Fashion Shoot: Tips from a Pro

In fashion, the photography is the easy part. What makes or breaks a successful shoot is proper planning and great production skills.

My photographic career began three decades ago when I arrived in London at the age of 24 and landed an assisting job with a fashion photographer. The contacts I made while assisting over the next few years laid the foundation for my later professional career. Looking back, it all seems so easy. Back then you could actually earn a living from editorial work and there seemed to be plenty of jobs to be found as long as you were prepared to drag your portfolio around town.

What I soon learned though was that having a successful career in fashion and beauty photography involved much more than just technical camera know-how. As with any type of specialisation it all boils down to you having two things: the photographic skills, plus a deep knowledge of your subject. In this three-page article I'm going to share some advice, drawn from experience, about what it takes to pull off a successful fashion shoot.

Taking the picture is the easy part...

Some photographers don't like to admit it, but it's true. There are a lot of wannabe fashion and beauty photographers out there today, and they can all take pictures. The problem most have is that while they love the idea of photographing attractive models, they don’t have a real empathy or understanding of their subjects or specialised knowledge in a particular area of beauty or fashion.

Producing a beauty or fashion shoot involves choosing hair, makeup and clothing stylists who can help you fulfill the client's vision for the product.

If you’re to make a living out of fashion photography you need commissions. And to keep those coming you have to prove your photos work for the target audience, which will mostly be women. This is a crucial distinction between fashion work and the glamour/boudoir photography that's aimed at a male audience.

In my case I ended up specialising in photographing hair. Over the years I have been lucky enough to work with some of the biggest names in the hairdressing business and have gained a thorough appreciation of what works in front of the camera and what doesn’t. This experience gives me the ability to direct hairdressers on a shoot and guide them to produce the best possible looks. Then there is also the knowledge of how to choose a makeup artist and clothes stylist and assemble a creative team. These are all important steps in coordinating a successful shoot. Oh, and then there is the photography you do at the end - that’s the easy part.

Most people think of fashion photography as being all about clever techniques and working with glamorous models. These things are important of course, but like any other professional discipline good photography always has to be built upon firm foundations, which means knowing how to produce a studio shoot, or at least getting someone who knows their stuff to do this for you.

Click here to continue to page 2 of our article - Fashion Shoot: Tips from a Pro

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.

Comments

Total comments: 82
Itoru Ramson
By Itoru Ramson (4 weeks ago)

wow there lot more to learn, thanks for ur post. I love you

0 upvotes
Xentinus
By Xentinus (1 month ago)

I didn't read the article yet (I have a terrible headache now,I will later) but I can say that shadows of the models are distracting.

0 upvotes
Michel J
By Michel J (8 months ago)

Very good article, yes the human touch is almost important than your shots!

0 upvotes
Carl Sanders
By Carl Sanders (Apr 30, 2013)

I just do not see the bitterness in this review as claimed by some and the tips are useful to the wise. I also moved to London age 27 to assist some of the best advertising, still life, editorial and car photographers in Europe on major campaigns. Freelance opportunities also gained with some fashion photographers though over time the still life and commercial work became more prominent.

If this article is read appropriately it will be found very useful though to add; success is usually down to how likeable people find each other and want want to continue a working relationship. Personality counts for a lot, possibly the reason I am a downright failure! Arf! Just kiddin! or am I ?

Thanks for sharing Martin, all the best!

1 upvote
John Koch
By John Koch (Nov 7, 2012)

"Beautiful models"? What if your subjects don't meet that hurdle? Oh, pardon me, but I guess that everyone must convey their subjects as if...

0 upvotes
JussiMies
By JussiMies (Oct 24, 2012)

Reading the comments below, I notice a curious pattern that seems to plague the community. Some people are absolute c*nts when it comes to commenting or providing feedback.

Maybe it is a reality that the industry imposes on a daily basis to all of the participants from models to stylists and to photographers, and is then naturally carried forward in daily interactions. Or maybe it is the sweet comfort of internet anonymity that allows comments such as by Phototrobe.

Whatever it is, I would think a few seconds longer (e.g. the target audience of the post, for example, I found this text very interesting as a quick intro to the world of fashion shoots)

If you expected to discover deep industry wisdoms from this, are now bitterly disappointed and insist on insulting everything around you for this, maybe this is an opportunity for self-reflection and development. It is never too late.

