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Photographic stylist

Alternative titles for this job include

Photographic stylists use clothes, props and accessories to stage sets and create the right 'look' and mood for a photo shoot.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter

to

£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

36 to 38 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

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How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a photographic stylist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship

University

You could take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a relevant subject like:

  • fashion photography and promotion
  • fashion styling and communication
  • interior design
  • visual merchandising
  • photography

Most photographic stylists come from a fashion, photography or design background. As a food stylist your background would usually be in catering or food science.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information

College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Examples include:

  • Level 3 Certificate or Diploma in Photography
  • Level 3 Diploma in Fashion

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

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Apprenticeship

You could do an apprenticeship in a related field to help you to get into this role, for example:

  • an assistant photographer advanced apprenticeship
  • a fashion studio assistant advanced apprenticeship

These may teach you some of the skills and knowledge needed.

Entry requirements

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

Volunteering

You should try and get as much work experience as possible. It'll help you to make contacts in the industry and allow you to learn on the job.

You could approach photographers and stylists and offer to help them, or contact magazines and newspapers about possible work placements.

More Information

Career tips

Work experience in fashion retail, visual design or interior design can be useful.

You'll need a portfolio with examples of your styling work to show to potential employers. These are known as 'tear sheets'. They show how your styling was used in the final images.

Having a website and social media accounts where you can advertise your work will also be important.

Professional and industry bodies

The Association of Photographers and British Institute of Professional Photographers (BIPP) offer membership for anyone with an interest in professional photography.

Further information

You'll find more details about working in careers in photography from The Association of Photographers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • design skills and knowledge
  • leadership skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • knowledge of the fine arts
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day duties may:

  • 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

Working environment

You could work on a film set, in a creative studio, from home or in an office.

Your working environment may be physically active, you'll travel often and you may spend nights away from home.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could work with bigger advertising and PR agencies, stores and design houses.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Fashion Studio Assistant Apprentice

  • Wage: £138.00 Weekly
  • Location: Solihull

Photographic Assistant Level 3 Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £187.50 Weekly
  • Location: London

Courses In England

Fashion Photography: Work on Location (Beginners/Intermediate)

  • Provider: WM College
  • Start date: 21 April 2022
  • Location: London

BTEC Level 3 Art and Design (Fashion and Editorial Photography) (QH)

  • Provider: LUMINATE EDUCATION GROUP
  • Start date: 12 September 2022
  • Location: Leeds

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