(Last Updated on : 31/12/2015)
"A thing of beauty is joy forever". If one possesses an eye for beauty and like being surrounded by glamorous people, then fashion photography is the ideal career. With the growth of advertising and the mass media, fashion photography has become a profession with great commercial value. Fashion photography is devoted to displaying clothing and other fashion items. The first fashion photographer is considered to be Baron Adolphe de Meyer who was hired by publishing house Conde Nast in 1913 to take experimental pictures for Vogue magazine. Over time, fashion photography has developed its own aesthetic in which clothes and fashions are enhanced by exotic locations and story lines. Fashion photography is most often conducted for advertisements or fashion magazines. Now-a-days the demand is growing for fashion photographers drastically. It is a field which needs lots of creativity and also loads of passion towards fashion. The increase in growing demand for professionals with those special skills has opened gates to many universities to start courses in fashion photography. However, it not just being glamorous and ravishing, one must have the eye for detail, artistic creativity and the ability to work in perilous conditions. Professional fashion photographers participate in the events organised by fashion magazines or advertising agencies.
In India, fashion photography as a profession is growing by leaps and bounds in spite of it being in the nascent stage. Preparing a portfolio for a model is definitely a very paying job, provided one is proficient at the craft of producing attractive photographs. Moreover, a fashion photographer should know the current trends, styles and demands. Careers in fashion photography are catching up with the new Indian generation that is interested in doing something that takes it away from the beaten path. While that's easier said than done, one must be prepared for all the financial hurdles and insecurities that every photographer has to face. The camera, lenses and other equipments may be difficult to get and are extremely expensive. However, it is worth it for the sake of creative satisfaction, once work becomes one's best friend. As a fashion photographer, one can work for newspapers, magazines, advertising agencies, fashion houses and even big departmental stores. Most fashion photographers, however, prefer freelance work.
Fashion consciousness is at its height today. A good deal of attention and money have been concentrated by the media and market forces in the fashion industry, which continues to promise a great potential for growth, development and export. The latest example of this is the Lakme India Fashion Week, the first of its kind to have happened in India. Talking of fashion photography, it is a profession as well as an art form. In fashion photography, all the basic inputs viz., the fabrics, the stylists, the designers, the models and the fashion photographer, are given simultaneous expression.
In India, fashion photography however is still at a nascent stage. Since much of today's advertising is lifestyle, fashion photography is just restricted to garment advertising. Most fashion photography is done either by studio professionals or freelancers who are commissioned by magazines, fashion houses or advertising agencies. Often it happens that the photographer endeavours to capture a particular kind of atmosphere at the cost of garment details.
Fashion photography is training of the eye, and no amount of technical education can make one "see" things unless one has that inner ability. Equipment and training are all secondary - some of the renowned masters of the field have worked with very simple equipment, though, of course, sophisticated technology, if available, does help a lot. But the basic prerequisite is an intelligent, curious and perceptive mind.
Fashion photography has to be a passion. Flair for fashion and keenness in style is a must for making a mark in this profession. Lots of photography can be learnt through reading. Technical instructions, in the formal sense, are not necessary. Photography is an art and has a history of over 150 years. Today, it is probably the most competitive work area and is, therefore, not easy to break into. The themes of various types of pictures have to be inevitably worked out by the photographer. Celebrity photographers like Farrokh Chotia, Vikram Bawa
, Jatin Kampani
, Atul Kasbekar
, Subi Samuel
, Raghu Rai
, Jagdish Mali are only some of the few names from a wide list of hugely successful Indian Fashion photographers. Some twenty years ago Fashion photography was never taken seriously in India. In those days fashion was a flippant. There was no benefit of better technology nor were there magazines that specialized in fashion. The 80's saw the dawn of the fashion era in India. And then came names like Ashok Salian, who is famous for taking glamorous pictures of the evergreen Rekha.