Fashion Photography

The History of Fashion Photography

February 11, 2019

Fashion photography is synonymous with glamour and style. A fashion photographer is quite unlike any regular photographer. It takes special skills and a trained eye to be a top-notch fashion photographer. While fashion photography has been around from the 1850s it only gained popularity in the 20th century. Once haute couture became accessible to the masses fashion magazines like Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue appeared on the scene in the 1800s. While early images were hand illustrated, later in 1913, Baron Adolph de Meyer began to photograph models, aristocrats and actresses for fashion editorials.

In the post-world war period, many new designers emerged in the 1950s and 60s. With fashion models becoming household names, fashion photography also took off. Photography moved from the studio outdoors and became more spontaneous and energetic. A new trend of minimalism entered the photography scene. The 1970s saw feminism have an impact on the medium. The 70s and 80s saw the pret-a-porter look bloom and by the 1980s commercialism with consumerism saw the fashion industry and photography bloom like never before. Along with women’s fashion photography, the men’s fashion industry and fashion photography also gathered momentum.

Contemporary fashion photography is found in numerous forms resulting in artistic and commercial photography now almost converging. Present day photographers have adopted a surrealistic approach to the medium. Through the use of digital technology and software, they alter everyday reality and transform it into a glitzy and glamorous world of beautiful people and high fashion.