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Photoshoot crew: What do wardrobe stylists do?

In case you {photograph} folks, you’ll shortly notice how sure outfits can drastically alter your complete feel and look of the undertaking. Nevertheless, you could not be capable of simply pinpoint why one thing doesn’t look fairly proper. Enter your secret weapon — a wardrobe stylist. Wardrobe stylists (typically known as trend stylists or just stylists) are garment specialists.

Desk of Contents

  • What Does a Style Stylist Do?
  • Getting the Finest Wardrobe Stylist for A Shoot
    • Sourcing Wardrobe Stylists
    • Selecting a Stylist
  • The Price of Hiring Wardrobe Stylists
  • What to Anticipate When Hiring a Stylist
    • Pre-Manufacturing
    • Manufacturing
    • Submit-Manufacturing

Wardrobe stylist Maria Aponte’s job consists of making changes on set, serving to fashions/expertise look genuine of their position, and guaranteeing that no element goes unnoticed.

Many have studied trend design, giving them intensive information of materials and cuts plus a really feel for a way they work on the human type. Wardrobe stylists know the right way to put on, mix, and alter any wardrobe piece to create the right clothes story for the undertaking. It’s the stylist’s job to be up-to-date with trend and styling, even understanding how clothes is worn in sure conditions and by sure folks. They supply varied sorts of clothes which might be acceptable for every sort of shoot.

Alice Timms, a wardrobe stylist based mostly in London, explains:

There’s numerous completely different kinds of images, like way of life images and trend images. Likewise, inside styling, there are a lot of sub-specialties. So somebody who works in trend may not know the right way to model a life-style shoot, which is extra costume-design versus tendencies and present fashion-based.

The Woman Of Shallot, photographed by Julia Fullerton-Batten. Wardrobe stylist Alice Timms created the bespoke gown, hand-painted and made the necklace, and painted by hand, dyed, and sewed the blanket.

What Does a Style Stylist Do?

Wardrobe stylists go by many names — trend stylist, trend editor, costume stylist, and so on. Nevertheless, it is very important observe that it doesn’t matter what title they go by, they’re distinct from trend or costume designers and picture consultants. A stylist rigorously curates completely different clothes objects and equipment for editorial options or print and television advert campaigns. Alternatively, designers will work for a trend model to conceptualize and create particular person clothes objects and equipment whereas picture consultants will work with people (akin to enterprise professionals) to prepare and refine their private wardrobes.

Behind the scenes of the workforce engaged on the Woman Of Shallot undertaking. Alice is within the middle of the picture, wading by means of knee-deep water.

Wardrobe stylists are an integral half of a bigger inventive workforce. They should collaborate with the photographer and director, the consumer and clothier (who can typically be the identical particular person), the hair stylist, and the make-up artist. Collectively, they are going to determine on and execute the particular search for that undertaking. Michael Leckie, a trend and way of life photographer based mostly in Arseley, United Kingdom, says:

It’s a collaborative relationship and the wardrobe stylist is there to assist facilitate the images course of. Wardrobe is a key piece that makes the ultimate shot. Earlier than the shoot, the photographer and consumer ought to focus on a temper board with the stylist that can showcase the feel and appear of the pictures. Then the photographer ought to anticipate the stylist to supply choices to play with. A stylist should use their information and expertise to satisfy expectations and even elevate them. Then, throughout the shoot, the stylist has to know the shoot necessities and angles, leaping in to regulate objects to sit down accurately and look flattering.

On daily basis and each job is completely different for a stylist. In order that they should be ready for something. For instance, on-set sizing changes, managing the schedule and different styling crew, swap-outs, and dealing with unintended spills or stains.

