So what is it exactly that you do?

 Sample of my styling tool kit

Sample of my styling tool kit

As a photo stylist I’m often asked, “So what is it exactly that you do?” Everything I do is for the camera, before the photo is taken, and voila! -- the results are amazing. But how exactly did the photo get that way?  As a photo stylist I have a creative position. I usually collaborate with the client, photographer, art director and makeup artist to come up with the visual concept of the project. It’s my job to make the product and/or the people, clothing and accessories look their very best in the shot.  Here is a breakdown of what I do as photo stylist at different types of photo shoots.

Prop stylist: A lot of the magic happens prior to the shoot day, when I gather the items needed for a photo shoot.  This can mean renting and purchasing such things as plates, glasses, napkins, décor items, and even large furniture or plants for a room shoot.  I have to have a strong understanding of each shot’s concept in order to be able to gather all the right elements ahead of time.  

 

Tabletop stylist:  I arrange the product to be featured in the tabletop shot. I shine and polish, and do whatever it takes to make the item look attractive. The products I style are often home goods such as vases, flatware, and Christmas décor.  I also often style prepared foods and drinks like cheese, chocolate, coffee, beer and wine.  Prior to the shoot, I rent or purchase props to create an inviting display of the product. 
 

Fashion stylist: I am in charge of the clothing and accessories for all the models on a photo shoot or video shoot. First I steam the garments so that they will drape nicely. Then I pin clothing items to fit, because models vary in size and shape. I watch carefully to make sure the clothing is moving nicely and looks flattering.  When the model’s pose changes, I adjust the garment so it looks its very best. Prior to the shoot, I gather any props or accessories needed to complement the featured garments.