It’s time for the first edition of my ‘journey to becoming a stylist’ series! Today I’m talking about the basics, how I started out and things I’ve learned over time that might help you guys out! It all started in spring 2012, I found that school didn’t offer enough portfolio-worthy content, and wanted to do something with my time&ideas. I’ve always done styling in some way, I used to shoot a lot of images myself, but as I’m not a brilliant photographer, nor a brilliant make-up or hair artist the images weren’t on the level that i wanted them to be. I decided it was time to step up my game and contacted two photographers that i knew suited my aesthetic. It’s very unlikely that the photographers that shoot for major magazines aren’t going to respond to an email from a stylist that’s just starting out, so make sure you find photographers that are on a level that is realistic (but make sure that It’ll still be a challenge!) for you as a beginning stylist. I reached out to Bianca Toeps and Valentina Vos. On Bianca’s blog I read that she couldn’t always find stylists to work with, and so I reached out to her and said I’d love to style shoots for her. She responded very quickly with the good news that she had two testshoots planned and that I could style them! Valentina also responded, in a very sweet email she told me that she mostly works with experienced stylists and didn’t have the opportunity to work with me at that moment, but would keep me in mind for the future. So keep in mind, the worst thing someone can tell you is no, and the answer can always change over time!
My first two shoots were planned right after each other in the summer of 2012. For the first time (well ok apart from that time I was in Ellegirl) in my life I was able to experience how amazing it is to see photography, styling, make-up & hair and modeling come together perfectly. My nerves proved to be completely unnecessary, all members of the team were very friendly. It was a day full of fun, but also hard work! After these two shoots I continued to work with Bianca, and as I now had some proper portfolio content other photographers started contacting me on facebook, asking if I wanted to work with them.
As I don’t live in Amsterdam (which is pretty much where everything happens) and neither have loads of friends that are involved in the fashion industry, it’s really important to contact en ‘meet’ new people through social media, I’m always on the look out for photographers, make up artists and designers I could possibly work with in the future. The fashion industry is probably the one where contacts are the most important. At first I was frightened of this, because like I said, I don’t have a lot of contacts in the industry and I’m not really the ass kissing type that goes to all fancy party’s either. But after doing a couple of shoots I noticed that as long as you work hard and show enthusiasm people will remember and recommend you!
Over time you’ll learn that some collaborations go smoother than others. If shoots don’t go the way you wanted them to don’t consider this a failure, but a lesson learned. Fashion is a matter of taste and not everybody share’s the same opinions! It’s a process of trial and error. For example when I work with Bianca I’m always happy with the outcome, and so I work with her quite often. However, I find it important to work with others as well as I find that it keeps me sharp, variation is key in the process of learning! A while ago I worked with Maxime, we completely understand each others vision while at the same time complementing and challenging each other, and so I’ve worked with her for three times now and I’m sure we’ll work together much more often in the future! A creative connection won’t always be there, but when it does, treasure it!
That was it for now, next week I’ll talk about an upcoming shoot and how I’m preparing for it! Check out my portfolio HERE. Xxx