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Photographer
Tee ShotMe
Posts: 12
New York, New York, US


I am a self taught life style photographer trying to transition into high fashion photography. I've only been shooting for about a year and a half now.

Daily I'm being told that I need to work with more agency models, high fashion stylist and designers... but these very people I need to work with are telling me I need to gain more experience and publications before they will work with me.

But how do I gain more experience and publications if none of the necessities I need are willing to help me create these high fashion spreads?!

I am looking for advice on how to get further ahead in the fashion industry... where do I begin?

-- Tee
TeeShotMe.com
Jan 10 13 06:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kev Lawson
Posts: 7,071
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Tee ShotMe wrote:
I am a self taught life style photographer trying to transition into high fashion photography. I've only been shooting for about a year and a half now.

Daily I'm being told that I need to work with more agency models, high fashion stylist and designers... but these very people I need to work with are telling me I need to gain more experience and publications before they will work with me.

But how do I gain more experience and publications if none of the necessities I need are willing to help me create these high fashion spreads?!

I am looking for advice on how to get further ahead in the fashion industry... where do I begin?

-- Tee
TeeShotMe.com

Best way, if you can afford it, pay for them. Hire an agency model, stylist and MUA.

Jan 10 13 07:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
All Yours Photography
Posts: 2,282
Toledo, Ohio, US


Work with models that you can learn from.  You will likely have to pay them to do this, but if that's where you want to go, paying for instruction is a good way to get there.

Experienced models will only work trade with you if they are fairly confident that you will give them images equal to or better than what they already have.  If they are being compensated for their time, the images produced aren't as important to them.
Jan 10 13 07:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jean Renard Photography
Posts: 2,038
Los Angeles, California, US


High fashion is all about having a vision, show that you have that and you can apply that vision to fashion.  You need to ramp up your technical skills first, you can do that with any subject.

www.albertwatson.com

he personifies the best of the best and can shoot anything and make it awesome.  can you?
Jan 10 13 07:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tee ShotMe
Posts: 12
New York, New York, US


UltimateAppeal wrote:

Best way, if you can afford it, pay for them. Hire an agency model, stylist and MUA.

This is looking like the best option for me right now.

Jan 10 13 07:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tee ShotMe
Posts: 12
New York, New York, US


All Yours Photography wrote:
Work with models that you can learn from.  You will likely have to pay them to do this, but if that's where you want to go, paying for instruction is a good way to get there.

Experienced models will only work trade with you if they are fairly confident that you will give them images equal to or better than what they already have.  If they are being compensated for their time, the images produced aren't as important to them.

Thank you! I definitely need to see this!

Jan 10 13 07:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,116
Tampa, Florida, US


Tee ShotMe wrote:
I am a self taught life style photographer trying to transition into high fashion photography. I've only been shooting for about a year and a half now.

Daily I'm being told that I need to work with more agency models, high fashion stylist and designers... but these very people I need to work with are telling me I need to gain more experience and publications before they will work with me.

But how do I gain more experience and publications if none of the necessities I need are willing to help me create these high fashion spreads?!

I am looking for advice on how to get further ahead in the fashion industry... where do I begin?

-- Tee
TeeShotMe.com

Well that's always the conundrum isn't it...in most occupations.

You mention that those who are able to help you advance aren't willing to help you. That's not wholly true. They may not be willing to help you advance...for free. When you offer compensation of some sort, it opens many doors.

If you're able to swing it financially, prioritize your needs and hire the areas you need to address - models, courses/workshops, MUA/Stylists, etc.

You have to be willing to invest if you want a return.

I would also add, without critiquing, that you have a nice gritty, raw style in your images. Incorporate that into your focus on fashion work.

