Photo Stylist

Create the perfect atmosphere for photo shoots.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$29,000 – $98,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Photo Stylists do?

A Photo Stylist works closely with the Photographer of a shoot (most often for a magazine), to create the mood or tone for a photographic “story.” The Photo Stylist’s job is to find the props, lighting, and colors to create just the right feeling for the editorial spread being done. Your work as a Photo Stylist can be seen on every newsstand, in every magazine, and on just about every page.

In each shoot you collaborate with the Photographer ahead of time to settle on a particular look, then bring to the location what you need – which will come either from a rental studio or your vast inventory. Once on location you play dress-up with the set, and like an Interior Designer creating a space for a client, you create a livable world for the Photographer’s subject.

The shoots you work depend on if you specialize in a subject – fashion or food, for example – and if you work for a company or work freelance. Where you live and what publications you have access to also affects what kind of work you get.

Finally, you must be very organized in order to juggle all of the items you have on loan as well as the shoot locations, Photographers, and story lines.

Should I be a Photo Stylist?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Frame Stylist, Picture Copyist

    How to become a Photo Stylist

    We recommend at least an Associate's degree. Check out these schools offering Photo Stylist-related education!
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