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A Fashion Shoot I styled with no budget.

I recently got asked the above titled question from a student at the London College of Fashion.  The advice I gave her below has been slightly tweaked but it is more or less the same advice I gave her.

Hello Biki!

Nice to meet you!  Currently I am studying a MA in Fashion Journalism at the London College of Fashion. I am writing to you because as a final project, we have been asked to make a magazine from scratch and it must have a fashion editorial.

I am new to London and I’m having a lot of trouble finding a photographer and model willing to work for free.  Do you know anyone? A student maybe?

 Thank you very much for your help.


Dear Tina

Here are some ideas I have for you which I hope will be of help-

1) Ask your friends in your course how they are getting their photographers and models, and try and see if they will work with you as well.  Don’t be discouraged by using the same model as your peers as different hair and makeup can transform a model’s appearance.  Plus with the fashion story, your teacher will be focusing more on- how all facets of the creative team came together visibly, how the clothes were put together, the accuracy of the credits, model direction etc.

2) Put up a notice on your school notice board, blog, Facebook, Twitter page, asking for a photographer and a model and say it will be good for their portfolios etc.  I am sure a lot of people at LCF are just like you, looking for collaborators.  You just need to smoke them out.

3) So many stylists are doing photography now, e.g. ex-stylist Jackie (who now has her own fashion TV show on SKY) from, Show Me Your Wardrobe– so you should consider taking the pictures if you have some experience taking photographs.  Also you don’t need a model, what you really need is someone with model qualities, i.e 5ft 8 and above, slim with a ‘model look’ and most importantly, is photogenic- maybe you have a friend like this in class, or one of your friends can fit the bill.  I asked a friend of mine with ‘model qualities’ to feature in the very fashion test shoot I ever styled.

4)When you put the notice up at LCF, consider offering to pay the photographer and model-even if its something small, something is better than nothing for students.  Consider the payment as an investment for your future.

5) To scout ‘model types’, hang outside London retail stores that cater to teenagers like Topshop Oxford St.  Top model, Jourdan Dunn was scouted in Primark.

6) Finally, you did not ask about sourcing hair and makeup artists, but I would advise that you either get them by advertising the way I suggested above; or you can get a friend who you think always does great hair and makeup on themselves.

I hope this helps, good luck and remember to have fun with it!