How I Got Into Fashion Photography

Hello Beautiful People!

This is Part Two of ‘How I Got Into Photography’ as fashion photography was not on my radar. I remember when I got into photography, America’s Next Top Model was huge. I loved watching it. Nigel Barker was the only fashion photographer I really knew of because of that show. I always thought the concepts were so cool and remember thinking ‘Oh I wish I could do that, but I’ll never be good enough.’

When I was in university, I really just loved shooting anything and everything. But fashion wasn’t something I saw myself doing. I just thought it was for glamorous people or people in New York. In my 2nd year of university I was really getting into food photography. Anyone who knows me knows that I adore cooking and I loved cooking and taking photos of the process and finished product. One of my teachers really encouraged me to pursue food photography and we even spoke about Bon Appetite Magazine in New York. During one of our classes which was ‘People and Portraits’ I had to take some images of a person and do different lighting such as side lighting, butterfly, Rembrandt and loop lighting. I shot my images with a friend in another class and went into photoshop and tried all these different things (like blurring the skin and using gradients oh boy!) and I was SO proud of the finished results. I printed my imaged, put them in my portfolio and handed them to my teacher for our portfolio review. He looked down at my portfolio and was really silent, just turned it page after page. I was waiting for him to say ‘These are fantastic!’ I was so proud of them and myself. I will never forget the statement he made that followed. He closed my portfolio, looked up at me and said ‘People aren’t your thing’ and walked away to the next student. My heart dropped. I was so incredibly proud of those images and thought I did a great job. I’m a perfectionist and hearing that just crushed me.

After that class, I was determined to prove him wrong. I spent the summer finding local models, doing the hair and makeup myself, using my clothes and pinning them on the girls to appear like they fit and going from location to location. By the end of my third year, my entire portfolio was fashion and beauty (or what I considered fashion and beauty at the time!). I had met some wonderful models and makeup artists during my third year who helped me and brought my crazy ideas to life. I look back at my earlier work and just cringe BUT I love seeing how far I’ve come and its also part of my journey. We all grow and evolve as artists and in a few years from now I’ll look back at my work now and think ‘Girl, what were you thinking?’

During our portfolio review at the end of the year, the teacher looked at my portfolio which was all fashion and I remember saying to him ‘So, remember when you said people weren’t my thing?’ he just looked up, smiled and winked at me then left my table. It was then I realized he said what he said because he knew I was a perfectionist. He knew I would go out to prove him wrong. Honestly, if he hadn’t said that to me, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this blog 7 years later.

I didn’t set out to have this career but I truly feel like it found me. I found my niche and my passion in life. I love meeting new artists and creating beautiful images with them. I have met some of my closest friends in this industry. Fashion and beauty photography just makes my soul happy. This industry has its low points too but the highs outweigh the lows. I have so much I want to accomplish and can’t wait to see where this journey takes me in another 7 years.

When I was younger, I always felt I was never good at anything. I danced, I swam, I liked to write but I never felt like I found the thing in life I was good at…until I found photography and then I found fashion and beauty photography. I truly feel like I found what I was meant to do in life.

Until next time,

Lisa-Marie xo