24 Aug Australian Fashion Photographer
(Cover picture: Ted Baker – Style Guide for MRC, Photographed by Souriphotography – Australian Fashion Photographer)
What is Fashion Photography?
Fashion photography is the branch of photography where the aim is to bring clothes and other items of fashion into focus. A Australian Fashion Photographer displays the fashion in the best way to make them appealing to the purchaser. The aim is to sell these pieces of fashion through imagery. Fashion photography can be a lucrative area of photography.
This is where you can be paid quite well for your photography expertise if you get your foot in the door of the right places. Some may think that it’s an easy gig. Photographing beautiful models wearing beautiful clothes. It does come with some hard work in organisation of the shoot, as you’re generally working with a team of creatives. Oh, and there’s lot of creativity required on your part.
Fashion photography is all about team work. With the right team, your work will be a lot easier. Sometimes the team may be in conflict as to how the photo shoot should go. That’s when you have to exert your professionalism to control the situation. The team usually consists of a stylist, a hair stylist, a makeup artist and the people who hired you.
You’re also going to have your own assistant or two which you’re always going to need on fashion photography shoots:
- Having someone to carry your bag,
- change your lenses,
- hold the reflector
- and help you set up lighting
makes for a smooth running photo shoot. This leaves you the time and energy to get creative and focus on the job.
(Millinery Collection for Lisa Alexander Design, Photographed by Souriphotography – Australian Fashion Photographer)
My Favourite International Fashion Photographers.
There’s so many fantastic fashion photographers out there. Some have been around for a very long time and they have well and truely earned their position as the leaders in fashion photography. Their worked is timeless and are a constant inspiration for the new and emerging photographers.
One of my all time favourite fashion photographers is Patrick Demarchelier. Patrick has been around for a few decades and is still alive and kicking. He is still photographing the most elite models and actors for the top magazines such as Vogue. Other famous renowned fashion photographers whom I love include Herb Ritts (recently deceased), Helmut Newton, Annie Leibovitz, Mario Testing, Steven Meisel, Mario Sorrenti – just to name a few!
Some of the newer, younger ones I follow are:
Lara Jade’s (Lara Jade Photography, New York) work is what got me interested in fashion photography in the first place. Lara is amazing at making studio lighting look like natural light. Her work has graced magazine covers and she has an impressive list of commercial clients.
Emily Soto (New York) produces some dreamy work and is famous for her use of the Petzval art lenses. After seeing her fine art photography work, I also invested in those lenses and love the results they produce! She’s worked with many fashion labels and magazines.
Zhang Jingna’s (New York) fashion photography work is beautifully unique and has been featured in Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. She’s a fine art photographer who also specialises in beauty. Zhang was awarded Photographer of the Year by Elle Singapore. Zhang produces some breathtaking personal portrait photography work.
Lindsay Adler is fantastic with her photoshop skills, creating wonderful images for her commercial fashion clients. She’s been around as a fashion photographer for a while and produces fresh, up-to-date work. Lindsay runs a lot of workshops like the rest of the top photographers and is a key speaker at many photographer conferences.
Victor Demarchelier (son of Patrick) is quickly following in his famous father’s footsteps. Victor is a great photographer in his own right, already working with the big labels and magazines. With connections like he has, there’s no doubt that Victor will have a long and successful career as a top international fashion photographer.
There’s so much new talent out there with so many different approaches to fashion photography. You’ll find that some just constantly produce images which appeal to you. Those are the ones who will inspire you the most when it comes to your own work.
Favourite Australian Fashion Photographers
When it comes to Australian fashion photographers, Simon Upton is first to come to mind. This guy has worked hard over the last 15 years to establish himself as one of Australia’s most in demand fashion photographers. Simon works internationally as well as within Australia.
He’s shot some A-list actors and models for top fashion magazines such as Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire and L’Officiel. Simon has shot campaigns for Oroton, Seed, Myer and Omega. Simon has photographed Elle Macpherson, Naomi Watts, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Kate Hudson, Cate Blanchette and many more gorgeous models and actors. Not a bad career choice for this former Olympic swimmer.
Peter Coulson has won awards for his photography talent including the Canon AIPP Australian Fashion Photographer of the year (2011). He specialises in fashion, beauty and fetish photography. Peter shoots campaigns for clients nationally and internationally. Peter produces breathtaking, emotive and captivating photography. His technical skills sees him travelling internationally to teach. You are also able to access his knowledge via his online courses.
Andrew Maccoll has shot some big names including Matt Damon, Bill Clinton, Robert De Niro, PINK and lots more. He’s the principal photographer for L’Oficiel Magazine and has had clients which include Bulgaria and Dior. Andrew has won many awards for his photography work and has had his portraits of Mick Molloy, Mick Fanning and Eric Bana acquired and exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery.
Nicole Corbett is another great Australian Fashion Photographer, based in Sydney. Some publications she has featured in include InStyle Magazine, Melbourne Weekly, Fashion Journal, Frankie, The LA Fashion Magazine and Capture. Allanah Hill, Yeojin Bae, Windsor Smith and Lipstick Shoes are just some of her clients. Nicole also shoots weddings.
