The industry of fashion comes close to magic, considering it is an epitome of creativity – from clicking pictures that are poetic to choreographing state of the art ramp shows, the field of fashion is where all things artistic meet. One thing style experts universally agree upon – there is no room for someone in fashion without the ability to think out of the box and if you have a flair for anything original, this might just be the right cup of tea for you.
If you have an artistic eye and a penchant for fashion, fashion photography can be a challenging as well as an exciting career opportunity. This realm of photography is highly different from the other forms considering the main objective here is to put the clothes and the accessories in great light aside the models. Ace photographer Venket Ram says, “The key is to be able to differentiate the nuances of fashion photography from the rest. An inherent and strong sense of aesthetics is essential, apart from a natural interest in fashion and related fields.”
Considering a career in fashion photography provides a great platform to work with models and celebrities as the work covers an array of platforms including magazines, print ads, fashion houses, and websites. However, to make a niche for oneself in the field, one must develop an individual style and concept. Though a degree in fashion photography is not entirely necessary, having a bachelor’s degree will give you an edge and a better understanding of photography itself. However, most of the fashion photographers stand successful today because of the experience they gained through practical knowledge and apprenticeships. “The major chunk of my learning came from assisting cinematographers and running around movie studios, taking in as much as I could- about how they light up the sets. This continued for over two years after which I finally began to assist eminent photographer, Sharad Haksar,” says Venket.
Understanding the specific requirements of clients is important and a good knowledge of studio lighting, camera functioning and photo setting are essential to become a successful fashion photographer. Excellent relationship skills come in handy considering they will be working alongside models and celebrities.
G. Venket Ram, Photographer
Went to Loyola College, Chennai (Visual Communication)
“The fashion scene in India now is not only limited to the metros but is fast catching up with the rest, and rapidly emerging as an indispensable part of everyday life. People are right now fashion conscious than ever before, as it has become accessible and well within the reach of the majority. But again when it actually comes down to fashion photography, it is definitely not for everyone. Its takes a keen and artistic eye, aesthetically seasoned vision and lot more intangible elements to actually make it happen.”
Light and Life Academy, Ooty – PG Diploma in Professional Photography
San Francisco Institute of Art – BFA in Photography
International Center of Photography, New York – One year certificate and affiliate programmes
If you think becoming a designer is all about schmoozing runway shows in New York and Paris, think again. With a distinctive sense of style and hard work, you would be creating not just art but art people live their lives in. A designer’s role is ever so important considering it helps people present themselves to the world, get recruited, impress a first date and increase their level of confidence. One of India’s foremost designers, Rehane Yavar Dhala says, “One does not have to always create his or her own labels. A background in design enables a candidate to get into any number of fields including merchandizing, buying, designing for leading fashion houses, assisting established designers etc. The opportunities are boundless.”
Designers not only study trends but they sketch designs of clothing and accessories, choose colors and fabrics and supervise the final production of their designs. While fashion designers get recruited by manufacturing establishments, wholesalers and design firms predominantly, they also work on a contract basis with various design houses. The nature of the role involves communication with suppliers, manufacturers and customers all over the world and most of the designers travel many times a year to trade their brands and be a part of fashion shows to learn about current trends.
Is a college degree entirely necessary to become a designer? In a word, yes. One might have a flair for style and fashion and even the talent to create something different but education is important to make you stand out from a group of equally qualified design professionals. Typically, one needs a bachelor degree in fashion design but combining a fashion degree with business, marketing or fashion merchandizing would be ideally for someone who wants to run their own label or retail store.
Rehane Yavar Dhala
Ace Designer & Owner of the Label ‘Rehane’
Went to: European Institute of Design, Rome
“There are many sought after schools of fashion in India today but a European influence and studying the style and comportment of fashion in Europe gives you a better perspective.”
National Institute of Fashion Design, India – B. Des. (Fashion Design), M.F.M (Master of Fashion Management)
Fashion Institute of Technology, New York – BFA Accessory Design, BFA Advertising Design
London College of Fashion – Short courses in fashion design, pattern cutting, textiles and fashion retail