Sunday, August 28, 2011

Standards for Young Runway Models

As I am in the final stages of revising my book "Photo Styling," I am vigilant about any articles about the industry. This edition of the book is going to be up-to-date and universal at the same time. I spotted an editorial in a recent Women'sWear Daily by Bridget Foley about fashion industry responsibility for young and too-thin models on the runways.

She wrote of the CFDA's (Council of Fashion Designers of America) attempt to increase awareness - and assume a responsible role - of potential eating disorders in young models, and the role of society in accepting models who are really children. Bridget's viewpoint is that it is not the responsibility (even the shared responsibility) of the fashion industry to police these standards; that it should be up to parents, agents, or medical personnel.

Having recently explored the law in California regarding child actors, I was surprised to find that other states still do not have such regulation, just as it was six years ago when I wrote my first edition. So I am glad to see that the CFDA (led by Diane Von Furstenburg) has stepped up and taken a stand on the health and well-being of young models.

The CFDA website states: In 2007, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) created a Health Initiative to raise awareness of eating disorders in the fashion industry and to change the aesthetic on the New York runways and in magazines from extreme thinness to a more realistic ideal. Given the complexities of the illnesses, the CFDA felt that BMI was not an effective screening tool. To protect the well-being of models, the CFDA created a series of guidelines consistent with their message “Health Is Beauty.” Key recommendations include encouraging models to receive regular medical care and advising those who may have an eating disorder to seek professional help in order to continue modeling. The guidelines also call upon designers to support the well-being of younger models by not hiring those under the age of sixteen for runway shows and by not allowing those who are under the age of eighteen to work past midnight at fittings or shoots.

My revised book will be published in Spring, 2012 by Allworth Press under the title, "Starting Your Career in Photo Styling."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Food Photography Student Succeeds

I was happy recently to see an article written by a former student of Photo Styling Workshops. Winnie P. Ma is a Los Angeles-based photographer who has taken both an online class and a weekend workshop with Lisa Golden Schroeder, Greg Bertolini, and me. I've been following her career on Facebook (she's often posting about some cool food she's been shooting) but was especially delighted - and proud - when she posted this article from Canon PhotoYou magazine (Summer 2011 edition).

Winnie says: This year I was asked by Canon PhotoYou Magazine to write an article about being a Food Photographer entitled "A Day in the Life of a Food Photographer." It's my take on what I've learned so far being a professional Food Photographer. 
She writes with knowledge of the importance of preproduction, a strong team, and communication with the client. The article continues with a walk through a food shoot and a page of tips for photographers. Please check it out. Thanks, Winnie for sharing your experience and knowledge!

You can read the entire article at:

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Book Review: "Image-Makers"

A fairly informative book, written by Lee Widdows and Jo McGuinness, the authors of "Catwalk: Working with Models." This career book was published in 1997 and refers to a time ten to fifteen earlier when fashion styling became a "respected profession." So there's some historical context for you. It's written from the British perspective as my book is written from the US viewpoint.

It's essentially an honest overview of the fashion styling career, with sections focusing on runway, editorial, advertising, catalog, and music promotion, and how stylists work in these aspects. But it's only an overview. There are lots of photographs showing each type of styled photo; there is more imagery than information.

Interesting to me was the section on working with makeup artists and how editorial styles in hair and makeup are established on the runway.

The kit list at the end is brief but I learned something. Tippex was suggested to "touch out small marks on white clothes." Tipp-Ex turns out to be a white-out type product popular in Europe. I hadn't thought about having white-out in a styling kit, but as the book emphasizes, it is critical that fashions on the runway are impeccable.

Image-Makers is out of print but still available at Amazon and other used book sellers. This is one of a series of styling book reviews.