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Life as a Freelance Fashion Photographer: with Oliver Archer

Photo by Oliver Archer;  model with make up
Photo by Oliver Archer

Greetings! In this post, we chat with New York-based photographer Oliver Archer. We had the pleasure of working with Oliver at this past fall Fashion 4 Development event in New York. The event took place in NYC and included their annual Sustainable Goals Banquent and 11th annual Ladies Luncheon. Oliver was the photographer on site and he caputerd the event beautifully! ifd wanted to learn more about his journey and his work so we sat down for a chat! Read on to also find links to oppoturnities to learn more about the business of fashion photography and some resources to develope your skills.

F4D Sustainable Goals Banquet and Ladies Luncheon

ifd: How did you get started in fashion photography?

OA: I'm a former engineer turned photographer. No "formal" training; my first job in high school I worked for a photography studio that just gave me a camera and said go take pictures. On weekends during my biotech days, I attended film school and got to shoot behind-the-scenes Bollywood films and red-carpet events. Shortly after, I bought a "professional" camera, watched thousands of YouTube videos, and attended online classes and workshops.

model fashion images by Oliver Archer
Images by Oliver Archer

ifd: What is it you love about photography? What I love about photography is that you can create beauty, connection and tell a story with just a click. 

Model in spring dress image by Oliver Archer
Model in spring dress image by Oliver Archer

ifd: What are some of the biggest challenges in being a photographer?

OA: Photography is only sometimes about having a camera in your hand. It's 80% business and 20% creating images. Some pros are that you have "certain" freedom from creativity to time management. Some cons are that you will be working longer than a regular 9-5 job.

ifd: What is it like working for yourself?

OA: It can sometimes look glamorous, but it's not just about taking pictures. It's about networking, marketing, and running a business. As a professional photographer, you must build genuine relationships with clients, book gigs, and deliver high-quality work on time and budget.

black woman fashion model Color Pop story, images by Oliver Archer
Color Pop story, images by Oliver Archer

Color Pop story by photographer Oliver Archer
Color Pop story for Pump Fashion by Oliver Archer

ifd: What advice can you give to others wanting to get into photography?

OA: My advice is don't do it! I'm half joking; it's not for the faint of heart. If you "must" do it, get your 10,000 hours and images done, then look back at your work and decide your next steps.

ifd: Do you have a favorite photographer that inspired you?

OA: Everyone will say Annie Leibovitz; I would like to add Peter Lindbergh and cinematographer Roger Deakins.

ifd: Do you have favorite topics to shoot?

OA: Favorites are hard to choose from; it would be fashion stories and editorials covering fashion week.

Photo by Oliver Archer, NYFW
Photo by Oliver Archer, NYFW

ifd: What is the most exciting experience you have had?

OA: It would be my first NYFW; I signed up for what I thought was a "random" Eventbrite event with Fashion Mingle, not knowing it would be at Covergirl and shooting my first runway.

ifd: What are your goals for the future of your work/business?

OA: I don't want to give spoilers, but I do believe in the quote, "Move in silence. Never let them know your next move."

ifd: Do you have favorite tools to use, such as Photoshop, or editing applications that you would recommend to other photographers?

OA: My current favorite workflow is Capture One and Photoshop.

"Give a listen as Fashion Mingle speaks with law expert Shirin Movahed and photographer, Oliver Archer, who will teach us how to protect our photography and our brand from online theft and licensing violations.

Meet the Expert: Oliver Archer: is a professional fashion and portrait photographer located in New York City. Oliver has been published in ADWEEK, MALVIE Magazine, and PUMP Magazine, as well as shooting New York Fashion Week for Fashion Mingle and behind-the-scenes for Bollywood movies. Oliver also provides video services, shooting videos for local commercials."

"Welcome to another Mingle Mastermind Session! This week’s topic was “How to Work with a Fashion Photographer and Get the Content You Need” You will learn how to find the right photographer for your project, how editorial shoots and look book shoots can help sell your products, how to communicate your project requirements to your photographer, how to have a safe photo shoot during Covid-19 and the top tips for a successful photo shoot day Learn more at You can learn more about the all the panelists by visiting their websites below!"

ifd: Any other words of wisdom to share?

OA: "Photography is simultaneously unpredictable, competitive, expensive, and rewarding, so constantly bring value, adapt, and enjoy the journey!"

What people are saying about Oliver:

“What can I say about Oliver Archer?! One of the best photographers I’ve meet. Clean, professional, and handles his business correctly! You won’t find many like him! He’s Definitely top on my list! Oliver, Thanks for being a CONSISTENT individual.

— Justin Haynes of JUS10H, International Designer

“My experience with Oliver was nothing short of amazing. Oliver makes you feel very comfortable throughout the whole shoot, whether it’s your first photoshoot or your hundredth, you feel right at home in front of the camera. Not only were his photos phenomenal and I still get complimented on them today because of the elite composition, he is very polite and respectful with what posing/concepts you have in mind. He is a master with posing and adjusting to the location given, and he is incredible with his editing skills. 10/10 would recommend!!”

— Paris Beal, Miss Lakeway Teen USA, Teen Universe Southern States

Looking to learn more? Here are a few resources we found that you can check out:

The Best Fashion Photographers to Follow on The

"Take one of my online courses or masterclasses, and learn the in’s and out’s of the business of fashion photography. Whether you want to learn how to finally get booked by your first real client, or you want to take your pitching strategy to the next level, there’s something for you here." Olivia Bossert.

Thanks for chatting with us today Oliver! To reach Oliver, visit

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Hey there, lovely fashion friends! My name is Britta Cabanos, and I'm thrilled to have you here! 


I'm a 25+ year fashion industry design professional, and I'm passionate about supporting conscious designers, ethical makers, and sustainability. I believe that fashion can be a powerful force for good, and I'm committed to helping aspiring fashion industry pros make their mark in this exciting and ever-changing field. 


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