Getting Noticed in Fashion Photography

Posted by Jerry Avenaim on March 28, 2009 – 8:59 am
My first Vogue cover of Cindy Crawford shot when I was 24 years old

My first Vogue cover of Cindy Crawford shot when I was 24 years old

Fashion photographers have a hard time getting noticed these days. There’s just too damn many out there, even for seasoned veterans it’s a cut throat era.

I was asked a question this morning by a young photographer, and since I have not had the time to do any writing (more about why in my later writings *hehe*).

The young photographer a world away asked…
Hey just a question??
How on earth do you ever get noticed 🙁
do tell about your sucess 🙂

So I thought, well this is an easy enough answer if I give the short version, at least it was for me on my chosen path.

“In one word it would be tenacity. That said,  do things extra-ordinarily and then get in people faces with it. Be charming, but never take no for an answer, everyone want’s to be noticed… But it’s as simple as telling an art director or editor, “I want to work for your magazine” if they so no reply with “then please tell me how to work for your magazine.” And so on, you keep showing that person your passion and desire and they will eventually say yes…

A footnote: Just remember you must have the goods (portfolio) to back it up!

Jerry Avenaim

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5 Responds so far- Add one»

  1. 1. Ashley Smith Said:

    Thanks for the great advice Jerry!


    Jerry Avenaim Reply:

    Anytime Ashley, I hope you will come back and stay up with the posts!


  2. 2. Brian Tremblay Said:

    Hi Jerry,

    Would it be safe to say that your chances of getting into fashion photographer are nil if you don’t live in a major city that is a centre for fashion?

    Example: New York, LA, Toronto, Montreal, Paris, Milan

    I’ve sent promo pieces to magazines in Toronto and Montreal and have been ignored (as well as my follow up phone calls). Now that’s probably because they don’t think I’m very good.

    On the occasion where I have spoken to someone, they want to know where you’re located. Even for editorial jobs: they said they can find someone in their back yard rather than bring someone in.

    Your thoughts?


    Jerry Avenaim Reply:

    Hey Brian,

    Great question… If that is your goal, first make sure your portfolio is on the level of the client you’re going after. Once you’ve done that, it is paramount that you go meet the people you want to work for. Just sending a promo card won’t do it. You have to get in their face, tell them you love their magazine and want to shoot for them.

    I myself when starting out, would spend a month or two in any given city (that you mentioned) and test for my portfolio, go back and show those clients. It never meant I had to pack up and move there. But I did have to go there, take meetings, shoot and show my work. At that point the clients knew I could do it from anywhere.

    A footnote: At the end of the day, when you take two photographers of equal talent. The client is going to hire the one that has the passion, and secondly, they are going to hire the photographer they can go grab a beer with after the shoot. Just be authentic, be your true self and you will succeed!

    Best, -Jerry Avenaim


  3. 3. Carlo Schüller Said:

    I think the online way is the wrong one. I guess calling the right people, and make some visits with a striking portfolio will help. It’s all about connections.


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