3 upvotes
vFunct
By vFunct (Oct 24, 2012)

I see that someone likes the Nik ColorEfx Pro bi-color graduated filter...

0 upvotes
Adrian Harris
By Adrian Harris (Oct 23, 2012)

Thank you for a well balanced 'telling it like it is' perspective of fashion photography.

I must say I am quite amazed at how many people had a raw nerve touched by it, maybe there is jealousy, or possibly they just don't want to face the reality!

2 upvotes
phototrope
By phototrope (Oct 23, 2012)

Of course. Us "wannabe"s have nothing significant to offer the photography world except jelaousy.

3 upvotes
wkay
By wkay (Oct 23, 2012)

I like the part where you can show up late and get overtime on top of that, how do I convince my boss? Looks like the photog lets his contractors walk all over him.

1 upvote
Gionni Dorelli
By Gionni Dorelli (Oct 23, 2012)

@waky
I'm been doing this for almost 30 years for some of the best mag in the world.
90% of the photographer's carrier work is done outside the set.
Fact is that also 90% of the work for a shooting is done before the day of the photo shoot and after. as the article says, taking the photos is the easiest part.
it is more about what it is in the picture and how to get it on front of the camera. that is the most difficult part of the job.
Getting the right people to work with you, is the more important thing than anything. Knowing the best editor, hair and make up and having the best relationship with model agencies, once you have got that, you got 90% of the job done.
if you work with the best in the industry, you can take bad picture and will not matter because " they will be so bad that they become good".
There is a lot more to say and it is not technical, but I'll stop here because I have to go back to work. :-)
take care.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
wkay
By wkay (Oct 23, 2012)

so tell us how. any professional job on eath boils down to the same fundamentals, you are not unique.

1 upvote
wkay
By wkay (Oct 22, 2012)

nice top level generalities and anecdotes s but nothing of any educational use. Walking us through an actual shoot would be of more value.

3 upvotes
elboertie2
By elboertie2 (Oct 23, 2012)

Especially walking us through the step-by-step process of selling oneself, negotiating the job and signing it. Organising the team for the shoot and all such logistics and once the shoot is done, all the steps that happen after that.

2 upvotes
Studio3Jim
By Studio3Jim (Oct 22, 2012)

A hair specialist?! Great! He's found his niche in a crowded advertising huib like Londan. Good for him to even bother to share.
I just glanced here as I only visit every few months or less. Nice commercial look, though not particularly editorial, apparel; or fashion per se. Beyond that I'd be a POS to criticize or comment furrther. Ir's not a ASMP or APA value. You guys can go on and on but at least he bothered to expose himself and his studio workflow to you all.
Lighting, models, testing, workflow, camera gear, the lot don't lead to success in this Hipstamatic/iPhone 5/Facebook era.
Persistance, Luck and Talent DO. It's a short and sweet and very harsh truth.
Carry on.

0 upvotes
Nafees A Bazmi
By Nafees A Bazmi (Oct 22, 2012)

Nice guideline for new and middle shooters...
pros can do whatever they like...

0 upvotes
Stefan Stuart Fletcher
By Stefan Stuart Fletcher (Oct 22, 2012)

Thanks to Martin Evening for these general pointers. They are a little too vague to be much use, but this is not the writer's fault; how can you condense decades of experience meaningfully in a few hundred words?

I hope Mr Evening takes another swing, this time perhaps for real beginners, i.e., not technical dummies but photographers venturing into fashion photography (not necessarily on a full-time professional basis).

I don't think the article is bitter or disparaging. I *do* think we all learn more from our mistakes than our successes and if someone wants to share his, so much the better.

1 upvote
phototrope
By phototrope (Oct 22, 2012)

A pessimistic and bitter article that contains few real tips, if any. What this article is really about is summed up in the first three words: "My photographic career".
Yes, the game has changed, and yes photographers entering the industry now need very different skills (other than the technical ones of how to use a camera, of course). The fact that the requisite skills have changed is clearly making the author bitter. This doesn't mean that young photographers should be cautioned away. In fact, I know some great "old-time" professionals who are aware of this and manage successfully to infuse their students with enthusiasm rather than fear and nostalgia.
As for the pictures, if these are the best he could do over a thirty year career, well no wonder he's bitter.
Sorry if that sounds harsh, but if an author lays out his opinions as "the Truth", he should be prepared to get a whole bunch of Truth thrown back at him.

