Fashion photography concentrates on taking photographs of models draped in the latest fashion products and related accessories to be published in advertisements, fashion magazines or for circulation among designers and various industry players. That is the definition most Toronto photography experts proffer. It all goes back to Baron Adolphe, the man considered as a pioneer in the industry, his work has appeared in Vogue magazine. This was back in 1913, when he was on the Conde Nast’s payroll. In contemporary times, an aesthetic or commercial twist is the norm. Exotic locals, the world’s top models, dramatic lighting and state of the art cameras are other components synonymous with the industry. Names like Herb Ritts, Helmut Newton and Phillipe Halsman are world leaders all under the auspices of fashion photography. It is a powerful watermark capturing beauty ideals pervading any given era. It is also an indicator of global social and political climate.
Fashion photography, taking into account its extensive historical scope, incorporates and possess elements of modernism as well as post modernism. Fashion is primarily about individual expression and the perpetuation of conformity, obsolescence and timelessness, function and form. It is a social force that keeps the world attentive to all that happens primarily through novelty. Toronto photographers have learnt the expressive avenue this aspect of photography offers, leaving the competition buried in the dust they raise on their way to the top.
For success in the fashion photography, it is vital first to understand the subject. Reading as many magazines as possible keeps, the creative juices flowing and gives enthusiasts the creativity the industry feeds on. If it means annual subscriptions or online purchases, then so be it. Look at it as an investment. The huge profits successful firms rake in are testament to this. As stated earlier, a good camera is mandatory. If the phrase ‘quality over quantity’ was ever meant for a particular field, this field of photography is possibly it. Another useful tip is to keep a comprehensive portfolio. Fashion houses are constantly on the look out for raw talent that will increase the saleability of their products. This branch of photography is very expressive, demanding an expression of the photographer’s personality in the work done. Portfolio images must be sharp and vibrant, preferably on 4 x 5″ transparency. A minimum of twenty photographs, showcasing various styles is sufficient. Take advantage of the Internet. The wide reach of this mode is invaluable, with the option of instant feedback. The Toronto public use this to its full advantage, hence the high quality guaranteed by its thriving photography industry. In these parts, a picture is worth far more than a thousand words.
Attitude, passion, creativity and an eye for detail are the main elements of fashion photography. There are many prestigious schools dotting the wider Toronto area, ready to impart the skills and knowledge necessary for success in the glamorous field discussed. Those with the ambition and the drive to keep it going, the world is just a slightly bigger stage than the more conventional studio. It is waiting.