What it’s really like being an Assistant Interior Stylist with Danniella Browne
Today’s guest spent 15 years working in the music industry as an Account Director working with brands and artists on music campaigns, project managing events, and has worked extensively across video and photographic shoots and TV production. She turned her back on all that to become an interior stylist and is now assisting across a ton of commercial and editorial shoots.
I’m delighted to be catching up with Interior Stylist Assistant Danniella Browne
Today’s guest is Assistant Interior Stylist
You can find her here –
Inside Stylists Profile : Danniella Browne
A few things we covered in this episode :
- Jen Haslam Interior Stylist
- Working as a mum of young children
- The difference assisting on a commercial and editorial shoots
- Topham Street Props
- The Prop Supply Company
- Coco and Eve
- Reli –Aurelien Farjon
- How to visit a prop house for the first time
Transcript generated by Podium.page
0:00:01 – EmmaMT
Hello and welcome to the Inside Stylus podcast, where we talk all about interiors, with interviews with interior stylists, writers and the big names in interiors, from brands and PRs to artists and designers. I also catch up with industry experts in the know and get them to share all their knowledge and advice. There’s so much to talk about. I’m your host, emma Morton Turner, an interior stylist and a writer with a ton of experience. I set up inside stylistcom so I could share all that interiors love with you. So don’t forget to head on over to the website for not only the show notes from today’s episode, but for links to interior stylists, writers and assistance profiles and a ton of inspiration. But for now, enjoy the show. Hi guys, thanks for tuning into the podcast.
I kind of feel like I have to do these pre-recorded little snippets so often. Basically, my internet has not been great and I have a new hub that arrived, unfortunately, after this recording, so every time I speak it’s a little bit crackly. I’ve done my best to edit it all out, but I would just ask you kindly to just ignore. Every time I speak and it goes it, it, it, it, it. I. I don’t talk that much. Daniela shares so much fabulous behind-the-scenes of what it’s like being an interior stylist assistant, changing careers, working as a mom. She really does share a fabulous story, so, if you could just ignore my crackly connection, hers is perf. She sounds amazing. I would really appreciate that I’ve got one more recording that I did before my new hub arrived, and then everything should be nice and smooth with no pre-equals.
Okay, enjoy the show Today. I spent 15 years working in the music industry as an account director, working with brands and artists on music campaigns, project managing events, and has worked extensively across video and photographic shoots and TV production. She turned her back on all of that to become an interior stylist and is now assisting across a ton of commercial and editorial shoots. I’m delighted to be catching up with interior stylist assistant Daniela Brown. Hello, hello,. Thank you so much for coming on and chatting to us, because I think you’ve got a really interesting journey. So do you want to maybe tell us what you did originally and how you transitioned from that to, like, going into styling, because I think that’s a really interesting change. It sounds like you’re doing a kind of a styling sort of job.
0:02:26 – Danniella
Anyway, yeah, not too. There’s definitely kind of transferable skills from what I was doing to what I’m doing now, but it was definitely not a linear. I’m going to be a stylist or I’m going to be even in my music world. It was kind of higgledy-piggledy, but out of uni I went into booking artist tours and gigs for a company that is now defunct and moved on to something else. So I was assisting there, assisting a main agent, and that was really fun. I did that for a couple of years and then moved over to MTV doing handling their video submissions and then moved into talent booking. So that was where I kind of honed some of my skills that I know now. So in terms of like being on shoots and booking artists and being organized and project managing basically. And then, as with all kind of big companies, there was rejig and everyone was kind of moving around and I moved into the marketing department, because my degree is in marketing and I started doing brand partnerships and that’s where the kind of business side came in and working with brands and working with kind of editorial titles and other bits and pieces Then went to a record label a major one, and was doing brand partnerships there, but kind of big scale ones, like really big artists, really big brands, and that again was just a real big kind of knowledge explosion for me.
