What to Study to Become a Modeling Photographer
Having a natural talent for taking photos may not be enough to land you the big jobs and start your career as a modeling photographer. It is far more important that you hone your talent and learn more about your skill through a photography course or at a fine arts college.
There are various places that offer photography and while some are part of a bigger course or degree, you can also get courses offering just photography for a few weeks, like night classes or weekend seminars. These are not recommended if you have never done photography before and need to learn from scratch, but they are perfect for someone with a bit of experience who wants to hone their skills, and they are also great as refresher courses.
If you want to make it in the photographer industry in modeling especially, you should find a college where you can receive a photography degree. While this is no guarantee of your success as a fashion photographer, it will go a long way towards helping you get there and breaking into the industry will be a lot easier. Most of the time, you can also apprentice with an experienced photographer to learn more about the industry, and have a foot in the door so to speak.
Whatever you decide to do will also depend on what kind of photography you want to do. Fashion photography for ad agencies and glossy magazines will not require you to have a degree, but rather a passion for the business and some kind of experience in this type of photography.
Sometimes you will face tough working conditions, especially if you are shooting magazine spreads on location. You will also have to understand that the nature of the business is unpredictable. You will be working largely on a freelance basis, which means that your hours will not be constant and you will not receive a fixed salary. That said, you can make a nice sum of money from freelancing in the modeling world and if you can secure a good number of agencies, you will always be busy. The rate you get will be determined by your experience and your list of clients. If you manage to secure a large client, you can start pushing your prices up per day for all your jobs. Your caliber as a photographer will increase as you become better known.
Today with the revolution of society and the internet, becoming well known is fairly easy. You can post your portfolio online to market to thousands of people and you can set up your own website as well for maximum exposure. If the right people see your work and like what you do, you are made. It just takes some effort, dedication to your art and perseverance.
Some of the top places where you can study are the New York Institute of Photography, the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, the Miami International University of Art and Design, the School of Visual Arts in New York, the Rhode Island School of Design, The Art Institute of Colorado, and Brown College in Mendota Heights, Minnesota which offers a Bachelors degree in digital photography focusing on fine arts, fashion, and freelance.
These courses and degrees will include sections on fine photography, fashion photography, wildlife, landscapes and various other types. You will also be taught about how to develop photos from film and using film cameras as well as digital cameras. Other sections might include studio and outdoor photographic skills and how to create certain effects like the blurring of the background using shutter speeds or using the lens size to create a bubble image or distorted effect.
After your studying, you will need to get your own equipment before you start out in your photography career. Not all agencies will have their own cameras and lighting, so you will have to invest in some very professional ones that will make your work stand out above the rest. Getting a professional camera with excellent specs is a must. The more functions and features that you have on your camera, the better, but this will also be more expensive. If you cannot afford this, then you should try taking out a small loan to pay for them or finding a store that will offer you credit, because without your professional equipment you cannot really start your career.
It can take a while for you to get all of these things in order, but you should be patient even after you purchase your equipment. Breaking into the modeling and fashion arena is just as tough for photographers and usually you will be required to have experience and a good reputation in the modeling industry. This can only be achieved through working and working until you get known, or putting together a great portfolio. You may have to start out doing cheaper jobs for local clothing stores or even fashion magazines until you become a known name. Make contacts with industry professionals and hang out at fashion shows where you can meet people like designers, agents and models. The best thing would be to get involved in the shows as a photographer or even a photographic assistant for one of the designers who wants their collection showcased or used for their websites and catalogues.