Sara Fountain is another great Australian Fashion Photographer, based in Sydney. Sara works internationally, specialising in fashion, beauty and commercial photography. Some of her clients include Toni Maticeveski, Camilla, Canon and David Jones. Her work has graced the pages of Vogue Australia, Elle Greece, Collective Magazine and Culture Magazine.
Georges Antoni is a successful Australian Fashion Photographer who has worked with Rihanna, Dita Von Teese, Jennifer Hawkins and Miranda Kerr. He’s one of Australia’s in-demand fashion photographers who has worked for David Jones, Versace, Hugo Boss, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Oyster and Grazia. His talent, looks and personality has led him to becoming a judge on Australia’s Next Top Model.
There are many more talented Australian Fashion Photographers out there. The competition is high but the talented ones do very well.
(C/meo Collective – Studio Fashion Photos , Photographed by Souriphotography – Australian Fashion Photographer)
The Pros Of Becoming a Australian Fashion Photographer
It’s a lot different to the other genres of photography. With weddings or any other event photography, there’s the stress of capturing every moment of the special day and missing a key moment might mean that you’ll have to deal with a bride-zilla! As a fashion photographer, you get to take your time and create your shots and the models do listen to your direction. There’s a team behind you to make sure that everything is in place – including the way the clothes are sitting, any stray hairs and fixing up smudged makeup. Tethering your shots will mean that everyone is happy or not with what is being produced and will keep on track. Unlike a wedding, once you have your shots – it’s a wrap! Oh, and if you’re good, you will get to travel to some awesome destinations!
The Cons Of Becoming a Australian Fashion Photographer
There may be very early (sunrise) starts and late finishes. You might have to travel far from home. You may be required to do the location scouting for the shoots which means heading out to have a look around prior to the day. You’re dealing with models, stylists and makeup artists who may not have the same vision as you do. With most fashion shoots, your creative input is generally not needed when it comes to the styling of the shoot. You’re there to create the best images of fashion in front of you so that it appeals to the consumer. It will be a while before you begin to make some decent money with fashion photography – so unless you have connections, be patient!
How To Get Started as a Fashion Photographer in Australia
Live Somewhere Fashionable
So you’re dead-set on becoming a fashion photographer. How do you get started? Firstly, live in a fashion capital. You’ll find that there’s much more work in the main cities than there are in little towns. New York, Milan, Paris, London, Sydney or Melbourne (yes … MELBOURNE!) are good places to be. These big cities will also give you access to a great crew which is needed to make a fashion photo shoot run well.
Find Fashion Collaborations
Whether you’re already a photographer considering a move into fashion photography or a newbie to the photography world, you’re going to have to do work for free. Creating a great portfolio is what will gain you respect as a fashion photographer. Finding a unique, recognisable style will set you apart from the rest.
A great way to do this is to join some groups where you’ll find other creatives who are wanting to do the same thing. There are models, hair and makeup artists and stylists out there who are also wanting to build up their portfolio. They’ll be willing to give up their time in exchange for photos. It’s in all of these creative’s interest to collaborate in a well planned photo shoot to come up with some images that everyone can use to promote themselves.
Keep in mind that your focus has to remain on how you can photograph fashion. Maybe it will be worth the effort to contact some up and coming fashion labels to collaborate with as well. As you get better at fashion photography, you’ll be able to approach the more established labels for some fashion items for some pieces for your photo shoots. Who knows, if you do a really fantastic job with your collaborations, these fashion labels may consider hiring you for their campaigns. Keep in mind that some will try and utilise your work for free as well.
Display Your Fashion Work
Social media is very important for showcasing your work. Potential clients will check you out on Instagram and Facebook for your work. Be selective and only showcase your best images. A website will be necessary if you want to do any type of photography. Either learn to create one yourself or hire someone to set one up for you. Keep in mind that it does cost a bit to get a website designed to meet your needs. Not only do you require great photos to showcase on your website, a lot of written work and behind the scenes work (SEO) is also very important to get found by potential clients.
The Australian Fashion Photographer’s Life
The only way to get to the top is to live and breathe fashion photography. Even before you get your first paid gig, you’ll have to do regular photo shoots to perfect your skills and to create an awesome portfolio which will help you to get hired.
After you’ve acquired a nice portfolio, consider contacting some modelling agencies and offer to test shoot their models. If they like your work, they’ll send you some models to photograph which will make your portfolio even more impressive. If at first the modelling agency doesn’t respond, get more into your portfolio before contacting them again.
You also have to look the part at every fashion shoot to be taken seriously as a fashion photographer, so dress like a fashion photographer! Keep your language articulate and avoid crass behaviour on your shoots. If you give your colleagues respect, you’ll gain respect as the artist you want to be.
It’s never too late to take on fashion photography. As a result of hard work and dedication, you’ll find it a rewarding and fun career. Take it on with some passion and you will find yourself in high demand within reasonable time. Fashion photography work doesn’t just fall in your lap. It’s about getting your name out there. If you have connections, you’ll get hired more quickly so get out there and network!