On any fashion shoots a talented creative team is just as important as the photographer. With a stylist, makeup artist, and hair stylist working alongside you, you’ll find that you can create the impossible.
A typical creative team may consist of the following
Stylist: A stylist’s job is to assess the creative brief, whether from the photographer, a magazine editor, or art director, and pull (select) clothes accordingly. The clothes are sourced from a variety of places, either from a designer’s collection or from brand stores. The stylist must then ensure that the clothes arrive ready to be photographed on or before the morning of the shoot. On the day of the shoot itself, the stylist is responsible for dressing the models and making sure that the clothes look good. He or she will also source appropriate accessories to accompany the clothes.
Art director: Large clothing and store brands, as well as fashion magazines, will have an art director who will attend photoshoots. It is the art director’s responsibility to plan and create the overall theme of the shoot and control the creative direction on the day of the shoot itself. In some cases the art director is also the stylist or even the editor of a magazine—in this case, you as the photographer work under their direction toward the planned theme. It’s important that you take direction from art directors as it’s their theme you’re working toward and they’re the point of contact and representative of the client
Makeup artist: A makeup artist is responsible for applying makeup to the models so that they are ready to appear in front of the camera. The style of makeup should complement the brief, and may vary from very simple to avant garde. A good makeup artist will instantly know what works for a particular model or client.
Hair stylist: The hair stylist works alongside the makeup artist and has similar responsibilities— ensuring that the model/client is looking his or her best for the camera, and if necessary styling hair so that it follows a specific creative brief.
Manicurist: Depending on the photoshoot, sometimes a manicurist is required to enhance the appearance of the nails on the hands and feet of your model(s).
Personal assistant: A personal assistant (PA) is vital on any photoshoot—to handle all the jobs a photographer cannot do on the day and to keep things running smoothly behind the scenes. Photoshoots are complex and have numerous elements that cannot always be the responsibility of the photographer alone. Common PA tasks include general assistance on the day, administration, tidying, cleaning, working alongside the photographer on-set, collecting/taking parcels, and organizing catering and transportation.
Digital assistant: A digital assistant is vital on larger photoshoots, particularly when you’re working with the camera tethered to
a computer. Working this way, so that shots can be reviewed immediately on-screen by the photographer, art director, and client, often requires quite a complex setup. Other digital assistant jobs include preparing the images after the shoot and most other computer-related tasks. In many ways digital assistants are like personal assistants, but are more experienced in technical work, and often have to be very experienced in order to work quickly and understand a new photographer’s techniques.
Munish Khanna is a well experienced creative photographer based in Delhi, India
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