But again it was all shoots, it was photographic, it was TV, it was, yeah, all kind of content. So I did a lot of that and then had a wobble. I said, oh my god, I think I’ve gone too far on the business side. It’s not creative enough for me. So I went free long and tried to do more events, event brand partnerships. So I did a lot of festivals at that point and events. Then I have my baby and then all bits are off. So I was like you know what? I’m just gonna take some time out, have my first and really enjoy that.
And then I went into working for an agency, a sports agency actually, but they had a music on that they were developing. So I was there to kind of help develop that and it was the perfect job in theory. So great boss, great company. I was learning a huge amount. And I just still wasn’t happy and I was like, okay, something I need to reassess here, really need to reassess. So I had to think about it and at the time we bought our house and like forever house, if you like, and I was. The office was on Tottenham Court Road, so I was in all the interior shops, all the kind of furniture shops, every single lunchtime. I just loved it. I was like this, this is the fun part. The going to work part not so much, this is the good stuff.
And had a just a bit of an epiphany when I was in one of the shops one day. I’m like surely I could make a living out of this somehow. And I’d kind of done the same with music. I love music. How can I work in it? And my mom always dropped this amazing kind of pearl of wisdom it always work in something that you’re passionate about. And so I came home, had a crisis meeting with my husband. I was like I don’t think I want to do this, what we gonna do. And, yeah, we talked about it.
I did a lot of research online, had no idea styling was even a thing, as I think a lot of people do.
Yeah, okay, good, it’s not just me then. And did a huge amount of research, did a quite a few courses actually, just to see if it was something I wanted, what I could do in the first course. I did. I kind of went through like the job description of what it was and I was like, oh my god, I could do this because I do shoots and I do this, but it’s interiorism and I was off. But then I got some free work experience and I then got pregnant for the second time and then COVID hit, all in one beautiful quarter, three months. Everything went crazy and so I thought, you know, I’m gonna take another break, had my baby, and it was only last July when I was kind of cold, emailing people, just saying I really want to get into this. I’ve kind of done this in the background that I got my first job, which was actually through Inside Stylus, because I joined the website by then and I got my first job and it was paid and I’ve been doing it for a year now, just over a year.
0:07:19 – EmmaMT
Yeah, that’s a really whirlwind journey you’ve had. I thought you’d been doing it for ages. I don’t realize you’d only been doing it for a year.
0:07:25 – Danniella
Just a year. When I say it, it feels so bizarre to say I’ve only been doing this year because everything I had a whole career beforehand, but yeah, just a year.
0:07:37 – EmmaMT
So I’d imagine right, you must have met some very big names through the music industry work that you were doing. I’m not gonna ask you to drop names, because that’s super cheesy. You can tell me when we push calls.
0:07:48 – Danniella
I will, I will, I’ll give you all the gossip out.
0:07:51 – EmmaMT
But I’ve done quite a lot of shoots with celebs in inverted commas and actually you probably be the perfect person to style a shoot with a big name celeb, because you would just not be phased, because you’re like using your big. I’ve done a shoot with someone even bigger than me.
So it’s almost like your experience. It sounds to me like it’s built and built and built leading up to this. So that because I think people don’t think in terms of interior styling as a business and we are a business, we are our own brand so all that marketing and the organization because shoots, as lovely and glamorous as they are, they’re like 80% like logistics, aren’t they? It’s all about pulling everything together and being on top of everything and not forgetting which is what I always used to do in one of the big shoots forgetting to tell the courier where to deliver the props to, because you’ve booked the courier but you hadn’t when you booked them, you hadn’t got the location booked and you forget to tell them where, or all of that. It’s really. It sounds like you’ve got really good key skills, that kind of build on that to go to the next stage. So that’s great. Tell me about your first shoot your first interior shoot.