Jan 10 13 07:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mark Salo
Posts: 8,167
Olney, Maryland, US


There are many gorgeous and experienced models in the Silver Spring/Baltimore area that will work with you clothed/swimsuit/lingerie for $25-50 per hour.
Jan 10 13 07:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L2Photography net
Posts: 2,512
University City, Missouri, US


Well your 20 years old you think you work is as good as some one who has shot for 20 years and your port shows no lighting skills. I would say keep shooting and find some photographers in your area with experience to work with.
L2
Jan 10 13 07:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tee ShotMe
Posts: 12
New York, New York, US


Jean Renard Photography wrote:
High fashion is all about having a vision, show that you have that and you can apply that vision to fashion.  You need to ramp up your technical skills first, you can do that with any subject.

www.albertwatson.com

he personifies the best of the best and can shoot anything and make it awesome.  can you?

Thank you!

Jan 10 13 08:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tee ShotMe
Posts: 12
New York, New York, US


L2Photography net wrote:
Well your 20 years old you think you work is as good as some one who has shot for 20 years and your port shows no lighting skills. I would say keep shooting and find some photographers in your area with experience to work with.
L2

Umm no I don't think that at all, I'm just trying to get a ahead just like everyone else in this world. And yes I am aware that there is still technical skill I must grasp before moving forward. Thank you.

Jan 10 13 08:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Body Painter
BodyPainter Rich
Posts: 17,883
Sacramento, California, US


I haven't looked at your work, so no critique here.

But if you are 20, and if you can afford to do so...

INTERNSHIP

ASSISTANT

Find a good company or photographer and embrace True Peonhood!

Seriously... I think working as an intern or assistant in the right place is probably the most valuable thing you can possibly do at your age. Make industry connections, learn the business AND the production side of things all on someone else's dime. So you sweep floors and run for sandwiches? Big deal.

One of my biggest regrets about when I was younger revolves around the fact that I was CLUELESS about internships and assistant roles in the arts.

You are young and inexperienced. You will gain experience anyways, but you will gain it MUCH faster if you are hanging out with successful people already in the business.
Jan 10 13 08:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
E e v a
Posts: 1,724
Nashville, Tennessee, US


damn computer lameness =/
Jan 10 13 08:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
cinema photography
Posts: 4,384
Mission Viejo, California, US


Jean Renard Photography wrote:
www.albertwatson.com

he personifies the best of the best and can shoot anything and make it awesome.  can you?

wow..

That was amazing..what an incredible body of work

Jan 10 13 08:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L2Photography net
Posts: 2,512
University City, Missouri, US


Tee ShotMe wrote:

Umm no I don't think that at all, I'm just trying to get a ahead just like everyone else in this world. And yes I am aware that there is still technical skill I must grasp before moving forward. Thank you.

Want to get a head improve your technical skills.

Jan 10 13 08:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
E e v a
Posts: 1,724
Nashville, Tennessee, US


Op, there are a few new models who have the look you could probably work with. Just keep networking, and keep casting. It'll take a while, but as you get more images and work with more people you'll do fine.
Jan 10 13 08:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
E e v a
Posts: 1,724
Nashville, Tennessee, US


L2Photography net wrote:
Well your 20 years old you think you work is as good as some one who has shot for 20 years and your port shows no lighting skills. I would say keep shooting and find some photographers in your area with experience to work with.
L2

Hey dude. OP didn't ask for a critique of his lighting. So...

http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mbyqebYvpP1r6h22v.gif

Jan 10 13 08:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Body Painter
BodyPainter Rich
Posts: 17,883
Sacramento, California, US


Moderator Note!
1- Please refrain from making critiques this is not a critique forum

2- Please don't continue to "call people out" for critiques, it only serves to further throw off the thread

Let's get back to the topic, shall we please?
Jan 10 13 08:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,116
Tampa, Florida, US


L2Photography net wrote:
Want to get a head improve your technical skills.

What does getting head have to do with anything? Getting head doesn't really improve anything other than your mood.

