How to make it as a fashion photographer

Donald Christie Sporty Spice

Donald Christie is an established fashion photographer as well as teaching Photography at USW. His portfolio includes campaigns for Levis, Topshop, J.Crew, Timberland and Berghaus and he is a regular contributor to The New York Times, The Observer, i-D Magazine and Esquire to name but a few. He has also branched out into short fashion films.

"My advice for people considering photography as a career path is work hard. This is an industry that does not tolerate laziness, chancers or wannabes. Learn from everyone and every situation.

One of the most significant learning experiences in my career was receiving one of my first commissions from Peter Saville (iconic designer) to documenting New Order on tour in the USA.

Another was setting up a project with the St John Eye Hospital Jerusalem to document their work in the West Bank and Gaza. One of the more demanding commercial jobs was shooting the Topshop and Topman campaigns back-to-back for two years.

This is a career with amazing opportunities to travel and experience life in all its diversity. In my professional career I have worked in over 25 countries and never once was I ever other than truly thankful for the chance to see the world afresh. 

My photographic practice is a blend of portrait, documentary, fashion and art – through this approach I have always tried to maintain an open mind as to what each of these disciplines entails and how they can inform one another.

I have worked for a diverse range of clients that run from international fashion clients to charities, from international editorial clients to running photographic projects for the elderly and the homeless. Each I regard in equal measure and significance, and each is a highlight."

For more information about studying Photography in Cardiff, come to our next Open Day.