At the dawn of time, peo­ple gath­ered in flocks so that it would not be so scary to hunt a mam­moth. Times change, but the abil­i­ty to work in a team remains one of the most use­ful skills for work and cre­ativ­i­ty.

Whether the pho­tog­ra­ph­er needs a team, who, where and how to look — we under­stand in this arti­cle.

Pho­to: Olga Yon­sh

Why does a pho­tog­ra­ph­er need a team
Why a team pho­tog­ra­ph­er
Who to look for
What’s your name
What will change
Who pays the gen­er­al expens­es

Why does a photographer need a team

This hap­pens to each of us, in what­ev­er genre, style and for­mat we cre­ate: one day at three in the morn­ing, a cry is heard through the win­dow from the artist’s lair: I don’t have enough hands/time/knowledge to do what I want-uu!

And the cry is fol­lowed by a choice: not to do what I want, or look for those who will do it with you.

So, the com­mand you need is:

- for growth, exper­i­men­ta­tion, the joy of co-cre­ation — ideas that can­not be real­ized alone, replen­ish­ment of the port­fo­lio, run­ning in work with new spe­cial­ists, search­ing for your ide­al ones;

- for fash­ion, pub­li­ca­tions in mag­a­zines, work in com­mer­cial projects — it is very impor­tant to be sure of those whom you rec­om­mend to the client and with whom you work when you are respon­si­ble for the result.

A good team is those who will go with you to feed the mos­qui­toes at dawn, if at mid­night the idea of ​​​​shoot­ing came to you. Pho­to: Olga Yon­sh

Why a team photographer

Pro­fes­sion­als in oth­er cre­ative fields are actu­al­ly the same as pho­tog­ra­phers, and they some­times need to:

- Expand your port­fo­lio. The make­up artist may be shy to ask for a large por­trait where the make­up is clear­ly vis­i­ble — just remem­ber that you need it. Also, if the styl­ist promised the cloth­ing design­er good pho­tos with all the things he took. Each team mem­ber wants pho­tos that clear­ly show their work. Try to take this into account in the main con­cept of shoot­ing or take addi­tion­al shots just for them — this is impor­tant;

- show that they are in demand and work: just like for a pho­tog­ra­ph­er, it is impor­tant for aspir­ing mod­els, make­up artists and styl­ists to show on social net­works that their prac­tice is exten­sive, reg­u­lar and var­ied, and the last time they worked was not last year, even if it was not this way. Here’s a hint for you — call those who are active, but do not demon­strate their super-busy­ness and inac­ces­si­bil­i­ty;

- bor­ing with­out cre­ativ­i­ty: these are crazy, they can’t live with­out cre­ativ­i­ty, they have their own ideas that they can offer you for future shoot­ings.

Back­stage from shoot­ing when you don’t have a team (left) and when you have a team (right). Pho­to from the archive of Olga Yon­sh

Who to look for

Vis­ag­iste — if you are tired of retouch­ing the skin, you need com­plex make­up, or you haven’t found a rep­til­ian mod­el, and you need a rep­til­ian in the frame (although this is already make-up artist);

hair styl­ist - an expe­ri­enced mas­ter col­lects a hair­style “woke up in the morn­ing and went” in an hour. Accord­ing to the law of mean­ness, it is on the day of shoot­ing that the mod­el itself will not have such a hair­style in the morn­ing. Exact­ly;

cloth­ing styl­ist — if nei­ther you nor the mod­els in the clos­et have the right clothes, or you under­stand that some­thing is wrong with the clothes, but you don’t under­stand what exact­ly, or you need it to be like in a movie, but you are not in a movie, but in Shushary;

Dec­o­ra­tors — if part of the loca­tion for “like in a movie” needs to be built from dust and branch­es;

assis­tants — these are uni­ver­sal, mag­i­cal, irre­place­able peo­ple who, it seems, just drove to the store, brought a back­pack and held that thing, but there is a clear feel­ing that noth­ing would have hap­pened with­out them. All the above-men­tioned peo­ple can retrain in them when they have fin­ished their work, the prepa­ra­tion is over, and it’s time to start shoot­ing direct­ly.

On long out­door shoots, you will need an assis­tant who will sur­round every­one with care, hot tea and food. Pho­to from the archive of Olga Yon­sh

Where to look­ing for?

1. Call a friend

A like-mind­ed novice can be more use­ful than a pro who is indif­fer­ent to your ideas. A friend can def­i­nite­ly be an assis­tant, even if at first com­plete­ly under your con­trol and com­ments. The ideas of some­one who is on the same wave­length with you in advance can be har­mo­nious­ly invest­ed in yours, and such a pas­time can ben­e­fit both friend­ship and cre­ativ­i­ty.

Care­ful­ly! If a friend is far from cre­ative and dragged by the leg, this may not work.

2. Steal the team from a col­league

In social net­works, every­one signs com­mands. Look for pho­tos that you like, write to those who took them.

3. You can also use the search — on request “make­up artist St. Peters­burg” you will find a sea of ​​​​spe­cial­ists, and you can choose those with whom your tastes are sim­i­lar.

