By Laura | 06th February 2020

First steps into fashion photography

Fashion photography is a fantastic genre for expressing creativity, but it’s not all glamorous models and cool locations! The demands on a fashion photographer are high and it’s loads of hard work, but the rewards are worth it if you’re looking for a career in the industry.

So how do you get started? We’re going to help you to take those crucial first steps on the way to fashion photography stardom!

Preparing for your first shoot

Fashion photography is incredibly demanding on your technical skills and camera craft, so it’s crucial that you know your gear inside-out. It’s not essential to have the most expensive cameras and lenses, but it’s important that you can use them without constantly checking the settings.

Even more importantly, you need to really understand light. Light makes every photograph, and creative use of natural and artificial light is a cornerstone of fashion photography.

If you use speedlights or studio lights, practice hard with them so you know what each modifier does and how to control where the light goes.

Practice on family and friends because this will help you to get used to directing models and engaging with the subject.

Shooting professional models

It might seem wise to begin by shooting models that are willing to work for free in exchange for images, but this is often frustrating. Wannabe models are notoriously unreliable and difficult to learn with because they will often be either over-confident or too shy. If neither of you knows how to pose the model, it’ll be like the blind leading the blind!

Instead, invest in a professional model who knows how to pose and learn from him or her – it’ll be money well spent, you’ll learn loads and end up with much better images for your portfolio.


Fashion photography covers a huge range of styles, from simple white background studio work to natural light on location. Sometimes the clothes are shown without distractions, and at other times there’s a full production and a story to the shoot – try everything while you’re learning.

Research other great fashion photographers and read fashion magazines to spot the trends, deconstruct images and pick up ideas you’d like to try.

Building a team

While you’re taking your first steps, it might seem like you don’t need a hairdresser or make-up artist, but these can make the difference between success and failure. Try to develop a relationship with other newbies, so that you can learn, experiment and grow together – you might even form lifelong friendships and working relationships.

Fashion photography can be incredibly rewarding, and we encourage all photographers to try it – after all, you might be the next one destined for greatness!

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