0:08:58 – Danniella
Yeah, so I did work experience with an amazing stylist called Jennifer Haslam. She was like my first email that I got back saying, sure, come on to the shoot in a shadow. So I was like yay, finally, and it was. So. It was hard work, which I knew was coming anyway, because obviously shoots are never, you know, breezy. There’s lots to do, there’s lots of, as you say, kind of moving parts that you need to help out with. But she was so lovely and her assistant, who I was obviously working with and predominantly was just they were just really lovely human beings and I felt that the kind of marked difference, I think, between music and interiors, in that not that I want to, you know, to kind of bad mouth the music industry, but it’s a bit more, a bit more hardcore in the sense that people aren’t as sociable, I would say on a kind of as interior people and I was like, oh my God, everyone’s so happy.
It’s just delightful. It was a bit of a revelation for me on a shoot that was that was like that and I really enjoyed it, I have to say, and it was definitely a really a good first way of good first shoot, I think, of getting in, but it was hard work a long day but I loved it and that’s when I was like I, this is definitely definitely.
0:10:23 – EmmaMT
Did you go?
0:10:24 – Danniella
home buzzing. I did, I did, and my husband was, like he usually come home from the shoots, exhausted and just wanting to go to bed and like, do you want to talk to anyone because you’ve been talking all day? I’m like, no, but it was so good, I was talking, it was great, yeah. So, and it’s been like that for every shoot I have to say everyone’s just, I don’t again. I don’t want to generalize, if I’ve only been doing it, yeah, but everyone’s just lovely.
0:10:46 – EmmaMT
I think homes, people are homemakers and we I don’t think I’ve ever been on a shoot I mean, I’ve done quite a lot of commercial shoots where there’s so many people who want to put their two pennies within to one shot, and there’s been a few times where I’ve gone why am I doing this?
This is so hard You’ve got PR who wants this and the designer wants that, and then you’ve got the marketing and you’ve got six people all saying, no, let’s move the flower to the left. And you’re like it’s just a flower, it’s really, it’s in the perfect spot and but that’s the worst it’s ever got, and it’s never been to a point where I thought I don’t want to do this anymore. I always love it, absolutely love it, and I think people want to work with people. They enjoy being around, so shoots are always fun. You always start the day with a how are you? Let’s have coffee and croissants, because no one should ever start without, without food. Someone I interviewed recently said an army march is on its stomach.
So you start shooting food and everyone catches up and then you get to know each other and I just think it’s very friendly. I remember when I was on Woman in Home, our direct competitor was Good Housekeeping and I knew the home editor on Woman in Home and Annalisa Afe was the home editor on Good Housekeeping and I remember being pregnant and going to a press launch and we were sitting next to each other having hand massages and I was like if this was a competitive industry, I know, as you do, it sounds very good, but I was like I’ve got to sit down. I wish you would massage my ankles, not my hands, but you know, at the time I just remember sitting there going. This is really cool. We can sit next to each other and chat and catch up and there’s no rivalry whatsoever.
And I think there aren’t many industries. I think food is the same, but I think fashion is very competitive. Obviously, music is probably very fast paced and there’s huge amounts of money involved, so it’s very stressful, whereas homes, people are just. It’s just fun. Everyone wants to come and do what we do. They don’t know about the logistical loading and unloading of bands and longer. Yeah, exactly so you mentioned you’ve got two children.
0:12:40 – Danniella
Yeah, the youngest is two, three shortly, and the eldest is six. And yeah, so that is really interesting.
0:12:46 – EmmaMT
So you basically had a one year old when you decided to start a completely new industry. And I remember when I went freelance I went freelance when my youngest started school because I could kind of cover the. I’m very lucky I have a very close knit family. We were all in each other’s pockets and we were picking each other’s kids up. But my deputy didn’t have her family here and when she had a child she had to kind of plan her shoots around days that she had childcare, because she didn’t, she couldn’t have ad hoc childcare and it’s actually very hard to be freelance with very young children and kind of manage that. How, how have you found being a mom in this industry and what tell us your secrets?
0:13:28 – Danniella
I wish I had some like absolute huge pearls of wisdom to drop, but I think it’s just being as organized as you possibly can. But the support system is absolutely key. So for me, my eldest being at school, he literally started school in the September so I had time to kind of get used to the pickup and drop off timings. My youngest is a nursery three days a week and I literally signed him up like a month after he was born, knowing that I wanted to want to start work kind of after that, a year later. So he’s a nursery three days.
