In the many years that I’ve been working on my photography career, I’ve encountered numerous pluses and minus’s while working with makeup, hair and fashion stylists. These experiences determine whether I would ever hire and/or recommend that person for another assignment, and/or assist in their career development in any way. Crystal asked me to share them with you.
1. Makeup, Hair & Fashion stylists with a “legend in their own mind” attitude. These people show up with a portfolio and mediocre test photos, poorly printed, and “models” that should look for another line of work.
2. Do your homework! Take some time and research the photographers you want to work with. I shoot fashion editorial. I have a certain viewpoint on fashion, and my influences are publications such as French and Italian Vogue, having lived and worked in Europe. I am not interested in seeing catalog shots and flatly lit, posed test photos. I’m not interested in seeing a portfolio full of tight face shots or stylist photos where the clothes are so perfect, that they’re void of feeling. Regarding portfolios; a few beauty shots are fine, but I want to see fashion shots as well, because I want to see if you understood the nature of the shoot. What did you do that enhanced the shoot!
3. In editorial work, things are “perfectly imperfect”. Don’t rush in every 30 seconds to straighten clothing simply because you feel like doing so. There isn’t a thing I miss in the viewfinder. If I don’t worry, don’t you worry. If we are on location and the wind is blowing, the last thing I want is someone trying to make the clothes perfect. I work with 80% planned, the other 20% I allow for those wonderful accidents which can turn a good photo into a great one.
4. To me, if you call yourself a fashion stylist…. STYLE! I love stylists who can come up with wonderful, off–the-wall combinations, finding different ways to show things. When I discuss with you the direction of the shoot I want you to come up with great ideas. I want you to know and understand my style, direction, and the designers and visual looks I gravitate to. I hate stylist who shows up with “off-the-rack” outfits. That takes only time not talent. If I wanted that, I could go to the stores myself, and use my credit card. I love Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, etc. So don’t show up with cotton T-shirts with “ Daddy’s Little Girl’ written on the front. I’ll immediately make a mental note never to hire you again.
5. You’re the Make-up artist! Great, then be an artist. Don’t give me a half-effort because it’s a model test. Don’t tell me that’s the way other photographers like it’. I’m not the other photographer. I’m very demanding and expect you to give nothing less than your very best. I expect you to study and practice the newest directions in make-up, know what’s happening in the major magazines, and to realize why people like Pat McGrath and Linda Cantello are at the top of their game!
6. If you advertise that you do hair, please know how to do good, editorial hair. Know the current direction in the fashion world, and above all be proficient! You can’t put one past me in this area, as I used to be an Art Director with Vidal Sassoon, doing editorial hair for magazines.
7. Realize what level in the business that you are in. Accept that there are a lot of things you can learn from photographers who have worked for top magazines, models, and talent. We are more demanding.
8. STUDY the major fashion magazines. READ magazines that are pertinent and crucial t the success of your business. READ & STUDY! PDN (Photo District News) is an invaluable resource that you will refer to over and over again. European and the U.S. fashion magazines will be a continued source of inspiration, and help you remain current in your style.
9. A few make-up artists that have made a strong impression on me during my career come to mind immediately. The first is Jasmin Manders. She was at the Celestine Agency when I first met her. We worked together on a few advertising jobs, and it really opened my eyes to someone who took their art seriously. I also worked with Lena Koros in Los Angeles, who told me that one-day she was going to be working for the best magazines. Today, she is represented by Nars, and is living in New York, working with some of the best photographers. I see her credits in top magazines often! The last Make-up artist is very special to me. I worked with her for four years. Her name is Kelly Meredith and the Plutino Group in Toronto, Canada represents her. Kelly’s drive and determination is enviable. She studied magazines, practiced, studied more, practiced, and in short taught herself the artistry that she is well known for. She worked with me in Europe and in Canada, and she does absolutely beautiful, creative, flawless make-up! Kelly put up with my demanding regime, always wanting to give me her best, because she wanted to be the best. Kelly’s work is now seen in many of Canada’s top magazines and advertising campaigns, and I really hope to have the opportunity to work with her again!
Biography: David Anthony began his career in in Los Angeles, California. His first break came when he was selected to shoot the Z.Cavaricci campaign. Since then, David has worked in Paris, Madrid, London, and Canada shooting for magazines such as Elle-Spain, GQ-Spain, Marie Claire, Biba, Flair, Chicago Woman, Chicago Social, Angeleno and numerous others. David's first love remains editorial work. "I'm continually challenged, never having to shoot the same way. I get to make wonderful images which I still get joy, seeing the hard work in print". I still do work with new models, new artists, and work out ideas and films". "Some models and artists consider it an insult when someone takes the attitude that "it's just a test", so they don't need to do something different, and simply want to give me what they give to other photographers. They forget that on both editorial assignments and advertising, I select and hire my own crews, as well as cast 95 percent of the models. What I see in a test is what I know they'll give me on a job".
For more information about testing with photographers, building a book, setting a day rate, and finding an agent to represent you, check out The Hair Makeup & Styling Career Guide and learn about Crystal Wright's 3-Day Portfolio Building and Marketing Workshops in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta & Chicago.
As an aside, to #5, in the over-retouched world we live in, I would like to add another non-acceptable thought ..."whatever, the client will fix it in post."
Ladies & Gentlemen, lets not!