You know those days when you put on your favorite outfit and you feel like you can do anything? I know exactly which piece in my closet makes me feel this way. It’s a denim Madewell dress with cutouts that fits me better than anything ever has. When I wear it, I stand taller and emit confidence. A simple article of clothing changes my entire energy!
When you step in front of the camera at your brand shoot, you want to feel this way, right? But, you might be wondering how in the world to make this happen. Let me tell you: you’re NOT alone in feeling totally stumped.
That’s why I always suggest my branding clients hire a personal stylist for their brand photoshoot. Now, if this sounds like something only celebrities do, read on. I’m sharing my recent interview with Carissa Hamblin, a personal stylist here in Charleston, South Carolina. Carissa and I have worked together on several brand shoots (here’s a peek at one of those shoots!).
If you’re curious about hiring a stylist for your next photoshoot (as you should be!), this interview is for you. And don’t miss the 4 key takeaways at the end of this post!
Interview with Personal Stylist Carissa Hamblin
Q: Tell us about you! How did you get into wardrobe styling?
Carissa: Hi everyone! My name is Carissa and I am from Richland, a very small town in Kentucky. I have a photography degree and I dabbled in brand photography myself! That’s why I love working with you.
Starting out, I worked in the retail world in luxury resale and learned how to be a personal stylist. Most importantly, I learned that I love helping people. I had the struggle myself of growing up and being overwhelmed by having no idea what size I wore. Once I found how different it made me feel to express myself through clothing, it was huge. I want to share that with other people.
Q: Why is it important for people to have a wardrobe stylist on their team?
Carissa: Wardrobe styling can take a lot of stress out of something that you don’t need to be concerned with. Whether you’re getting married, planning a photoshoot, or going on a vacation, you want to look great! But you don’t want to spend your own time and be stressed out. That’s when it’s helpful to hire someone like me. Styling comes easily to me and you can just enjoy yourself!
Abby: Yes! When clients hire me for their brand shoot, wardrobe is definitely one of their biggest stressors. They don’t have any clue what to wear. They feel like they have to go shopping and buy a whole new wardrobe when that’s just not the case. Many people believe that wardrobe styling or personal styling is a thing only celebrities do. They might have experience getting their hair and makeup done for weddings and events, but a lot of us have never been styled professionally. It’s such a stress relief and a unique, self-care experience to try for your photoshoot!
Q: Are there any pieces of clothing, fits, or colors that are universally flattering? Or are wardrobe choices completely unique to the person?
Carissa: It’s a really hard question because everyone is so different! But if I had to come up with an answer, I would say an all-black look will work on nearly everyone.
Abby: This is why I have personal stylists on my team! As a photographer, I can give my clients basic guidance about what to wear, but you are the real expert. Your genius is knowing exactly what will flatter a person best.
I totally agree about black as a good basic option for everyone. I had a client that didn’t feel like she “should” wear black in her photos, but told me that she wore black most days while working with clients. So I told her, we’ve got to get you in black! And she ended up loving those photos the most. As long as it makes sense for your style and brand, I say go for it.
Q: Another important piece beyond what looks and feels most flattering is ensuring a client’s wardrobe matches their brand.
Carissa: Yes! I love working with you because your clients come with a brand board with inspiration and their color scheme. All of those pieces have to come together for a brand shoot. Wardrobe is such an important aspect of that.
Abby: Wardrobe can make or break a photoshoot! I’ve had a couple of clients think they might like how something looks on camera (and I think it looks great!), but they came back wanting to reshoot because they weren’t happy with how the outfit looked on camera. Having a stylist help you plan your wardrobe for photos can prevent a lot of that time and money wasted.
Q: What does your typical process look like when working with clients for a brand photoshoot?
Carissa: The first thing I do is turn my empathy on. I like to get to know my clients on a personal level. I’ll deep dive and learn what their hobbies are and what they do beyond their business. I want to know how introverted vs. extroverted they are, how they spend their free time, if they’re more athletic or girly, and so on. I’ll ask what a client currently loves and hates about their personal style, what parts of their body they want to accentuate vs. de-accentuate, and what they typically like to wear.
I can glance at a client’s skin tone, eye color, height, and body type and I’ll get what will work and not work. I also take into account the location of the photoshoot to ensure the color scheme and overall vibe will flow together.
Abby: I love that! And there are many ways you work with clients, correct? In terms of working in-person vs. virtually, and with all types of budgets?
Carissa: Yes, I can style in any capacity. For photoshoot styling, I can do your preference as a client. If you want to go to a high-end store and buy all new clothes, great. If you want to buy nothing, great. I’ll come to your house and we’ll maximize what you’ve got. If you want to shop secondhand or online, that’s great. I’m good at figuring out what avenues are best for each of my clients. I also love introducing clients to new brands they may not know about.
Q: What advice would you give someone who is hiring a personal stylist for the first time?
Carissa: I like my clients to push their boundaries a least a little bit. I love making someone try something that they definitely do not think will work, and then they end up being like, okay I get it!
Abby: Right! Everyone needs that extra push sometimes. In a photo, you want to look like yourself, but also an elevated version of you.
Carissa: Exactly. I don’t take it personally when clients tell me they don’t like something I pick out, or say that it won’t work for them. When they do give me some trust and are surprised by something, I almost feel the stress leave their body. They’re like, wow- this conception that I had in my head about this article of clothing or the style is gone. It’s really cool to take away barriers and give them a boost of confidence. Even if it’s something tiny like a client wearing a high-rise pant for the very first time.
Takeaways: Top 4 Reasons to Hire a Personal Stylist for Your Brand Photoshoot
Are you totally convinced you need to hire a personal stylist for your brand photoshoot, ASAP? I thought so! For a quick recap, check out the 4 top reasons to hire a personal stylist for your brand photoshoot below. And be sure to follow Carissa here on Instagram and give her some love!
1. Stress Less
You’re a busy business owner, not a personal stylist. Let someone take this essential task off your hands.
2. Don’t Waste Time and Money
Show up the right way the first time. By hiring a stylist, you ensure that your outfits look incredible on camera, represent you, and make you feel fabulous.
3. Enhance Your Brand
Your wardrobe is a key player in the anatomy of a successful brand shoot. It allows you to represent your brand right and showcase your personality.
4. Gain a Confidence Boost
Nothing else can make you feel more instantly confident than your wardrobe on a photoshoot. How you feel will show up on camera!
Want a free shot list? I’ve got you covered!