is particularly true for beginners who don’t have an established reputation. “Having been around, I know how hard it is to get in the door,” says Allure magazine photo editor Clio McNicholl, who receives around 50 unsolicited portfolios a month. Conde Nast’s Allure, with a monthly circulation of almost 900,000, is a prime target for beginners wanting to get their work seen. “If I don’t know who the person is, I ask them to send me some promotional material. Generally I only see people who are coming with a direct recommendation from somebody I know,” she says. Many photographers find that websites offer an inexpensive way to showcase a relatively large quantity of images. Eva Mueller (www.evamueller.com), a Munich-born fashion and beauty photographer who has been living and working in Manhattan for ten years, points out that computer editing is also a method of keeping down retouching and printing costs. But despite the medium’s advantages, most industry
ith its huge audience, high pay-checks and glamorous international lifestyle, fashion photography may seem like one of the world’s most sought-after professions. But for every fashion photographer who makes it through the or even paparazzi work to make a living. door of a top magazine, a thousand others find their niche fashion advertising, art photography, celebrity portraiture or even paparazzi work to make a living.Allure magazine photo editor Clio McNicholl,
photo agent Gloria Cappelletti and New York fashion photographer Eva Mueller agree that breaking into the industry can be hard. But they have some tips for beginners on setting up a portfolio, submitting work to magazine picture editors, choosing the right photo agency and even getting shown in a gallery.
Setting up a portfolio A tant
photographer’s most tool is her portfolio,
professionals will still need to see an old-fashioned book before they hire you. By all means use the web as your calling card, but have something to show them when they call you in for a meeting. Many fashion photographers find the sharp, bright imaging of 4 x 5” transparencies show off their work to best effect. Tear-sheets (literally, pages ripped from a magazine) are great if you’ve been published, but good quality, 8 x 10” prints are also OK. Have at least 20 in your book, and be prepared to leave them for at least a week. “I like to see a common thread throughout the book,” says Clio McNicholl, who says she can tell within three images whether she likes a photographer’s style. “Tell a story: not necessarily having all the pictures relating to each other, but I like to have some sort of sense at the end of it that I’ve seen that photographer’s personality come through in the pictures.” The images you choose to showcase in your portfolio should be thematically linked to the job you’re trying to get – still-lifes or product shots if you’re going for an advertising gig, for example. But also throw in one or two other images to demonstrate your range. Strong portraits are always a safe bet, as they tend to stay in the mind of the viewer. Once you’ve got your portfolio together, the next challenge is to get the picture editor to use you.
Picking your picture editor
“Most people who cold call me haven’t done their research, which is the world’s biggest mistake,” says Clio McNicholl. “The single biggest thing that people should do is their research. They should know what the magazine does, and see how you can apply that to what you do. And they should at least know the name of the photo editor.” When you submit work to photo editors, remember that you’re “showing” rather than “selling”. Editors almost never buy the specific image they see before them; they’re looking for a photographer who can execute future commissions. You’ll need to be persistent in sending out your work, and ruthless in editing what you choose to show. The best way to grab an editor’s attention is to show previously published work. But there’s a down-side. “Because there’s such an over-supply of photographers, a lot of magazines really take advantage of that fact,” says Eva Mueller. “Some mags have a decent budget, but a lot of magazines just cover your expenses, they don’t pay for your time or anything. And a lot of magazines don’t pay at all.” McNicholl says Allure’s
rates start at $350 a day for unknown photographers, up to $130,000 for a fashion spread. A photograph is a document just as much as an article or an essay, and picture editors are looking for concise images which clearly communicate an idea or an emotion. Celebrity portraiture, for example, should reveal an aspect of the subject’s character, preferably one that is in harmony with the accompanying written profile. Women’s magazines all over the world buy hundred of stock shots every month – typically young women having fun with their boyfriends, hanging out with friends, or maybe moping home alone with their stuffed toys – all of which express a sentiment commonly dealt with in feature articles. If your work speaks clearly, you’ll stand a much better chance with picture editors than with vague or ambiguous images. When you’re submitting your work, remember: Call the magazine ahead and get the name of the person to whose attention the submission should be marked Label everything with your name and telephone number Send working prints or transparencies, not originals Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope if you want the work back Eve Mueller has one last warning about dealing with magazines: “Another bad thing is not getting paid in ages – months and months and months. Some clients really take advantage of the fact that there are so many photographers out there: they make you pay for the whole shoot, they alter your pictures and don’t tell you when they drop the story. Sometimes they’re just really disrespectful toward the photographer.” There is a way to avoid having to deal with photo editors, however: and that’s to have a photo agency do the selling on your behalf.
Finding a photo agent
Photo agencies exist to liaise with clients and sell photographers’ work on their behalf. They benefit everyone from start-out photographers, who may not have many industry contacts, to seasoned professionals, who are too busy to take care of business dealings themselves. Gloria Cappelletti is an agent with the Management Artists’ Organization (MSO) in Manhattan, which represents a stable of prominent fashion photographers including Stevein Klein, Michelangelo di Battista, Stefan Sedanoui and Alexei Hay.