My mom is kind of semi retired so she does two mornings a week and Fridays she’s free if I need help. And Mondays is always the kind of tricky one, but between my husband and I so far it’s been okay. So either he’ll take my youngest or his nursery I will. They’re really good if I email and say, is he able to come in on like on Monday next week? I’ve potentially got a job, and if they’ve got enough people working, they’re like, yeah, sure, bring him in and I’ll just pay like an extra amount for that day. So we juggle it at the moment but it is.
It is definitely a puzzle that you have to kind of piece together when a shoot comes in. But I’m always that person saying I know you’ve penciled this, but is it? Is it confirmed yet? Just because I just need to. But I feel like in this industry there’s a bit more understanding when it comes to childcare and being a mom and the struggle that you know that comes with, whereas in my previous industry there wasn’t as much Because, mainly because it was, you know, it was never a nine to five, it was nine to five there was a shoot or there was an event or there was, you know, your whole social life was work basically, whereas a bit more balanced. And also my husband, oh my God, I can’t praise him enough. He thank God for COVID in some ways, because he worked from home completely full time, now just occasionally goes into the office and he can do the drop offs, which is great. That was my next question. Yes, yes, it’s a huge help.
0:15:45 – EmmaMT
Because I had. I put my daughter into like breakfast clubs and off, and when she loved my young, she loved breakfast clubs. She was a serial monster. She had breakfast at home and she’d go into breakfast club and have breakfast there as well. I kind of relate, but it was almost like but that doesn’t stop. That’s at eight o’clock. I need to leave at seven thirty to get to the shoot on time. How do you get them to the place they need to be? And then, at the other end, if I finish your shoot at six and they need to be picked up at six, it’s all of that.
So it is the support network, isn’t it? Having a family around you and when they’re at school, I know people who’ve very quickly made friends. I mean, when kids are at school and they’re their primary school, you know the mums. You speak to the mums because you’re standing waiting for them to come out, so you know each other. It’s really interesting when you go oops, knocking my board. When you go to secondary school, you don’t. You don’t see any other parents. It’s really weird. But this friend had a really good network of mums that would kind of meet for coffee and catch up and then, when any of them had a shoot. She would say can you take my kids? I’ll drop them off at your house at seven and that mum would take and pick up that kid and then that the stylist mum would reciprocate when she wasn’t shooting. And I was like that’s a great setup. If you’ve got a friend that’s close enough, that literally will just take. I think she takes the kids.
She takes the dog. It’s all sorted. You need to build like a network of support around you.
0:17:10 – Danniella
Definitely these mums as well, and our neighbours also have got kids around the same age and we said, oh, could you just pick up Sebastian, because they go to the same school or whatever. So that’s really, really handy. But the network of mums also that I’ve definitely used. Do you mind if Sebastian comes over for a play date this afternoon, just so Alex can do a little bit more work and then he’ll pick them up? So it’s just a multitude of people to kind of help. But it is definitely a drug. And I was saying to my husband actually just over the weekend just gone, that when I kind of start upping shoots or doing more of my own shoots, I think that will be when my youngest is in school. So there is a lot of ease in terms of scheduling. Not that I’m trying to put it off. If things come through, which they have, then fantastic, I’ll do it. But I think that will be the kind of sweet spot, I think, when they’re both in school.
0:18:06 – EmmaMT
But yeah, yeah, that when I went freelance, because I was literally thinking, right, how much do I have to earn because I don’t have nursery fees anymore, how much do I have to earn now? They’re both. I’ve got two daughters now. They’re both at school and I would kind of work out what I thought I needed to do and I was like I could do one makeover and I could do one real home shoot and one feature and that’d be good for the whole month and I was like, but I won’t buy anything extra, it’d be fine.
