Steven Brokaw Photography

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Who Are These People?

I was looking at a behind the scenes photo of a recent photoshoot. 5 people were in the photo becides me.  Some don't realize it takes more than the photographer & model to make an editorial shoot successful. In my editiorial shoots here is who these people are and what they do.

Rest assured, you don't need a team like this to take great editorial fashion or model photography, but it helps.

Model - pretty obvious. This is the person you are photographing. It can be anyone from a professional, agency represented model to a friend. The critical requirement is that the model fits your theme. 

Makeup Artist (MUA) - he or she applies the makeup. The MUA brings their own equipment and makeup. The MUA works with the photographer to help create the look the photographer is going for. The MUA is the first person to work on the model during a shoot.  In my shoots the MUA normally requires 30-60 minutes for the first look. He or she is often stay during the entire shoot for touch ups or different looks as needed.  

It's important to note a good MUA understands makeup for a photoshoot is different than what someone might apply for social settings or everyday wear.  Studio lights don't play well with some makeup products.  He or she needs to understand how the look will be combined with hair and clothing color and style.  Finally, makeup used for a black & white shoot is different than a photo in color.

Hair Stylist - styles the models hair. Typically works in tandem with the MUA and starts as soon as they get the nod from the MUA. Most of the time the hair styling starts while MU is being applied.  Like with the MUA the hair stylist will work with the photographer to understand what look is desired and give styling tips or suggestions. The hair stylist brings their own tools & product. 

Fashion Stylist - I'm starting to use a stylist more regularly.  However this is dependant on the type of shoot I'm doing. The stylist brings the clothing, accessories, & shoes to the shoot.  Fashion can come from their own inventory, pulled from boutiques or department stores, or provided by a designer. The stylist works with the photographer, MUA & hair stylist to pull the look together with the clothing.  It's really important to work with the stylist early so they can pull & bring the right clothes.  They also need to know the model's sizes early.  

Photo Assistant - A photo assistant does multiple tasks to support the shoot and help it run efficiently. In my shoots the assistant will take behind the scenes photos / videos, helps setup & take down the studio between shoots, adjusts lighting, helps carry things around, etc.  If I'm shooting tethered the assistant will monitor the computer and provide feedback on the images, lighting, and focus.  For bigger shoots an assistant is really important.

An editorial fashion or general model shoot never starts with taking photos right away.  The model is told to come to a shoot wearing no makeup and her hair should be clean, dry and contain no product.  The MUA & hair starts with a "blank slate".  The model coming into the studio is not what the model looks like when the photos are taken.  In some cases the transformation is extreme.  The MUA, hair stylist & fashion stylist make this happen.  

The people helping out on a shoot will vary greatly.  Larger photo studios, larger paid shoots, location versus studio shoots, etc. may have a completely different set and number of people doing other jobs.   

Between Set Shots

Time for a GoPro