“First of all, it’s vital to be known, and an agency is in daily contact with clients and publications,” she says. “That’s the best way for a young photographer to be able to have a connection with them, because usually the photographer is busy taking pictures, and the agent is busy talking to clients. And that’s the way it should be. Usually the photographer doesn’t have enough time to take care of everything.” Agencies can also re-sell your work in several different markets, acting as a mini publicist and giving career advice. There are so many agencies – and so many photographers – that Cappelletti says it’s important to research which one may be right for you before making an approach. “The young photographer has to understand their target, in terms of their personal goals the direction the photographer wants to take,” she says. “Everyone is different.” Agents recommend treating your first contact with them as seriously as if it were a job interview. You should also consider whether they already represent someone whose style is significantly similar to your own – there may not be enough work for both of you, and the other photographer could resent the competition. A photo agency is not the only place that can sell your work. If you’re more interested in concentrating on your personal vision than taking commercial work, you can also considering exhibiting in a fine art photography gallery.
Getting a gallery
Once derided as a scientific curiosity with no artistic value, photographs are now one of the hottest growth areas in the international fine art market. While gelatin silver prints are the staple of fine art photography, you’ll find a healthy interest both in contemporary photos using antique methods (such as Chuck Close’s daguerreotypes), as well as modern printing methods, including Cibachromes and C-prints. Like any artistic undertaking, art photography is unlikely to pay you a living wage for many years. Although many artists sell their work directly from the Internet, critical attention and the strongest sales come from a relationship with a Gallery. While there is now at least one photo gallery in most major cities, the center of the world art photo market is New York. Manhattan boasts around 100 galleries dealing in photographic prints, and prices there tend to be strongest. A comprehensive list of New York and international galleries is available at the websites of the bimonthly listings guide Photograph, as well as the Association of International Photography Art dealers.
Before approaching any gallery with your work, you should telephone and request details of their submissions policy. Many galleries review new work only at set times of the year, and even to get in the door of some places you will need the recommendation of somebody known to the gallery directors. (Sometimes it helps to drop the name of a well-known critic or museum director, even if your connection to them is tenuous.) If a gallery is interested in taking you on as an artist, they’ll probably want to see a representative sampling of your work. Even if you have one or two knock-out images in your portfolio, a gallery will want to know that you have a mature body of work with a consistent standard throughout. Remember that many artists join a gallery simply by having their work go into the back-room inventory, where it will be shown to specific collectors, rather than having a public exhibition. Not everyone is offered a solo show. The most important thing to remember about working with a gallery is to maintain a proper business relationship. Every print you give to a gallery should be inventoried by you – not them – and you should understand when and how you can expect payment in the even of a sale. Industry standard is that the artist receives 50% of the retail price of a photo. You should also discuss whether you are free to have relationships with other galleries, or if your gallery expects exclusivity. If you have a New York gallery, for example, but then arrange to have a show in Los Angeles, sometimes the New York gallery will expect a cut (typically 10%). However, in return for that, they are expected to deal with details like paperwork and shipping. Each relationship between artist and gallery is unique, and you should get as much as possible in writing at the beginning.
1.Fashion photography should convey an essence of authority, so your direction of the model(s) needs to be confident and self-assured. Showing signs of anxiety, stress or lack of direction will invariably be reflected in the performance of your model so make the subject feel comfortable and involved. Organise a shot list before the shoot and rehearse technique and composition for each shot in your mind. Prepare the location, props and clothes ahead of time and for a truly effective shoot be sure to communicate your agenda, objective and posing directions coherently and calmly. 2.Fashion photography is all about clothes and beauty, so pull all the elements of the scene and the model together to reflect this. For example if the shoot focuses on the clothesuse make up and hair styling to compliment the garment and vice versa. If you desire a provocative or seductive look
opt for dark, heavy make-up and over styled hair; alternatively for an innocent or natural feel choose subdued pastel tones, gentle make up and soft flowing hair styles. Unusual looking folk bring interest and personality to the piece, whereas female models with large almond eyes, big lips, small chins and symmetrical faces are deemed “more commercial”. 3. Posing can be a tricky point to master but browse through the latest men’s and women’s magazines to target a few inspired suggestions as well as getting a grip on what is currently fashionable. Using ‘broken down’ poses or poses that require angular body shapes can add interest and edginess to the piece – as well as help to elongate body length. 4. A studio is an ideal place to perform a fashion shoot because photographers can easily control lighting
and stabilise conditions. If you are shooting in a studio environment remember to meter all areas of the scene to avoid unwanted shadows and the use of a separate light meter rather than the one in your camera, will offer a more accurate reading. 5. If you can’t afford to hire a professional studio and all the pricey equipment there is a way you can cheat at home. Clear a space in a room that benefits from large windows and peg a white sheet, net or fabric across the window. On a bright sunny day you’ll have yourself a homemade soft box – ideal for flattering even light. 6. When shooting in low light or into the sun, you may require an extra light source. If all you have is flash then rather than shoot straight on, set it to bounce of a nearby reflector, wall or ceiling. Experiment with angles to create an array of effects and discover what works best for you and the scene you are shooting. Be careful to pay attention to unwanted shadows that may fall across the face and body. 7. Props are fantastic for telling a narrative within a fashion shot, but one of the best props to use is a mirror. A mirror can be a used to tell a story and act as an effective tool that allows the photographer to display the front and back of your model. Take a spate reading for the mirror and you may need to bracket your exposures here. Be careful to position yourself, lighting equipment and anything not to do with the shoot out of the reflection. 8. Location, location, location! Getting the right location is important if you want to convey a narrative within your shot. For example if the clothing and beauty styling are edgy, hard or provocative you may want to consider an urban setting , alternatively for spring/summer and natural fashions find a rural environment like; a field, meadow, beach, woodland or river bank. 9. Influence the image by moving around the scene and exploring which angles work best to full expose the garment. This could mean climbing a ladder, crouching low, working a slanted angle or moving closer to the subject. Think about what the message is here and create a composition to reinforce it. 10. Fashion photography is achievable alone, but to step it up a gear rope in a friend, family member or photography student as an assistant. Often photographers need an extra pair of hands to position reflectors, angle and reset lighting equipment, tweak the positioning of garments and clear the scene.
