Photography is essential in the fashion business. Because fashion is such a visual business, photography is the best means to communicate that visual element about one’s brand, their collection, and their story and to get the consumer involved and to therefore take an action. There are of course different objectives to fashion photography, different levels, different skill sets and different audiences that need to be considered. Books can be written about fashion photography but since we are not writing a book, we want to highlight the key essential elements to begin this fashion photography journey to leave you with enough to pursue whichever avenue suits you best.
Since our last Photography Series in 2015, many things have changed and a whole new crew of amazing photographers have come up. To read about the previous ones we have featured: see here and explore. We are extremely excited to feature the amazing photographers we have come across and the fashion editorials we have loved from last year to now. Of course, we will be looking at Kenyan photographers and those on the continent who have stolen our hearts.
Some of the topics we want to look at are for those of you wanting to begin to journey with others for those who are already lens deep. The questions you can be asking yourself as you read these articles is what exactly is your goal and what do you want to achieve in your work? Who are you communicating to and what action do you want people to take? We will give you some guidelines and other questions like these to help you define your brand. Here is why. There are many categories in fashion photography. You can either be a commercial photographer, a product photographer, portfolio photographer or a lifestyle photographer and so on. Choosing one is a journey in itself as you discover what floats your boat.
Choosing a category also means choosing a client. Will you be working for corporates, designers, retailers, models or the modelling agencies? We want to help you choose a path and learn more about that category or client so that you can be the best that you can be. As the saying goes, jack of many trades is a master of none. We believe however that to become a master of something, you must first be a jack-of-all-trades then narrow it down. Try it out, see how it fits with you and perfect what suits you best. From the photographers we interviewed before; many began their journey by trying out many different things to see which best fit for them, then began the journey of mastering a particular one.
A particular story we remember is from Thomson Ncube, the photographer behind the company Thomson Photography – a section of his interview went like this – “He initially thought he would shoot landscapes but experience took him elsewhere. His jump into the photography scene in Kenya began by attending a fashion show in Prestige Plaza on a whim and the Samantha Bridal Show held in Sarit Centre. This is the time he met Gibson Maina and David Macharia who helped and taught him about photography. Gibson and David shot weddings primarily, he explains, so in his learning on the job, he accompanied them to weddings and inevitably started shooting his own weddings.” Read the rest here.
As it happened for Thomson, taking that first step and learning on the go can direct you to the path you should be on so don’t be afraid to get started – everyone starts somewhere and all you need is passion.I don’t believe there is such thing as being saturated in a creative space. Each person is different and each person’s perspective is different. You can have the top 5 photographers in the same wedding but they will capture a different story. Take the leap and we hope that we can lend a hand in sharing information about what it takes to be photographer, what equipment you will need and lessons learnt. As mentioned before, we have interviewed great photographers like Emmanuel Jambo, Thandiwe Muriu, Magiq Lens, Zachary Saitoti, Sebastian Wanzalla and many more so read up on their stories and learn from them as well. They were incredible to interview and their openness was truly appreciated. Take advantage of their openness.
These next two months will be all about photography. We want to empower and educate you all so we can encourage you to start, to be inspired and add your voice to the photography scene.
Let’s get started and have an amazing March!!
As a parting shot; here is a video tutorial on fashion photography to get you started and get you thinking. There is tons to learn in this short video … so enjoy it. This is not a sponsored video – I know there is a pitch at the end but I am sharing this because in the first 5 min, I learnt a nifty trick about light and there is so much more.
Author: Wanjiku N. M | Editor and Founder of TDS | Twitter: @WanjikuNM