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28-06-2008
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BetteT's Avatar
 
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A good photographer needs another pair of eyes on the clothing and accessories during shooting, while he is busy testing his lighting and settings. Plus he will be involved in building rapport and directing the model.

How effective do you think the tog will be, if he's fiddling with the clothes all the time and running back and forth to change things out? What about helping the model get dressed, accessorizing her ... who's going to work on the lighting set up?

For that matter ... maybe he could do the hair and makeup too and keep those in order while he's shooting, too ... just kidding.

The answer would be ... it's not effective and it's just not the way things are done on set. You won't be very good at either if you don't focus on just one speciality. They are each different jobs and each requires planning, setting up, executing, break down and post production stuff and they must be done at the same time.

So pick one and see where it takes you. Then if you find it does not work for you, then move on to the next. Having knowledge of what the other person does is good so it won't be wasted because it will help you understand the whole process of a fashion photo shoot.

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Last edited by BetteT; 28-06-2008 at 11:47 PM.
 
 
29-06-2008
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Thank you ,I actually do love photography but see myself as more of a journalistic and documentary photographer.Photography will always be an interest to me.

Styling is probably what I will go into, and maybe occasionally try and do backstage/runway photography.

 
11-08-2008
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Because I don't have any connection in any other cities, I've been emailing various agencies (even the prestigious ones) asking if their stylists need assistance and if so I would be willing to relocate to do so. Do you think this will prove effective?


In my emails I've been stating that if any of the stylists need help I would be willing to assist, but should I be more specific and say, 'If _______ needs help I would love to assist??' or is being general more effective??

thanks in advance

 
11-08-2008
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I don't think that the agencies will put you in touch with their stylists nor offer you as a full time assistant, if that is whay you are talking about. I could be wrong ... I don't really know ... but I know there's nothing in it for the agency so it's not likely that they will help you. I do know that they won't give out direct contact info.

But there's other ways to get to know stylists as an assistant ... freelancing and having your name on the agency's list. It takes time but I've had several people tell me that it worked for them.

Here's what I've heard ... that you need to call the artists' agencies and ask what you need to do to get on their "assistants list" ... most of them have a list of local, available freelance assistants. They are called upon whenever the stylist may not be able to get her usual assistant (booking conflicts).

The agency will usually will have you come in to meet them and show them your book. If they think that you are of the caliber to assist, they will then add you to the list. And that sometimes doubles as a good critique for your work ... sometimes the agent will actually discuss your book and your career directions with you. What a bonus ... if that happens!

None of that will give you permanent work ... it will just be now and then, so you need to have you name in a as many agencies in your city as possible. It doesn't make sense to relocate for assisting jobs ... unless you are moving to that city anyway. They are freelance and the work ebbs and flows and you need to be available, sometimes within about an hour's notice ... since it's like temp work ... you are filling in when there's a problem.

But this can lead to a good relationship with the agency and some of their stylists and can lead to more work ... and perhaps, if you are good enough and are building your own business at the same time ... to eventually get an agent for yourself.

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Last edited by BetteT; 11-08-2008 at 04:18 PM.
 
11-08-2008
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^Thank you so much BetteT; you've been the biggest help!

I don't mean to whine but it honestly feels like this is the hardest industry to crack into. I will be moving eventually (my boyfriend is in charge of this, he's putting out applications everywhere in Europe and I'll go where he goes). So I'm in a tricky place as I have no idea where I will be in a month or two. I'll keep doing the best I can assisting here in Chicago in the meantime I guess.

One more question, I just scored a temporary position at the Chanel boutique here, does that give me any advantage on my resume as a stylist or not really?

Thanks again

 
11-08-2008
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As an assistant ... I know that they want someone who won't balk at all the physical work, will be able to work the long hours, and won't waste the stylist's time by chatting up the crew instead of working hard. Your focus will be how to help the stylist do a better job ... to free him/her up to do what they do. Grunt work! So they might ask for a resume (I think they call it a CV in Europe) just to see what your work background is ... so anything related that can proove that you are dedicated to fashion and a reliable person would be helpful.

Congrats on the Chanel job ... I'm sure you'll be drooling over the merchandise ... I know I would!

