Photo stylists have many responsibilities. They embellish photo sets with whatever the photographer needs to bring a vision to life. Many of the smaller tasks of photo stylists include talking with clients and settling on a layout, creating designs, arranging illustrative material, developing graphical layouts for product illustrations and maintaining an archive of photos.
One of the more significant parts of the photo stylist's duties is working with the props for the photo set. Photo stylists typically have an inventory of props and accessories they use but often need to be resourceful enough to find props on the fly. Sometimes this involves turning up items unusual in nature at the request of the photographer or designer. No matter how far stylists have to travel or how much effort they have to put out, getting the right accessories is crucial to the outcome of the photo shoot or design.
Often, photo stylists find themselves in front of computer screens. They may have to use computers to set up functions necessary to the design of a photo, enter data and process information. They need to know how to analyze and interpret data and to be able to break data down into smaller pieces. Photo stylists have many administrative duties, including maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
The need for creative thinking offsets the mundane aspects of photo stylists' tasks. Photo stylists will often have to design new applications, come up with ideas and provide artistic contributions. They also must be organized in order to accomplish duties effectively.
Staying in contact with people outside of the organization is another part of the job. Photo stylists must represent the organization by speaking with the public, customers and other outside sources. They also must keep supervisors, co-workers and subordinates informed by telephone, email or in person.
Johnny Kilhefner is a writer with a focus on technology, design and marketing. Writing for more than five years, he has contributed to Writer's Weekly, PopMatters, Bridged Design and APMP, among many other outlets.