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30-04-2008
  811
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Miami*NYC
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Resources
Hey Bette and others,

I have read this thread through and through several times as well as finally finished Mastering Styling by Dingemans..but does anyone have solid advice on starting your resource relationships with showrooms, publicits, designers, etc. for pulling? I am at a place now where my portfolio is solid enough to work with top photographers on better tests so that I may soon get an agent, but of corse they want the high-end designers. Stylebites made an excellent post about how photogs desire magic on "test" shoots, but I think it is also good experience for myself to start networking and getting to know what I can and cannot pull. Boutiques are very iffy, so how do I get to the big guns now? A year from now I want to say "yeah, I can pull from Chanel, People's Revolution, or Fashion Fringe designers....how does that happen?

Thanks in advance!

 
 
01-05-2008
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It's sort of a catch 22. It doesn't work that way. None of the publicists will be interested in "tests" ... they only want publicity for their clients. Beginning fashion photographers don't seem to understand this ... and expect the stylist to be able to pull high end stuff for tests ... I ain't gonna happen .. they are mistaken.

The big guns will lend if you can get a pull letter from a big magazine ... and magazines usually will commission the photographer to shoot the editorial, and he then brings you on as part of his team.. So ... the ball is in usually in the photographer's court, not the stylist's. He must make the approach to get a magazine to commision him to do a shoot, then they will issue that pull letter that you need to get the clothes. Then armed with this, you can actually borrow clothes. The better the magazine, the better the clothes. And unless they know the photographer and his work really well, usualy magazines won't issue a pull letter for submissions either ... it normally has to be commissioned work.

Sometimes they stylists will take the same clothes ... or any that were not shot, and test on day 2, before returning them ... if they can delay it a day. The publicists and showrooms don't usually work on the weekends, so if your editorial shoot for the magazine was on Friday, then you'd have until Monday to return them so you can sneak in a test in on top of the commissioned editorial.

Only time a publicist or designer for a high end line would lend to you for tests is if you have been able to give them lots of publicity previously (like you are a regular getting things into certain magazines for them) ... then they might do it as a personal favor to you, expecting you to continue the favoritism for their line.

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01-05-2008
  813
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetteT View Post
It's sort of a catch 22. It doesn't work that way. None of the publicists will be interested in "tests" ... they only want publicity for their clients. Beginning fashion photographers don't seem to understand this ... and expect the stylist to be able to pull high end stuff for tests ... I ain't gonna happen .. they are mistaken.

The big guns will lend if you can get a pull letter from a big magazine ... and magazines usually will commission the photographer to shoot the editorial, and he then brings you on as part of his team.. So ... the ball is in usually in the photographer's court, not the stylist's. He must make the approach to get a magazine to commision him to do a shoot, then they will issue that pull letter that you need to get the clothes. Then armed with this, you can actually borrow clothes. The better the magazine, the better the clothes. And unless they know the photographer and his work really well, usualy magazines won't issue a pull letter for submissions either ... it normally has to be commissioned work.

Sometimes they stylists will take the same clothes ... or any that were not shot, and test on day 2, before returning them ... if they can delay it a day. The publicists and showrooms don't usually work on the weekends, so if your editorial shoot for the magazine was on Friday, then you'd have until Monday to return them so you can sneak in a test in on top of the commissioned editorial.

Only time a publicist or designer for a high end line would lend to you for tests is if you have been able to give them lots of publicity previously (like you are a regular getting things into certain magazines for them) ... then they might do it as a personal favor to you, expecting you to continue the favoritism for their line.


Wow, Catch 22 indeed! Thanks so much Bette, guess I figured that would be the answer. So no pull letters for spec shoots usually? Alright, then I guess my question should have been..if I don't get an agent, how do I get jobs!? Hahaha..I am going to start my tour with agencies to do more paid tests with new faces for models, just to pay bills. But are agent's the only security to land gigs? How do I network myself into a freelancing career? I know this must be the be all and end all of questions..so any help from anyone is great!

xoxo

 
01-05-2008
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Hah ... another Catch 22 with Agencies that rep artists. Most artists' agents want you to have a strong portfolio with tears and and clientelle that you can bring to the mix ... at least that is what I've heard over and over again. You at least must have lots of great tears and some paid work. But it's good to get on agencies assistants lists, to assist their stylists from time to time. The will want set an appointment with you to see your portfolio and then is a good time to ask them about what you need to do to be considered for actual representation sometime in the future.