Fashion photography is one of the most exciting fields. Every photographer I know has tried to go that direction at some point of their career. Fashion changes every season and so does the style of fashion photography, so it always has room for creativity and innovation. Earlier we discussed set ups to photograph a model in the studio, today Nick Carter will demonstrate (in the video above) how to photograph a model outdoors. Fashion photography outdoors can produce very rewarding images, the majestic appearance of the landscape complements the beauty of the model.
Using Off-Camera Flash
When shooting a model outdoor especially at a remote location, taking as little equipment as possible, will make your job easier. Using an off-camera shoe mount flash as your lighting is the ultimate light-weight solution. Position the flash on a stand as close to the subject as possible to avoid seeing the unit itself standing in your shot. To secure the shoe mount flash onto the stand you will need a clamp with a shoe mount adapter
Set the exposure for natural light. Make sure the landscape (backdrop) is properly
exposed. Make sure the model is not over-exposed, underexposing is ok, the flash will add the needed light. Also please note that most flash units have a maximum sync speed of 250/sec. So you shutter speed might have to be 250 or below. Set the flash power: Option one: set your flash to manual mode and adjust flash power to desired lighting. Option two: If your hot shoe adapter slave allows flash to work in TTL: Set flash to auto, and use exposure compensation on flash +1/3, -2/3, -1 etcâ€Ś to get desired lighting
Syncing camera and flash
Shoe mount flash was designed to work connected to the camera. So be prepared that going against nature might pose a bit of a challenge: To Sync your camera with shoe mount flash offcamera you will need a long sync cord or a radio slave (wireless).
I suppose, as a fashion designer, the appeal of this type of shoot is to focus completely on the clothing. With a blank faced, nearly inanimate model, very little attention is being stolen from your handiwork within the scene. This theme also produces an interesting portrait-like effect; more static and “frozen in time” than most modern photography. Of course, an element of playfulness is always key to this approach as well. There’s the Living Barbie approach... Unfortunately I was unable to find information (in English) on these great photos from the weird Russian photo site - DooDoo.ru:
Akarachai Suksakorn Concept : Wonderful Time in Childhood Mobile no. 081-581-5845 E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Phuwadon salagthong concept : (From the (dear)deer time) MOBILE NO. 087-6866609 E-MAIL : email@example.com
here are a number of gorgeous Barbie dolls that exist, many of them with dark skin and raven hair. Others that retain the original platinum blond Barbie look. Regardless of the color you choose, opt for a long, layered hairstyle that cascades around your shoulders and has plenty of lift at the roots.
You can create Barbie-inspired volume by blowdrying with your head upside down with a large boar-bristle brush and setting your hair in large Velcro rollers for 20 minutes. The alternative is to take a large barrel curling iron to 2-inch sections of hair; hold the iron vertically to create waves that undulate loosely instead of tight spirals.
Opt for full strips of false lashes to get a fluttery look that would make Ken weak in the knees. For precision, apply them with tweezers while looking downward into a mirror. You can peel them off and reuse them a few times by stashing them on a piece of plastic or a credit card and wiping them off with a Q-Tip dipped in eye makeup remover. Channel the original Barbie circa 1950s with ruby red lips and black liquid eyeliner winged at the outer corners of the eyes, or go full-throttle Malibu Barbie with flushed cherry cheeks and mauve or pink eye shadow. Bubblegum pink lips, painted with copious amounts of light-reflecting gloss, will amp up your evening look or put the finishing touch on your Barbie Doll look.