Having a background in trend design prepares you for wardrobe styling to some extent. For instance, what I discovered whereas learning included understanding how one thing is made. So if an merchandise must be altered on set, I understand how to try this. Figuring out how the darts work, as a way to pin issues or lower issues in the appropriate place and alter it to cover the seams. I can even make clothes and have typically finished so, particularly if we are able to’t purchase or borrow what we want. – Aice Timms

Getting the Finest Wardrobe Stylist for A Shoot

Sourcing Wardrobe Stylists

For the novice photographer, discovering and selecting a stylist could appear daunting. Particularly when each influencer and their designer canine appears to be a fashionista nowadays. You could find stylist both by means of phrase of mouth or an business database. One other method that’s extra tedious however could also be definitely worth the time is to have a look at styling credit on different photographers’ Instagram posts or in magazines. You may then do some sleuthing to seek out that stylist’s web site and take a look at their portfolio. Vital data to notice is their house metropolis, the high quality and magnificence of their portfolio, and who they’ve labored with earlier than.

Alice created these two-toned outfits after making an attempt to supply the right objects, however not discovering something that might work for the undertaking.

Selecting a Stylist

The extra essential a part of this course of is assessing and selecting a closing stylist. When you’ve got discovered just a few by means of trusted suggestions or a vetted database, then your selection could come all the way down to value and availability. Nevertheless, should you discovered a stylist by means of every other means, you’ll need to rigorously assess them to determine if they are going to be match for the undertaking:

  • View their web site and portfolio to see if their model is an efficient match to your undertaking.
  • Discover their current work (typically you may see this on Instagram) to make sure they’re nonetheless energetic within the business and protecting up-to-date with tendencies.
  • Search for proof of somebody who constantly places collectively robust and cohesive seems.
  • Ask for references and speak to them – attempt to establish dependable, organized, punctual, {and professional} stylists.

Have a look at the stylist’s portfolio and contemplate if it fits the undertaking temporary. For instance, you’re going to need a stylist with good information of sportswear for a sports activities shoot. Additionally, it’s price contemplating their style. Despite the fact that it’s typically tough to pinpoint since all of us work to the model’s or consumer’s temporary, should you discover a stylist whose “style” in clothes fits you, that might be nice. – Michael Leckie

Alice provides that have is one other factor you need to assess with regards to selecting out a stylist:

Have a look at how skilled they’re. Most individuals who haven’t been styling for lengthy may not know all of the methods and information you may have constructed up by means of expertise. It additionally will depend on the sort of shoot you’re doing. In case you assume issues shall be tough or that there could also be sudden curveballs, it’s all the time good to have somebody with the expertise to deal with it.

One other essential factor to working with a stylist, particularly for a shoot the place the consumer doesn’t present the wardrobe, is to discover somebody who has constructed robust relationships with designers and types. It’s because they should supply objects from varied folks and locations. They might supply higher high quality objects at decrease costs if they’ve robust skilled relationships with fascinating designers and types. In any other case, they should purchase objects outright or lease them — which might add to the price of your shoot.

The Price of Hiring Wardrobe Stylists

By now, try to be questioning how a lot does it value to rent a trend stylist? There are just a few choices for fee with regards to hiring a wardrobe stylist. Most stylists will fall into one in all three classes:

Hourly price — a set price billed per hour of labor finished for the undertaking.
Day price — a set charge for every day on the undertaking, together with days for prep and wrap-up.
Challenge price — a flat charge for the size of the undertaking (AKA a buy-out) or for being on name for a sure interval (a retainer).

I cost day charges: $650 per 10-hour day for stills shoots and $850 per 12-hour day for video.  The quantity of expertise and procuring the job requires will decide the quantity of prep and wrap days. On the very least, one prep and one wrap day are anticipated along with the shoot days the job requires. — Tammara Kohler, Fused Style

Wardrobe provides the ending touches to any undertaking. Alice Timms labored on this undertaking with photographer Hannah Maule-Ffinch for on-line retailer

Normally, editorial assignments pay much less whereas business tasks pay probably the most. The speed of the stylist (hourly, each day, or per undertaking) will rely on the scope of the job, their expertise and coaching, and site. When budgeting, bear in mind to incorporate funds for the style stylist to amass all the required objects for the manufacturing. This quantity is over and above the stylist’s charge and will embrace protecting any incidentals (the place an merchandise can’t be returned for a refund because of loss or injury). Windermere, Florida-based wardrobe stylist Tammara Kohler says,

A photographer ought to anticipate to supply ample budgetary tips to efficiently cowl all the procuring wants for the shoot, in addition to give the stylist clear-cut course on the variety of choices they want per expertise or per look.