For print work, it usually boils down to working with the "right" photographers who can get you both the tears and some good work, too. That is where you network ... with photographers and other people on teams that can recommend you to good photographers. Usually the photographer is hired to do a job and it's up to him to provide the team ... so you want to be on as many "teams" as possible.

So, keep "testing up" as makeup artist, Tania Russell says. You must work towards finding better and better working photographers and teams to test with and find a way to get your self a preferred spot on some of their teams ... or at least as a backup stylist. And a working photographer will not expect you to have "big guns" clothing just for tests. Wonders can be done by a talented stylist and good lighting. For Specs ... always ask the shooter if they are in good enough with the magazine to get a pull letter. Sometimes they are ... and that also means a good chance of actually getting the spec published, too. So you want to work with this caliber of shooter. Most specs are never published ... just so you know.

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Last edited by BetteT; 01-05-2008 at 11:29 PM.
 
02-05-2008
  815
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetteT View Post
Hah ... another Catch 22 with Agencies that rep artists. Most artists' agents want you to have a strong portfolio with tears and and clientelle that you can bring to the mix ... at least that is what I've heard over and over again. You at least must have lots of great tears and some paid work. But it's good to get on agencies assistants lists, to assist their stylists from time to time. The will want set an appointment with you to see your portfolio and then is a good time to ask them about what you need to do to be considered for actual representation sometime in the future.

For print work, it usually boils down to working with the "right" photographers who can get you both the tears and some good work, too. That is where you network ... with photographers and other people on teams that can recommend you to good photographers. Usually the photographer is hired to do a job and it's up to him to provide the team ... so you want to be on as many "teams" as possible.

So, keep "testing up" as makeup artist, Tania Russell says. You must work towards finding better and better working photographers and teams to test with and find a way to get your self a preferred spot on some of their teams ... or at least as a backup stylist. And a working photographer will not expect you to have "big guns" clothing just for tests. Wonders can be done by a talented stylist and good lighting. For Specs ... always ask the shooter if they are in good enough with the magazine to get a pull letter. Sometimes they are ... and that also means a good chance of actually getting the spec published, too. So you want to work with this caliber of shooter. Most specs are never published ... just so you know.

Is that how it happened for you? I would love to hear your experiences, especially since you are a fairly newbird as well. And just like you, whether you chose to or not, I want to end up doing lots of catalogue work..I kind of like it hahaha. Softgrey..pitch in your two cents!

Thanks!

 
02-05-2008
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Pretty much ... but I'm not "there" yet ... it's a multi year process that never stops. I"m always looking to work with better photographers .. whether it be for testing, editorial or (my fav) paid work. Most of my work comes from the phototgrapher's themselves who get booked and then need a stylist for the gig. I now have regular clients that want to use me even when they use a different phtographer, but it started with a shooter. I get bits and pieces of work from other sources, designers who know about me, models who refer me (yeah, even working models can refer you to a client) and some people who just stumble upon my web site.

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03-05-2008
  817
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Guess its all about where you live too, right now being in Miami not allot of publicatios that I would need to network with photogs for because I can pretty much do submissions myself as a stylist since they are local pubs. What about paid testing for agencies?? Not my ideal goal obviously, but to bring money in..besides just dropping off my book or going in person, cold calls, etc. Anything I can do to appeal to bookers? I have my high fashion book and lifestyle book I am working up now to show them, It includes cataloguey type stuff, headshots, ya know, the works. Any tips for finding this kind of work? Tons of agencies here..want to do something before season is officially caput lol


Thanks!

 
03-05-2008
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Can't help you there ... it's also where you live. In L.A. they really won't talk to stylists .... they always want to see the photog's work ... so it's the same .... network with photogs for paid agency work.

