Freelance photographer Ben Ritter directs the action at Refinery29's Manhattan studio; at right, his resulting image. (Photo on left by peter Kolonia; Photo on right by Ben Ritter).

You’ve seen fashion photos in print and online, but have you ever wondered what—and whom—it takes to make them? We went behind the scenes at a shoot for fashion website Refinery29 to find out.

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Fashion photography is no longer the sole province of glossy magazines, as blogs and retailers produce and publish highly stylized work. Even for a relatively small operation such as the website Refinery29, which combines lifestyle content with a designer clothing store, producing a shoot can require as many as eight pairs of hands. The company recently moved into new digs in Manhattan’s financial district, outfitting an in-house studio for the editorials and advertorials that it regularly commissions.

Invited to shadow their crew for a day, we watched how each team member contributed to produce the final images for the story, which you can find at


Portraits by: Peter Kolonia