Photoshoot crew: What do wardrobe stylists do?

If you happen to {photograph} folks, you’ll rapidly notice how sure outfits can drastically alter the whole feel and look of the challenge. Nonetheless, it’s possible you’ll not have the ability to simply pinpoint why one thing doesn’t look fairly proper. Enter your secret weapon — a wardrobe stylist. Wardrobe stylists (typically known as vogue stylists or just stylists) are garment specialists.

Desk of Contents

  • What Does a Style Stylist Do?
  • Getting the Greatest Wardrobe Stylist for A Shoot
    • Sourcing Wardrobe Stylists
    • Selecting a Stylist
  • The Value 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 function, and making certain that no element goes unnoticed.

Many have studied vogue design, giving them intensive data of materials and cuts plus a really feel for the way they work on the human type. Wardrobe stylists know easy methods to put on, mix, and modify any wardrobe piece to create the right clothes story for the challenge. It’s the stylist’s job to be up-to-date with vogue and styling, even figuring out how clothes is worn in sure conditions and by sure folks. They supply numerous sorts of clothes which are acceptable for every sort of shoot.

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

There’s a whole lot of completely different types of pictures, like life-style pictures and vogue pictures. Likewise, inside styling, there are various sub-specialties. So somebody who works in vogue won’t know easy methods to model a life-style shoot, which is extra costume-design versus developments and present fashion-based.

The Girl 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 — vogue stylist, vogue editor, costume stylist, and many others. Nonetheless, you will need to observe that it doesn’t matter what title they go by, they’re distinct from vogue or costume designers and picture consultants. A stylist rigorously curates completely different clothes gadgets and equipment for editorial options or print and television advert campaigns. However, designers will work for a vogue model to conceptualize and create particular person clothes gadgets and equipment whereas picture consultants will work with people (reminiscent of enterprise professionals) to arrange and refine their private wardrobes.

Behind the scenes of the workforce engaged on the Girl Of Shallot challenge. Alice is within the middle of the picture, wading by way of knee-deep water.

Wardrobe stylists are an integral half of a bigger inventive workforce. They should collaborate with the photographer and director, the shopper and designer (who can typically be the identical particular person), the hair stylist, and the make-up artist. Collectively, they’ll resolve on and execute the particular search for that challenge. Michael Leckie, a vogue and life-style photographer primarily based in Arseley, United Kingdom, says:

It’s a collaborative relationship and the wardrobe stylist is there to assist facilitate the pictures course of. Wardrobe is a key piece that makes the ultimate shot. Earlier than the shoot, the photographer and shopper ought to focus on a temper board with the stylist that may showcase the feel and appear of the pictures. Then the photographer ought to count on the stylist to supply choices to play with. A stylist should use their data and expertise to satisfy expectations and even elevate them. Then, through the shoot, the stylist has to know the shoot necessities and angles, leaping in to regulate gadgets to take a seat accurately and look flattering.

On daily basis and each job is completely different for a stylist. So 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 unintentional spills or stains.

Having a background in vogue 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 do this. Realizing how the darts work, as a way to pin issues or lower issues in the fitting place and modify it to cover the seams. I can even make clothes and have typically completed so, particularly if we will’t purchase or borrow what we want. – Aice Timms

Getting the Greatest Wardrobe Stylist for A Shoot

Sourcing Wardrobe Stylists

For the novice photographer, discovering and selecting a stylist could seem daunting. Particularly when each influencer and their designer canine appears to be a fashionista today. You’ll find stylist both by way of phrase of mouth or an trade database. One other means that’s extra tedious however could also be definitely worth the time is to take a look at styling credit on different photographers’ Instagram posts or in magazines. You possibly can then do some sleuthing to search out that stylist’s web site and take a look at their portfolio. Vital info to notice is their dwelling metropolis, the high quality and elegance of their portfolio, and who they’ve labored with earlier than.

Alice created these two-toned outfits after attempting to supply the right gadgets, however not discovering something that might work for the challenge.

Selecting a Stylist

The extra vital a part of this course of is assessing and selecting a last stylist. If in case you have discovered a number of by way of trusted suggestions or a vetted database, then your alternative might come right down to price and availability. Nonetheless, should you discovered a stylist by way of another means, you will have to rigorously assess them to resolve if they are going to be match for the challenge:

  • View their web site and portfolio to see if their model is an effective match to your challenge.
  • Discover their latest work (typically you possibly can see this on Instagram) to make sure they’re nonetheless lively within the trade and preserving up-to-date with developments.
  • 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.

