No matter how good an outfit looks in person, the photographer is the one who can either make it or break it. The photos have to make the consumers want to go out and buy it. The designers may be selling clothes but the photographers are selling an idea; a multi-billion dollar idea at that. Fashion photographers are what keep people coming back for more and constantly wanting to feel like the model on the cover of Vogue who looks like she is on top of the world, wearing the latest fashion trend. Photography is something that should make us feel something. It should draw out an emotion that makes us yearn for a place, object, or idea. Fashion photography in particular, should make you want to reach into the page and grab the article of clothing it’s presenting and put it on… that is the idea that is being sold.
Most have never heard of the biggest names in fashion photography but the labels that they shoot for speak for themselves. Mario Testino may be one of the better know photographers, having photographed basically all of the top models and shot numerous covers for magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair. Having contributed to the success of some of the leading fashion and beauty houses in the world Testino drew his inspiration from his childhood in summers in Brazil. He also hits close to home for students, being the photographer of choice for our royal alumni, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their family for publications.
Annie Leibovitz has a career that spans decades. From shooting the cover of Rolling Stone in the 1970’s of John Lenon and Yoko Ono, to President Barack Obama and the first family, Leibovitz has covered it all. She was the last person to photograph Lenon, as five hours after the cover shoot, he was assassinated. Her name may sound familiar to you, as she was the one to shoot the famous Vogue cover of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, with their baby North for the April 2014 issue. She also happens to be the only woman to have ever had an exhibition in London’s National Portrait Gallery.
Throughout the years, fashion photography has taken a turn that may be described as a bit more risqué. Ellen von Unwerth is someone who specialises in this, while just toeing the line between sending a message and being overly suggestive. Having worked as a model for ten years herself, she then made the transition behind the camera. She has also published books on photography and also been a director for numerous music videos. Von Unwerth first achieved fame shooting a Guess fashion campaign of Claudia Schiffer. She has also been named one of the most important people in photography.
Many find it difficult to break into the world of fashion photography, but American photographer Emily Soto is trying to make that a bit easier for new up-and-comers. By hosting workshops all over the world, Soto is trying to help those that will come after her, make an impact on the world that intrigues so many. She is known for her romantic style and how it intrigues our emotions so that we, ourselves, draw a connection to the work. She has had recent exhibitions in New York City, London, Paris, and Berlin.
Fashion photography is an art form that appeals to the masses and is something that we are all exposed to multiple times a day. It draws us in, and intrigues us, while stimulating our senses. The people behind the lens are the ones that know exactly which type of lighting will make a colour pop the most, and the kind that know what people want to see. Each fashion photographer has their own individual style, instantly recognisable to those who know it. They make up an industry that leaves the public constantly wanting what they see, and yearning for more.