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What Does it take to be a Successful Fashion Photographer?

Written by Ayla David, September 25, 2021

Photographers are the unsung heroes behind fashion show magic. Without incredible pictures of the designer’s work on the runways, the documentation of a show can be less than impressive. Seth Ruff is a photographer based in Atlanta, GA who prides himself on natural beauty and fashion show photography. We spoke with Seth about how every aspect of a fashion show impacts the photography and how important it is for fashion show producers to realize this. Whether you’re a fashion designer, show producer, or a photographer, there’s so much to consider when it comes to capturing the show through photography! Find out from Seth the one thing you definitely want to avoid the most!

IFD: What was your first experience with fashion photography & what drew you to the industry?

SR: My cousin attended a modeling school and asked me to do a photoshoot with her. When she presented the pictures, the school photographer was impressed and decided to take me in as an assistant. The experience helped me learn how to work with all models of varying experience, as well as using my creative mind to present unique takes on the models’ looks.

IFD: When shooting a fashion show, what are the most important aspects when setting up your camera?

SR: For me, lighting and position to the runway are critical. I concentrate on model movements for memorable images, this also provides the designers with varying photographs of their work. 

IFD: What is most important for models, designers, and fashion show producers to know when thinking about how to get the best photographs of the show?

SR: Models must be smooth and confident with their runway walk. Producers should create an evenly lit runway to highlight the clothing for the audience and the media. Every designer wants their pieces to pop through the photos so creating the perfect environment is crucial. It’s important to recognize that posted images from your show will live online forever. 

IFD: What are the worst things a fashion show could include to create a bad photography environment?

SR: The overall worst thing would have to be smoke and fog. It might be fun for the aesthetics but hurts the quality of film and media documentation. It also prevents me from seeing the detailing and silhouettes of the clothing line as the designer intends. This adds stress to me since I know the designer will not be getting the best images. Also, making sure that the photographers have a printed order list of the designs walking down the runway so we can give the credit to each designer when posting images on social media and on websites. 

IFD: When it comes to fashion, what are your favorite garments to shoot?

SR: Every garment has their own unique personality through the camera lens so it is hard to choose a favorite. However, my least favorite garment to shoot is gowns. They are great for the red carpet but don’t provide much creativity in the studio for showing movement.

IFD: What have been your favorite shows to shoot so far and why?

SR: I enjoy the New York Fashion Week events in the fall because it’s such a wonderful place to view fashion in all varieties and venues. Getting photos from inside the event and outside on the street has been my favorite so far. 

IFD: What are your future goals for fashion show photography?

SR: I was not able to attend as many shows this year because of COVID and the close-quartered aspect of my job. However, I took this time to update my skills and equipment with the hopes of coming back to each of these events with fresh ideas and a new perspective.

Thank you Seth for sharing your work and insights!

You can find Seth online at or follow his work on Instagram @ruffcuts7.

Interested in Fashion Photography?  Here are 15 Tips On How To Break Into Fashion Photography from Zhang Jingna

Written by: Zhang Jingna from

Fashion and fine art photographer Zhang Jingna has previously written immensely popular articles about commercial shoots, personal projects and on how to improve your photography. This time she will share 15 tips on how to break into fashion photography. Here is how to make it, in Jingna’s own words.

Did you know there are 4 different types of Fashion Photography?  Catalog Photography, High Fashion Photogrpahy, Street Fashion & Editorial Fashion Photography.  Want to learn more about these?  Check out this article from here

Are you a newbie photographer striving for that perfect photo shoot?  “The most important part of fashion photography is how you translate a story visually and apply your own creative style to a certain idea.” Ira Giorgetti, from  In order to do that, you need to start with a strong Brief and describe aspects of your shoot- Read the full list of tips and tricks here

And check out this list from

5 Best + Free Fashion Photography Courses & Classes [2021 SEPTEMBER]

“Photography is one of the creative fields that’s garnering a lot of attention lately, owing majorly to social media platforms like Instagram. Anyone looking to advance as a professional fashion photographer/blogger or individuals interested in capturing self-portraits or those who want to make a living out of working with fashion magazines and advertisers can improve and develop their skills with the help of the Fashion Photography courses mentioned here. These online tutorials include free and paid versions of the courses and are designed for all levels of learners. Check out our compilation of Best Online Photography

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