Fashionista by Dave Yoder Collection Header Image

Fashionista by Dave Yoder

About this series

fashion (n)

c. 1300, fasoun, "physical make-up or composition; form, shape; appearance," from Old French façon, fachon, fazon "face, appearance; construction, pattern, design; thing done; beauty; manner, characteristic feature" (12c.), from Latin factionem (nominative factio) "a making or doing, a preparing," also "group of people acting together," from facere "to make"


word-forming element meaning "one who does or makes," also used to indicate adherence to a certain doctrine or custom, from French -iste and directly from Latin -ista

When I left my California newspaper job to begin freelancing in Milan, I had no interest in fashion; rugby, surfing, and adventures in photojournalism were my passions. But Art Streiber in LA urged me to visit an editor at the Fairchild office in Milan. Absurdly, I took a photo essay I had shot on bounty hunters, a gritty portfolio that was the farthest extreme from fashion photography I could have chosen. To my surprise the editor loved it and hired me, to shoot in my reportage style, backstage at the largest shows in Milan. I had acquired a coveted spot available to only a handful of top fashion photographers and had no idea how lucky I was.

A few years later the director of Visa Pour l'Image, the most prominent photojournalism festival in the world, berated me for sending these pictures for his festival. They were insultingly far from photojournalism to him. But he didn't see in them the dedication and effort I had grown to respect in the industry. That same year at the festival, David Griffin, the director of photography at National Geographic, said "if you could shoot archaeology like you shoot fashion, that could be really great." It was like he turned on a light and showed me a new path right in front of me.

Dave Yoder


Dave is an American documentary photographer whose devotion to capturing unstaged, real moments is reflected in the diversity, spontaneity, and sincerity of his collections. As a National Geographic Explorer and Nat Geo Magazine photographer, he initiated eclectic stories including the search for a lost Leonardo da Vinci mural, the exploration of a lost city in unexplored jungle in Honduras (chronicled in Douglas Preston's NYT #1 bestselling book The Lost City of the Monkey God), and after recruiting the help of all three American ambassadors stationed in Rome, he was granted the best access any outside photojournalist has ever had to any pope, for his Nat Geo Magazine cover story and book on Pope Francis. He was born in Goshen, Indiana, USA, but grew up on the foothills of Kilimanjaro, and currently lives with his wife in rural south west France.