Kit.


Best Photography Camera

10 best cameras which are used for fashion photography:

  1. Sony A7R III

  2. Nikon D850

  3. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

  4. Canon EOS Rebel T7i / Canon EOS 800D

  5. Fujifilm GFX 50S

  6. Fujifilm X-T3

  7. Hasselblad X1D-50c

  8. Pentax 645D

  9. Leica M10

  10. Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III



If you are a photographer who has a creative mind, has lots of patience and the ability to work hard then you should try fashion photography.  It is okay if you do not have a team yet, start from scratch you will get there eventually. Look for models and makeup artists who are willing to make their portfolios, collaborate with them, share your ideas and concepts. You can learn so much from each other.

One does not need the expensive pieces of equipment or a studio to be a fashion photographer. You can always be a fashion photographer even if you do not have a professional camera or an expensive lens kit. Fashion photography is not about the cameras, it is about your concepts. It is your creativity. If you do not have a camera, it is fine.

Start with your phone camera, experiment with the lightings, angles, and location. Do not think much about what others will say but be open to criticism, it will help you to grow and improve your skills. Remember to be confident. 

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