2 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Oct 22, 2012)

Your particular bias seems to read more into the article than is there. I feel the tone is much more of a response to those (thousands) who declare I want to do X. What he reveals is that any field is far more than what the lay person perceives. Further he goes on to caution that hard work is the cornerstone of any success. And as far as his photography goes, your comments are profoundly shallow and reflect a view of near complete ignorance of the field and art.

11 upvotes
phototrope
By phototrope (Oct 22, 2012)

So here iis what you got from his article:
1. Any field is far more that what the lay person perceives.
2. Hard work is the conrnerstone of any success

If you feel those two tips are worthy of coming from a "pro" photographer, then fine. I don't. Neither do I share your high evaluation of the photos in the article. Shallow or not, I disagree with you.

2 upvotes
Soothsayerman
By Soothsayerman (1 month ago)

Man you have a big axe to grind. It must be a burden.

0 upvotes
robert r daniels
By robert r daniels (Oct 22, 2012)

I believe that someone would take as much time and puts as much effort into educating us if he were trying to keep wannabe photographers out of his business. I have not seen anything condescending in any of his books or writing. This article does an excellent job of emphasizing the a lot of the skills needed to be a professional photographer. Those skills are especially important in such a people oriented business as photography.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Alpha Whiskey Photography
By Alpha Whiskey Photography (Oct 22, 2012)

I don't shoot much fashion/portrait myself, but I prefer the look of skin and hair in natural light. Personality shines through and from a portrait, and I find that photographing a great person with an open and engaging personality makes for much more appealing images than the self-absorbed models that the 'pros' tend to hire. Just my 2 cents. :)

http://www.slickpic.com/u/AlphaWhiskey/Genka/photo#765054

http://www.slickpic.com/u/AlphaWhiskey/photoblog/post/ShootingPortraits

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Rad Encarnacion
By Rad Encarnacion (Oct 22, 2012)

You have to remember, though, that fashion and glamour companies aren't selling personalities; they're selling fantasies. The models the pros hire then tend to be the closest representations of the fantasy they've been hired to portray, utilizing hair and make-up (with artists in their own right) to complete that fantasy image and put it to print.

4 upvotes
Alpha Whiskey Photography
By Alpha Whiskey Photography (Oct 22, 2012)

Good point Rad. I guess that's why I don''t shoot that stuff! I'll leave it to the pros :)

1 upvote
dbo
By dbo (Oct 22, 2012)

Martin is one of the best for sure.
Enjoyed the article quite much. Talking straight to my heart.
I'm fighting equivalent difficulties in my service area.

And for the ones who feel themselves insulted by some of his sentences.
I assume with "fashion-wannabees" he is referring to the ones who are threatening his business with dumping prices.

4 upvotes
Ove Sentlig 2
By Ove Sentlig 2 (Oct 22, 2012)

I feel this is a bitter and condescending article, not suitable for publishing. I've seen similar views from wedding photographers. "If you're not in the top ten list of wedding photographers... stay away from our livlihood." The pictures in the article are nice, with flashy backgrounds, but even my best pictures are better than his worst pictures in the article. It's just photography.

0 upvotes
Ryan Williams
By Ryan Williams (Oct 22, 2012)

I think you're taking it the wrong way. I didn't get a bitter or condescending vibe off the article in the slightest, but it doesn't dance around some hard truths, particularly: achieving genuine success in this field is hard, and being able to take good photos is only part of the equation.

The article is very informative and has some very good advice for those actually trying to make it in the fashion photography field. I didn't see anything remotely like your paraphrased quote, although I'm sure attitudes like that do exist out there — and for good reason, there are a lot of self-described professional wedding photographers out there who're mediocre at best and do their clients a big disservice by delivering low standards of quality at top rates.

1 upvote
NicolasCh
By NicolasCh (Oct 22, 2012)

I did'nt feel condescendance in the article.
His last sentence actually sets up a very different message.

However, I did sense bitterness... but that is a very common feeling among pro photographers.

0 upvotes
EDWARD ARTISTE
By EDWARD ARTISTE (Oct 23, 2012)

You apparently have issues my friend.

Its common knowledge that getting into professional photography, especially certain areas of, is a beeyach.

Here's the other thing- you dont even have to agree with all or some of it. But to break it down to "I wrote this because i'm mad" is actually pretty stupid.