Take a look at the stylist’s portfolio and take into account if it fits the challenge transient. For instance, you’re going to desire a stylist with good data of sportswear for a sports activities shoot. Additionally, it’s value contemplating their style. Despite the fact that it’s typically tough to pinpoint since all of us work to the model’s or shopper’s transient, 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 it’s best to assess relating to selecting out a stylist:

Take a look at how skilled they’re. Most individuals who haven’t been styling for lengthy won’t know all of the tips and data you will have constructed up by way of expertise. It additionally is dependent upon the sort of shoot you’re doing. If you happen to 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 shopper doesn’t present the wardrobe, is to discover somebody who has constructed robust relationships with designers and types. It is because they should supply gadgets from numerous folks and locations. They may supply higher high quality gadgets at decrease costs if they’ve robust skilled relationships with fascinating designers and types. In any other case, they should purchase gadgets outright or lease them — which may add to the price of your shoot.

The Value of Hiring Wardrobe Stylists

By now, try to be questioning how a lot does it price to rent a vogue stylist? There are a number of choices for cost relating to hiring a wardrobe stylist. Most stylists will fall into certainly one of three classes:

Hourly charge — a set charge billed per hour of labor completed for the challenge.
Day charge — a set price for every day on the challenge, together with days for prep and wrap-up.
Undertaking charge — a flat price for the size of the challenge (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 purchasing 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 challenge. Alice Timms labored on this challenge with photographer Hannah Maule-Ffinch for on-line retailer

Generally, editorial assignments pay much less whereas industrial initiatives pay essentially the most. The speed of the stylist (hourly, day by day, or per challenge) will rely upon the scope of the job, their expertise and coaching, and placement. When budgeting, bear in mind to incorporate funds for the style stylist to amass all the mandatory gadgets for the manufacturing. This quantity is over and above the stylist’s price and may embody masking any incidentals (the place an merchandise can’t be returned for a refund attributable to loss or injury). Windermere, Florida-based wardrobe stylist Tammara Kohler says,

A photographer ought to count on to supply ample budgetary pointers to efficiently cowl the entire purchasing 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 carefully along with your wardrobe stylist to speak and develop your imaginative and prescient for the challenge. The higher briefed the stylist is concerning the challenge, the higher the ultimate outcomes shall be.

Stylists count on open dialogue and communication with the photographer on the course of the shoot. Additionally they must know the shopper’s necessities concerning the wardrobe. The stylist ought to have the ability to ship wardrobe choices for specified seems below the course of the company or photographer which are on model and on track with the shoot’s general course. — Tammara Kohler

Your stylist should put collectively a number of completely different, however cohesive seems for every character/particular person featured within the shoot, typically utilizing temper boards. It is best to count on your stylist to supply all gadgets wanted. They will do that by borrowing items from designers in trade for the publicity your challenge will give them. Or, they’ll purchase and return gadgets from retail shops. In each eventualities, the stylist could be answerable for making certain each merchandise is returned and undamaged (or cowl the price of changing any broken gadgets). Additionally, they’ll assist resolve precisely what’s going to should be procured and what gadgets you’ll require the expertise to supply.

You’ll want to decide in the event that they wish to rely extra on the expertise’s personal wardrobe with supplemental purchasing or use extra choices purchased by the stylist with the expertise bringing again up wardrobe choices. — Tammara Kohler


If you happen to arrive on set early sufficient, it’s possible you’ll catch the style stylist arriving loaded with luggage and packages. Normally, the stylist has one of many earliest name instances on set. They’ll want time to unpack, steam, and prepare the garments earlier than the expertise arrives. Steaming might be notably time-consuming however it’s needed. As soon as the expertise is dressed, changes might 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 gadgets on set.

All through the shoot, the stylist should be extraordinarily organized and work carefully with all crew to remain on schedule. They may also facilitate a constructive and seamless working relationship between photographer, shopper, and mannequin, proving very important to the challenge’s success. And when the challenge lastly wraps, the stylist might want to re-pack all clothes gadgets on set. That is typically tougher than it sounds. They deal with delicate gadgets that should be returned to their unique homeowners (a retailer, agent, or designer) of their unique 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 delivery and restore or substitute prices. They have to even have ample insurance coverage to cowl any costly gadgets (reminiscent of jewellery or couture items).

It’s vital 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 challenge places strain on the remainder of the workforce. Different workforce members in all probability aren’t as versed in vogue and styling. Which means small particulars go unnoticed on the day of the shoot, however grow to be painfully apparent throughout post-production. A stylist’s job is to note these small particulars and make adjustments the place needed. An skilled stylist can do that rapidly, saving the remainder of the workforce a whole lot of time and problem. So to keep away from pointless stress, it’s best to rent an skilled stylist.

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

A very good stylist may also make sure the shoot stays on monitor and that the inventive imaginative and prescient involves fruition. They’ll concentrate on translating and elevating the imaginative and prescient for the challenge, leaving you free to concentrate on 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 shopper 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, Equipment. After learning English Literature, Artwork Historical past, and Linguistics she labored as a author after which content material director for an web optimization firm in South Florida, and she or he is presently an editor at Fantastic Machine. This text was additionally printed right here and shared with permission.

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