And it came in in good time, but it was really. It was really good to be able to plan in that way. It’s really good. My kids are older now, much older. That’s pretty like this it’s 10 o’clock and I think they’re both asleep. I’ve put a sign on the wall saying recording a podcast don’t come in. They’re pretty good They’ve always been pretty good at not getting up to. I’m an early riser, so it doesn’t matter how early they get up. I’m probably going to be up anyway and it’s really interesting. Things change when they get old enough to take themselves to school. You don’t have to worry about picking up and the dropping off and they can come in on their own. You give them the key and everything. They’ve got a phone so you can track them every minute of the day.
0:19:04 – Danniella
Slightly obsessive, that might just be me but I think most people want to know. Well, I imagine that’s going to be me.
0:19:12 – EmmaMT
It’s not a not trusting, it’s a oh, you’re there. Okay, okay, man, relax. Now there are still elements that you still like. I’m still very grateful that I’m around now. So if one of my daughters is doing food science and nutrition, so she’ll be cooking and baking at school, but she’ll also have art, so she’ll have this big art book, all this stuff, and I’m like, well, I can drop her at school or if they’re ill, you still can go and pick them up when you’re home, sort of thing. So I do like it that I’m around quite a bit of the time, like I’m not shooting all the time, so it’s kind of nice that you are there quite a lot with the kids. So that’s a real bonus to being freelance. And having your husband at home is great. My husband’s never been at home.
0:19:47 – Danniella
It definitely is a fantastic thing to be able to be with the kids more than I have been sort of when my eldest was younger, I was obviously it was like full time. It was intense. So it’s nice to have the balance a little bit more definitely and have time with them and, yeah, do the pickups sometimes and the drop off and see some of the mums and have some time. So, yeah, it makes a huge difference and I like that.
0:20:11 – EmmaMT
Yeah, me too. Me too, definitely, even now during some holidays. So what kind of shoots have you worked?
0:20:17 – Danniella
on Definitely more commercial. Actually, thinking about the shoots in the past year, actually all of them for the first couple of work experience ones have been commercial, so all brand related, which for me is great because I’m completely used to working with brands and kind of client management as well as the project management side. So yeah, it’s all been commercial, actually just thinking about it.
0:20:41 – EmmaMT
I think that’s a lot of the way the industry is going at the moment. I think features or magazines and online features. They need so many images now that the brands need to be keeping up with how much photography can be used. So if, like if, say, living etc. Is doing a feature on sofas and they’ve done 10 of the best sofas, they can’t then reuse those images again. They need different images of sofas for another feature in two weeks time. So the brands need to be creating more and more photography so that it can be used for press in features and stuff afterwards. And I think that’s how the industry is going. People are getting a lot more and, of course, it’s budgets. Magazines don’t have massive budgets for shoots as much as they used to, but I just remember the difference between an editorial shoot is very editorial and commercial shoots are very different. Were you surprised, I mean, if you start with editorial, which I think is the way to do it were you surprised about the difference between an editorial shoot and a commercial shoot?
0:21:35 – Danniella
I was. Yeah, I definitely was, and I kind of felt that the pace was different as well, from the editorial to the to the brand shoot. So my kind of personal experience there was for the brands there was the usually kind of longer days, more kind of like two or three days maybe, and the shot list is is much more. As you say, it makes sense if there are multiple editorial pages to go in. So those are the, those are the mark difference. But yeah, kind of from a systems perspective, I wasn’t always across all the budgets that I’ve worked on in the past year but you definitely got the sense there was, there was more, but then want to be done sometimes with those budgets maybe.
0:22:18 – EmmaMT
Yeah, I think it’s really interesting when I talk to assistants who have done commercial shoots and then they get asked to help on an editorial shoot, and it’s nearly always a Christmas shoot. So you’ve gone from a shoot where everything has come from a prop house or from the client with a few bits that have been brought from the stylist, and you get to the shoot and you unpack all that and everyone knows where everything is and you’re going to shoot it and then that’s all good. They’ve done that a few times, they know how to do it. Then they go to an editorial shoot and it’s like this ball ball is from John Lewis and this ball ball is from Hubbard’s tap.
