Photo Stylist Employment Comparison Chart

Working as a Photo Stylist, you have options for employment.  Here is a description chart for you to compare to see what the right fit is for you!

If you have any questions ~ reach out. I'm happy to help!

Bonnie ~


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Guide To Finding Calm On Shoot Day

Guest Post from Talesha Savage from Mothering Tea. Talesha helps us replenish ourselves with empowering tea rituals, restore and create calm moments for ourselves. As Photo Stylists traveling and styling long days in the studio and on locations and having those stressful moments that we sometimes have, like not being able to find a prop or wardrobe, creative directors or photographers "waiting" for us to finish styling the set, etc., we NEED that. We need to learn to decompress, find our peace and make time for ourselves ~ Talesha shows us how.


It’s shoot day, which means it is super early, the van is packed, and your calm guide is in tow.

That’s right! In addition to having all the props, wardrobe pieces, and extras, you are also equipped with your personal guide of quick ways to find your calm and peaceful self on one of the busiest shoot days of your year.

Now, you may be wondering who has time for that? I have a whole team of people waiting for me. There...

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Photo Styling Tips for Styling Children

Ever been asked to style “outside” of your styling speciality? For those who are new here, I’m a Children’s Lifestyle Stylist. (I style wardrobe, interiors and food with/for children) My mission and love:  “I style for the young and young at heart” (because others love that whimsical, playful style too!) and “I style happy”. But, as you know, now I have transitioned into photo styling education and stylist coaching as well.

Sometimes you are called upon as a Photo Stylist to style something other than what you are currently styling.  For example, I was a Children’s Lifestyle Stylist for a very long time and then for a brief period of time styled both Interiors and food outside of the realm children lifestyle styling.  So, it can happen in your career that you might be called to style outside of your area of styling speciality.  You could be doing either an interior shoot that your client would like to add kids...

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How To Make Photographers Love You.

Every Photographer, of course, is different.  Different disciplines of photography, levels of experience and preferences. Some will be very open in their expectations, some may not.  This is why when I first begin to work with any photographer, I have a conversation with them about their preferences and thoughts of Stylists on set/location. 

I once did a series with Photographers on the 3 things that they look for in a Stylist.  All of them focused more on the type of stylists they were looking for in terms of aesthetic and style. None of them got into the preferences & “set behavior” of Stylists. I get it - they don’t want to insult anyone.  But, you know I’m about telling you the “real deal” ;) here.  

Also, they may feel comfortable, at some point, talking with you about how they feel about their Photo Assistant or Second Shooter and what “bugs them”.  Really listen to that...

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Photo Stylists Holiday Gift Guide for Clients

The gift giving season is here!  Whether your clients celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or the New Year ’tis the season to spread joy and let them know you appreciate them!  What will you be giving your clients?  We put together this Guide to help give you gift ideas.  

While most people gift for the holidays, I'm a believer in gifting not just for the holidays, but throughout the year. (Gifts don't have to be big or expensive - but really just thoughtful, I always personalize gifts. (that doesn't mean just monogramming) I really ensure that it is something we talked about or something I know they will love - always thinking:  "surprise & delight"!  

During the Year, I take notes of conversations and what my clients like, what their hobbies are, etc.  This makes it a lot easier and you can be really thoughtful and personal when selecting your gifts.  (Also show your appreciation throughout the year as you work with your clients.)...

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What to Know When Assisting a Lead Photo Stylist?


Much is talked about what a Stylist should look for in an Assistant Stylist . . . I  you are assisting a Stylist, let’s talk about what YOU should look for, shall we! #realtalk. (I have been on my share of photo shoots where the below has not happened and I have consulted with Assistants sharing their thoughts)  Some items to think about . . .
What Photo Styling Assistants Should Look For When Assisting: 

  Stylist that teaches you and is generous with his/her experience, resources and knowledge.
  Stylist that explains what & why he/she is doing something.*
  Sends you Call Sheet so you, too, can have all available assignment information.
  Rundown of photo shoot/photo studio/location etiquette and/or procedures.
  Rundown of what to expect in terms of assignment, payment procedures, parking, etc.
  Introductions to the Team you are working with on Shoot.
  Includes you in discussions and experiences on set.

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Tips for Photo Stylists Working with Photograhers

Just want to share a couple things today about working with photographers.  Although photographers along with creative directors and art directors are your teammates on assignments and we all work collaboratively for the common goal - creating beautiful, inspiring images, there are some guidelines.  Here are just a few:

Learn Basics of Photography

When new and just starting out - you need to have some basic knowledge of photography and terms and continue to learn. (We have Glossary in our Free Resource Library)  I would spend some time and consult with a photographer before going to your first assignment.  (Not the photographer you are working with)  Remember that the photographer you are working with is working for the client as well and would not be able to talk/teach you during assignment.

Read What Photographers Read

Here are a few of my favorites:

Photo District News
How to Photograph


Don't Ask Photographer to Replicate/Copy an Image


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Do You Return Everything You Purchase For A Photo Shoot as a Stylist?

So . . . that question that many Photo Stylists get asked.  More than “Do you return everything?” (The real question is: Do you return items you use? (aka "used") I think the question is more “How do you handle shopping for shoots”?  This is my process:

Reach out to Brands.  First, I reach out to brands I work with (& brands I would like to work with) and  to see if they will lend me items for the photo shoot.  (If credit is an option, like a magazine, you usually can offer them credit in exchange for lending)  I have been lent (& given) wardrobe, props, furniture, plants, florals . . . really, just about everything.

Shopping Online and In Store.  If reaching out to brands is not an option, (it may be a time factor, oftentimes, items will be sent to you via mail through their corporate office, and that could take some time)  I then shop (both online and in store)

When I know that I will be shopping for...

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How To Become a Photo Stylist

Yesterday, Up Journey published article on How to Become a Stylist According to 8 People Who Did it. Have you asked yourself any of these questions?:  “How do I become a stylist? Is it easy? Will I be able to do it?”  “How do I even start?”  Up Journey asked eight experts. (Thank you Up Journey for including me as one of them!)

Diane Pollack said in Article, the term "Stylist" has now become very broadly used - So true!  Whether you are thinking of becoming a Photo Stylist (like me!) Image Stylist, Personal Stylist, Celebrity Stylist, Interior Stylist, Brand Stylist, Digital Stylist, HMU Stylist, there is advice and tips in this article for you.  Read the full Article here.

Here are some Tips from the Article:

 Take classes in color theory and art history
 Important to learn/know the business side
 Call/Email Stylists to assist
 Continue to educate yourself
 Observe, learn and practice

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Negotiating Your Photo Styling Fee


“Your fee is too high” or “We don’t have that in our budget”. Have you heard that?  I am a total advocate for standing by your rate.  Stylists bring a lot to the the creative process and should be paid accordingly.

Here are a couple ways to get that assignment by offering the client options and alternatives.   You are not going down on your rate, you are offering them options and solutions to work together and show them what ya got . . . within their budget.  So, rather than decrease your fee, offer choices:


Offer to shop for the photo shoot and deliver to Studio/Location and pick up after shoot date.  While I know this is not ideal & you would want to be at the shoot, this is a way to show a client what you can offer them and start a relationship with them. (Remember to charge for travel, if out of your area)   Also, be...

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