What to Anticipate When Hiring a Stylist


Throughout pre-production, you’ll work intently along with your wardrobe stylist to speak and develop your imaginative and prescient for the undertaking. The higher briefed the stylist is in regards to the undertaking, the higher the ultimate outcomes shall be.

Stylists anticipate open dialogue and communication with the photographer on the course of the shoot. In addition they must know the consumer’s necessities concerning the wardrobe. The stylist ought to be capable of ship wardrobe choices for specified seems below the course of the company or photographer which might be on model and on course with the shoot’s total course. — Tammara Kohler

Your stylist should put collectively just a few completely different, however cohesive seems for every character/particular person featured within the shoot, typically utilizing temper boards. You must anticipate your stylist to supply all objects wanted. They’ll do that by borrowing items from designers in change for the publicity your undertaking will give them. Or, they’ll purchase and return objects from retail shops. In each eventualities, the stylist could be chargeable for guaranteeing each merchandise is returned and undamaged (or cowl the price of changing any broken objects). Additionally, they are going to assist determine precisely what is going to should be procured and what objects you’ll require the expertise to supply.

It would be best to decide in the event that they need to rely extra on the expertise’s personal wardrobe with supplemental procuring or use extra choices purchased by the stylist with the expertise bringing again up wardrobe choices. — Tammara Kohler


In case you arrive on set early sufficient, you could catch the style stylist arriving loaded with baggage and packages. Normally, the stylist has one of many earliest name instances on set. They may want time to unpack, steam, and organize the garments earlier than the expertise arrives. Steaming might be significantly time-consuming however it’s vital. As soon as the expertise is dressed, changes could should be made. For instance, pinning sure areas for an ideal match and lint removing. Then, whereas the expertise and photographer do their a part of the job, the stylist will observe and be able to step in at any second to make changes or change out equipment.

Behind-the-scenes picture courtesy of Alice Timms — a stylist is steaming and organizing clothes objects on set.

All through the shoot, the stylist have to be extraordinarily organized and work intently with all crew to remain on schedule. They will even facilitate a constructive and seamless working relationship between photographer, consumer, and mannequin, proving important to the undertaking’s success. And when the undertaking lastly wraps, the stylist might want to re-pack all clothes objects on set. That is typically tougher than it sounds. They deal with delicate objects that should be returned to their authentic homeowners (a retailer, agent, or designer) of their authentic situation.

Maria makes on-the-spot changes to the expertise’s outfit throughout a shoot.


After the manufacturing, the stylist manages the logistics of cleansing and returning the items to the suppliers. This consists of managing transport and restore or alternative prices. They need to even have ample insurance coverage to cowl any costly objects (akin to jewellery or couture items).

It’s essential to notice {that a} stylist wants prep and wrap days to get all the things prepared and returned. Even on a easy one-day shoot with one topic or expertise, the stylist must prep and wrap. – Michael Leckie

On the finish of the day, not having a stylist in your undertaking places stress on the remainder of the workforce. Different workforce members in all probability aren’t as versed in trend and styling. Which means that small particulars go unnoticed on the day of the shoot, however change into painfully apparent throughout post-production. A stylist’s job is to note these small particulars and make adjustments the place vital. An skilled stylist can do that shortly, saving the remainder of the workforce numerous time and trouble. So to keep away from pointless stress, it’s best to rent an skilled stylist.

Maria poses with fashions that she styled for a trend shoot.

A very good stylist will even make sure the shoot stays on observe and that the inventive imaginative and prescient involves fruition. They may give attention to translating and elevating the imaginative and prescient for the undertaking, leaving you free to give attention to creating the pictures. Investing in an expert stylist is investing sooner or later success of your manufacturing and the standard of the ultimate product your consumer receives.

In regards to the Creator

Born and raised in South Africa, Dominique Kilkelly has lived her life as a nomad. She presently resides in South Philly along with her husband, Daniel, and grumpy previous cat, Package. After learning English Literature, Artwork Historical past, and Linguistics she labored as a author after which content material director for an website positioning firm in South Florida, and she or he is presently an editor at Fantastic Machine. This text was additionally revealed right here and shared with permission.

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