Eight Ways To Make Money As A Photo Stylist

Jul 08, 2023

There are SO many ways to make income with your Photo Styling talent.  Here are eight ways for you to develop income streams for yourself and styling business:



When a prospective client says "I can't afford you", you can offer to do a Creative (Pre-Production) Meeting for/with them and give them creative concepts, ideas and resources to help them. This gives you an opportunity to meet and help a client with thier job and still possibly get hired to style the shoot!  Just show how creative & valueable you are in that meeting!


I started doing this for a Photographer when I first started photo styling and have been doing it ever since! Photographers are always looking for locations to use for their photo shoots.  It can be houses,  restaurants, parks/city streets (you'll need to get permits for these.) and businesses. I have compiled of Book of Locations for my clients and photographers to use.



Sometimes a Photographer can't afford a Photo Stylist or it is not in the budget.  You can offer to do the shopping for their shoot and drop off the props (wardrobe, tabletop, interior props, etc. ) at the location or the studio and pick up when shoot wraps.  Also, styling is not so easy for everyone ~ next time they may hire you for the photo shoot! Just pack everything very organized for them. (Don't leave any items in shopping bags) I always pack items in branded totes with my company color with my company logo on each tote. If I provide (prop & drop) wardrobe, I drop off in garment bags, again with my company color and logo.  Always, be branding your company. ;) 



Trade Show Vendors oftentimes concentrate on sales and their products. Sometimes they don't concentrate on the style of their booth - that's where you come in - you can help them with style!  You can elevate the style of their booth and products! (Which, in turn,  can get them more sales!) Also, there is a Trade Show for every industry: food, home, beauty, fashion and kids, etc.  Also, many trade shows and conferences do lounge areas - an Interior Stylist would be great for styling that area



While the Merchandising (& Windows) for large retail companies are oftentimes done/hired on a corporate level, how about those smaller companies who need some assistance with style? With your photo styling experience and sense of style - businesses of all types can use your styling expertise. 



I have helped Photo Studios in 2 ways:

(1) I do 2 day workshops for large photo studios (& creative departments) that want to set their studio up for success with what they need in terms or products/props and how to do (hands on) photo styling. I teach the Team: the Photographers as well as the Art Directors.

(2) Have styled Photographers studio interiors. (Office and Lounge Areas.)



Partner with a Photographer and do stock photography together.  Style within your niche - food, interiors/home, wardrobe, children, products, etc. Just remember that the Photographers do own copyright - so just ensure that you negotiate a GREAT styling rate for yourself! (& have a contract.) 



You can teach styling! How many times as a Photo Stylist have you been asked about resources or styling advice?  Food Stylists you can teach "How to style your food like a Restaurant" Style Series at a Restaurant. Wardrobe Stylists you can teach a Style Workshop at a Boutique.  Interior Stylists you can teach a "Refresh Your Home with Style" Series at a Furniture Store.  (or Bed Styling!) or Styling (Staging) to Realtor Groups.


So, there are SO many ways!  Get creative with your offerings (in addition to being in the studio/on location doing "traditional" photo styling assignments! If you decide to do any of these reach out to me and let me know!  Would love to know how you are offering your styling services!


Bonnie ~

Image Credit | Mariah Gale Creative via Reverie Boston

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