How I Became a Fashion Photographer

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My Prehistory – A Long Story Short

I grew up with my father taking pictures with an old Russian Zenith camera every time an event took place or the family went out for a walk. He was a semi-professional photographer who used to be booked for weddings back in his 20s when digital photography wasn’t established yet.

Since I was always curious about the procedures in a photo lab, the first internship I chose at the age of 14 was in a photo studio. Unfortunately, the photographer didn’t develop her films on her own but used to send them to an external lab.

Later I had other concepts for my professional future and ran aeronautical tests as well as a medical internship to become a pilot or a doctor. I preferred being a pilot and refused the first positive answer from med school in Heidelberg to apply again later if my pilot career was going to fail. During the waiting period of my applications, I traveled to India for three months taking my first own reflex camera with me, a Sony Alpha 200, and learning the coordination of its functions during my travels. Shortly after I came back it all went wrong: I failed the pilot test and I didn’t get my med school place again.

I had to change my mind about my future and get back to being creative which had always been my secret desire. A friend delightedly told me about her studies of communication design and encouraged me to apply for it too. During my preparation of application portfolios, I interned at a photo studio where I really felt at home. By the time I got my university place, I was very much into photography again.

But new fields like editorial design and film making drew my interest over the semesters. Yet I missed taking pictures during the time I focused on different fields of communication design. That’s when I decided to do my obligatory internship at a fashion photographer’s studio in Munich where I made my first beauty and fashion tests. Coming back I couldn’t imagine anything else anymore for my future career. I couldn’t stop producing editorials and so I tried to find a way of making my bachelor thesis a fashion photography mission.

Growing up

My bachelor thesis illustrates the studies and professional field of communication designers. It’s based on the sectors illustration, typography, brand design, web design, advertising design, moving image, and interactive media, showing them through photographic series.

Here it is about a personal interpretation as well as snapshots of the current progress in design. In parallel to logging the spirit of the fashion age by a camera, the same thing happens with the zeitgeist of communication design.

By being relevant to cultivating design methods and its deeper meaning when compared to ordinary fashion photographs the pictorial design is presented unique production opportunities other than trendy styles. I operated experimentally on purpose for experiencing as many subjects as possible and showing how wide the area is.

My personal closeness or remoteness to the different branches of design allowed partly impartial, but also sentimental strategies. For a fully differentiated and therefore professional handling of a subject, I consulted the expertise and contribution of specialised classmates. They extended the classic team consisting of a photographer, model, makeup & hair artist, and stylist by another factor promising more quality.

The objective of the thesis was to give me the possibility to catch up on omissions and repeat the already learned, making it useful for my recent focus on fashion photography as well as extending my own portfolio.

The thesis shall give communication designers the possibility of facing up to their profession in a different way, of identifying with it and of getting fresh motivation by finding new ways of using the knowledge from their studies for countless fields and even being able to explain them better to people.

Outside people who aren’t familiar with the creative scene shall learn the concept of communication design and be given an understanding through my own imagery. They can access the area through multiply encoded messages helping them approach one or more aspects to understand.

Eventually, my bachelor thesis shall state my love for my studies as well as the fact that they opened up my horizons and added numerous angles to my VISION which will be valuable for my chosen emphasis even though it is apart from the original idea when studying communication design. Going back to the roots is an homage.

Additionally, models in the fashion industry embody perfection and an ideal. In other words: they are the definition of beauty. In my thesis, they represent communication design. Communication design is beautiful.

That’s why I named my thesis BCD – OR BEAUTIFUL COMMUNICATION DESIGN.

Read more on the topic

My story on illustration

Glitch art fashion editorial with model Siri Meßmer by Heidi Rondak for Teaser Magazine

My story on web design

My story on typography

My story on advertising design

My story on moving image

My story on brand design

Female fashion editorial with model Luisa Faust by Heidi Rondak for Cake Magazine

My story on interactive design

Epilogue

If you enjoyed reading this article, or you found it helpful in one way or the other, I would love to know (reach out)! You are also welcome to support my work and writing by donating whichever amount this is worth to you. I will thank you with lots of telepathic love and more interesting journal entries. Cheers!


 

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