Fashion photography has long been a highly competitive industry.Every year it gets harder to break into the industry and make a profit. The easier way out is to be a pretender and fake it till you make it.
In the last couple of years, Fashion photography has become somewhat of a hobby instead of a profession. Everyone with a digital camera, taking some pictures believes they automatically are skilled photographers. Yes, it is easy to hire a studio, pick a girl from Instagram, have her do different poses or pose naked and do some heavy retouching. All that is beautiful and nice, but it still doesn’t make you a photographer. It doesn’t work like that. Being a professional photographer is much more than that.
The Rise of Social Media and the fall of professionalism
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram has given these pretenders an unbelievable advantage. In one group on Facebook, I saw someone who admitted to being a student in the art of fashion photography asking for help and of course, a bunch of self-proclaimed professional photographers jumped on the thread trying to offer their services.
It is obvious that Many of these pretenders pose as real professionals with an extensive portfolio and many years of experience duping customers to purchase from them. It goes to show that social media has given these pretenders an easy way to build a brand that doesn’t necessarily promote talent.
The problem is that these fake fashion photographers and pretenders lack the skill set to be teaching anyone anything. There work is lackluster and mediocre at best and it is hard or even impossible to teach them the rope of the art because they think they know it all because they have a lot of social media followers and tons of likes.
The customer who sees the work of these fakers are easily taken by a bunch of pictures with half naked models posing in unimaginably awkward ways, but a professional photographer with a trained eye can easily spot their nonsense from a mile away.
The road to professional fashion photography.
Contrary to popular belief, becoming a well-rounded fashion photographer is not easy. It’s not just picking up a camera and have a bunch of half naked girls stand in front of you while you rake their pictures. No, it is much more than that.
It takes years of education, knowing how equipment work, knowing how to manage your crew, be a master in lighting, minimizing the effects of distortions, manipulate poses, understanding fashion, choosing the best studios, understanding the effects of weather conditions, building trust and rapport with the models and so much more.
This will take a lot of work, education, courage and effort. You might even take some losses at the start of your career to become an established fashion photographer. Only and only if you are willing to go through the struggle you will be able to call yourself a seasoned professional. And yes you will have many high profile clients coming to you.
You won’t need a huge following on social media to be recognized for your exceptional work. Your talent will speak through your art.