The Importance of Understanding Genre as a Fashion Photographer

There is no shortage of educational material on the market for getting started in virtually any industry of photography. Moreover, fashion is one of the most crowded spaces in regards to this sort of education which can mean the volume of repetition offered from one educational video to another can become rather tiresome. In contrast, when an aspect of fashion photography sheds new light on an often ignored aspect of the industry, the viewer can enjoy a refreshing new look into well-covered ground.

In the first part of his latest pair of videos aimed at providing a unique take on a "Fashion 101" topic, Clinton Lubbe tackles the often rarely discussed topic of "genre" within an industry that has become far too muddled and confused over the years.

To get started Lubbe offers some unique and interesting anecdotes in terms of lens choice and other fashion basics, mostly re-paving a path already discussed ad nauseam. Lubbe's discussion on genre, however, is a critical study that virtually any fashion photographer can gain from learning about. Lubbe, drawing on his experience within the industry, breaks down the primary fashion genres while discussing how the perspective of the photographer changes when shooting each. By knowing exactly what is expected of image content created for a given genre, a photographer can tailor each shoot to meet the expectations of both the client and audience in order to maximize the impact and value of the images created during a shoot.

Understanding the topic of what you are shooting is a critical tool of any photographer, regardless of type. The fashion industry suffers far more confusion than most in this regard but Lubbe's words apply readily to all photographers looking to construct a business with the camera. Being able to shoot a gorgeous image simply isn't sufficient. Successful photographers know how to craft images that fit within the industry expectations of the genre they are shooting while still retaining a creative flare making each photo set unique to the given photographer's style. We could all benefit from taking the time to better define both our style and how that style fits into the industry we have chosen to pursue.

Ryan Cooper's picture

Ryan is an mildly maniacal portrait/cosplay photographer from glorious Vancouver, Canada.

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Clinton Lubbe and Thomas Heaton are my favorite photographers on youtube. They actually take great photos and share real knowledge. Unlike other photographers who take boring pictures and peddle gear, especially that dude with the hat and his boring pictures.

Let me get this straight. The frame grab for the video about fashion photography is the one that the Lubbe explicitly says, "This is not fashion"???

Because breasts mean more views?


I suspect thats why he chose said image. Such is the reality of internet marketing. Sexy sells. (content is still great, regardless though)

Maybe because he is trying to attract the views of people who think they are shooting "fashion" to set them straight.

Clinton is a great resource, I've enjoyed watching his videos. I'm sure his assistants are some of the best equipped to go out and pursue their own work. I worked with John Chiasson, he was knowledgeable, very open about his experiences and encouraged me to pursue my own career.

I don't see how his explanation is flawed as you say. I think he was just focused more on the part of attracting the viewer, and not so much the part of displaying the product to them. Commercial photography has to do both. He just didn't go that in to depth with it.

ah, the classic I'm going to apologize before ripping you apart.