The business of fashion photography is a rewarding, creative, busy and difficult one. It’s highly competitive, and takes an extra special portfolio, a hardworking attitude and a great network of clients and collaborators to succeed.
Few know this as well as photographer Nick Knight, founder of SHOWStudio, who has recently led a Mastered photography programme, and is now featuring in a free short course aimed at helping image-makers collaborate. The alumni thus far are impressive; and three photographers have particularly caught our eye – Lusha Alic, Julia Grossi and Tania Kezha. See more of their work below, and hear what they think it takes to succeed as a creative professional.
Julia had worked in fashion photography for around ten years, but found she was beginning to lose passion for her craft. “I had never had a mentor, and I was always looking for one,” she says. “I had seen a lot of changes in my career and I was losing some of the excitement. I needed to start to care more.” She initially got into photography having been on the other side of the lens, modelling when she was 20. “I didn’t really enjoy that side of it, but I was really interested in this world and I had an eye for images. That’s why I decided to study photography."
The course came about as a way to challenge herself again, and the rewards have been manifold. “I’ve found value in my profession again,” she says. “I have abetter understanding of what I’m doing so I appreciate it more when I’m getting a job, and I know how to push it creatively.”
Among Julia’s client list are Sleek Magazine, Fraüline Magazine and Qvest magazine, and she was recently featured in Vogue Italia.
Lusha spent four years studying fashion photography at London College of Fashion, and took on the Mastered Photography course for the insights it offered into the fashion industry. “I didn’t get that from my degree,” she says. “With Mastered there were a lot more opportunities to see the business side of the industry.”
During the course, she created a fashion film and an editorial campaign, and this led to a piece about her and her work in Vogue Italia “It’s really good exposure,” she says. “It gave me a better understanding of what I do and what I would like my work to do. I received a lot of mentoring from Nick Knight about how to improve my work – things like lighting, and how to make something really special – and had the opportunity to collaborate with other people.”
Lusha is originally from Slovenia, and moved to London to pursue her studies and career in fashion photography. She says she enjoys the discipline for the freedom it offers. “I like the fact you can be as creative as you like, and give your opinion on stuff through your photography. It’s like an open space for your ideas.”
Having worked in the Belarusian fashion market for a while, Tania decided to take on the Mastered course to kick-start a new career path. “I had a strong desire to learn but couldn’t find an inspirational teacher/mentor.” she says. “Mastered was an opportunity to get inside the creative process and have the opportunity to have my work reviewed by the top industry experts. I really needed a nudge in the right direction. After years of satisfying the needs of the market and making a living doing what seemed like a dream job, I had almost lost my voice.”
Tania describes her photography style as “delicate and poetic,” but juxtaposing these elements with “harsh reality". She says:
“I believe that everything has to be balanced out.” Working alongside other photographers and industry experts on the course, Tania found the feedback available was invaluable.
“The most valuable insight was that even though every picture is a result of team work, the responsibility for any mistake/fault will lie on the shoulders of the photographer. So if you don’t like something during the photo shoot, don’t hesitate to discuss and change it,” she says. “I managed to tailor my voice in fashion photography and become authentic again.”
Collaboration: Mastered is a free short course by Mastered, a talent company for creatives in fashion. Featuring Nick Knight, Fabien Baron, and a host of other expert collaborators – you will be challenged to create stunning images and learn how to collaborate better as a team. It is completely free to enrol, and you can do so by following the link below.