What camera gear do fashion photographers use? We could tell you, but instead we’ll do one better. We’ll show you.
Take a look inside the camera bags of dozens of professional fashion photographers so you can find out exactly what gear they use and why.
Every photographer’s kit is different. And every camera bag that gets opened up has its own story to tell and its own secrets to spill.
That’s all part of the fun. But the best part is that if you’re interested in becoming a fashion photographer yourself, you can get a head start.
Seeing the work of other photographers is inspiring and can fill you with ideas and aspirations.
Learning about what gear those photographers use to get the effects is even better.
Before you start on your fashion photography journey, it’s worth thinking about the genre itself and how you’ll fit into it.
Fashion photography is a pretty broad category. Within it, there are different sub-genres.
Editorial fashion photography is one of them. Editorial shoots tell a story or sell a lifestyle. If you dream of photographing models for the pages of magazines, this is where you want to be.
The camera bags of editorial fashion photographers vary a lot based on the photographer’s unique style, but you can bet you’ll find some top-of-the-line camera bodies and a range of high-quality lenses that will cater to different scenarios (the exception being photographers who shoot in a very raw, lo-fi style).
Editorial photographers might shoot on location or in the studio, so lighting equipment differs depending.
Catalogue fashion photography often requires a studio setup. A lot of brands use photos of models against a plain white backdrop in their e-commerce stores, for example. So if catalogue is something you’re interested in shooting, you’ll want to get the right lighting and flash equipment into your kit.
That said, catalogue and editorial can often overlap. Some brands prefer to sell their clothing via editorial-style images (there’s a whole sub-category here of campaigns featuring bloggers and social media “influencers” that’s only emerged in recent years).
As for photographers shooting runway and fashion shows: tripods are very much mandatory (or a monopod, at a minimum). Zoom lenses are also the go here, since runway photographers often need to get several different crops of each outfit (full length, three-quarter and possibly closeups).
It’s a tough job being crowded into a press pit, often for hours at a time. But, like any photography job, it can also be rewarding.
The other major sub-category of fashion photography is street style. A street style photographer’s kit has to be portable and versatile (think one DSLR or mirrorless body plus one or two lenses). Another must-have? A comfortable, easy-to-use (and preferably stylish!) camera strap.
While editorial is probably the first type of fashion photography that springs to most minds, the fashion photography genre goes much wider than that.
If you’re thinking of venturing into fashion photography, think about what types of jobs you’d like to do and what your personal style is going to be.
The camera gear you need for fashion photography will depend a lot on those two questions. So if you’re looking for guidance, ideas and inspiration, check out the featured photographers above – you’re bound to find plenty.