Not a lot of that kind of work here anyway for several reasons: First, there are tons of shoooters just jamming the agencies trying to get the new faces (or God willing, seasoned models) for free tests and creatives, so they rarely have to pay anyone anything. Only the top shooters (well known, very established) can actually call an agency and say I'm testing and my fee is this ... and get some action. And then ...I find that they usually won't pay stylists anyway .... it just costs too much after paying the shooter, hair, makeup and then the cost of prints. Most models just bring a bunch of clothes and the photographer chooses.

We certainly can't make even a part time living doing paid model tests, here.

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03-05-2008
  819
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Quote:
Youi have come a long way ... but you still have a long way to go. But I'm proud of you ... you seem to have the guts to keep on doing what you must do to make it.

Who should see your portfolio? Here's some ideas if you wish to work as a freelance stylist (most of us do not have regular jobs in th industry):

Most agencies who rep stylists won't be interested in representing you until you have some impressive tears and some good paid shoots under your belt and maybe a regular clientelle ... it may take years and years. At least that is what I've been told by agents and stylists/artists that are repped. I am not ... I find my own gigs.

But what you can do is go into artist/stylist agencies and ask to be placed on the assistant's list. Occassionally, their working stylists may have need for another assistant and you might pick up a few gigs like that. Won't pay much more thatn $150 a day, but it's work and you';; be able to observe a senior (key)stylist at work .. a very valuable learning tool. And if you are liked by their stylists, eventually you may pick up extra business that they stylists have to turn down ... and eventually you might work your way into having tha agency rep you too, when you have enough experience.

You may also seek out to assist other stylists on your own ... either freelance or an a regular basis.

You can show it to good working photographers who might use a stylist from time to time and see if they will place you on their list of stylists they like. Photographers often do the hiring of stylists for things like catalog shoots, ad shoots, etc.

You can approach photographers who shoot for local magazines ... often they bring in their own team. Usually not paid or pay no more than $150 for the whole gig ... but you may get tears for your portfolio ... very important.

Start with approaching smaller local magazines who have some fashion layouts and see if they need a stylist or if they can refer you to their fashion photographers (get names and numbers, if possible).

Seek out art directors/producers at small production companies or commercial photography studios who do fashion shoots for clients.

Approach owners of small retail shops/ web sites/ designers who are based in your city and see if they have an interest in hiring a stylist for their catalog/ad shoots.

If any of these people say that all of that is arranged through someone else, a photographer, a production company, get names and numbers and approach them.

If any of these people express any interest, ask to meet with them to show them your porfolio. Remember, it's like applying for a job ... only you do it all the time ... you must continuously do this to find clients. It's a lifelong process for most of us. And probably the hardest thing we must do.

And when you network with other people in the industry ... make sure that the makeup artist and hair artists that you work with on shoots have your comp card ( a leave behind or mailing postcard with a few of your best images and your contact information and web site) or business card. Also the photographer's assistant ... he is usually a photographer in his own right, the models ... everyone at the shoot. Always carry your portfolio to shoots, industry events (at least have it in your car) ... you never know who might ask to see it.

Oh and ask people that you respect in the industry to critique your book ... to learn how to make it better, what to take out, what it still needs. A portfolio is never "finished" ... it's an ongoing record of your growth at a stylist (or photographer or makeup/hair artist, whatever is applicable). The better it is, the better you look. __________________
Thanks Bette, forgot to mention I am stylist and photog, so yeah will go to agencies as a one-woman package! As for teh above, I found this in teh testing/portfolio thread you started and guess my answer is there, you just didnt need to repeat yourself lol. But I see you say that you dont get repped and find your own work. Can you share, AND OTHERS wherever they may be (tFs by Bette lol) how you did this when you first started and how you do it now? Besides MM, craigslist, word of mouth, and all the bs, what are other solid ways to find freelancing work?

 
04-05-2008
  820
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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bettet thanks for all the tips !!!

am all the way from hong kong and it isnt easy to find jobs here..especially when your new to this business.
but still it was good to know what and how things are done being a stylists !

thanks a lot !!

 
04-05-2008
  821
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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This may have been discussed in previous posts but l'm looking to get my portfolio printed and wanted to get everyones advice on how best to get a stylists portfolio printed, i.e. size and so forth, any help will be appreciated.

