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05-03-2011
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Marienbad's Avatar
 
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As a stylist, can you contact modeling agencies and coordinate projects yourself? Or is this strictly the photographer's job?

Some of my photographers have trouble getting good models, and I would like to try the modeling agencies myself with whom I have worked with in the past. Is this realistic?

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05-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marienbad View Post
As a stylist, can you contact modeling agencies and coordinate projects yourself? Or is this strictly the photographer's job?

Some of my photographers have trouble getting good models, and I would like to try the modeling agencies myself with whom I have worked with in the past. Is this realistic?

Pretty much the photographer has to do it. And this is what bugs me the most about styling, because I prefer to just do things myself instead of having to wait for others to do it lol. I havent met any photographers who are even familiar with the process, so it's kind of like pulling teeth.

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06-03-2011
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Thank you kimberwyn.

One more question - Would it be unheard of for a stylist to contact magazines for submissions, then coordinate the team?

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06-03-2011
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i've been wanting to get into the fashion industry for as long as i can remember. i love everything about fashion and i constantly find myself mesmerized by the colors of fabrics, the people, the beautiful clothes. being a model isn't a realistic enough goal for me, and it was hard to convince myself of that, because i'm probably most interested in seeing clothing on the actual models.

luckily, i realized i could make something of this fascination, and have lately begun thinking about being a fashion stylist. i'm 15 so i'm obsessed with America's Next Top Model, hehe anyways, i saw an episode where Jay Manuel had the girls do a challenge as a creative director, and i'd absolutely love to try that! putting together looks like that and directing the model is something i'd love to do for the rest of my life.

so, therefore, i'd like to pose a few questions to those who are privileged enough to be doing this: what's your favorite part about the job? honestly, do you love what you do? is it worth it? do you get to meet awesome models like Daphne and Barbara Palvin?!

thanks

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06-03-2011
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oh, and i'd also like to be a modeling agent!

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06-03-2011
  36
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I want to become a stylist too. I am very excited about it, but it also scares the living **** out of me! Just the whole thing about not knowing how you're going to end up, if you're going to get work, etc.

I guess you just have to keep contacting people a lot and build a network for yourself, right?

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07-03-2011
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Yep ... networking and building the best portrfolio you can is how you do it. Takes years to get the portfolio and the contacts to the place where you can actually make a living at this. You have to be very savy about business and promoting your services ... and be an organized self starter ... or you won't make it.

I've posted this before ... but since I'm sure none of you have taken to time to read the old thread (over 1,000 posts about how to get into this biz) ... here's something that I wrote a long time ago, because I get people emailing me all the time asking these same questions ... it's always the same questions and always a huge misunderstanding about how difficult and competitive it is. Here's what I tell everybody about getting into styling:

Quote:

Fashion Styling; What to Know about Getting Started



The information below is for the dozens of people that approach me for information about this biz. I think you should find most of your questions answered here:

Fashion/wardrobe stylist: The person who is responsible for providing the wardrobe for a fashion shoot, an ad shoot or even accessories to supplement inventory for a catalogue shoot. Stylists also are used for celebrities, on videos, TV commercials and on films (they are usually called costumers or wardrobe assistants on films). They sometimes use their own vision to determine the look, but more often than not, they work as part of the creative team to decide the "look" of the particular situation. And if it is a commercial, an ad or a catalogue shoot, the client or his representative has creative control and the stylist must provide wardrobe to their precise specifications.


A stylist is expected to work on set to ensure that the wardrobe looks it's best at all times. He/she should have the equipment to steam/press, make repairs and sew, clamp, tape and pin the garments to ensure a perfect fit. He/she will use his/her own resources to obtain wardrobe, often borrowed from designers and boutiques or rented from costume houses. Many stylists maintain a basic inventory of wardrobe that can be used repeatedly.

Most fashion/wardrobe stylists do not have any formal education although there are short courses to take at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in NY and FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) and MUD (Makeup Designory) in LA that are pretty good. Fashion merchandising or design classes do not cover styling so those are not necessary. Stylists usually get involved in this biz by knowing someone or they are working in a related capacity. I learned by jumping right in and working closely with a fashion photographer (a friend) who needed help, knew what she wanted to see and guided me in my selections.

Assisting a working stylist is a great way to learn, but these people are inundated with requests for free internships, so usually there is no pay. And the work is not glamorous … you would be required to do all the grunt work: packing, lifting, carrying, steaming, pressing, sewing, running errands and getting lunch and coffee. The only way to find working stylists is to do your homework ... there is no association or list. You must contact people in the biz and ask a lot of questions to even get names. Most stylists will be found in the cities where the work is ... NY, LA, sometimes Miami and Chicago. And no, I am not seeking an assistant at this time.

Most styling is freelance, which means you have to find a new job almost every day that you work. To do this you have to be known by the people who hire stylists, have a great portfolio, network and market yourself constantly. You have to choose the type of styling that you want to do. I do mostly print ... photo shoots, ads, catalogues, models' portfolios etc. There is also wardrobe work on films and TV, celebrity styling, prop styling and set styling. In any of these cases, you need to live in the city where the need is, so the best cities are New York and L.A. You also have to start building relationships with local designers, boutiques and publicists, because these people will be you main source for wardrobe.


