So if you are following me on any of my social network sites then you know that a while back I made a commitment to my followers that I would be sharing insight on how to become a stylist for Free! This came after a lot of people started asking me how they could get a started in the industry and what it would take to become a successful Stylist. So after a couple of small debates
in my head on which social format would be best; I decided to let this information become available to you on my blog so that you'd always have a point of reference to come back to and hopefully ask any questions you may have. This will be something that is on going, and hopefully you'll take away some really good information on what it takes make it in this industry. So, here goes..
The first step in getting started is deciding that you have the talent to style and be paid for your work as a Stylist. In order to do so you'll need proof of your skills and there's no better way than having an Amazing portfolio of your styling work.
So what is a portfolio you ask?
Every professional stylist has or at least should have one thing in common and that is what's know as a portfolio or what's commonly known to in the industry as a book: (A culmination or series of photographs displaying samples of your best work and is usually broken down into series of categories which should include Editorial, Advertisements, Celebrity, and or High Fashion Photo Shoots known as Tear Sheets).
These samples are compiled of a list of clients that you will accumulate over a period of time and in turn, show to other prospect clients to obtain more work. Having a portfolio when you first start off is kind of tricky because if what I explained above all makes sense you should probably be asking yourself.. "how the heck do I create a book of clients I've worked with if I don't have any clients to begin with in the first place!?? I know, I know, it's a bit of a catch twenty-two but relax; There's a way to obtain a portfolio without having to amass a portfolio chucked full of clients you don't have. It's called testing.
Testing is what a team of industry professionals will do in order to update their books and usually consist of a Photographer, Fashion Stylist, Make-Up Artist, Hair Stylist, and Model. Once these elements are combined, they generate a series of photos called (Test) and can be used in the Teams book in order to update old work or generate new clients. Think of testing as a creative escrow. Your creating or producing work in order to see a return that literally pays off in the short or long term.
Sometimes these Teams are paid to do testing and it is usually based on ones level of experience while other times they're not. Rule of thumb is that if your first starting out you most likely will be doing these Test for free until you have a substantial portfolio that commands a fair rate. Testing is a great way to make your first initial splash in the industry and shows how strong your creative eye is. I've produced a lot of actual work off testing and in a funny way, have proven to myself how far I could go creatively once I put my creative talents to the "test".. lol.
If you want to start testing, start off by looking for local photographers in your area and ask them if it would be possible to do a test shoot in which you would be responsible for clothing or start by taking a few snap shots of friends and style them. There's no right way to get your work produced when it comes to testing.. you just have to put yourself out there and follow through.
Now, this is just the start of what it takes to become a proffesional Fashion Stylist. There's a whole other side that consist of marketing, packaging and actually getting paid work but so far I've given you a foundation of what the industry looks for when your first starting off. During my series of how-to's, I'll give you my professional advice and opinion on what tools you'll need in order to see your career flurish. If you've found this information of use to you, feel free to join my blog or ask question below and I'll do my best to respond to all. Styling is a Journey, but with a little direction you can do it.