Business Overview

A fashion photographer is responsible for capturing images at fashion shoots and editing the photos they’ve captured. While they’re not usually involved in directing the shoot, they utilize their knowledge of lighting and eye for design to provide creative direction.

Who is this business right for?

Those entering this specialized field often do so because of their passion and eye for both fashion and photography. The combination of these two art forms serves as a creative outlet. Successful photographers are often able to travel the world while earning an income that supports them as they work to fulfill their dreams.

What happens during a typical day at a fashion photography business?

Most fashion photographers work on a freelance basis, particularly when first starting out. Marketing and administrative duties are equally as important as photo shoots and should be treated as such. While no two days are exactly alike, most days are divided between building the business and expressing yourself artistically.

On the photography side, fashion photographers must attend photo shoots, copyright their work, edit photos, and update their portfolio. Much time is spent sifting through magazines and online photos, noting fashion trends, as well as ideas for future shoots.

On the business end, business owners must schedule shoots, book travel arrangements, manage finances, archive invoices and bills, and implement marketing strategies. Traveling and networking with others in the industry is also critical to a fashion photographer’s success. Many artists hire assistants to help them manage the business aspect, freeing up their time to focus on the creative aspect of the business.

What is the target market?

Ultimately, your target market is defined by your creative vision, personally and professionally. Designers require photographers to capture images of their latest lines, which are displayed in look books. There is at least one magazine that targets every demographic, each of them requiring a photographer who inspires readers. Think Vogue, Rolling Stone, and L’Officiel. Fashion bloggers also have a need for professional photographers and photo editors. Consider your creative goals and then research who has a direct need for those services.

How does a fashion photography business make money?

Fashion photographers are paid a flat fee per shoot, which varies widely depending on the reputation of both the client and the photographer.

What is the growth potential for a fashion photography business?

As mentioned, most fashion photographers start out working alone, or with a small team of assistants. As connections are made and experience in the industry is built, many choose to move on into other aspects of the business. Business growth opportunities include opening a fashion and commercial photography agency or a fashion marketing firm.