4. Grad­u­ates of schools of styl­ists

Young pro­fes­sion­als who already know how to do some­thing, want to prac­tice, are found around the­mat­ic blogs, online schools (which often brag about the suc­cess of stu­dents on their pages) and in each oth­er’s sub­scribers — just like pho­tog­ra­phers have pho­tog­ra­phers.

This is how pho­tog­ra­phers often react when the team likes the shots in the process of shoot­ing. Illus­tra­tion: Ronald Sear­le, meme from pikabu.ru

What’s your name

Before assem­bling a team, make sure you have some­thing to offer them. Your port­fo­lio is the rea­son why every­one will want to work with you, or why even the dog in the alley will refuse you.

It will be dif­fi­cult to per­suade a make­up artist if your port­fo­lio does not have a sin­gle beau­ti­ful large por­trait. And just imag­ine what kind of adven­ture a cloth­ing styl­ist will go on if every­one in your pho­tos is naked!

Assem­ble a the­mat­ic selec­tion of your best shots that include ele­ments impor­tant to the team, and save them from hav­ing to scroll through the unnec­es­sary.

Call­ing peo­ple is only for a spe­cif­ic, well-described idea by the mood­board (read about what a mood­board is, why it is need­ed and how to com­pose it cor­rect­ly). My expe­ri­ence and the expe­ri­ence of all the cre­ative pro­fes­sion­als I know is that all requests for “col­lab­o­rate some­day” remain with the answer “some­day def­i­nite­ly” for­ev­er.

Peo­ple will be more will­ing to work with you if you know exact­ly what you want. An inter­est­ing idea, a well-writ­ten project, a goal to get into a mag­a­zine or an hon­est offer — let’s make each oth­er a cool port­fo­lio, hit the tar­get for sure bet­ter than a slurred moo and one pho­to to illus­trate the whole con­cept.

Look for a muse, no mat­ter how trite it may sound. The eas­i­est way to cre­ate beau­ti­ful shots on a beau­ti­ful and famil­iar per­son. The key to suc­cess­ful team­work is trust. Mak­ing sev­er­al suc­cess­ful strong series of pho­tos on one per­son is some­times a much bet­ter choice than look­ing for new peo­ple with a weak port­fo­lio.

And even a failed shoot doesn’t look like such an epic fail­ure if you had a great time with your friends in the process.

View footage of mod­els and cloth­ing styl­ist before mov­ing on to the next sto­ry. Pho­to from the archive of Olga Yon­sh

What will change

First­ly, what is in the frame will be looked at not by one of your eyes through the viewfind­er, but by sev­er­al pairs of eyes high­ly inter­est­ed in the result, equipped with hands, brains and mouths.

Cor­rect a curl, clothes, offer an angle, bring some­thing, car­ry it away, hold the light. If you have to do every­thing your­self, you will get tired much faster, and you will have to spend your atten­tion not on a cre­ative flight, but on annoy­ing lit­tle things (which can be very dif­fi­cult to fix at the retouch­ing stage).

Sec­ond­ly, when every­one is respon­si­ble for their part of the work, the result always becomes bet­ter. Show the cam­era footage to the team so that every­one has an idea of ​​what is hap­pen­ing and can present their part in the best pos­si­ble way. And also to get an enthu­si­as­tic squeak and shoot even bold­er and more joy­ful­ly.

If you col­lect a team, you auto­mat­i­cal­ly become the orga­niz­er. Now you are respon­si­ble for arriv­ing on time, not get­ting lost and not only you, but also your team.

Now you are the leader. Praise your team. Even if you don’t like some­thing, remem­ber that for some rea­son you chose this par­tic­u­lar per­son for this task, at that moment it is he who is with you on the set and there is no one to replace him on this shoot­ing day, and no one, absolute­ly no one does not work bet­ter if he is told nasty things under the arm.

Praise, and if you need to cor­rect — do it care­ful­ly. Deal with project col­leagues, remem­ber­ing that they are all cre­ators, and you are co-cre­at­ing. Every­one here is an artist, and a fight with easels is most like­ly not the plot for which you have gath­ered.

With a cool pho­tog­ra­ph­er, but a vile per­son, spe­cial­ists will also con­tin­ue to work. But you can try to be both cool and nice at the same time.

Life hack about tim­ing: count­ing the time to pre­pare for shoot­ing, I always set the col­lec­tion time half an hour ear­li­er than the cal­cu­lat­ed one. This makes it more like­ly that every­thing will go accord­ing to plan, regard­less of traf­fic jams and small delays of punc­tu­al peo­ple, and there is time to drink tea, exhale, go to the toi­let and chat with the team before shoot­ing.

A group pho­to of the team after the shoot­ing can become a good tra­di­tion. Pho­to: Olga Yon­sh


In com­mer­cial orders for a pri­vate client, spe­cial­ists usu­al­ly have lit­tle cre­ativ­i­ty. Make­up artists draw nudes and evening smokey eyes, styl­ists col­lect wardrobes with bows for the office, the the­ater, for a walk.

