Fashion Photographers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Creativity is probably the most important skill you must have for this field. Naturally, take as many photography classes as possible. Also, take computer science classes that teach you how to use photo editing software. Business, mathematics, and accounting classes will give you skills you will need to keep track of your accounts and run your own business. English and speech classes will help you to develop your communication skills.

Postsecondary Education

Although this is a career field in which you don’t need to take a specific postsecondary educational route, there are a number of training options available. There are, for example, academic programs in fashion photography at many colleges, universities, and adult education centers. Some community and junior colleges offer associate’s degrees in photography or commercial art. Photography studies will include shooting and processing techniques using both black-and-white and color film, digital photography and editing, lighting, and composition. An advantage to pursuing education beyond high school is that it gives you an opportunity to build your portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of an artist’s best work that shows prospective clients a variety of skills.

In addition to studying art and photography, it is advantageous to study clothing construction, fabrics, fashion design, and cosmetology.

Other Education or Training

Continuing education events, seminars, classes, and other activities are offered by many professional associations, including American Photographic Artists, American Society of Media Photographers, American Society of Picture Professionals, and Professional Photographers of America. Contact these organizations for more information.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Professional Photographers of America offers the certified professional photographer credential to photographers who pass an examination and submit samples of their work. Visit for more information.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

The best way to gain experience in the field is to work as an assistant to a fashion photographer. Contact photographers in your area to inquire about opportunities.  

To be a successful fashion photographer, you should have a strong love of fashion and photography. You should have artistic ability, excellent manual dexterity, and good eyesight and color vision. Fashion photographers need excellent communication skills because they often work with models, fashion coordinators, editors, and other fashion professionals. Other important traits include patience, determination, an eye for detail, and good organizational skills.