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Melanee KATE

Kids Fashion Designer

Interview Series with Kids Fashion Photographers #2 Melanee Kate 

Kids Fashion Photographer Melanee Kate from the USA shares her tips and insights in 9 questions with whom interested in becoming a kids fashion photographer. She recommends steps to plan kids' fashion photoshoot that would contribute to brands and companies’ collections, as well as mentions the cost-benefit balance of photoshoots in the industry and the importance of photoshoots in the marketing of the company, brand, or collection.

1. How did kids fashion photographer Melanee Kate's photography life especially begin?

I’ve always loved the creative arts but in the past, I was intimidated by photography because of the technical aspect. When I was around 11-13 years old my older sister, Caroline, started taking photos for fun and then began monetizing her work. With a live-in mentor, I soon followed suit and by the time I was 15 years old, I opened up a business and started working as a part-time photographer while also being a regular student.

A year into my business Caroline encouraged me to specialize in children. She was convinced that working with kids was where I thrived the most and finding a niche was going to be a smart business move to better target the clients I wanted - it turns out she was right! Soon after I began working on creative personal work based on fairy tales. I started submitting my work to magazines and working with young models. The connections opened doors for me to begin picking up jobs in the children's fashion industry. Whenever I can work with children in creative settings is when I’m the happiest as a photographer!

2. How important do you think is academic education in this profession? How did you find your first job?  

I have little to no formal education as a photographer. I took one class in high school and another in college. After that, it’s all self-taught, hands-on experiences, and other photographers investing in me! While there have definitely been moments when I wish I had more formal training, I’ve discovered I tend to learn best on my feet and watching people who are better than me photograph. So it’s worked out well and I was able to save money on education. I have, however, been really fortunate to have other very talented photographers willing to share their expertise and encouragement. I’ve been especially grateful for Elizabeth Pettey and Nick Steever. 

3. Do you consider adult fashion photography and children’s fashion photography as different from each other?  

Yes! it’s not too drastically different when it comes to lighting and cameras. But I think the way I relate and work with children opposed to adults is very different. Children are a tad more wild and unpredictable, but they are also often very friendly, imaginative, and more comfortable in front of a camera. Which are all traits I love working with! 

4. How do you consider the importance of photoshoots in the marketing of the company, brand, or collection?

Incredibly important! Especially since so much commerce is online nowadays photos are sometimes the only thing connecting the clients to the product. A high-quality photoshoot can not only display the product in the best light but also create a desirable branding that attracts clients to the product. Because good photos don’t just share an object - they can tell a story, convey ideas, and emotionally connect with the viewer. 

5. What do you think a well-planned photo shoot can contribute to brands and companies’ collections? 

Brands with strong marketing have beautiful images. People usually want more than a gorgeous product but also a brand they are proud to support. Many customers want their brands to speak into their lifestyle and ideals. Photos are a huge part of telling a company’s story and conveying both their products and their messaging to the world. 

6. How shall be the point of view of fashion companies to collection photoshoot and a kids fashion photographer?

Obviously, they need to define their budget and find someone who can work within it. But even more importantly, is finding a photographer whose portfolio is similar to what they are looking for and is excited about their product. As a designer, you want your photographer to love your style. A photographer's best work always emerges when they are creatively fulfilled and doing what they love. 

7. What do you think the cost-benefit balance of photoshoots in the industry? 

I honestly think photos are so important. When brands limit the time and attention that should go into their photoshoots they really limit their potential to grow. 

8. Where do you think children's fashion photography heads up to? How would you evaluate the relationship of the pandemic cycle with the industry? How do you think will digitalization affect your job? 

Digitalization is no problem! I started out in the world of digital photography, and while equipment is getting nicer, cheaper, and more user friendly it can never replace the skill of the person wielding it. So the technology may change, but the principles of light and art remain the same! As far as the pandemic goes, it has definitely made things slower and we’re all trying to adapt to a “new normal,” for the time being! But as long as there are still sweet little children to clothe there will always be a need for clothing lines and photographers to photograph them! 

9. There are only a few photographers in Turkey who would like to become a kids fashion photographer. What would you recommend to young people who are keen to become a kids fashion photographer in Turkey? Do you have any tips to follow your belief in this area? 

I think the concept is quite simple. I would encourage young people to discover what they love, work hard, and pursue and master it wholeheartedly. If you’re doing something you’re passionate about the hours won’t feel near as long and the will to succeed will come naturally. I would also highly encourage them to not wait for brands to hire them. They should start photographing amazing things on their own first, and then when the right brand comes along they’ll have the portfolio to win them over!

Published Date: 21 December 2020


Interview Series with Kids Fashion Photographers #1 Melissa Coulier

Kids Fashion Photographer Melissa Coulier shares her tips and insights in 11 questions and  recommends five easy steps to plan kids' fashion photoshoot that would contribute to brands and companies’ collections.

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