What does a Fashion Photographer do?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2019
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A fashion photographer is a person who professionally takes photographs of models and other subjects typically aimed at highlighting clothing or other types of fashion accessories, often for publication in fashion magazines and journals. Subjects of fashion photography are often models, and fashion photographers are typically charged with overseeing the hair, makeup, clothes, lighting, and other aspects of a fashion photo shoot to ensure the final product is satisfactory to a client. A fashion photographer will typically be a very skilled photographer with an eye for natural design and understanding how to highlight individual focal points within a scene.

Most fashion photographers work for magazines as either freelance workers or specifically as hired on photographers for the magazine. These magazines typically include fashion and beauty magazines, though a fashion photographer could also work with other types of publications when desired. The typical duties of a fashion photographer can include overseeing a photo shoot, ensuring that everyone else is helping to create the final desired product, actually taking pictures, editing and choosing pictures, then selling that work to a magazine.


A fashion photographer will usually oversee all of the action at a photo shoot and try to ensure that everything is running smoothly and in a timely manner. This can include working with makeup and hair artists to ensure the vision of the photographer and client is met, and establishing a lighting scheme for a shoot and seeing that it is lit properly. While the clothing for a photo shoot may be chosen by a client to highlight a specific clothing line or piece of apparel, the photographer may be able to choose the model or models used as well as accessories that may accompany the clothing. A fashion photographer is typically charged with having a vision of what a client wants, and then ensuring the vision comes to life in the final pictures.

Some photographers can work with assistants who physically take the photographs, though many will use the camera and take the pictures themselves. A fashion photographer will usually then choose a final picture or pictures from dozens or hundreds of pictures taken during a shoot, and may then do editing or touchup work on the images. Once this is complete, the photographer will present the pictures to the client, who will usually then either publish the images in a magazine or use the images as publicity or commercial work to be sold to fashion publications.


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Post 5

You have lighting to make it look interesting or maybe cool, however someone wants it to look or how it will sell. I am only nine and know this.

Post 3

What's so interesting about fashion photography?

Post 2

@roser - Street fashion photography isn’t as new as you might think. A lot of the top design houses and ad agencies have been doing street fashion photography for years so they can track the course of trends which often start on the streets and then move on up to high end designers before being filtered back down to everyday fashion.

It’s usually practiced by younger photographers who might just happen to spot someone who dresses interestingly. They might then display their photographs online in order to show off the streetstyle of the area they’re shooting in while also helping them to build ties to the local fashion community.

Like I said earlier though, I believe some design houses

and ad agencies do actually pay photographers - not a lot, but it’s a foot in the door nonetheless - to take photos on the street, especially during fashion weeks in big cities. In this case, asking permission usually isn’t necessary; if it’s fashion week people expect that there’s going to be photographers around. If you want to take a picture of them because you think they look good then I’m sure most people would be more than happy to oblige anyway.
Post 1

What about street fashion photography? It seems to have only recently skyrocketed in popularity which I’m assuming is because of the increased use of the Internet; it’s so easy nowadays to take photographs and have them online a few hours later for people to see and comment on. I still don’t know a whole lot abut street fashion photography though.

I have a few questions: are these photos taken by professional fashion photographers or are they just photographers looking to make their way up? What is the purpose of it as opposed to fashion photography with a set and lighting and everything? Do you have to ask permission?

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