Where do you get jobs for fashion photographers? That’s a common concern among newcomers to the field, and I get it! As a young professional, it may feel completely out of reach.  With any luck, the information provided in this email will provide some direction as you seek fashion photography commissions. 

The Role of a Fashion Photographer

Photographers in the fashion industry collaborate with designers and models to create images for the business. Pre-shoot meetings with designers, helming photo shoots, and post-production editing are all part of the job description. A fashion photographer will control the lighting, pose the models, and capture pictures from different perspectives throughout a shoot. After a photo shoot, a fashion photographer will edit the images to fix any flaws and give them the desired aesthetic for the client.

Guidance for Aspiring Fashion Photographers

Starting as a fashion photographer requires zero years spent in school. The aesthetic, technical, and interpersonal abilities necessary for success as a fashion photographer, however, can be honed through an apprenticeship with an accomplished photographer. Shoot some folks in a studio to get some experience. Learn to use photo editing software to improve your shots. Create a portfolio showcasing your work and promote yourself to various contacts in the fashion business to land engagements.

Recommendations From Friends And Family

The first item on the list is self-evident, and including it feels like a bit of a cop-out on my part, but it is included because it is true. The most effective kind of advertising is still word of mouth, or when someone hears about you from a third party. Word-of-mouth is reliable. If you’re a fashion photographer, you should be actively soliciting referrals from your existing clientele and personal network. 


LinkedIn is the best social networking platform for me to find a job. In my perspective, it is a severely underutilised medium. Commercial work such as fashion photography is nearly often done for another company. When it comes to professional networking, LinkedIn is without peers. This earlier blog post may interest you if you aren’t already utilising LinkedIn to promote yourself but would like to.  


IG is one of my favs. There is no better virtual hangout than this one. It’s the best location to get noticed because it’s the most popular social networking site. Instagram is only one tool among many that you should be using, but I try not to overemphasise it since I think too many people get caught up in trying to increase their follower count or in comparing themselves to other photographers. If you want to know how I use Instagram, check out my email from last week.  

Working With Other Artists

It’s not enough to shoot test scenes and editorials for the sake of expanding your reel and honing your lighting skills. One further reason is to gain access to the following and contacts of a fellow professional artist. When you collaborate with another fashion creative, they are more likely to talk about the project, recommend you for future employment, and spread the word to their network. Collaborating with others has always resulted in a paid job for me. 


If you are unable to secure freelance work in the field of fashion photography, you should not give up on photography altogether. If you’re just starting as a photographer, you should grab any chance you get. Whether or whether you’re getting paid, the more work you put in, the more you’ll be practicing. Here is a list of some further freelance photography specialisations you could pursue:

  • Photographing things for companies can be a lucrative side business.
  • Taking portraits for people’s headshots, resumes, or even graduations is an excellent method to continue making money in the photography industry even if you prefer to work behind the lens.
  • Photographing weddings is a booming industry, and if you can handle the pressure, you may make a lot of money in only one night.
  • Some real estate agencies and firms will commission professional photographers to take photographs of the properties they intend to advertise for sale.

Freelancing is a viable career option, and tasks are readily available. The folks you already know are a good place to start. Check with your loved ones and circle of friends to see if any of them are getting engaged or married, and offer to take their graduation or wedding photos. Begin with a simple goal and work your way up.

If you’ve exhausted your network and are still looking for work, consider submitting applications for positions you locate online. Create a portfolio of your best work to submit with your resume and other application materials.

But there comes a time when you shouldn’t give your services away for free. Freelancing is a terrific way to break into a field, but artists need to be compensated for their efforts, therefore you should start charging reasonable fees.


Many of the most well-known fashion photographers work with agents who assist them book jobs with companies and individuals. An agent can assist a photographer in contacting brands, negotiating fees, updating clients on work, and much more. 

Promotional Activities and Networking

To gain the best results from your marketing efforts, in my opinion, you should always be pitching. Everyone I know who has made it as a fashion photographer has put in many hours of cold emailing, calling, and sending samples of their work to the people who work at the businesses they most admire. If you aren’t already setting aside time each week to contact potential collaborators, you are undoubtedly passing up fantastic opportunities.

Must I Go to University For This?

You don’t have to go to school to be a fashion photographer, but doing so can help your career. Photography instructors are a great resource for more than just technical camera knowledge. They have likely worked in the industry for a long time and are familiar with the competition for employment there. They can be a fantastic way for you to expand your network. You can also improve your portfolio by enrolling in a college or university and majoring in photography.

The numerous photography projects you’ll be expected to do for your courses might serve as excellent opportunities to gain experience and expand your portfolio.

Colleges and universities provide students access to exclusive networking events and art exhibitions. Don’t rule out going to art school if there aren’t any interesting photography programmes in your area.

Many aspiring artists are taking advantage of platforms like Skillshare and Masterclass, which provide access to high-quality instructors at low costs. These courses are much more affordable than university programmes and give you the flexibility to learn at your own pace. The main drawback is that you can’t build personal relationships with your instructor or fellow students.

Some Photography courses are sometimes available as electives at universities. If you want to make a living in this field, though, you’ll need to take more than one course per semester.

You may take photography classes for pleasure at certain community colleges and even recreation centers. If you are dead bent on getting a traditional education, it is advised that you investigate these options first.

To sum up, becoming a fashion photographer does not necessitate formal education. However, you’ll have easier access to academic tools like lab equipment and faculty contacts. It takes more effort, but it’s not impossible to succeed on your own.

Tips for Aspiring Fashion Photographers

The technical aspects of photography, such as knowing how to handle equipment, lighting techniques, and photo editing software, are crucial for success as a fashion photographer. Make a good impression on the models and designers you deal with by being nice and accommodating. Make sure you get the shots your client needs for their project by listening to what they want out of the photo shoot. Improve your photography abilities by taking classes, observing established photographers, and using cutting-edge tools and software. So, tell me, what exactly are you doing in terms of advertising right now? Have you looked into each of these options?