What Is Fashion Photography? | 4 Types Of Fashion Photography

What Is Fashion PhotographyWhat Is Fashion Photography

What is Fashion Photography?

It is interesting to note that fashion photography has existed since the 19th century.

What we view now as an advanced industry with technologically superior gadgets started with the published portfolio of Adolphe Braun containing 288 photographs of the first-ever fashion model Virginia Oldoini.

The industry has grown tremendously since then, with giant enterprises such as Vogue magazine and Harper’s Bazaar dominating the field since the early 1900s.

Currently, fashion photography has become a Billion dollar enterprise, expanding exponentially since the establishment of e-commerce and the rise of the Internet age.

Modern cameras can effectively utilize natural light to produce crisp images with better frame rates and overall quality.

What is Fashion Photography?


In principle, this photography denotes the representation of style in clothing and other times in the film.

This genre of photography enhances new clothing trends using professional models in colorful locations, and it creates fascinating images to market these items.

Fashion photography also describes a breakaway fine art that has been around for almost two decades and now incorporates accessory products, such as hairstyles, jewelry, and even makeup.

Until recently, only clothing brands were known for this genre of photography, but with the establishment of cosmetics, several related industries have joined the fray.

Modeling agencies are also beneficiaries of fashion photography, with many of their models building professional portfolios working with famous fashion photographers.

This fine art has also been integrated into movie production as film companies seek the services of clothing, makeup, and jewelry companies to dress famous actors.

Fashion photography has evolved from simply being a marketing ploy to producing creative pieces that tell stories, display emotion, and elicit reactions from worldwide audiences.

Famous photographers are constantly sharpening their skills, using stylized techniques and expertise to improve aesthetics.

The idea here is not just to show fashion apparel but to present it in a way that enhances each piece of clothing in its unique light.

Since its inception, this genre of photography has piggybacked on popular culture, a feature that has made it thrive on emerging trends.

Types of Fashion Photography

There are four main types of fashion photography, each defined by a specific list of rules that govern how it works.

1. High Fashion Photography

High fashion photography aims to create the illusion of flawlessness.

This type of photography uses famous people, mainly supermodels or famous actors, in exotic locations and unrealistic wardrobes.

If you have seen magazine covers of well-known brands such as Vogue, then you may have come across what we define as high fashion photography.

In principle, this type of photography is one of the most difficult to master as it involves a lot of difficult decisions.

The photographer has to achieve glamour consistently, and there is very little room for error.

Unlike other types of fashion photography, high fashion is excessively demanding, and it requires the photographer to create a tone and attract an audience at first glance.

2. Catalog Photography

If you are beginning your fashion photography career, then catalog photography is the best place to start. It is the simplest of the lot simply because the focus is marketing clothes.

There is little effort in this type of photography, and all you need to do is represent the fashion item in good light.

Catalog photography uses color on the clothing but typically has a plain background to ensure the viewer’s attention focuses on the outfit as the primary selling point.

Your primary role as a catalog photographer is to use natural light and a bit of skill to capture as much detail as possible and to ensure the background does not divert the viewer’s attention.

Unlike high fashion, where locations are exotic, catalog photography aims to represent models in everyday life.

3. Editorial Fashion Photography

Editorial photography is a bit more complex as it seeks to tell a story. The photos involved here usually have a theme and are tied to a specific backstory.

In many cases, editorial pictures are used to accompany the text and are found in newspapers and publications to create an image of the precise concept.

The advantage of editorial photography is that it facilitates creativity. Depending on the theme you want to set, you are allowed to use several techniques to tell your story the way you see fit.

This type of photography opens up a realm of opportunities for photographers to tell their stories without restrictions.

4. Street Fashion Photography

Unlike high fashion, street photography is one of the more recent additions to the fashion photography family.

This type of photography, much like editorial pictures, seeks to help creativity bloom in an informal, rule-free environment.

The beauty of street photography is that it operates on carefree, fun-loving, offshoot street fashion that uses people in their natural environment.

In street fashion, it is not what you are wearing but how it makes you feel. The pictures mostly show people having fun and posing confidently in their rugged jeans and sundresses.

Street photography has no rules, and it is primarily a source of expression rather than fine art.

Bottom Line

There are several avenues for aspiring fashion photographers to make a living. All you need is diligence, confidence, and an eye for detail.

See Also

What is Boudoir Photography

Best Cameras for Wedding Photography

Telephoto Lens vs Zoom Lens

What is Bird Photography

What is a Telephoto Lens

Mirrorless vs DSLR

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