by William Lulow
What do professional stylists do? The average photographer might not see the need for a stylist, but they can, more often than not, make the difference between a really professional looking image and an amateur one.
The stylist, be it an interior stylist, a food stylist or a hair-makeup stylist really puts the finishing touches on an image. Think of a really great cake with no frosting. Or, think of a room set in which the lighting is perfect but the bed is unmade. Or, think of a person who looks great but who could look so much better with a little hair and makeup in the right places. This is what stylists do. They make an otherwise good image into a great one.
Stylists definitely add to the cost of a job. You can’t offer the same kind of finished product without the finishing. At a wedding for instance, the bride and all the bridesmaids get their hair and makeup done. Why? Because they will be photographed. The same holds true of anything being photographed. If it’s an interior, it could mean the addition of flowers or the right kinds of props. If it’s a food shot, it might be the addition of steam on a hot bowl of soup or the right silverware on a table. Most good stylists have an innate sense of what photographs well. Makeup and hair stylists know that their work has to look good for the camera. This often means knowing just how much to add.
So when you’re doing a shot that you really want to look great, think of hiring a stylist. You’ll see the difference in your shots immediately.