1 upvote
miodragj
By miodragj (Oct 22, 2012)

I'm not native English speaker, so I'm not sure what author wanted to tell us with this sentence:
"I don’t know about other countries, but here in London, model tardiness is a constant problem and one that’s not helped by the model agencies, who seem to take the view 'heads we win, tails you lose' when it comes to their services."
I understand every word, but... Can somebody clarify this a little bit for me, please? :)
Thanks!

1 upvote
Ali-C
By Ali-C (Oct 22, 2012)

It essentially means that the models don't arrive on time (or at all!) and that the agencies don't chase it up because, either way, they get paid.

4 upvotes
miodragj
By miodragj (Oct 23, 2012)

Thanks! But how can somebody get paid, if they screw the client? Or they go to some other shooting, so agencies get their cut? Also, who is responsible for damage, if I have all my team ready and model don't come?

To be honest, in my relatively poor country, I really can't remember that model miss the shooting...

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Donald B
By Donald B (Oct 22, 2012)

im only new to pro photography and you explained it very well, as this is what happens in the field. its all about preperation and simple lighting. and getting the job done. fancy setups and photoshop dont make you money getting it right incamera does.

thanks don

0 upvotes
kenyee
By kenyee (Oct 22, 2012)

great article...people think it's just photography sometimes when it's really the team and marketing that makes people stand out..

1 upvote
jackpro
By jackpro (Oct 22, 2012)

Good peek at the fashion photography world. This view centres on hair shots, Catwalk is more sports photography & editorial is the super budget end. Advertising catalogue work is the well paid end. Great read!

0 upvotes
Denton Taylor
By Denton Taylor (Oct 21, 2012)

"There are a lot of wannabe fashion and beauty photographers"

I stopped reading there. Why insult people that comprise a large part of your audience?

0 upvotes
Virvatulet
By Virvatulet (Oct 21, 2012)

This is not my fight, but… Just unfortunate bad wording; most likely not directly meant to insult anyone.

People who know their stuff, especially artists, can be a bit harsh when they see a threat devaluing the Art they embrace and factually live in. Read the rest of it and take what you see important and worthwhile for your photographic process.

9 upvotes
Falcon3
By Falcon3 (Oct 22, 2012)

Well I considers myself a wannabe fashion and beauty photographer. I have no problem with that, seriously those internet brings out the worst of the human behaviour, that we have to criticses every small remarks that we don't agree with.

If you think you are way higher than us wannabe fashion and beauty photographers we get it. You don't have to tell the whole world about it.

And this is not even brand wars.

2 upvotes
cordellwillis
By cordellwillis (Oct 22, 2012)

@ Denton and everyone else who is insulted by "There are a lot of wannabe fashion and beauty photographers"....you should really not be. Seriously, the statement is true. If you don't believe it share what is not true about it. "A large part of the audience" is here to read this because they know they 'wannabe better'.

I'm no expert in fashion photography, but I wish I were...that makes me a wanna be. Learn from what is shared here and become better, not bitter.

4 upvotes
Martin Evening
By Martin Evening (Oct 22, 2012)

The thing is, we all have to start somewhere. When I first began work as an assistant, as much as I might have thought I 'had arrived', I was definitely in the wannabe category myself at that point. I wouldn't say I say I am the best fashion photographer ever, but I do know how to produce a shoot and control a budget. The article is admittedly aimed at those wanting to branch out into commercial shooting and intended to help advise people how best to navigate a typical production.

4 upvotes
aardvark7
By aardvark7 (Oct 22, 2012)

To Mr. Evening,

While I think that some of the comments are really unpleasant and uncalled for, and accept entirely the accuracy and sense of your article, I do think that you have forgotten the essence of 'branching out' into commercial shooting.

This is not a conscious decision we can just take and then, with good advice, achieve a goal. There are limited opportunities and getting one is often pure chance.

You even admit that you started as an assistant and therein hangs the rub. If you can't find a way in, all the ability, intellect and hard work count for nothing.

Furthermore, you describe a 'typical production'. Unfortunately, that is not typical at all. Perhaps in your world, but not for most of us who have to face the £200 total brigade, day in day out, who not only expect a full shoot but for the photographer to arrange the models, the make-up, do all the artistic direction and the dressing.

Your advice is sound, but most of us will never get the chance to put it to use.

