- Style models, products, food or sets for photographic shoots
- You'll need excellent creative skills and a passion for the field you work in
- You'll build relationships with suppliers and PR specialists and may have the opportunity to travel overseas
As a photographic stylist, you'll usually specialise in one area, like fashion, interiors, food, advertising or editorial photography.
As a fashion stylist, you'll work on fashion shows, music videos and TV shows as well as doing photographic work.
In food styling, you'll buy ingredients, cook the food, and display it in an appetising way.
- Receive instructions (the 'brief') from the photographer or art director and come up with ideas
- Decide on the best clothes, accessories and backgrounds to achieve the desired look
- Buy, borrow, or hire props, clothing and accessories
- Arrange a set
- Dress models and make any adjustments
- Keep a stock of fashion or home accessories
- Build good relationships with shops, prop suppliers, PR agencies, photographers and models
- Keep up to date with trends
You could work in a creative studio, from home, or in an office. Your working environment may be at height and you'll travel often.
To be a photographic stylist, you'll need the ability to work well with others, sensitivity and understanding, the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure, the ability to come up with new ways of doing things, thoroughness and attention to detail, knowledge of the fine arts, excellent verbal communication skills, and design skills and knowledge.
You'll usually need experience in fashion, photography or design.
As a food stylist you'll need experience in catering or home economics.
It may help to have a foundation degree, higher national diploma, or degree in fashion promotion, fashion styling, interior styling and design, visual merchandising or display, or photography. Most photographic stylists come from a fashion, photography, or design background. As a food stylist your background would usually be in catering or home economics.
You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job, such as a Level 3 Certificate or Diploma in Photography.
You can get this job through an advanced apprenticeship in photo imaging.
Paid or unpaid work experience would also be useful for making contacts and learning on the job. You can approach photographers and stylists and offer to help them, or contact magazines and newspapers about possible work placements.
Work experience in fashion retail, visual design, or interior design can be useful. You'll need a portfolio with examples of your styling work, known as 'tear sheets', to show to potential employers.
With experience, you could work with bigger advertising and PR agencies, stores and design houses.