A successful career in fashion photography involves more than just knowing how to use your camera. I learned that first hand on my first trip to fashion week in New York. I went there as an assistant with a local fashion photographer who I was shadowing while in college. I wasn't really sure what to expect as I had never been to a fashion show. Having your first fashion show be one of the biggest isn't all that bad I guess. It was a chance to see if this was the career that I wanted to go into. I had always envisioned myself shooting weddings or taking family portraits. This was until I met a local fashion photographer. He was originally from New York and had worked there for over 20 years. He gave me my first intern job and for that I will always be grateful. From that point on I knew exactly what I wanted to be and that was a fashion photographer. Here are a few tips that I've learned over the years from experience and by other's in the industry.
I know this will probably sound like a no brainer, but the easiest part of your job is taking the picture. The problem with this easy part is that most photographers know how to take pictures, but don't know how to use their camera. That's why you should always learn how to use your camera properly. There are a few ways you can learn how to use your camera properly. You can teach yourself through reading manuals. These days there are online photography forums that you can ask questions and obtain feedback on how to use your camera. There is also an unlimited number of amateur and professional photographer's blogs that can assist you as well. I prefer going to local photography clubs to get hands on help. I also recommend taking a local photography class at your local vocational school as well.
Having the proper equipment is essential to get good quality photos. You'll need reflectors and diffuser's with you at all times. You'll need to make sure that you have monopods and tripods as well. When It comes to the proper lens to choose from. I don't have a specific brand or model that I recommend. I think it's more a trial and error process that you have to go through first. I always recommend you rent various lens and even different camera models. This will save you from spending money on a lens or camera that you don't feel comfortable with. Most companies won't take back a lens or camera after you have used it. The resell market never offers equal value to items you may have purchased. This is the case even if it only has a few hours of use on it.
Now that you know how to use your camera properly it's time to find some models. I found the best way to get a model willing to do a shoot for free is find one that is trying to build their portfolio. This way you can practice on your technique and both of you can work on building your portfolio. You can try various websites on the internet that can aid you in your search. You might want to beware of craigslist when searching for models. This experience is invaluable in helping you with your lighting techniques and getting comfortable directing a photo shoot. The best part is once you've gone through a few shoots you'll have quite a few photos to work on your editing skills.