The different types of fashion photography

4 min read
A model posing in front of the camera

Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

Photo of a model posing with a cameraman

Fashion photography encompasses a wide range of projects including runway shoots, catalogs, advertisement, model portfolios, editorials, and more.

In addition, fashion photography blurs heavily with other types of photography such as fine art, portraiture, and lifestyle.

Types of fashion photography

Because fashion photography covers such a wide range of topics, let us categorize it to help you understand it better.

High fashion photography

Photo of two models posing in a tunnel

Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

Fashion photographers don't just show off models or clothes, but also convey the vision and style of the fashion house. Typically, these shoots require a large budget and feature prominent models and celebrities.

It is not uncommon for these photographs to be printed and displayed in high-end designer books or fine-art exhibitions, which require a high level of detail and resolution.

“Consider this photoshoot as a movie production. It’s not about convincing the average buyer to buy another pair of jeans, it’s about showcasing what you’re able to do.”

There’s an entire team of professionals that collaborate for the concept to come together and display the final masterpiece. This requires a strong team and network.

Editorial fashion photography

Photo of a model posing

Photo by Olena Sergienko on Unsplash

Editorial photography is primarily used in fashion magazines, books, and review websites. Editorial shoots tell the story of a product or brand, provide a narrative or illustrate a current trend.

Editorial photography can be similar to lifestyle photography, and it’s often aspirational. This model portrays a role and is wearing clothing that you would like to own but may not use every day.

These photoshoots often happen outdoors and the atmosphere can be very different between shoots. You need to make sure that the mood matches the story you want to convey.

Street fashion photography

Two models posing

Photo by Anastasiia Rozumna on Unsplash

Street style photography focuses on what people are wearing and how they are styling it in the real world.

A sub-genre of street photography, street fashion photography captures a person's unique sense of style on the street. Street style evolved over time into capturing outfits worn by celebrities and the fashion crowd at major events.

If you’re interested in street fashion photography, decide whether you want to focus on natural, candid shots of real people in the streets. Or, focus on more staged photo shoots that take place outdoors to give the appearance of everyday life.

Catalog fashion photography

Photo of fashion magazine pages

Photo by Ginevra Austine on Unsplash

Catalog photography is a type of product photography. Fashion items are displayed clearly and attractively so people can see how they will look and fit before they make a purchase.

In most cases, the photo shoot takes place in a studio with a neutral backdrop. In this way, the attention is not distracted from the fashion.

The pose becomes quite central in catalog photography because the model does not have any props or actions to portray a scene. Communicate clearly with your models and create a comfortable environment.

Keep in mind that you are doing a fashion catalog, and not a portrait shoot. The focus should be to accentuate the fashion items.

Runway fashion photography

Photo of a model at a fashion show

Photo by nappy from Pexels

Shooting a fashion show is always a fantastic experience, but runway photography requires a significant amount of effort and dedication. As this is a fast-paced profession, you must be adaptable to whatever conditions you encounter and be able to think on your feet.

In order to catch the models' movement in low light settings, you'll need an extremely quick lens. Because runway photography can include everything from ambient photos to full-length ensembles, three-quarter crops, and detailed shots of accessories, the focal length depends on what you're shooting.

Zoom lenses are superior to prime lenses for runway photographers since they often need to catch a mix of these.

Lookbook photography

Photo of a fashion catalog

Photo by Etsy

A look book is a short book that depicts a designer's most recent collection. It is intended to show prospective customers the brand's new season products.

Look books differ from catalogs in that they show the fashion in context. The photo shoots in this case are selling each collection along with a concept or an idea.

To do this, the stylist creates a full look to sell, and the photographer must capture the atmosphere and personality of the outfit. It can be done in the studio with the appropriate props and styling, or on site. There is no proper camera, lens, or settings for this one because there are so many different kinds of look books.

Fashion photography is a diverse field with many interesting genres of photography. This creates multiple levels of overlap with product and lifestyle photography. However, if you are passionate about fashion photography, you can succeed with a plan and a lot of effort!

If you are an inquisitive fashion photographer, then we’re looking for you. Check out more about how Pyx Photography operates and whether you’re a good fit.