Jan 10 13 08:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Lynch
Posts: 2,483
Bowie, Maryland, US


Michael Pandolfo wrote:
What does getting head have to do with anything? Getting head doesn't really improve anything other than your mood.

My work improves with my mood.  wink

Jan 10 13 08:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Garry k
Posts: 26,950
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Tee ShotMe wrote:
I am a self taught life style photographer trying to transition into high fashion photography. I've only been shooting for about a year and a half now.

Daily I'm being told that I need to work with more agency models, high fashion stylist and designers... but these very people I need to work with are telling me I need to gain more experience and publications before they will work with me.

But how do I gain more experience and publications if none of the necessities I need are willing to help me create these high fashion spreads?!

I am looking for advice on how to get further ahead in the fashion industry... where do I begin?

-- Tee
TeeShotMe.com

pay or befriend them

Jan 10 13 08:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Garry k
Posts: 26,950
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Tee ShotMe wrote:
I am a self taught life style photographer trying to transition into high fashion photography. I've only been shooting for about a year and a half now.

Daily I'm being told that I need to work with more agency models, high fashion stylist and designers... but these very people I need to work with are telling me I need to gain more experience and publications before they will work with me.

But how do I gain more experience and publications if none of the necessities I need are willing to help me create these high fashion spreads?!

I am looking for advice on how to get further ahead in the fashion industry... where do I begin?

-- Tee
TeeShotMe.com

pay or befriend them

Jan 10 13 08:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Farenell Photography
Posts: 17,922
Albany, New York, US


Tee ShotMe wrote:
But how do I gain more experience and publications if none of the necessities I need are willing to help me create these high fashion spreads?!

Either save up & invest in that team. Or come up w/ a concept/idea/whatever that that team can get behind even if the shoot doesn't completely pan out. Or learn to stretch what little dollars you have to the max. Or learn to be your own stylists, thus cutting out the middlemen.

Jan 10 13 09:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Jordan L Duncan
Posts: 207
Jacksonville, Florida, US


Tee ShotMe wrote:
I am a self taught life style photographer trying to transition into high fashion photography. I've only been shooting for about a year and a half now.

Daily I'm being told that I need to work with more agency models, high fashion stylist and designers... but these very people I need to work with are telling me I need to gain more experience and publications before they will work with me.

But how do I gain more experience and publications if none of the necessities I need are willing to help me create these high fashion spreads?!

I am looking for advice on how to get further ahead in the fashion industry... where do I begin?

-- Tee
TeeShotMe.com

As a model you can probably imagine that I would say this, but definitely be open to paying models who you feel you can learn from. A lot of freelance models can do their own styling and are very good about it if you give them clear instructions. Some are even open to buying their own wardrobe for the shoot if they are appropriately compensated. (For instance if they buy the wardrobe and get to keep it after the shoot for whatever they want to use it for, then you compensate them for half of the cost. If they buy the wardrobe and give it to you to use however you want, then you compensate them 100%) This might be a way for you to save a bit on what the agencies may charge, since you'd only be paying the one person.

Come up with unique and visually interesting ideas for shoots. Its okay to practice your technique by recreating and tweaking other shots you fell in love with, but if you have unique ideas your work will get more noticed and models may be more willing to trade since they will be getting something no one else had to add to their ports.

Don't be ashamed to ask for help or admit that you don't know something. Ask a photographer who specializes in the field you desire to work in for help or guidance. Sometimes they will be a total bastard about it or completely ignore you but not always.

Find interesting and non-cliche poses, and practice guiding models into those poses. (Just know that if you get too demanding and perfectionist-y it can irritate some people) Or collect sheets of those poses to show to models you work with. Having unique poses gets your work noticed, even if the actual camera work is eh... From a model's perspective I feel more willing to trade with a photographer who is wiling to allow me to try wild and wacky poses even if he isn't 100% perfect, because I rarely ever get that opportunity.

Get a list of local/national magazines and papers that allow submissions and/or hire freelancers. Webzines/etc count too. The more noticed and get your name out there the better.

