Styling 101- Preparing for a Photoshoot


You’ve probably seen my name and face around The School of Fashion. I’m Isabelle, the Fall intern for Fashion School Daily and the School of Fashion’s PR office. I’m also a fashion styling major, so I’ve produced a ton of shoots over the years. Over the next few weeks I will be taking you through the process of producing your own photoshoot. Join me on my journey and learn all about how to make it happen.

Photo by: Shan Lee Styled: Isabelle Eder Model: Carly Rick

This is step 1 from the Styling 101 series, where I will go over the steps on how to produce your own photoshoot. Step 1 is coming up with a clear concept for your shoot, finding a photographer, hair and makeup aritsts, models, making moodboards and finding outfits. Step 2 is finding your location and Step 3 is what to do on the day of the shoot.

First and foremost, you need to come up with a concept for your shoot. Look at runway shows, go to your Pinterest, or watch an old movie. Inspiration can come from anywhere! Once something captures your attention, develop it into a concrete concept by making a story out of your idea. The more elements you can add to your “story”, the better you can develop it. I usually come up with a few ideas and see which one can be developed the most. For this shoot I went through some magazines and noticed that there were prints of every shape and size on almost every page. I developed this idea of mixing prints into a concept.

Once you have your concept, you need create some moodboards. It’s usually good to have three moodboards; one for your photographer, which focuses on different poses and lighting ideas, one for hair & makeup that will be divided into hair and makeup thoughts, and one that captures the mood and feel of the overall theme of the shoot. When I make my moodboards I pull images from anywhere that really show what my concept is all about.

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Photo by Danielle Onesi

Next you will probably want to find a photographer, hair and makeup artists and models. First, you will have to mention that your shoot is a test shoot, meaning that it’s for trade, which means that you won’t have to pay (yay). When trying to find these artists I recommend using two Facebook groups. There is a Facebook group called the Academy of Art University Styling and Photography Network, where you can search for photographers and stylists by posting your moodboards. There is another group called the AAU Styling and MUA/Hair Artists Network where you can also post your moodboards to find hair and makeup artists.

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Photo by Jeffry Raposas. Styled by Isabelle Eder

Finding models works a little differently. You need to contact a model agency, of which San Francisco has a variety from which to choose. Again, explain that it’s a test shoot and send your moodboard along with your call sheet. A call sheet is where it says what time you’re meeting, where the shoot is, who the rest of the crew is and their contact information and a schedule of the day of the shoot. Then you will get a model package, which usually includes 10 models to choose from. You have to think about which ones fit your concept. Then you send back the names of your three top choices ranked in order of your favorites.

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Photo by Faye Harris

Now on to finding the clothes. If you are working with one designer’s collection, there is a lot less to worry about. Otherwise, you need to find different resources, such as stores, the School of Fashion styling closet and ACT , which is a costume rental shop. You want to avoid buying and returning as much as you can. Vintage and second-hand stores are great resources to find unique and affordable pieces. It’s also always a good idea go look through your own as well as your friends’ closets. You never know what you’ll find. Before you actually buy or rent anything, it’s a good idea to take pictures of all the garments first so that you compose your outfits and then go out and get them. So, now Step 1 of producing your own photoshoot is complete.

Next week on FSD I will go over how to find a location for your photoshoot!

By Isabelle Eder , BFA Fashion Styling