0 upvotes
Martin Evening
By Martin Evening (Oct 23, 2012)

Branching out is *incredibly* difficult and I wouldn't wish to argue otherwise. And, I am very much thinking of the younger photographers who are going through the early stages of trying to make a full-time career in my area of specialisation. But you know, if I look back on how I got my first assisting job, I may have been lucky getting an early break, but I had a couple of really tough, lean years, while contemporaries of mine were still hanging on at college and thought I was mad working for so little money. And that was just the beginning of harder times to come before it all turned around and had the good fortune to really enjoy working as a paid photographer.

0 upvotes
Soothsayerman
By Soothsayerman (1 month ago)

Because there are a lot of wannabes in every profession, that's the truth, if you can't handle the directness of it move along.

0 upvotes
edfo4
By edfo4 (Oct 21, 2012)

Great article!. M. Evening has written "Adobe Photoshop CS (6, 5 and probably others as well) for Photographers"which I find to be among the most in-depth of the PS guide books.

0 upvotes
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (Oct 21, 2012)

Indeed, he write a lot about Photoshop and not about (fashion) photography. Or did I miss some at the bookstore?

0 upvotes
aardvark7
By aardvark7 (Oct 21, 2012)

Very interesting, but it highlights the gulf between high-end and the majority!

I always try to impress upon clients the need for preparation and the benefits of a reasonable investment, but the majority expect it all to be done on the spur of the moment and get the models free! I've had so many suggest that such-and-such's daughter/girlfriend is very pretty so they'll be perfect...

Once you get to a level where a client will pay £100+ per hour for each model, plus sensible photography fees and studio rates, only the photographer has themselves to blame if it goes pear-shaped. If, however, they want a whole day's shoot and a full portfolio of shots for £200 in total (believe me I am asked all the time and say no!) then it doesn't matter how talented the photographer is, but they'd still take the flak!

1 upvote
tonywong
By tonywong (Oct 21, 2012)

Bravo to Mr. Evening and DPR for this article. We need more original, creative and informative content like this!

5 upvotes
photosen
By photosen (Oct 21, 2012)

Interesting, much appreciated!

3 upvotes
Dan Ortego
By Dan Ortego (Oct 21, 2012)

I too appreciate the time and effort devoted to this posting and I actually learn a lot. Thanks!
Dan

3 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (Oct 21, 2012)

Really interesting, and I agree with the recurring problem of models being late (or even don't come at all). If you plan a shoot with, says, 5 models, take 6 models, just to be sure ;)

1 upvote
Martin Evening
By Martin Evening (Oct 22, 2012)

It's certainly been my experience here in the UK, where the agencies haven't always helped in establishing good business practices with all their models. It's not helped by the fact that when a model turns up an hour late, holding up a shoot, you can't exactly let rip at them for the trouble they've caused. That has to happen behind the scenes with their agent. In the US I think things are different and New York models are far more clued in to their responsibilities and what a shoot can cost.

1 upvote
GMack
By GMack (Oct 21, 2012)

Interesting reading and thanks for sharing.

I sort of got a chuckle out of the models not working until midday or later, aside from the $10K to even get out of bed. An 8AM makeup and hairstylist call is way more than some can handle. Waking up at the crack of noon is more like it. Some seem to change agencies almost weekly. Maybe they flake out as "No shows" and get let go. Worse is some agencies do not update their online talent folios, but leave what they have online "forever" and keep adding to it even though some have long since left. Looks good to have 100 models verses maybe 6.

I do wonder how much longer the fashion photographer will be around though without branching out into teaching, blogging, writing books, weddings, or whatever. I find more magazines are paying less, or none at all, for any model fees and doing more CGI and computerized art stuff instead. Paying much less for articles as well since "free blogs" are prolific too. Sign of the times I guess.

Mack

3 upvotes
Nikonparrothead
By Nikonparrothead (Oct 21, 2012)

Many an accomplished photographer branches out into teaching.

0 upvotes
Martin Evening
By Martin Evening (Oct 22, 2012)

Through my books I get to interact with other, younger fashion photographers and my wife is also a makeup artist and works with other photographers. Having worked in the business as many years as I have I know how hard it is to keep finding work and make a living. That's why, when flicking through a fashion magazine one should appreciate how much work goes on behind the scenes and the intense competition the newcomers face.

2 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (Oct 21, 2012)

But why oh why do you reveal all these nuggets of photography to the unwashed masses who read your articles?

We are the elite, we need to protect ourselves...Don't you understand DPR?

Like the way that guy in blue is tilting his weight over his left buttock....It is pure genius !!....Or the way he is making the Asian girl look like she needs something bad...