Offer them a crazy dri­ve, the real­iza­tion of bold fan­tasies, let them real­ize their own ideas with­in the frame­work of your idea — and they are yours with giblets and for­ev­er. There­fore, the search for like-mind­ed peo­ple is so impor­tant — your desires should fit into a sin­gle con­cept, and the final shots should fit into the port­fo­lio of each of the par­tic­i­pants.

For exam­ple, there are two make­up artists. who col­or only brides. One of them may dream of doing crazy fash­ion in a waist-high swamp (because brides are just a job, and the soul requires fash­ion in a swamp). And for anoth­er, a super-exper­i­ment is the image of a bride, but with bold arrows in front of her eyes. Because for him, a wed­ding make-up is a dream job and exact­ly the niche that ful­ly sat­is­fies the desire for self-real­iza­tion.

The search for a team is a search for like-mind­ed peo­ple and pro­fes­sion­als at the same time. At dif­fer­ent stages of cre­ativ­i­ty, one or the oth­er facet may be more impor­tant for you per­son­al­ly.

Some­times your growth as a spe­cial­ist will be faster from fre­quent team changes, and some­times from sys­tem­at­ic work with one squad.

Find­ing a team is like find­ing friends. You need to talk to a huge num­ber of peo­ple to find those very ones.

Do not be afraid of a bad expe­ri­ence, no one has left it yet. Just keep going.

Pho­to: Olga Yon­sh

Who pays the general expenses

In the case of cre­ative shoot­ing, where no one pays any­one and every­one is hap­py, the ques­tion may arise — who pays for the stu­dio and props?

The most accu­rate answer is the one who needs it the most. Often it is the pho­tog­ra­ph­er. Some­times a pho­tog­ra­ph­er with a mod­el. Some­times every­thing is equal.

Let’s fig­ure it out:

For beau­ty mas­ters, cos­met­ics, hair prod­ucts, hair­pins, nap­kins, cot­ton pads are a con­sum­able resource, renew­able only in a store for mon­ey. If the mas­ter uses high-qual­i­ty hypoal­ler­genic prod­ucts, the cost of one image can reach sev­er­al thou­sand rubles, espe­cial­ly in today’s world.

If you are col­lab­o­rat­ing with a mas­ter for the first time, it is per­fect­ly nor­mal that he will ask you to com­pen­sate for con­sum­ables. In the world of cre­ative film­ing, unfor­tu­nate­ly, it is not uncom­mon for the team to not wait for the pho­tos after the shoot­ing. It’s not for mon­ey, the pho­tog­ra­ph­er decides. At first there was no time, and then fu, old pic­tures, I already shoot bet­ter, why take them. And the make-up artist paint­ed once and did not receive any­thing, paint­ed twice and the pho­tog­ra­ph­er does not answer, and begins to wise­ly and log­i­cal­ly save his mon­ey.

There­fore, any shoot­ing with the team must have a result, always and with­out fail. Even if the exper­i­ment failed for you, give the pho­to to the team. If you fail com­plete­ly — ask not to mark you. They look at their work and want to pro­mote it. Good make­up on a bad pho­to is not the same as on a good one. But rela­tions with a spe­cial­ist will def­i­nite­ly be bet­ter if you give a pho­to in any case.

A cloth­ing styl­ist spends mon­ey on trans­port col­lect­ing clothes from stores and risks a large amount of mon­ey if the clothes are not accept­ed back to the store. In such cas­es, it is polite, ade­quate and pleas­ant to solve the prob­lem with the whole team, divid­ing these costs among all par­tic­i­pants.

In friend­ly, well-func­tion­ing teams, all expens­es are often shared equal­ly, despite the addi­tion­al expens­es of make­up artists and styl­ists.


Cre­ative work is always a team effort. The ideas that come to mind by one will nev­er com­pare with those fan­tas­tic inven­tions that two, three or twen­ty cre­ative peo­ple will cre­ate. There­fore, if you have nev­er filmed with a team, look for like-mind­ed peo­ple and bold­ly into a cre­ative bat­tle.

And for those who scrolled the mul­ti-text from above, I will repeat the most impor­tant the­ses:

  • there is an idea — there will be a team. The team gath­ers not for abstract work, but when there is already a spe­cif­ic project to which you can apply your mind, strength and hands;
  • start from the idea to under­stand exact­ly who you need in the team. It can be a mod­el, make-up artist, make-up artist, clothes styl­ist, hair styl­ist, dec­o­ra­tor, spe­cial effects spe­cial­ist (if a video is also planned, for exam­ple), or some­one of a very nar­row pro­file;
  • the team should always have a result. Even if the shoot­ing is a fail­ure for you, give the shots to the oth­ers, they are real­ly look­ing for­ward to them;
  • the expens­es are paid by the one who is most inter­est­ed in shoot­ing, or by agree­ment they can be divid­ed into the whole team. This includes stu­dio fees, equip­ment rental, make-up styl­ists’ sup­plies, gaso­line (if the shoot is far away) and oth­er expens­es.


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