i've been posting less lately because i was busy working on an advertising campaign. i spent all of yesterday in the studio at the shoot, and boy oh boy, the result is going to look amazing!
i work sporadically as a stylist, usually with friends (as an equal or their assistant), and i admit to really enjoying it. i've had the chance to work in music videos, in television and advertising, and i've had creative responsibilities from a completely free flow of ideas to building an exact image according to the art director's wishes. needless to say, each job has been challenging in its own right but, nevertheless, gratifying.
as a teen one of my dream jobs was a professional stylist but at the time there were no schools you could study at and the only feasible strategy was to study abroad or become part of the fashion in-crowd -- and i did not live in helsinki where the fashionistas mingled. now that some finnish schools offer a program for stylists at least some young girls can reach for their dream in a way i never could.
hence, i have been fortunate to be a part of several jobs because of people who believe in me and my skills. it's quite humbling, actually, and i feel lucky and grateful for being provided an opportunity to explore a dream of mine.
the job itself is very much less glamorous than most believe. on each job, you spend hours on end in search of clothes, accessories and props, and 70% of the time is spent just dragging heavy bags around. in finnish weather that means through slush, rain and cold. depending on the job, you may need to go through warehouses full of theater sets or search for the exactly right shaped turnip. additionally, there are deadlines and budgets to meet, and usually they are tighter than you imagined.
if flaneuring around stores is one of your favorite hobbies it shouldn't be confused with being a stylist: you're not on the lookout for your new wardrobe nor can you go for whatever you would personally want to wear. thus, being a stylist is a far cry from having a blast shopping. therefore, i have the utmost respect for fashion stylists who find the energy to plan editorials month after month.
in fact, you often run in and out of stores and showrooms with a list of things, quickly ask about or glance through the selection, and leave feeling the way everyone is familiar with when in search of exact items: disappointed and frustrated because they just don't seem to exist. but unlike the sporadic shopper in need of something to add to their wardrobe, as a stylist you need to make do with whatever you can find...
photoshoots are long and there's lots of waiting around. things go wrong: computers crash, clients are unsatisfied, schedules change and feet get sore despite everyone acting as professional as they can. after the shoot you drag the stuff back to wherever you got it from...
the perks include working with great people and having fun during shoots despite the fact that difficult personalities are not unheard of. building a photograph is a collective effort where trust meets ambition; creating an advert or a fashion image requires several professional standpoints which need to merge together in a collage of commercial and artistic achievement. sometimes it means disagreeing and making compromises. regardless of possible setbacks, more often than not it means collective glee and excitement.
ultimately, the results are often very satisfying: a completed product feels like a triumph, and realizing the client feels contentment adds to the enjoyment. can't beat the feeling, really, but i wouldn't do it on a daily basis. sporadic is just fine with me.