The Rise of Fashion Photography

Updated on July 13, 2017
Jonas Ogrefoln profile image

A born creative, Jonas loves working with online businesses to create new strategies for growth. "Content creation is fuel for the soul."

Trends and styles thrive on widespread exposure and fashion photography shows them to the world!
Trends and styles thrive on widespread exposure and fashion photography shows them to the world! | Source

There has been a noticeable uptick in Fashion Photography’s popularity, and some people are asking what is driving it. As a new contributor to stock image sites, I already know one simple reason in particular I believe is the backbone of the boon.

The simple answer is - The Web.

In the past, fashion related images had a limited number of platforms to use for exposure. Television, billboards, print magazines, and runway shows were fashions best friend prior to the advent of the internet.

Needless to say, the times they are a changing.

Last year digital ad spending overtook television ad spending for the first time with television grabbing 36.4% while digital squeaked by it at 36.8 according to the gang over at

I wouldn’t spend too much time waiting for that trend to reverse.

Television vs. Digital Advertising.
Television vs. Digital Advertising.

How Are Mobile Devices Changing Advertising?

Every year, more and more mobile devices are released, and as the prices for these devices continue to become more affordable that number is only going to go up. Consider that in 1995 only 1% of the world was accessing the internet. That percentage has grown to over 40% as of 2016, leaving just over 4.2 billion potential users still waiting to get on the bandwagon.

With mobile access quickly becoming the number way in which we interact with the world, (as of the end of last year statistics show that over 51% of consumers are accessing the internet via their mobile devices.) TV is no longer the entrée of advertising but more of a side dish.

Following that analogy, print access has to be that cold Salisbury steak with jelly gravy on top at the end of the school lunch buffet when it comes to advertising. But, they still need professional images where they still hang on.

This is all good news for fashion photographers, and photographers of all niches, in general. The expense of advertising is no longer an obstacle for thousands of smaller companies, and anyone who owns a business without a website these days is… well, crazy.

Have you seen the list of marketing strategies out there lately? Almost all of these strategies at some point use images to drive interest, and more importantly conversions, which result in higher revenue for the businesses.

The demand for stock imagery across the boards is through the roof, and skilled photographers can still eke out a living if they can deliver crisp, clear, attention-grabbing photos. Everyone with something to sell (especially the fashion industry) knows that humans are visual creatures, and revenues can be greatly increased by the right imagery.

How many times have you seen something in an online ad, or video and excitedly shouted, “I want that!”? That is what advertisers want you to do, and they know that the right photograph is all it takes.

Video is also on the rise as an advertising medium. So, look for the demand for videography skills to also grow when it comes to how businesses choose to display their ads.

These are also all good reasons why there is so much tough competition in photography of all styles. It’s not hard to buy a camera and start flooding stock image sites with photos of your mom’s old dresses from the 50’s, or her studded leather choker from the 90’s, as the case may be.

But, only the truly brilliant images, created by professional photographers who have put their time in the trenches and perfected their craft, are going to be selected by the big brand names.

But, guess what. How do those pros get their images out there so they can be seen by the most popular fashion names? That’s right, by advertising their skills on the internet, probably through a well designed website and the best marketing strategies they can afford.

To summarize; what is currently driving the high demand for fashion photography comes down to a heavily increased demand for stunning imagery, combined with the ease of buying a camera and making photos available for sale online, which is driving competition.

If it sounds easy to get into the market, well, it is. A good camera, some cheap editing software, a pretty sister, or handsome boyfriend to photograph dressed to the nine's in a trendy new style, and an account at Getty, or Shutterstock, and you’ll be off to the races.

Be warned, however, that’s where the easy part of the journey ends.

Now you can’t say you were warned.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


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