I have been asked many times over the past year or so, to give advice on how to get into the fashion industry. While I have done this on other blog sites, I have never done it here, so I thought that now would be a good time!
For those of you who are photographers, you have probably experienced discouragement when it comes to being creative and coming up with something new photography-wise. There have been times when I have taken a hiatus from photography, and even a time or two when I wanted to give up and sell my equipment. I am so glad that I didnt. Those little breaks have actually done wonders for my work. Here are a few tips that I would give to any new photographers who are interested in getting into the fashion industry, and some advice for any of you who might be in a creative slump.
1. Network with models in your area- One of the first things that I did when I started out was create a modelmayhem.com profile. (I still have it too! http://www.modelmayhem.com/1381730) I both answered and made several casting calls with several local models, and did lots of photoshoots. Anticipate doing LOTS of TF work when you first get started. You have to build a substantial body of work before anyone will take you seriously. To this day, I still do TF shoots on occasion with select models. Experienced models can really add a certain something to your portfolio, so I highly recommend working with models rather than random friends.
2. Find photographers who have a style you love- It can be really tough trying to find your style when you are first starting out. What made the difference with me when trying to decide on a style was to follow the work of other photographers who you love. One photographer that I followed (and still follow) is Emily Soto. I ADORE her style, and while my style isnt exactly like hers, she has really influenced me as a photographer. One thing that I would advise against though, would be copying a style exactly. DO NOT DO THIS. Let a style influence you, but dont try to become a clone of another photographer. (This happens more than you think.)
3. Find inspiration everywhere- You would never guess where I got the inspiration from for the first set of colors that I used for my business. It was from my dinner. The dinner consisted of beets, creamed corn and spinach. I looked at my plate, and adored the color combination. Weird, huh? Yeah, I think so too. But that is the point! Inspiration is EVERYWHERE. Get off of the computer and go find it.
4. Find new ways of seeing- There is always a new trend in photography. It is so easy to get stuck in whats new and ’in’that you can lose yourself as a photographer. For me, I tried to find new ways of shooting. I have shot through lace, glass covered with mod podge and glitter, and so many other things to try to add a creative twist. Also, I LOVE to play with lighting. And, believe me…I am not rich. I do not have the best equipment. In fact, some of the best of my work has been done with makeshift lighting equipment.
And 6. Learn to be okay with failing - All those experiments that I told you about in #4….not every one of them worked. However, if I had given up at every failure, I would never be where I am today. Failing is only proof that you are trying. If you keep at it, it will come with time.
Oh, and one more thing!! Be nice. Fashion can be cut throat if you let it.