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

F-Stoppers

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
 Leave...

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Negotiating Your Photo Styling Fee

WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE TOLD YOUR FEE OR PRICE IS TOO HIGH

“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:

“PROP & DROP”

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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Photo Styling Conference



Do you want to take your Styling Business to the next level by working for brands, commercials and magazines? Need to know the framework/blueprint on how to get styling assignments?

Whether you are a new/aspiring stylist, working in the industry now or a DIY Home Enthusiast this Conference will take your business to the next level.  We will be answering ALL your questions, like . . .

  • Pitching Your Styling Services and Getting Clients
  • Pricing Your Styling Services & How to Negotiate
  • Building Your Portfolio & Your Unique Brand
  • Learning About What Should be in Your Styling Contract (You will also receive Contract!)
  • Deciding Whether to Become a Studio Stylist, Freelancer or Sign with an Agent? 
  • What Needs to Be in Your Styling Kit?
  • Your Photo Styling Workflow (Working on Location & Studio)

EXPERT PANELS & KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

We cover it all!  All those questions answered along with Expert Panels and Keynote Speakers in the Interior Photo Styling Industry to...

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Rug Styling Tips from Interior Photo Stylist



This Post does not contain any affiliate links.  This post is my desire to share my thoughts with you on products that would be great for your interior photo styling assignments, but also your own home :)

As an Interior Stylist, we style alot with rugs, right?  Recently, I was introduced to rug company, Ruggable!  You know when I find a product I love, I just have to share it with you!  Jeneva Bell, the founder, started the company years ago when her dog had an ”accident” on her rug!  Isn’t that how great companies start?  Fixing a problem, finding and offering a solution! :)

Ruggable rugs are made and packaged in Los Angeles, California. The Ruggable Rug is a 2 piece rug system that is stain resistant for easy cleanup and goes right into your washing machine!  Check out the video here. Rug covers are interchangeable so you can easily update your room.  For Interior Stylists - how amazingly easy...

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My Photo Styling Wardrobe

 

You would probably think as a Photo Stylist I would dress really "stylish" going to work on photo shoots - I don't! (lol) I have developed over years of styling my "signature/capsule" wardrobe. It's sorta plain - but I have my reasons. Here they are:

Wear Dark Clothing (Black/Navy)

Light clothing shows dirt more (& photo studios/location work can get dirty!)  Also, brighter clothing can be picked up on camera, when you are close to set.

Quick story:  I once worked in a Studio with many Stylists.  One Stylist hired was new to working in a Photo Studio (She came from retail, where she did home styling) She was very stylish and fashionable and one day wore a bright florescent dress to work. She looked great - but a bright dress reflects in a Photo Studio, and fellow stylists told her in a not so pleasant way! :( This is the reason I have workshops/summits and talk about life as a Photo Stylist - to let new/aspiring stylists know what to expect and learn about...

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Photo Stylists Guide to Purchasing and Styling Plants and Florals

 

If you are a Lifestyle Stylist, you will probably be styling florals and plants for your shots. I have styled Interiors and Food and both require some type of “life” added to the shots.  My suggestion is to always use fresh (Use faux “in a pinch” or if your faux is really high quality)  If you are using faux, and using a clear vase, always remember to put water in the vase, so it “looks real/fresh”! ;)  (I have included in this Post a Styling Assignment I did for Armstrong Floors. This is an example where faux is ok to use.  I used very little and the focus was the floor, so the "environment" around floor should be minimal.)

While you can always get your plants/florals at a local nursery or floral store (or even the grocery store), my suggestion is to register at your nearest Floral Wholesale Market.  Even if you don’t purchase plants/florals often, it is completely worth registering because it's cost...

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Photo Stylists Guide to Networking



I have gone to countless seminars, workshops, trade shows, meet-up’s, you name it, I’ve been to them!   Really, when I look back, it was the beginning and cornerstone to achieving industry and business knowledge and bookings with clients.  So, I really want to encourage you to attend conferences, trade shows, events, and workshops - and not just pertaining to the Styling Industry.  While we get a lot of our inspiration (and business) via websites and online, it is great to get out and meet people “IRL” ;), right?

I have developed a Networking Guide from my trade show and event experiences to guide you as you navigate through attending these events as a means to gain knowledge, get inspired, get clients, and meet collaborators & friends!  

Before reading this Guide, you can check out our Resource Library for  The Photo Stylist’s Guide to the Best Conferences, Trade Shows and Events to Attend.  This Guide is a companion...

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