Make sure those ball balls go back in those boxes and it’s in the right place afterwards. But it’s hundreds of boxes and just when it’s ball balls in, I remember people used to put yellow dots on the back of one ball ball so they knew it was from one brand and all of that, and I think that’s a bit of a shock to the system. It’s so much work to editorial. Yeah, nice to have your name in a magazine. What’s your favorite kind of shoot to work on? I?
0:23:08 – Danniella
would say I would say Still Life. I love doing Still Life shoots. I did a really, really cool one with a stylist called Zan Morley and it was for Cowshed, and it was just incredible. I learned so much from that shoot of how to put things together and all the kind of different elements to go, and I really, really enjoyed it. The tiny nuances of changes that we had to make, but the images that came out at the end of it were absolutely stunning. So I would love to do some more Still Life shoots like that. Also, christmas I’m obsessed with Christmas and I love Christmas. Like I had a partial one in January and my family were like you just had a Christmas. Are you not just completely bored? I’m like I could do this every day. I love Christmas shoots. So, yes, I once had a shoot where I had to help decorate 12 Christmas trees and I’m like this is my heaven. This is my absolute heaven. In one day it was across two days, but yeah, that’s a lot of tree.
0:24:14 – EmmaMT
Yeah, we do so much more Christmas than anything else because, whereas some people might do one shoot for a season sort of thing, everybody does Christmas and does a separate shoot on top of it. So it’s always busy around Christmas, which is around now. Really, people are doing that shoot at the moment, that Christmas as it’s got sunny, because that’s just how it? Is have you been asked to do any propping for like to assist and do research and things like that?
0:24:40 – Danniella
I’ve asked to do a lot of some research, definitely, and I’ve been to a couple of prop houses. So the first ones I went to what was it? Topham Street. Then I went to the Prop Supply Company, which I’ve really enjoyed. I really liked it there. I liked all the kind of vintage pieces and my mind works in categories. So I love that prop houses are all kind of colour coded and everything like shapes and it just makes me so happy to see that level of organisation. I really enjoy going to prop houses, but I’d love to do some more. But yeah, those are the kind of main two, but I really enjoy it. It’s really fun.
But that’s a lot of prop in from my house.
0:25:29 – EmmaMT
Yeah, excuse me for shopping. This is what I say to my husband. That’s a prop.
0:25:33 – Danniella
Always, always, there’s always the garage. Now I’ve kind of commandeered like half of the garage, which is half interior stuff and half bicycles, because my husband’s bike is cycling and I just yeah, I think I was always a stylist inside really because I’ve just got stuff, stuff. So I always end up bringing my own stuff to shoots in some form, so yeah, yeah, I think that’s that’s how it is, isn’t it?
0:26:01 – EmmaMT
It becomes your style because it’s your props that are working for the shoot, because it’s your style. And then people start to see what your style is and then they book you for your style. So this is why you should always have lots of props in their homes. It’s just work. Yeah, it’s all work. There’s nothing fun about shopping for your home, honey. What would you say has been the highlight of your career in interior? So far? I’ve only had a year and it sounds like you’ve done a tunnel already.
0:26:27 – Danniella
No, I think I’ve been very lucky with all the people that I’ve worked with and the stylist and some of the shoots. So I suppose the biggest moment for me was when I did my own shoot. It was when someone approached me and I was like, oh, it’s a small shoot, but would you mind set designing for this one? I was like no. So you know, when you have the fear inside, but outside you’re like, oh yeah, you can do this, that’s great. So that was a huge moment when that happened and that was for Coco and Eve and I remember having that proper kind of imposter syndrome set in and had a massive wobble and I said to my husband I don’t know if I can do this, I’m not sure. He was like this is what you’ve been wanting to do for so long. Now Just get out and do it. And I was like, oh my God, yeah, I can do. Yeah, of course. And so, yeah, that was probably a big moment when I got my first shoot.
0:27:24 – EmmaMT
So tell me how that came about. Tell me from being asked right through how did you plan that shoot?
