Starting Fashion Photography? Try Street Fashion!

Lately, street photographs are starting to break their way into respected fashion magazines. They’re very natural photos, and play strongly on our emotions. How can you approach this genre in a way that makes it the best possible advertisement for your work?

Make the street your studio! There’s nothing simpler than taking your camera, a reflector, and perhaps a flash, stopping on the way to the shoot to pick up the model, and taking several interesting shots. This genre is quite fashionable and sought-out at the moment. Even the major fashion magazines frequently publish “street fashion” photographs today.

What’s It All About?

Fashion photographers and models occasionally leave the comfort of their studios and head out to be casual on the street, making it their studio. Instead of the luxury of top hotels, these photos show the street, and often the grime of the city. They are testimonies on the modern age. So naturally, the models here exchange their luxurious dresses for t-shirts, their high heels for sneakers, their hats for caps…

Backdrops light-years away from the lap of luxury. And still they have their magic.

Backdrops light-years away from the lap of luxury. And still they have their magic.

Look First For a Blogger, Not a Model

No, really! When you’re starting out in fashion photography, make it your first priority to cooperate with a fashion blogger. They understand fashion, and because of that they can take your photography to the next level. Once you have such a partner—they’ll serve as a stylist—start seeking a model. (Often the blogger will be an excellent model, but you can’t take it for granted.) Fill out your team with a makeup artist, and you have the foundation for creating fantastic photographs.

Often you’ll find a blogger, makup artist, and model all in one.

Often you’ll find a blogger, makup artist, and model all in one.

If you know where to look. Where’s that?

Try trawling the social web and the blogosphere. Always send a portfolio along with your offer. Your offer should be short and concise. People appreciate long-term cooperation, so be sure to offer it. If you can pick and choose, give priority to high-traffic bloggers—they serve as a better advertisement. Also try looking on Instagram. That network has an enormous pool of talent. Look for hashtags such as #fashion and #fashionblogger, and hashtags for the city whose streets you’re on: #NYC, #London, etc.

The Internet is awash with talented people just waiting to help each other.

The Internet is awash with talented people just waiting to help each other.

OK! I’ve Got a Blogger. About That Model…

If you regularly do people photos, then you must know someone who’s a fit for street photos. Choose models who know how to express emotion and who aren’t afraid to do crazy things. Don’t worry—there are models out there who live to do crazy things.

Street fashion is kind to both princesses and punks.

Street fashion is kind to both princesses and punks.

What Location?

If you’re an experienced photographer with a feeling for light, then let that feeling guide you. Take your team (or your model) on a walk through the city streets and maintain open eyes. Look for interesting composition and different scenes. Don’t be afraid to compose passersby into the picture. It goes with the genre.

Street fashion is kind to both princesses and punks.

Street fashion is kind to both princesses and punks.

If you’re not yet experienced enough to have a very good eye for good light at a site, go for a sure thing. Go for places, or kinds of places, with a reputation for working well. In time you’ll gain experience and be ready to just shoot, shoot, and shoot!

Small props are sometimes helpful. Too many props are too much.

Small props are sometimes helpful. Too many props are too much.

Black-and-white also has its charm.

Black-and-white also has its charm.

Fashion is one of the most difficult and expensive genres in photography. If you are starting out and you still want to have great photographs, but you don’t have enough time and resources for classical fashion photography, then street fashion is a great solution for shooting fashion with no pretenses.

And read our older articles on fashion photography—they’ll help you get started:

Posing tricks
What to do with models who can’t pose
It also definitely won’t hurt to get inspired!

Last updated 7. January 2015

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Author: Majo Elias

I’ve been taking pictures since 2004. When I was starting out, I photographed almost everything. Later my style solidified and I began photographing people almost exclusively. At the moment my main genres are fashion and advertising.

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Comments

  • Donald parrot

    What are the legal hurdles to shooting unknown people on the street?

    • Zoner

      Thank you for the question Donald. The article is primarily abou fashion shooting in the street environment. That means the photographer always works with a particular model, not with unknown people. Sorry for the misunderstanding.