Jan 10 13 09:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,557
Salinas, California, US


UltimateAppeal wrote:
Best way, if you can afford it, pay for them. Hire an agency model, stylist and MUA.
Tee ShotMe wrote:
This is looking like the best option for me right now.

Look at any money you spend as an investment in your education.  There are ways of negotiation to get better rates, internships, or even government funding to help you along the way. My own "education" in photography is a mix of taking classes at the JC level, getting hired on to assist, reading books, and real World experience.  You are young!  So you'll get there, I am sure! smile  Best wishes to you!

Jan 10 13 09:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,557
Salinas, California, US


All Yours Photography wrote:
Work with models that you can learn from.  You will likely have to pay them to do this, but if that's where you want to go, paying for instruction is a good way to get there.

Experienced models will only work trade with you if they are fairly confident that you will give them images equal to or better than what they already have.  If they are being compensated for their time, the images produced aren't as important to them.

This is true, and good advice.  It's important to communicate well with the models to start, as to find the "experienced" models that are willing to educate a beginning photographer.  However, I would add that building good working relationships with models that are learning along the way can also be helpful. 

I'm an avid reader of books ... check out this man's website! 
http://www.garybernsteinstudio.com/

Back in the olden days, I bought and wore out his paperback guides to glamour and people photography!

Jan 10 13 09:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tee ShotMe
Posts: 12
New York, New York, US


BodyPainter Rich wrote:
I haven't looked at your work, so no critique here.

But if you are 20, and if you can afford to do so...

INTERNSHIP

ASSISTANT

Find a good company or photographer and embrace True Peonhood!

Seriously... I think working as an intern or assistant in the right place is probably the most valuable thing you can possibly do at your age. Make industry connections, learn the business AND the production side of things all on someone else's dime. So you sweep floors and run for sandwiches? Big deal.

One of my biggest regrets about when I was younger revolves around the fact that I was CLUELESS about internships and assistant roles in the arts.

You are young and inexperienced. You will gain experience anyways, but you will gain it MUCH faster if you are hanging out with successful people already in the business.

Lol thank you very much! Your words are definitely encouraging smile
And I agree with you 100%!

Jan 10 13 09:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tee ShotMe
Posts: 12
New York, New York, US


Patrick Walberg wrote:

Look at any money you spend as an investment in your education.  There are ways of negotiation to get better rates, internships, or even government funding to help you along the way. My own "education" in photography is a mix of taking classes at the JC level, getting hired on to assist, reading books, and real World experience.  You are young!  So you'll get there, I am sure! smile  Best wishes to you!

Thank you very much! big_smile

Jan 10 13 09:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Loki Studio
Posts: 2,927
Royal Oak, Michigan, US


You do not yet have a good Fashion portfolio.  Its more accurate to say "these very people I need to work with are telling me I need to gain more experience and publications before they will work with me (for trade only)."

You will simply need to make the investment in stylists and models to build your fashion photography skills and portfolio.  There is simply no substitute for $$$ until your book is much stronger.
Jan 12 13 06:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mortonovich
Posts: 5,337
San Diego, California, US


OK, forget paying anybody (mua, model) at this point. If you are already going to New York a couple times a month, make it to intern and assist, not shoot. If you are going there to shoot, stop it and go there to intern and assist. It will take a bit to even be able to get in with anybody on a lower level. Do this for a while and work your way up the chain of good teams you are able to get on. Join APA or ASMP and start going to all the meetings. If you can, join the NY chapters and make your trips to the city jive with the meetings and attend them. GET TO KNOW, AND WORK WITH, THE WORKING PHOTOGRAPHERS.

Do this for a while. What will happen is not only will you get a massive education, but you will start to get to know the other assistants, MUAs, stylists and best of all THEIR ASSISTANTS. These are the people you start shooting with and build your book with.

