What exactly is a creative team?
Hey FashionPhotographyBlog.com readers.
What exactly is a creative team? It’s a group of people there to aid in the production of a shoot. Everyone has their purpose and is there for the same reason – to create some beautiful imagery! The larger a production is, the more people are on the creative team. As far as an agency test or a small editorial goes, the basic team consists of:
–Makeup Artist (MUA) – Even if you are doing a natural look, use a MUA! They know what they’re doing and a good MUA will make your model look infinitely better – even when it looks like your model has no makeup on. This includes male models. Don’t neglect to take care of the skin on your men!
– Hair Stylist – Sometimes you’ll get lucky and find a MUA who is capable of doing hair. This is great, especially for tests! However, if you’re shooting an editorial or plan on doing a more elaborate hair style, it’s often times beneficial to have a dedicated hair stylist (in addition to a dedicated makeup artist). This allows everyone to really concentrate on their job and often results in a better outcome. Let the hair stylist worry about stray hairs and the MUA do their thing.
– Wardrobe Stylist – In my experience, a good stylist is the most difficult to find of the core 3 creatives. If you find a good stylist you click with, keep working with them! A stylist has relations with showrooms and designers which allow them to “pull” clothing (aka borrow) for a shoot. It’s hard to become established as a stylist because of these relationships that have to be made. Even if you find yourself a good stylist, don’t expect to be shooting model tests with designer pieces. Typically when shooting an editorial, a “pull letter” will be issued from a magazine that states the photographer/stylist has been commissioned to shoot for ___ magazine and declares responsibility will be taken that the items pulled will be returned in the same conditioned received.
During larger productions, there are a few other creatives that are found on set:
– Manicurist – Manicurists are one of those creatives that are often overlooked by those photographers just starting out. A manicurist is one of those details that set the professional apart from the amateur photographer. Photographers are control freaks and nit-pick every detail of a shoot, right down to the models nails. Granted, it’s difficult to find a manicurist to test. Don’t stress yourself out if you can’t find one! But be prepared (or perhaps you can ask your MUA to be prepared), with acetone on set to take off any chipped nail polish a model may show up with for a test.
– Set Designer – Set designers are awesome! Enough said. They have a way of turning the ordinary into the extraordinary! Again, one of those creatives not necessary for a simple test but fantastic to have on call when you have an editorial to shoot.
How To Find A Creative Team
Alright, now that you know what a creative team is, how do you find one? Time, patience and networking! It’s extremely difficult to find a good creative team in the beginning. A lot of times you have to find someone willing to take a chance on you.
I definitely recommend using Model Mayhem to build up your book when starting out. Once your work has advanced a bit, you can try reaching out to better and better artists. The best thing you can do is find a team of creatives you click with and work your way up together!
Other ways to find creatives: Try reaching out to cosmetology schools or makeup institutes. This gives you the ability to find someone young to the industry with raw talent – help each other out by working together to create a stellar portfolio.
Everyone is always grateful to those who see something in them and take a chance to work with them! What better than someone eager to make a name for themselves and fresh out of school?
Alright, alright. Creative team. Having one will make your shoot that much better. So you’ve found a team to work with, now what? Stay tuned till next time we will be discussing how to plan a shoot with your creative team.
Until then –
Feature image & image 1: Mert & Marcus for W Magazine