© Céline Géraldine LUETOLF

Photography in the field of fashion, luxury and beauty has always been fascinating because it is the very representation of aesthetics, elegance and refinement. In reality, fashion photography – more than a search for perfection and aestheticism – acts as a mirror of our society, which reflects the major movements and trends of our time.

The role of the fashion photographer is to capture the works of a designer or the history and visual identity of a company­through photos of impeccable quality. In their images, neither clothes, jewels, perfumes nor any other accessories are the subject for the fashion photographer. Instead they are the basis and the means for them to convey the very message of the brand or magazine in question.

To be a fashion photographer today is to master the photography techniques and skills, so as to produce top quality images. Above anything else, they need be able to create a vision – via tensions and photographic compositions – going way beyond aesthetics. As it were, telling a story by selecting the types of clothes that will best tell it.

The courses taught at Spéos cover those very domains, from conception to production.

Qualities required to become a Fashion Photographer

The qualities required to become a fashion photographer are many and varied.

First of all, they must be passionate about clothes or textiles in general, as well as have a feeling for colors and shapes. They thus need to rigorously follow the evolution of different trends, season after season. Constantly on the lookout for the latest developments, they need to have a keen sense of observation and analysis, in order to be able to anticipate and appropriate the various trends into a style of their own.

Teamwork and communication skills are equally essential. Throughout their activity, the fashion photographer works in close collaboration with a wide variety of players. At the level of creation and conception of the shoot, this involves the client representatives (sales managers, marketing specialists, artistic directors…). During the shoot itself, they collaborate with stylists, make-up artists, hairdressers, as well as one or several models. Last but not least, they can also be accompanied by one or several assistants.

Throughout their work, the fashion photographer must be attentive to the various interlocutors while showing tenacity and leadership, so as to maintain their vision and approach to photography.
Creativity, a taste for aesthetics, artistic sense, tenacity, efficiency, absolute perfectionism, organizational capacities, reactivity to stress, and communication: these are the main qualities required of a successful fashion photographer.

© ANNSY – Spéos

Become a Fashion Photographer with Spéos

Spéos offers different one- or two-year programs, allowing students to acquire the photography skills necessary to become professional photographers. To hone skills in the fields of fashion, luxury and beauty, they can either directly follow the Fashion, Luxury & Beauty Photography Program or go for a general program with a Studio specialization.

1-year programs:
> Fashion, Luxury & Beauty Photography
> Professional Photography – Studio specialization
> The Entrepreneurial Photographer – Studio specialization
> European Master in Professional Photography – Studio specialization

2-year programs:
> Professional Photography – Studio specialization
> The Entrepreneurial Photographer – Studio specialization
> European Master in Professional Photography – Studio specialization

3-year programs:
> Professional Photography + Video/3D – Studio specialization
> The Entrepreneurial Photographer + video/3D – Studio specialization 

The Spéos programs cover all the stages – from conception to production – within the respective fields of fashion, luxury and beauty:

  • The analysis of the “creative brief”: being able to quickly analyze and understand the visual identity of the brand, in order to elaborate an artistic direction that meets the visual communication needs of the client.
  • Designing the “moodboard”: defining the project for the photographer and their team. Presentation of the creative proposal and adaptation of their artistic angle to the client’s requirements.
  • The organization of the photo shoot: organizing the technical means, as well as team management, for the realization of the shoot (checking equipment adequate to the location, building a team of assistants, hairdressers, make-up artists, stylists).
  • The shoot itself: installation of the scenography, compositions, verification of focal length, framing, angles, light – as well as coordination with the models.
  • Post-production: identification of the most promising images within the framework of the specific brief (editing). Image processing and retouching with professional imaging software (Photoshop, Lightroom etc.) for the final rendering.

Throughout their program at Spéos, students develop all skills necessary to become successful fashion photographers. Apart from technical skills, they further specialize in the fields of fashion, luxury and beauty. Obtaining in-depth knowledge in studio shoots or on location – using natural light – they also get proficient in post-production and image retouching, while developing their photographic eye and personal style, allowing them to create a professional portfolio.

An essential point of the pedagogical method taught at Spéos: the students have access to spacious studios, equipped with top-notch photo gear. For their shoots, they have products of major fashion, beauty and luxury brands at their disposal. They define their projects as closely as possible to real professional situations, while being accompanied and guided by major players in each field of activity. The goal: to train while practicing as closely as possible to the demands and actors of the current market.

Opportunities, Careers and Prospects

Photographers working in the fields of fashion, luxury and beauty generally work as freelancers. They work on a project basis and therefore usually have several clients in parallel: advertising agencies, luxury brands, fashion houses, fashion magazines, stylists.

As in any business creation, it can take one to two years before creating a comprehensive client base, making a name for oneself and selling images in one’s field of specialization. In the meantime, the budding fashion photographer can work as assistant photographer or set assistant. Initiative, patience and determination are the keys to success!

> See the work of Spéos graduates in fashion photography
> Read testimonials from former students of the school

Enrollment and Contact

Registrations are open all year round and subject to availability.
Feel free to contact Spéos if you have any questions about this program.
At any time you are most welcome to come and visit the school, just make an appointment!

How to get to Spéos Paris

Come by visit Spéos (preferably on appointment)!