To get started in styling for print, expect to work for free for a couple of years just to build a strong portfolio of great images so you can show that to those people who actually hire stylists for projects. So don't quit your day job. Or actually, having an evening job or working for a temp agency is best, since you need to be available to work, which is usually during the day, any day of the week. And most days are long … sometimes up to 16 hours so your “real job” needs to be flexible. Gigs do not come on a regular basis, so you need to be available when they do come and you’ll need extra days before and after the shoot for prep, breakdown and returns.

The types of gigs that actually pay might be a catalog shoot for a small local designer, an ad in a local newspaper or magazine, an ad campaign or a shoot for brochures/ mailers/ hangtags. It could be fashion, (advertising the clothes themselves) or commercial (advertising anything else, but you will dress the models/actors) or corporate (portraits for company brochures and annual reports … you’d just consult with the execs on what to wear from their own closets). Magazine editorial shoots do not pay much, if anything, but are still very important to have in your portfolio … they are part of you marketing strategy and not considered paying work.


To build your portfolio, you must find good fashion photographers to work with on their test shoots and work for free. You will provide the wardrobe for these shoots but the choices will be made after consulting with the photographer and what he wants.


When they are also building their books, some shooters will let you work in exchange for prints, one of each look you do (TFP or test [time] for prints). If they are shooting film, sometimes they will let you have prints for free, but often you just get a contact sheet and you can order prints from that. They can cost up to $30 each...it's very expensive for these custom sized prints. More and more, you can find shooters that use digital cameras and they will trade images on a CD and sometimes they will give you prints too because they usually have their own printer. Make sure that the images on CD’s are high enough resolution to make your own prints. You can take them to any photo lab or even places like Kinko’s (which is a lot cheaper but not as high in quality), to have prints made. You need 9x12 or 11x14 prints for your book (pick a size, smaller is cheaper). Not 8x10 … this size is for actor’s headshots, not a fashion portfolio. Whatever you do, when you are testing with a photographer, make sure you have worked out all the details about what you will get and when you will get it before you do the shoot.It's essential that the model is great, the makeup artist is very good and the shooter able to capture professional looking images. If it doesn't look like it came out of a magazine, it's not good enough for your book. But even substandard shoots will give you some experience and you will learn tips, tricks and things to look out for. So look at everyone’s work and the model’s pictures, before you commit to a test.

Pulling wardrobe for test shoots is the biggest challenge. It’s usually done by developing relationships with local shops, boutiques and small designers and providing them with pictures in exchange for the use of garments and accessories. The photographer has to be involved in this, since he holds all the copyrights and must give his permission for them to use the images.


Eventually, if you are doing magazine shoots, you can arrange to have the store credited in the magazine. The magazine can provide a letter of intent, stating the purpose of the shoot and what they are offering in exchange for the use of inventory (usually credits and sometimes a free ad). The shop owners love that and will often cooperate.


In Los Angeles there are major costume houses where you can open an account and rent wardrobe and many of the big department stores have Studio Services Departments where you can borrow clothes for a percentage of the cost or a minimum purchase …often 20% of the total that you pull.


I’ve heard that many newer stylists get clothes in the beginning, before they have built relationships with designers and shops, by buying clothes and returning them but it’s not a good long-term answer. Some stores track your returns and have an “excessive returns” policy and refuse your returns if you’ve over done it. If you decide to do this, you’ll need to leave tags on or get a tagger gun, and in all cases you must make sure that the garments stay clean and nice.

This part of the biz requires that you be very organized since you have to track returns, receipts and your accounts. Also, you will need good income tax advice, since you will not have taxes deducted from your paychecks. So you will have to handle that in a very different manner than before, filing forms and paying quarterly taxes at a certain point. You actually will become a business owner with all the same responsibilities.


If you have not already been there, go to this link and buy this book; Crystal Wright's Makeup, Hair and Styling Guide: http://www.crystalwrightlive.com/content/view/37/73/ It's the only source for freelancers that I have found. It teaches you how to build your portfolio, how to find work, how to prepare yourself to get a rep who can find you more work. It's great for the business end of the biz which is 3/4ths of what you do ... not much about the mechanics of styling ... that you have to learn by doing (it's called testing when you do it for free and for practice).


Also check into these forums where some stylists post from time to time. Makeup artist's businesses are almost the same as ours ... they need to make the contacts, build portfolios and find their own jobs, too. So you can learn a lot from them, too.

http://p082.ezboard.com/bmakeupandrelatedindustries
http://www.thefashionspot.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=75


In order to be successful as a freelance fashion stylist, you will need to have topnotch business skills. Having good financial resources is very important … it takes years to make any profit and like any small business, you must invest your own money first. You must aggressively market yourself constantly, be extremely organized and be able to keep concise records.


You must always work on improving your portfolio and networking with others in the biz. And you must be able to work on a team and produce the looks that are needed, many times without seeing your own vision come to fruition. It is vital to build and maintain a reputation of reliability, honesty, a good attitude and hard work … most of your clients will come to you by referral and jobs can be lost if a single person has something negative to say about you or your work. This biz is extremely competitive … so you must be good at all of this.

