Pho­to: larajadeeducation.com

Do you want to know how to get start­ed as a fash­ion pho­tog­ra­ph­er, what is the dif­fer­ence between com­mer­cial and edi­to­r­i­al pho­tog­ra­phy, where to find ideas for new pho­to shoots and much more? We have trans­lat­ed for you the most inter­est­ing moments of a video inter­view with New York-based fash­ion pho­tog­ra­ph­er Lara Jade, in which she shares her secrets of work­ing in the fash­ion indus­try.

Orig­i­nal video inter­view in Eng­lish. Source: bhphotovideo.com

1. How to find inspiration as a fashion photographer

I get asked this all the time and the quick­est answer is: go to Pin­ter­est — it’s an amaz­ing place because you’ll find tons of pre-made mood­boards there.

You can search by key­words to find the right trend. If you think about fash­ion pho­tog­ra­phy in gen­er­al, then there are many dif­fer­ent trends in it. Spring-sum­mer, autumn-win­ter, fash­ion trends for resorts and so on.

Spring-sum­mer and autumn-win­ter are the main trends for inspi­ra­tion that you will see. Design­ers cre­ate these trends for every sea­son, and we look for inspi­ra­tion in them — what kind of sto­ry or con­cept can be cre­at­ed based on them.

Pho­to: CHEN:陳 ELLIE:雫 / pinterest.com

For exam­ple, you can be inspired by the fash­ion of the 20s of the last cen­tu­ry. And maybe this will lead to the idea of ​​some­thing more futur­is­tic.

So I just do a key­word search on Pin­ter­est, select images I like, open up Pho­to­shop, and quick­ly make a mood­board out of them. Then I send it to the mag­a­zine I want to get into, the team or the mod­el.

2. Understand how editorial works and how you can use it as a marketing tool

Many peo­ple ask me what is the dif­fer­ence between edi­to­r­i­al and com­mer­cial pho­tog­ra­phy.

Edi­to­r­i­al is pho­to shoots for mag­a­zines and oth­er media, and com­merce is any kind of adver­tis­ing pho­tog­ra­phy, whether it is shoot­ing for a beau­ty brand, sun­glass­es brand, make-up or fash­ion clothes. As a fash­ion pho­tog­ra­ph­er, you should always strive for a bal­ance between the two.

Because the edi­to­r­i­al is where you can show­case your ideas, your light­ing tech­niques, you will have a lot more cre­ative options here. And in a com­mer­cial shoot, you will shoot for some­one else, in accor­dance with his vision. There­fore, to get com­mer­cial orders, you need to have an excel­lent edi­to­r­i­al or per­son­al port­fo­lio — because it shows the best side of your work.

In addi­tion, you can always shoot, keep­ing cus­tomers in mind. That’s why I usu­al­ly give this advice: when shoot­ing an edi­to­r­i­al, always keep in mind poten­tial cus­tomers from the com­mer­cial sphere, because this is a great mar­ket­ing tool.

3. As a fashion photographer, you need to have a wide variety of skills.

A fash­ion pho­tog­ra­ph­er needs to know a lot of tech­niques and tricks, because you shoot not only in the stu­dio. You are not just a beau­ty pho­tog­ra­ph­er.

You can get a job where you need to shoot right on the roof. You can view the pho­to shoot as more of a doc­u­men­tary. You can take por­traits. There­fore, there are many dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions and types of shoot­ing for which you may be called as a fash­ion pho­tog­ra­ph­er.

Pho­to: bhphotovideo.com

I always try to learn new tech­niques. I can study for a month with a lit­tle shoot­ing with con­stant light, because maybe I will also shoot video. And then I can start shoot­ing more beau­ty pho­tos and learn new tricks in this genre, because I may have a client from the beau­ty indus­try who will demand to show­case radi­ant skin in the pic­tures.

The best peo­ple in the indus­try are con­stant­ly learn­ing new things.

4. You don’t need tons of equipment to create great work.

Some of the best pho­tog­ra­phers work with min­i­mal equip­ment to build their port­fo­lios.

If you only have one lens and that’s all you can afford, make it work its best. If you only have one light and one acces­so­ry, like a 150cm octo­box, you can already cre­ate a lot of great work that would fit into your port­fo­lio.

When I start­ed out as a pho­tog­ra­ph­er, I could only afford a cam­era, one 50mm lens and a reflec­tor. I worked for years only with this, while find­ing agents and receiv­ing many com­mer­cial orders.

5. Treat every day like a 9 to 5 job, even if you’re a freelance photographer

I’m talk­ing about this because you need to do mar­ket­ing every day. Or at least a few times a week when you’re not film­ing so that your work is in front of poten­tial clients.

The more emails you send with the right words and work to the right peo­ple, the more chances you have of get­ting clients. It’s not enough to just post your pho­tos on social media and expect to be found. You need to be active and show the work to the right peo­ple. Believe me, as soon as you start doing this, you will have more cus­tomers.

Pho­to: larajadeeducation.com

In addi­tion, I advise you to shoot with a com­mer­cial set­ting. Do each pho­to shoot think­ing, “I’m shoot­ing for this client today, even if it’s a per­son­al shoot” or “Today I’m shoot­ing for this edi­tor, but I’m also think­ing about jew­el­ry clients” (if you’re shoot­ing jew­el­ry). Always think about how it can be a mar­ket­ing job at the same time.

The opin­ion of the author may not coin­cide with the opin­ion of the edi­tors.