That's it..everyone knows how I do it now...I am getting the sack...

0 upvotes
jm67
By jm67 (Oct 21, 2012)

Nice read and should be mandatory for all who want to hire a photographer, not just those who want to use the camera. The reason being, too many people out there think that all you have to do is use the right settings on a camera and you get great shots. Whether it's fashion, wedding, pj or most any field involving a camera, it's virtually everything but pointing the camera that's the bulk of the real work. And of course, that too involves real skill and that's what you're paying for.

2 upvotes
Tee1up
By Tee1up (Oct 21, 2012)

I think your concerns ignore the real secret to good photography. My sister in law is a pro photographer and I can follow her around all day on shoots and practically trace her foot-steps and yet, her shots are consistently better than mine, even to my inexperienced eye. I do agree there is a generation that feels a relative with a dSLR and a few weeks of practice can shoot weddings, and I expect their albums reflect the choices they have made. You can teach the science but the art is a much steeper, and for some, insurmountable curve. Sadly, too many of the 'awesome, just do it' generation will never get this until their results are panned on Facebook.

1 upvote
jm67
By jm67 (Oct 21, 2012)

You're right, there's also the "you've got it or not" factor. The old cliche of having any eye for it is actually true.

2 upvotes
Kaelis
By Kaelis (Oct 21, 2012)

Very interesting, thank you.

1 upvote
KAMSA
By KAMSA (Oct 21, 2012)

I like the poto's but model photography is not my thing

and others do it better ;)

kind reg.

1 upvote
Demerzel
By Demerzel (Oct 21, 2012)

Interesting article. Success in any business requires more than mastering a single skill. In anything I have done, a little or a lot of planning made the job easier and more successful.

I'm doubly impressed with the photographer as he has Jeff Schewe as an assistant.

0 upvotes
jorepuusa
By jorepuusa (Oct 21, 2012)

Every professional photographer who "shares" his or hers knowledge about photography to amateurs takes part in the killing of photography as profession. For some odd reason some pros do not understand that.
That is probably cause they have a firm position in the business and cannot see the problems of those who do not and specially young pros who are just starting business.
It is very sad that dpreview takes part in killing of profession by giving advice to amateurs how to shoot. The amateurs shoot for free or minimum prize. In Finland where I live professional photography is almost dead and amateurs have taken over cause those who buy pictures do not anymore see the difference of quality but consider only the money. This is why I see this kind of sharing knowledge extremely hazardous for the industry.

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Falcon3
By Falcon3 (Oct 21, 2012)

If you think professional photography can be learn with just a few tips like this, then you are really insulting the pros out there.

14 upvotes
kapanak
By kapanak (Oct 21, 2012)

Wow ... This is a very ignorant comment, jorepuusa. If sharing of knowledge was to be forbidden, then nothing would have progressed throughout human history. Sharing of knowledge happens in all fields, and photography is not an exception to it.

22 upvotes
daciangroza
By daciangroza (Oct 21, 2012)

if you are a pro, try do differentiate your work from amateurs. if you can't, change profession or work as an amateur. you will not succeed by keeping your knowledge secret and you won't convince everyone to stop sharing information. we live in the time of sharing baby! the difference is YOU and what you can make with the same gear and technical information that everyone else has.

10 upvotes
xtoph
By xtoph (Oct 21, 2012)

Let me see if i've got this straight: pros can't compete because amateurs charge less for lousy photos, but you blame hard times on pros who are too generous with their knowledge.

That makes no sense.

The fact is that good-sense articles such as this one will not suddenly trigger a flood of amateur photographers looking to break into big time fashion editorial. In fact, a more likely effect might be to give pause to the next client who sees a new book with a couple of competent pretty pics and a lowball price; maybe now they will think to themselves, sure he can make a pretty photo on his own time, but can he deliver on my time? And i don't see how tht can be bad for good photographers, or for the business.

6 upvotes
daciangroza
By daciangroza (Oct 21, 2012)

It's hard for me to understand your point of view, for me it's against all reason. I see you sir are an accomplished photographer and that makes it look even worse.

I am a young photographer and I know that I will be better if I try to improve my own abilities rather than try to keep everyone else down! I learn as much as I can for free and I share everything with people who want to learn from me. I know that learning some basics, or even every technical thing will not be decisive in producing good work, that's why I'm not afraid to share everything I know.