That's about it. If you think you have the physical stamina, business savvy, assertiveness and drive to get into this biz, it can be very rewarding and a lot of fun. Oh yeah, and talent helps too. :-)

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Last edited by BetteT; 07-03-2011 at 12:27 AM.
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07-03-2011
  38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marienbad View Post
Thank you kimberwyn.

One more question - Would it be unheard of for a stylist to contact magazines for submissions, then coordinate the team?
The same as for contacting agencies. Photographers usually lead the team ... they will need to see how good the photographer is before they would even consider it. If he's good enough, they will expect him to have a strong team on board, already ... stylist, makeup/hair artist, good models. And he owns the copyright to the images ( not the stylist or anyone else), so only he can contract with the magazine.

Now ... if you are hired by a magazine (actually paid) to be the art director of the shoot, the photographer would answer to you ... and you could style it if you wanted, but most likely you'd bring in another stylist. You would be extremely busy with the entire process and every detail. You would not have time to style too.

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Last edited by BetteT; 07-03-2011 at 12:19 AM.
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08-03-2011
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so basically the photographer is the team leader??

but in my previous jobs, i was the one choosing the theme, the location and i had my say on the pictures as well

who gets paid the most?? or where does a stylist stand??

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08-03-2011
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oh i have an advice for stylists
a good contract.

i overlooked some things i thought were silly in my previous work and ended up being taken advantage of.
so make sure your contract clearly states every single thing you can think of. better be safe than sorry and not paid.

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08-03-2011
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i have a question. i meeting new photographers that i contacted online, they have my info, my web site which has a gallery of my previous work.
should i take a portfolio as well?
actually, this photographer casually told me to drop by studio, after he mentioned that since i worked with so many people already there s just him left.

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08-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FASHIONLOVA View Post
so basically the photographer is the team leader??

but in my previous jobs, i was the one choosing the theme, the location and i had my say on the pictures as well

who gets paid the most?? or where does a stylist stand??
In most cases, yes ... the photographer is hired to do the job and he hires the people he needs for his crew and they report to him ... sort of. They also need to respond to the client's needs ...it's a delicate dance, if the photog and the client want different things.

If you were in charge and picked the photog and the concpet of the shoot ... you were acting as an "art director" in addition to working as the stylist ... that's a whole other job. You should have been paid twice!


The photographer gets paid more than anyone on the crew (unless you happen to be a top stylist ... but then, you still wouldn't work with a photographer that was not just as great ... so he's (or she) is still going to get more pay). Stylists get paid a similar day rate as the makeup and hair people do. Of course ... they work numerous days researching, pulling, prepping and returning ... so because they work more days to get it all done, they will get paid more for the gig. But then they can't work as many gigs as hair an makeup people ... because they are working those extra days ... so it evens out in the end.

I can't resist this ... Where does the stylist stand? ... Usually right behind the photographer when he's shooting, if he will allow it !!

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Last edited by BetteT; 08-03-2011 at 03:01 PM.
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08-03-2011
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thanx BetteT.
actually I never worked a job where i got paid same as makeup artist or hairstylist.

photographers were paid just a bit more than me. models makeup artist and hairstylist were paid the same i think.

with all the prepping that goes into styling, we should be paid the most.

oh well...

haha you made laugh, i didn t mean when stylists stand physically but rather in the team. but i guess you answered that already.
and yes i always stand behind the photographer so i can see the pictures.

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Last edited by FASHIONLOVA; 08-03-2011 at 03:04 PM.
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08-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FASHIONLOVA View Post
i have a question. i meeting new photographers that i contacted online, they have my info, my web site which has a gallery of my previous work.
should i take a portfolio as well?
actually, this photographer casually told me to drop by studio, after he mentioned that since i worked with so many people already there s just him left.
Always have your portfolio with you. They might not want to access their computers to see it again .. .they might prefer to see it up close in a book. Or you might be meeting somewhere where you cannot get on line.

And always have some comp cards to leave behind, as well. It's a reminder of you and your work and your comp cards could get passed on to someone who might need a stylist ... you never know.

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08-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FASHIONLOVA View Post
thanx BetteT.
actually I never worked a job where i got paid same as makeup artist or hairstylist.

photographers were paid just a bit more than me. models makeup artist and hairstylist were paid the same i think.

with all the prepping that goes into styling, we should be paid the most.

oh well...

haha you made laugh, i didn t mean when stylists stand physically but rather in the team. but i guess you answered that already.
and yes i always stand behind the photographer so i can see the pictures.
I knew that ... just couldn't resist the pun!

Yeah ... stylists should be paid more ... but they aren't. But if your day rate is $500 and you need 3 days to prep, shoot and return, that's $1500 ... and the makeup person is likely only being paid for one day. So ... that would depend on her rate ... but their rates are similar to stylist rates ... usually $500 to $1000 a day.

In the meantime, the photog might be getting way over $1000 a day ... more likely $2000 and up ... way, way up.

Of course ... I'm talking about paid commercial jobs here ... not model tests or low end web work.

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