What does it take to be a successful Photography Stylist?

In commercial photography, a large photoshoot will often be far too involved for a photographer to do all the work unassisted, or indeed it may be too large for there to be only one photographer. In order to make the whole process proceed smoothly, there will need to be a whole host of assistants, directors and crew members, each with specific roles and responsibilities.

One such role is that of the photography stylist, whose role is the procurement, organisation and arrangement of all the essential background details which make the subject and the set believable.


Visual Skills of a photography stylist

Photography stylist must have a good eye for colour and for detail and more than a little creativity. They are responsible for taking a brief and transforming it into a convincing scene in accordance with the instructions they receive about mood and brand guidelines. When a set is a blank canvas, the stylist is the ‘painter’, ensuring the desired look is achieved in all aspects of the scene. As with many visual arts, tastes and fashions change, so it’s important that photography stylists keep themselves up to date with all the latest trends.


Photography stylist Organisation and People Skills

A large photoshoot will likely need a very large number of props and accessories. A good photography stylist will have built up good working relationships with shops, hirers, PR’s, photographers, models and prop suppliers in order to build up a network they can call upon to buy, hire or borrow the items needed for a particular photoshoot. Keeping this inventory organised, documented and making sure it’s where it needs to be and when is a large job needing considerable organisation, so too is the task of making sure hired or borrowed props are returned afterwards.

Photoshoots are always busy and sometimes a little chaotic, a photography stylist who can keep their cool under pressure, deal with other crew members in a positive way and make sure that deadlines are adhered to will always find themselves in demand.


Essential Skills for a Photography Stylist