Fashion Photography, Some History

Magazines such as Allure, Vogue and Vanity Fair are known to display some of the best fashion photography that you will ever come across. Photography is a way of showcasing models wearing the trends in clothes, jewelry, sunglasses, hairstyles, necklaces, shoes and other items. The first known record of fashion photography was the portfolio of the Countess de Castiglione, Virginia Oldoini in 1856. The world’s first fashion photographer was Adolphe Braun, as he was the one responsible for shooting the first fashion model. Spark and color were added to fashion magazines once halftone printing was introduced to the fashion photography industry. The first magazines to make use of fashion photography were the French magazines Les Mode and La Mode Practique.

At first, fashion photography consisted of staging the shoots in natural environments using natural poses. Baron Adolf de Meyer was the person who first developed and adopted this practice. In the first part of the 20the century, the magazines that were the leaders were Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue fashion nova models. The moguls of the industry still pay tribute to the likes of Yva, Edward Steichen and Cecil Beaton, and George Hoyningen Huene. These were the individuals who help to establish fashion photography in Europe. Irving Penn, Richard Avedon and Martin Munkacsi made significant contributions after World War II.

A majority of the artists of earlier times deserted their adopted forms, and took on a more independent and natural style. 1936 was the year that models were first photographed at the beach in different poses, by Martin Munkacsi. After World War II, fashion photography became quite popular among young men who loved to hold a camera in their hands, and among young women who had the ideal body type of a fashion model. Today, fashion photography has evolved into a life of its own. Models and photographers are now seen as international celebrities, and enjoy the lifestyle of the rich and glamorous. But make no mistake this it is no easier for the photographer then it is the models, only a small percentage of those trying to make it actually succeed.

Fashion can be showcased in various avenues. Some of these well appreciated and well paid avenues include celebrity portraiture, art photography and fashion advertising. Fashion moguls such as agent Gloria Cappelletti and photo editor Clio McNicholl both agree that the fashion photography industry is quickly evolving.

For anyone wanting to become a fashion photographer it is important to keep up on trends and aesthetics of the industry. Study the images in the top fashion publications and try to understand the images and what attracts editors to them. Its interesting to look back at some of the really great photographers from a few decades ago. Interesting that some of the fashion photographers appear to have disappeared. The ones still shooting are the ones that accept change and reinvent their style all the time, fashion photography can become dated almost as quickly as the fashions they showcase. If there is anything at all that is always true about fashion is that it is forever and always changing. What is in this year is out next yet there may be room for the styles of yesteryear to blend with those of today. How do you keep up with it all? Well, you won’t be able to if you don’t keep an ear to the fashion news. One good way to do that is to subscribe to fashion newsletters online.

One good part of a fashion newsletter is that it is always timely. Look for one that is published monthly so that you can always keep on top of the most current information and trends. Fashion trends change like the tides and if you don’t keep abreast of them, you can easily fall behind the pack and have a store full of outdated or out of fashion products that just don’t sell.

People seem to know what is going on in the fashion world simply by looking at others. Some people keep up with fashion and are always dressed to the nine’s. Others see these people and then follow along on the newest of the trends. Others take more time to catch up, but the fact remains that fashion goes out of style and if your store doesn’t have shelves stocked with the latest in fashion, you are going to be flat on sales. That isn’t a good position to be in.

Jewelry is one of the areas that is less prone to huge changes, but change nonetheless is ever-present in accessories and other fashion coordinates like jewelry. Brooches, pins, hair ties and bands are always there with some slight trends taking over for the long term producing some changes over the years that can place old stock in the clearance aisle.

Keeping your store in step is important and you need to always be on the lookout for what is changing. Some fashion statements are even local and when shopping at the national level you won’t get informed about it. Keep an ear to the local colleges, universities and high schools for things that can become a fashion statement. Often this involves certain colors or certain pieces of clothing. Whatever it may be if you are in tune you can increase your sales and make a statement to these young people that will keep them coming back.