 
04-05-2008
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There's a thread on portfolio building for all freelancers, photogs, stylists, makeup artists, etc., which covers all of this and also how to arrange it and what the cover should be. Do an advanced search for keyword "portfolio", search thread titles only, ask for results as threads and select C&E as the forum to search. It should pop right up with just a few other threads.

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Last edited by BetteT; 04-05-2008 at 11:01 AM.
 
04-05-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theLreport View Post
But I see you say that you dont get repped and find your own work. Can you share, AND OTHERS wherever they may be (tFs by Bette lol) how you did this when you first started and how you do it now? Besides MM, craigslist, word of mouth, and all the bs, what are other solid ways to find freelancing work?
My answer is right here ... what I'm telling you to do is what I did and I learned all of that by networking with a bunch of working makeup artists who run their businesses the exact same way that a stylist does.

I fell into the biz, as so many of us did. My neighbor is a fashion photographer and asked me to assist her ... then later, she asked to help her style some tests. That is where I learned what a print stylist does. We both discovered that I not only had the eye for it, I also had the business background and good credit which is even more important since it is a business. From there, I just started testing and building my portfolio ... and networked with everyone on set and anywhere else I could. It's a long, slow and tedious process .... it takes years to get regular clientelle and to become a regular member of several good teams.

I almost never look at craigslist ... 99% of the jobs are way underpaid ... an insult to any pro. Same for MM ... it's a bunch of mostly amateurs trying to get somewhere ... and they don't because they are working with all the other amateurs at MM. I should send more marketing pieces/comp cards out on a regular basis (every 3 months) and follow up with phone calls and emails, but I'm very lax on that ... I hate doing that. I know if I did it consistently for at least a year, I'd get some results and be able to grow my business a lot. Networking and word of mouth brings about 80% of my business.

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Last edited by BetteT; 06-05-2008 at 10:56 PM.
 
06-05-2008
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am sooo pissed at the editor.
last week she was going to another city for a shoot so i gave her all the clothes to take with her. last night i get them back, jewelry broken, shoes damaged, bathingsuit bottom missing and hat missing.
i call her and tell her she starts yelling and saying she s the one who gives orders, i tell her i don t take orders from nobody and the clothes were my responsibility and she was supposed to take care of them and tell her i m goin to call her the next day hoping she d find the missing things.
this morning i call her she hangs up on me and turns her phone off!!!!!!!!!!!!
what am i supposed to do???
i m goin to their office to drop all the clothes there and she ll figure the rest herself

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06-05-2008
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If the magazine guaranteed, in their pull letter, to be responsible for the clothes ... you are covered. The designer or boutique just needs to invoice the magazine. If you did not get that ... then it's not clear who will be held financially responsible ... unless you left a credit card, in which case they will just charge you. Your recourse will be to sue the magazine if they don't pay the designer/boutique. Hopefully you've got some kind of written agreement that they are responsible ... or maybe an email?

Things do get destroyed or lost on set a lot ... it happens. So ... going forward you need to keep these points in mind:

1. For magazines, try your best to get a pull letter that tells the designer/boutique that the magazine is financially responsible for whatever is borrowed. It is your responsiblitlity to do your best to protect them ... but the cost of loss or damage will become the magazine's problem.
2. Don't release clothes to anyone if you are financially responsible for them, such as, if you left a credit card imprint, or you don't have something in writing from the magazine.
3. If they insist on taking wardrobe away from you and you don't have something in writing yet, give them a written inventory of the items and have them sign that they will be responsible for any loss or damage.

4. And don't forget, that the fashion world is very small and tight ... so don't ever let your temper get the best of you. It will come back to haunt you not only by loosing the current gig ... they all talk ... so you will get a bad reputation, and that is all that you have as a stylist ... your reputation. People in the biz are very wary of stylists (or models or makeup artists, whatever) who don't keep it on a strctly professional level ... and will pass if they have heard something bad. So always try to stay calm, even if they are really, really wrong ... as in this case. Handle it with diplomacy and see if you can negotiate an acceptable outcome.

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Last edited by BetteT; 06-05-2008 at 10:59 PM.
 
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