Spend more time in New York and eventually move there. You HAVE to be in NY if you are really serious.
Jan 12 13 08:02 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Studio MD - Casting
Posts: 1,207
New York, New York, US


Ignore everyone's advice about paying people to build your book. That's the dumbest advice I hear for photographers. Instead: grow organically.

Find the best looking llama you've worked with and count that person as your baseline - then work your way up to more and more attractive llamas while you work on becoming better and better as a photographer and art director. Always "test up" (Meaning, each test will move you up, not down. Lateral can be fine sometimes if it works in the long term goal, but always focus on moving up!).

I didn't get where I'm at in the short amount of time I've been shooting by hiring people to build my book and I don't think anyone else needs to either. It's just hard work, focus, and consistency. Growing organically can be frustrating sometimes but all great creatures, big and small, grow naturally...

Hiring someone is not going to give you skill and talent.
Jan 12 13 08:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tee ShotMe
Posts: 12
New York, New York, US


ChiMo wrote:
OK, forget paying anybody (mua, model) at this point. If you are already going to New York a couple times a month, make it to intern and assist, not shoot. If you are going there to shoot, stop it and go there to intern and assist. It will take a bit to even be able to get in with anybody on a lower level. Do this for a while and work your way up the chain of good teams you are able to get on. Join APA or ASMP and start going to all the meetings. If you can, join the NY chapters and make your trips to the city jive with the meetings and attend them. GET TO KNOW, AND WORK WITH, THE WORKING PHOTOGRAPHERS.

Do this for a while. What will happen is not only will you get a massive education, but you will start to get to know the other assistants, MUAs, stylists and best of all THEIR ASSISTANTS. These are the people you start shooting with and build your book with.

Spend more time in New York and eventually move there. You HAVE to be in NY if you are really serious.

This. Exactly what I needed.

Jan 12 13 11:53 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tee ShotMe
Posts: 12
New York, New York, US


Mi Do wrote:
Ignore everyone's advice about paying people to build your book. That's the dumbest advice I hear for photographers. Instead: grow organically.

Find the best looking model you've worked with and count that person as your baseline - then work your way up to more and more attractive models while you work on becoming better and better as a photographer and art director. Always "test up" (Meaning, each test will move you up, not down. Lateral can be fine sometimes if it works in the long term goal, but always focus on moving up!).

I didn't get where I'm at in the short amount of time I've been shooting by hiring people to build my book and I don't think anyone else needs to either. It's just hard work, focus, and consistency. Growing organically can be frustrating sometimes but all great creatures, big and small, grow naturally...

Hiring someone is not going to give you skill and talent.

"hiring someone is not going to give you skill and talent" excellent.

Thank you!!

Jan 12 13 11:55 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mask Photo
Posts: 1,396
Fremont, California, US


Tee ShotMe wrote:
"hiring someone is not going to give you skill and talent" excellent.

Thank you!!

well... it WILL, but if you don't have the chops to know what to do with it, you won't learn much.

Hiring an agency model at this point is a lot like buying a black truffle because you want to learn how to cook. At this point, you're at the stage where you're doctoring up kraft mac-n-cheese. Definitely spruce up your ingredients, but don't be afraid to cook for others, too.

Hit up the castings for your area and reply to every TFP casting that you're even remotely qualified for. Get lots of experience that way.

Jan 13 13 10:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JD Liddil
Posts: 98
North Haven, Connecticut, US


As a fellow newb the advice so far is all good. Try to find as much TFP work as you can. I am doing this as a leisure activity so even finding time when all parties are free can be a challenge as I work all day.

If your experience is like mine you'll have a fair amount of shoot never happening. It can be a real let down to try to even hire model and get no response. I see why many folks here say hire an agency model who you know will show up.

As in any profession if you want to really go for it then you have to do things like assist in NYC. In the sciences we call it a post-doc.
Jan 14 13 10:01 am  Link  Quote 
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