There is a huge number of fashion photography students and enthusiasts struggling to start a successful career with high profile clients and stylists. These novice and motivated photographers find it very challenging to get their foot in the door. 

Starting to build a solid reputation and a rich portfolio that will get these passionate artists on the right track is the first and most important goal. Getting endless job opportunities from the top stylists is not an easy objective to accomplish so fast. In this article, we will explore some of the most important strategies to attracting clients and building a solid reputation as a fashion photographer.

1. Find a Novice Stylist and Grow Together

Finding a stylist who is as experienced as you are will help you a lot in growing the experience that will allow you to work with the biggest stylists in the future. This kind of experience will teach you a lot and as you will make a lot of mistakes, you will learn from them and get more ready for the big gigs. The stylist you will choose to work with can help you a lot and you can also do the same. This kind of partnership will be very fruitful for both of you as you will learn from one another and grow in terms of knowledge, experience, and capabilities.

2. Do some Free Work

In this context, free work does not mean providing clients with free services. It means that you have to work on developing a rich portfolio even if it doesn’t generate any profits. Working with a creative team on editorials will help you develop your own style and creating proof of your work quality in order to convince future clients with your portfolio. You should also take into consideration that when you work for free, you are not limited or controlled by any guidelines or recommendations so you will be doing what you love the best way you see. Famous Dubai-based fashion photographer Toufic Araman joined a creative team for an editorial work at the beginning of his photography career. 'Although I never got paid for it, I was able to build relationships and extend my portfolio doing what I love most.'

3. Decide which Kind of Clients you Want to Work with

Deciding the kind of clients you want to work and share professional experiences with will help you greatly in having good opportunities and therefore have the best outcome. You should figure out whether you want to shoot for fashion designers, web shops, or even weddings. You need to be aware of what the client will need from you exactly in order to know how to make a solid proposal and get the job. In order to communicate with these clients, you need to do some homework and get some basic information about them; what they do, how they work, where they live, and their contact info. Then when you contact them, you have to make your proposal precise and straight to the point by providing them with the necessary information on what you do and how you will contribute to their work and projects. In other words, tell them why they should hire you and not somebody else. Maybe they will hire you and maybe not but you should insist that you’re always available and looking forward to work with these specific clients, they will contact you eventually so make sure that your online accounts are regularly checked and updated.

4. Build a Network

A network is important because it will introduce you to the best and most fruitful and profitable opportunities for you. Whether in photography or most businesses, you can’t expect to have great jobs and collaborations without having a network that will bring you and the best clients for you together. After all, how will your skills and knowledge matter if you have no way of reaching contact with those who will want to have your skills implemented and invested in their projects?. Your networks do not only have to be the basic social media accounts where you upload your work and wait for it to find recognition by top clients. You need to establish connections with potential clients and even fellow photographers so that you can ask them about their experiences and what they recommend for you. You should also consider that these fellow photographers can suggest your name for their agencies and their clients in case they find open jobs and available opportunities. So try your best to build a fruitful network and have more contacts in your field.

5. Choose the Elements of your Shoots very Carefully

Clients and observers of your work will not only focus on the techniques and skills you put in your shoots, they will also focus on what you shot. The model, the location, and any other element included. In this context, you should choose who, where, and what will appear on your shoots very carefully because any detail will make or break your entire work and I’m sure you acknowledge the importance of details in photography. A beautiful model is not enough. You have to find someone who will have a certain influence and charm that will add something special to your shoots. The idea is that you should always try to find the models and components that will make your work special, exceptional and one of a kind. To find these models, you can always contact and email model agencies and ask if you can work with their models and they can give you the chance to do that for free if you provide them with quality shots.

Author bio:
Jane Shel is a co-founder and content strategist at MiroMind SEO & Digital agency. Self-starter and blog-reader, she likes to share her know-how in digital marketing world.