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16-09-2005
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StyleStalker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Advice on getting Started w/o a budget?
I am a stylist just getting started on my portfolio... and pretty much everything! I have several meetings set up with photographers to discuss test shoots, but I was wondering what I should keep in mind when meeting with them? What should my standards and policies be, being that:

a.) I have absolutely no budget
b.) I don't have a portfolio
c.) I don't have my own 'collection'

Basically, they'd just be taking a huge risk hiring me, although I do have a decent background styling for film.

Is the budget the photographer's responsibility for wardrobe? How do I handle this?
Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated!


 
 
16-09-2005
  197
FC5
scenester
 
Join Date: May 2003
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As far as testing to build your portfolio goes, the wardrobe budget and any other costs you incur are your responsibility.

 
16-09-2005
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yep... ive spent $$$$$$ of my own money so far and am only recently actually getting paid jobs...

wouldnt you have some kind of portfolio from your film styling jobs?

 
16-09-2005
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ack! That's good to know.

But how does that work? When you first started out did you buy all designer items or did you go with basic things like H&M?

How do you build your collection? What kind pieces should I aim to start collecting first?

I do have a few film portfolios, but they're "student" films. They don't exactly express my style on a creative level. The one I'm most proud of hasn't been finished filming yet, as production was put on hold.


Last edited by StyleStalker; 16-09-2005 at 09:04 AM.
 
16-09-2005
  200
etre soi-meme
 
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basic cheap but fresh staff and second hand stores material should be ok for buliding up a basic test book

after all its all in the styling ideas and in the way you mix items in a creative way, not in the designer labels , not at all

 
16-09-2005
  201
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Thanks Lena! I think I just heard my wallet sigh a sigh of relief! ;-)

 
16-09-2005
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try working with local indie stores and offer to style their catalog/website photos for free so that you may use their clothes in other jobs. create a network of people who will do this an you won't need to buy your own stuff. try bartering because it really works wonders. Yeah i agree about the thrift stores they have the best supplies. look for the 50% off sales and stock up on basic things you can build from.

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"I believe fashion is a canvas for all self expression"
 
16-09-2005
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agreed on what deviousw just posted
local indie designers is a very good idea for getting free items for tests, its the perfect win/win situation for both the photographer, the stylist , the model and the boutique/designer

welcome to tFS deviousw

 
16-09-2005
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Lena is right! Cheap is OK ... it's what you do with it that counts.

The only "collection" I have is basics ... like pantyhose (funky or fashionable), basic modeling shoes in common sizes (8, 9,10) , panties ( string bikinis, boy shorts etc.), cami's and tanks, and tons of misc. accessories like faux fur pieces, belts, scarves and jewelry (all inexpensive costume). Things that can be used again and again in layers and in different looks ... nothing really dramatic or funky. I don't own any clothes that are easily recognizable ... because then I can only use them once.

I've accumulated all this stuff over several years and it's all very inexpensive. I shop thrift shops, sales and low end shops for juniors. Sometimes somone will let me grab what I want when they are cleaning their closets. I never turn down an opportunity for free stuff ... if I think I can do something creative with it or ir it is a good basic to have, just in case.

Sometimes the model has some good stuff I can mix in when we are doing a test shoot. I've been lucky to work with a few runway models, who sometimes get free samples from the designers and I love to use those.

Everything else is borrowed from shops and designers but I usually have to negotiate something for them in return. With new, undiscovered designers sometimes just getting the photographer to give them some good images for their own promotional use can do the trick. Be careful to make sure the photographer agrees to this ... he own's the copyright to the images and gets to control how they are used. With the higher end people ... well they usually want credits in a magazine or exposure at a televised event ... so that will come later, as you expand your projects.

If all else fails, initially you can buy and return things like models often do ... but this is not a good solution for very long. Retailers usually track your returns and can stop you at any moment if they think that you are doing excessive returns. You could get stuck paying for some wardrobe. If you must do this, you must take exceptional care of the garments (don't let the models rip the tags off, get makeup on them or drop them on the floor) and keep your receipts. But make a plan to start pulling wardrobe the proper way ASAP ... with permission.

 
16-09-2005
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thanks for the welcome lena :p i love this site! people have great input here. StyleStalker BetteT had a good point about accessories as they make the outfits look totally and completely different if done right.

another good place to look for pieces to incorporate into your styles is your very best friends. they will most likely be your biggest fans and want to help out as much as they can, plus they'll get all giddy inside when they see their ONE-of-a-KIND piece in a magazine or catalog. just ask them, the worst they can say is NO. but being in fashion i'm sure you've heard that many times over.

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16-09-2005
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ooops forgot to add the most important place to look is your ma's & grandma's closet of hidden treasures...you might find some interesting pieces.

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Anna Marie-
"I believe fashion is a canvas for all self expression"
 
16-09-2005
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i agree, its nice to have labels (if anyone even happens to ask.."where did you get these clothes?") but otherwise, i think its nicer to have some really interesting fun stuff you can pull together with what you have. my best photoshoot i've ever done was used with clothes i had laying around, some stuff some fashion design student friends made, some things borrowed from friends, and fabric bought for cheap at the store.. i also collect cheap model-sized shoes, and lots and lots of costume jewelry....

 
16-09-2005
  208
FC5
scenester
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetteT
With new, undiscovered designers sometimes just getting the photographer to give them some good images for their own promotional use can do the trick. Be careful to make sure the photographer agrees to this ... he own's the copyright to the images and gets to control how they are used.
Be really careful with this. It isn't just the photographer's permission you need but also the model agency if there is one involved and generally (and quite rightly) both agency and photographer will be reluctant or even refuse to allow such use without a fee being paid. Afterall, this is how they pay the rent.

Sure they may well offer a very hefty discount for a new designer but don't assume they will be happy to just give away work.

 
16-09-2005
  209
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StyleStalker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Thanks to everyone for all your advice! You've been so incredibly helpful! This morning I woke up thinking, WWWRD? (What Would Winona Ryder Do?) :p

I never thought to hit up some of these great little boutiques I keep seeing & offering to style for them.

devilousw -- don't get me started! I've been begging my grandmother to raid her basement for eons! This calls for ambush!

Also, BetteT & FC5 thanks for filling me in on the legal advice. There should definitely be a thread on this site that deals with the legal issues of the styling business. (unless there already is?)



Last edited by StyleStalker; 16-09-2005 at 07:51 PM.
 
17-09-2005
  210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FC5
Be really careful with this. It isn't just the photographer's permission you need but also the model agency if there is one involved and generally (and quite rightly) both agency and photographer will be reluctant or even refuse to allow such use without a fee being paid. Afterall, this is how they pay the rent.
Good point ... I didn't even think about the models. That's why most agencies won't let their girls sign model releases for test shoots ... so no one can make any money on the images of the models, unless the agency is paid.

 
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