The developments in the American fashion industry has given rise to a more modern approach to photography. Due to commercialization, the fashion industry is the highest employer of photographers in America, the job roles assigned to fashion photographer’s ranges from photographing garments to interpreting the underlying ideas or themes of a fashion season. Photography now takes centre stage in studios and on locations to produce creative and eye-catching images that advertise people, clothes, accessories, and lifestyle. It is now popularly known that photographers who can interpret fashion trends and take stunning pictures that sell a look and style are in high demand and command substantial fees.
The culture of this industry has continued to change with the times and trends of our society. In this digital age of Instagram and Pinterest, it’s clear that fashion marketers have taken on a different strategy — one that involves a tacit agreement that pictures no longer serve its purpose on a glossy A4 magazine page, and may only be viewed on a social media feed. This has brought the most decisive shift in modern fashion photography and has changed the way photography is delivered to its end user. Between 2006 and 2013 Vogue’s advertising revenue fell by 16% because photography today is created to be liked, shared, tweeted and retweeted. For most brands, lookbooks are the new advertising campaigns as they are cheaper to produce and easier to consume.
Fashion photography now comes in many forms because the boundaries are now blurred between artistic and commercial work. Surrealism describes the work of several contemporary artists, including Ellen von Unwerth, Mario Testino, Roxanne Lowit, David LaChapelle, and Juergen Teller whose use of digital manipulation provides an escape from reality into the elegant world of high fashion and glamorous people.