5 STEPS YOU NEED TO TRY
1. Find A Model For Your Shoot
Lets be honest, no model or agency is going to hire you if you don’t have any modeling or fashion pieces in your portfolio. You have to start somewhere, so find some friends who are up for modeling for you and hone your skills practicing with them. When you’re just starting you’ll most likely do a lot of shoots for free, but focus on getting in as much good work as possible and it will pay off down the road. If your friends are happy with your photos, they’ll most likely show their friends and as well as put them on Facebook and other social sites, which will only help in getting you exposure. Many people will jump at the chance of being a model in your fashion shoot.
Another option would be to approach a clothing store to see if they would be interested in providing some models and clothing for your shoot. In return you can give them a great set of photos for them to use when advertising their merchandise. This is an easy way for you to get your images out there to a wider audience.
Or how about getting together with a group of like-minded creative people through a photography meetup? A 'meetup' is a group of people (often strangers) living in or visiting a certain location, who have common interests or hobbies. When I was starting up, I did this at least once a month. It was a chance for me to meet new people and extend my skills.
2. Start Working with Real Models
After working with several friends, you should at least have a handful of shots that you’re happy with, now it’s time to move onto working with some real models and designers. This will be a chance for you to really showcase how you work!
Create a profile on Instagram and post only your best photos. Make sure to tag every one included into creating the final look/image to reach out to their audiences. This should lead to those people liking and reposting your images, which should in time least to more paid work.
What and if you charge for shoots will all depend on your skill level and portfolio. Some models will charge you to photograph them, some photographers will charge models and designers for a shoot, and some will do a trade so that you can help each other better your portfolios.
Another way to find more serious work is by reaching out to local privately owned clothing and apparel stores. Many of these smaller stores will either have custom clothing or carry merchandise from smaller suppliers and may not have promotional photography or photos of their merchandise. This is a good way to get into the fashion side of photography because clothing companies want to see that you can make their merchandise look great. It doesn’t matter how small the company or store you start shooting for is, it’s all about the shots you get from it that you can take to the next store or company.
3. Find An Interesting Location
Once you’ve found a model, you need a good location for your shoot. The location you select will depend on the kind of look you want to create in your photos.
Do you have a theme for your fashion shoot? Do you want to create a certain mood in your photos? Do you want to shoot indoors or outdoors?
Outdoor locations have the benefit of plenty of natural light, but you don’t have any control over weather conditions or other people who might be at that location. You’ll also have to carry any clothing and props to your location.
Good locations for an outdoor fashion shoot might be a beach, woodland, a field or meadow, your local park, a quiet street, wasteland in a deserted area of the city, or the grounds of a large country house.
If you choose to shoot indoors, you’ll have a lot more control over the environment, and you can shoot in any weather conditions.
An indoor photo shoot can can take a bit more work in terms of lighting, but I’ll show you how to easily set up lighting for indoor shoots in this article.
Suggested locations for an indoor fashion shoot are a modern home, an old country house, a warehouse, or an abandoned building (assuming it’s safe and legal to enter).
Look for locations that offer flexibility with lighting – lots of big windows will help with illuminating your subject.
Also, think about opportunities for different shooting perspectives. For example, the ability to shoot from a balcony can add a lot of creative options when it comes to composing your shots.
If you don’t have the option of shooting in a grand location, explore your home to find a suitable place. Look for areas that have good natural window light and a pleasing background. A plain painted wall or some pretty wallpaper will be perfectly adequate.
The corner of a room often works well because of the lines and shadows. Adding some simple props such as a chair, a vase of flowers, a musical instrument, some books, or a nice picture on the wall can all help to add extra visual interest to a plain room.
4. Make it easy to find yourself
Once you have an impressive portfolio and have worked with several models and designers you’ll find that people will start coming to you. Just like anything else in this world, when someone sees that their friend has something nice, they will want it too. When the people you’ve worked with post your photos on their social sites and catalogs, their friends and acquaintances in the industry may want to work with you too. Make sure those people that want to work with you can find you easily by having an online portfolio, facebook, twitter etc…
5. Don’t Stop Now
Now you have a great portfolio, models and designers that want to work with you, and a social network of people in the industry. From here you can decided whether to work freelance or submit your portfolio to agencies, publications, designers, studios etc… No matter what you decided, always keep shooting. A stagnant portfolio isn’t appealing to anyone, so keep adding and growing yours while you grow your network as well.