As a stylist ... your portfolio is your resume. Rarely does anyone ask for a resume or anything about training or previous jobs. It's pretty much a visual thing.

If you have any idea where you will end up, now is the time to do some research to find out what the market it there and work on testing to gear your portfolio for that so that you can show it around once you get there ... if you ever want to actually be more than an assistant.



And yes ... in this biz of freelance styling, it takes years to build a clientelle, so every time you move, you have to start over. Scary, huh?

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13-08-2008
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Great thread! Thanks everyone for their contributions. I searched but I couldn't find the answer to this one,

Do styists' assistants get paid? Even just a little bit? Does it depend on how big the stylist is or...??

 
14-08-2008
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Yes... and it does depend on the stylist and thier level of work. In addition, lots of people volunteer to intern, so a stylist usually has a choice of using a free assistant/intern or to pay an experienced assistant.

For ordinary stylists like me (catalogs, ads, etc., only sporadic work), I don't often need an assistant ... so when I do, I negotiate for one in my contract with my client. Usually pays about $100 to $150 for the day ... that's up to a 10 hour day. So I just email the list that I have of freelance assistants to see who's available that day. If I can't get the client to pay but I still feel that I need help ... there's dozens of people out there who would do it for free ... but it's taking a chance on getting someone really flakey ... I really beleive that you often get what you pay for. But then ... if they are not helping enough ... they just get sent home to get them out of my way.

But for a stylist who is constantly busy and in demand ... a regular, paid assistant is better ... someone he/she can train and who'd always got his/her back. So the stylist will pay the assistant directly... probably a salary. No idea how much they pay full time assistants ... I'm sure it's negotiated to everyone's satisfaction.

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Last edited by BetteT; 14-08-2008 at 06:51 PM.
 
18-08-2008
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How many outfits minimum does anybody suggest for a story in my portfolio as a stylist?
Also how much does a job like this pay for the average stylist and more succesful stylists?

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18-08-2008
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See the Portfolio thread for info on stories/number of looks. Two can be a story and it's fine. In a magazine 20 can be perfect if that is the number of pages the need ... but probably it's too many for a portfolio, so you'd have to narrow it down to 4 or no more than 6. I think that if a story is too long, people looking at your portfolio will get bored ... they want to see lots of different stories ... so more stories with fewer images. Make every image count and only use the best from the story.

If you are talking about catalog work ... it pays anywhere from about $400 a day from small start up companies to $1,000 a day from high end large companies with an average of about $600-$800 ... but that is L.A. and NY rates .... smaller cities pay less.
Ads often pay more than catalogs. For top stylists (well known, highly publicized) l doing the top companies ads and things ... well, that's a whole other world ... thousands can be made in a day.

It's a negotiation with the compay ... so each job will be different. You quote your rate, they decide if it's within their budget, if you are worth it and whether or not they can get just as a good a job done by someone else for less money. Most of the time you will get a yes or a no. Sometimes they will counter your rate and then you must decide if you want to do it for less or not. If you go too low ... you will get a rep of being a "cheap" stylist ... and that can harm you in the future because your name will be passed around to "cheap" cilients ... so it's a very delicate balance. If you find that they always just walk away when you quote your rate, then perhaps you are overcharging based on your experience, your portfolio and your market. So you reduce it a bit to see what happens.

Editorial work pays nothing to about what an assistant gets. It's not considered work ... it's marketing to get tears.

To learn more about how much stylists (and photographers) make ... there's a thread about it ... here.

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Last edited by BetteT; 21-08-2008 at 02:26 AM.
 
18-08-2008
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What is considered to "little" pay wise?
I want a good rep

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18-08-2008
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I know I asked this before but I didn't ask it the right way.Are there any stylists that are also freelance photographers? Meaning they do styling jobs separately from photography jobs?I love photography and I would really love to be a stylist also but I know you couldn't do them simultaneously.

 
18-08-2008
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Im sure some people an do both jobs!
Just like some business men do cooking on the side for example

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18-08-2008
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Cool,That's what I wanted to hear.Thanks.

 
22-08-2008
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Not sure if this question has been asked but, it's not the stylist who comes up with the 'theme' of the editorial (if it's an editorial), right?

 
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