What goes up must come down, and your attitude and way of thinking are going down. It's up to you if you want to go down with them or adapt and look to the future rather than the good old days.

5 upvotes
spalbird
By spalbird (Oct 21, 2012)

Every professional photographer wo shares his knowledge causes a lot of competition fro amateurs? Just like a fast runner who talks about his training schedule? At the end of the day only results counts, and they are not created by words rather than experience and dedication to reach for the best possible. Everybody who believes tricks will magically transform them into a master are just on their beginning, lets say on their pre-experience phase...

3 upvotes
neo_nights
By neo_nights (Oct 21, 2012)

That's so sad to read, to say the least. So, what counts are tips, not the 30+ years of experience? Yes, 'average joes' can't tell much of the difference between a good or bad professional. But mostly because those good professionals (apparently, like yourself) choose to whine about it instead of doing something to 'educate' the public and tell them why they should count on a professional instead of an amateur.
General public has no obligations to know the differences. The pros that have the obligation to teach them, but in a nice, gentle way. Not in an arrogant manner 'those newbies are ruinning everything! ZOMG!!111!!! *me so sad... sob sob*'

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
spqr_ca
By spqr_ca (Oct 21, 2012)

And you teach? There isn't enough information in an article like this, or even a series of articles from scattered sources, to turn someone into the next photographer for Vogue. There's more to it than that, as you should well know given that you teach. However, I suspect that because you specialize in photojournalism, your perspective is a little distorted by media looking to cut you out for the "good enough" shots from people with a cell phone. I don't think you can project beyond that.

0 upvotes
Stujomo
By Stujomo (Oct 21, 2012)

While amateurs shooting for free certainly have had an effect on the photo industry you can't really pull that old chestnut out of a hat and blame them and the photographers who share their knowledge for killing the industry.
Trying keep the knowledge to a select few won't help anymore than patenting a product will guaranty it's success.

1 upvote
ed kelly
By ed kelly (Oct 21, 2012)

Wow! Are you off base. Mr. Evening even mentions about not giving work away for free. He should be credited with his work flow advice for any photographer, pro or amateur.

Thanks for taking the time to give advice to others.

1 upvote
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Oct 21, 2012)

I assume you are in perfectly fit condition, your garden is flawless and your retirement investments are shining with top returns. I assume this because the information to achieve all this is out there.

ALL sorts of information is given away for free yet very few seem to actually use it. As I get older I realize that most people really do not have the desire/passion/interest to actually follow through on what is necessary to achieve the goal.

If one person becomes a successful fashion photographer from this article it will be because it helps guide someone who deserves to succeed because they will be doing more work than you can imagine.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
DougRight
By DougRight (Oct 21, 2012)

In other words, "I see you all as competitors and don't want you to have access to the resources I have."

Knowing that, would you trust anything he posts?

3 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (Oct 21, 2012)

If we were all to think like you...well we would all be FINISH....

....ED.

1 upvote
onlooker
By onlooker (Oct 21, 2012)

Photomonkey wrote: "I assume you are in perfectly fit condition, your garden is flawless and your retirement investments are shining with top returns. I assume this because the information to achieve all this is out there."

Wow, talk about koan answer. Nothing more needs to be said. Bravo.

1 upvote
Jon Stern
By Jon Stern (Oct 21, 2012)

I didn't notice that this was written by Martin Evening until I saw the model at the bottom of the first page. She's the same one as on the cover of his Lightroom 3 book (that photo appears on page 2) and I recognise her because she looks enough like my wife to pass for being her sister!

By coincidence, my wife has her own fashion design business, so this article is very much of interest to me, as I often serve in the capacity as photographer for her clothes. Thanks Martin!

What I'd like to see next is an article on posing for fashion photography.

EDIT: I'd also like to hear how many wardrobe imperfections should be sorted out in real time, versus in PP. Interrupting the flow always seems like a bad idea, but then it can be so much faster to fix a loose thread during the shoot than in PP (for every shot).

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
mrxak
By mrxak (Oct 21, 2012)

Not my kind of photography, but very interesting to read. Thanks for writing this.

5 upvotes
voider
By voider (Oct 21, 2012)

Thank you very much. Very interesting to read.

8 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Oct 21, 2012)

Most excellent - thank you for for helping me dream a little bit!

1 upvote
excitron
By excitron (Oct 21, 2012)

A very good short article on this topic. My hat is off to you.

4 upvotes
Total comments: 82