Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Photographer and the Photo Shoot: Hair, Makeup, Stylists


Color photograph product and beauty  - photo: Steven Scott Hale (color beauty/product)
Color photograph product and beauty - photo: Steven Scott Hale (color beauty/product)
There are numerous artists and designers working together to attain the desired photographic effect. Learn what occurs on an advertising photo shoot.
The photograph accompanying this article conveys a pure and clean advertisement of a young lady holding a bar of soap in her hands. She is wearing a towel on her head and a towel or a robe around her body. She has a big, sweet, honest smile on her face. This model is the essence of clean advertising. A large segment of the advertising market not only prefers this kind of clean ad, but actually will accept only photographs with a similar message. Purity is the way to go - for many.

The photographer creates a message on behalf of his client

The message conveys multiple multiple messages, including, "Our product - our bar of soap - (it could be, our towels) is good enough for your own daughter or your own wife, or your own mother. You will benefit from purchasing our product - not only will you obtain great value from it, but your own personal goodness is reflected in this choice." Further messages are that if you purchase this product, you, too, can and will look, and be pretty, smart, and safe. The advertising industry relies on messages inherent in the photograph. Photographers have to convey this as part of their job. The successful photographer has mastered getting the intended message out.. There's a reason why "a picture is worth a thousand words."

The photographer's assistant is a vital asset and has important skills

On a photo shoot there are usually several people along with the photographer. Often the photographer has a team, or is part of a team, depending on who is producing the advertisement. Along with the photographer there is usually a photographer's assistant, who helps the photographer in small and significant ways. The photo assistant will usually carry the photo equipment to the location or the set. The assistant will often set up the camera and lighting equipment as per the photographer's instructions. Before I worked as a photographer, I assisted numerous photographers on their jobs. I learned invaluable information which was actually the best education I could possibly receive. The assistant gets paid anywhere from $100 - $300 or more per day, depending on many factors, including how many assistants there are, and his or her level of seniority. The first assistant is often, but not always, in charge of the other assistants. He is similar to an assistant director on a movie set.
Hair and makeup artists, stylists and designers each contribute to the final look of the photograph
There will almost always be a hair stylist and a makeup artist in a photo shoot. However, some photographers simply choose not to work with hair or makeup on a small all-male set. It is not always necessary or desirable. Ultimately it's the choice of the photographer and/or the photography director (if there is one). Female models will almost always have hair and makeup. The expertise that a professional hair stylist and a makeup artist provide to the shoot is invaluable and necessary. Their talents and skills elevate the level of the photograph significantly. The photograph is often a planned effort created to elicit a specific outcome. On most photo sets there will also be a stylist. There are a few kinds of stylists. Clothing stylists pull the clothes for the shoot, alter or adjust the clothes to fit the model, and works closely with the producer and client. If there is a clothing line the stylist will be keenly aware of the styles and looks and the line of fashion they are photographing. Another kind of designer is the set designer, who is responsible for the set, and/or the location. It is the set designer who creates the actual look of the physical set. An analogy can be made between a set designer and an interior decorator. Again, depending on the size of the shoot and the budget, there may be additional staff to create the shoot.

This is part one of a two part series

This is part one of a two part article on the collaborative efforts of the artists in a photo shoot,
including the:
  • photographer,
  • hair stylist,
  • makeup artist,
  • clothing/fashion stylist,
  • set designer
  • director
  • producer

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