0:27:32 – Danniella
So that was, I’d worked on a Charlotte Tilbury shoot with another stylist and the producer from that shoot. The shoot was freelance and she ended up working with this brand and she said that she found. She contacted me via Instagram and just said look, I can see you can do some like DIY bits. I think there might be a DIY element to this. Could you come on the set and help out? It’s not a huge issue, but it would be great if you could. So I was like, yeah, of course, inside having the absolute panic attack. And so from there, she sent me the brief, we had a phone call, we talked through the brief and she sent me some visuals as to what they were asking for, and it was they were releasing some new product that had honey in it. So I had to go shopping for all sorts of different colored honey, different, you know, all variations of honey. I had to find some fabric, different fabrics that represented different tones of honey, that sort of thing. And also the big thing was creating a gold shower, honeycomb shaped gold shower at the location that we were in. So there were a couple of elements to it and in the end, I had to ask a set builder to come in and help, because it was a little bit beyond my DIY skills and in the end, it was absolutely essential that we had a set builder on site because, yeah, building a gold honeycomb shower was a great idea From scratch was a big one, but it was.
I was really being totally, really nervous beforehand, obviously, and you think I’ve organized everything, I feel like in my head, everything’s, you know, scheduled, I’ve got it all in here and I’ve covered all bases. I’m one of those people that needs to feel as prepped as possible. I think it’s my project management head just like right covered here, you know Excel sheet here, so that all those things are covered, and I just love that. By the end of the shoot, when we came, we’d wrapped and I was putting everything in a car and I was driving home. I was like that was incredible. I really really enjoyed it and it just it made me feel like a bit of a grown-up, which is a ridiculous thing to say with the whole family of two children. But it made me feel like, no, I’m a stylist now I can do this. So, yeah, it was fun. Yeah, that sounds amazing.
0:29:56 – EmmaMT
Well done, it was good.
0:29:59 – Danniella
It was a fun one.
0:29:59 – EmmaMT
Yeah, I think when you’re doing your first shoot, if you don’t feel imposter syndrome, it’s very, very unusual because you just it’s quite scary. And also, I did shoot an event really early on in being freelance and I really should have got a set builder, but it just didn’t occur to me to get someone else to do something that I had been asked to do. So that’s really good, because the client would probably have gone absolutely no problem. So I learned the hard way, but that’s really good that you kind of acknowledged that this was something that needed someone with a different skill to your skill set. Yeah, and the clients want something specific, so they’re usually very happy to pay a little bit extra to have that, because that is what they have in their vision and you are helping them to get that by finding the right person.
0:30:41 – Danniella
Essentially, yeah, and I was very lucky in that the producer and the client were just kind of on board with it when I said I think you need somebody with a little bit more kind of a specialist skill set. But also one of the stylists that I work with, laura, she, she’s a bit like my mentor I don’t know if she knows this, but I go to her with all of my questions and she’s just the best person ever and I call her up and say, laura, I don’t think this is going to work. I don’t know if I’m just being, you know, a little bit too scared about this, but I don’t think this is going to work. I talk to, I basically bounce the idea off her and we work. Yeah, so she was instrumental in helping me on that first year. I have to say that’s brilliant.
0:31:26 – EmmaMT
It’s always good to have someone to talk to in that situation, absolutely. Are there any things that have happened that you kind of wish you’d done differently, like? Were there any shoot, disasters or things that went wrong that you wish you could have changed?
0:31:38 – Danniella
Do you know? Do you know? I think it was. I was on a shoot that I had to trap, do you know? I think it was at the beginning of this year. There was like this blizzard that set in. Maybe it was like January, february’s time, and I had to drive to a shoot. I think it was up near kind of Bath. That way, and me being me, I got there. I traveled up really early to make sure that I was there, because my my thing is I’ll get there really early and find a coffee shop and sit and buy so that I’m on time and I don’t have that panic. I did that but I thought, oh, do you know what? I’ll just stop in my car. I was probably about 10 minutes from the shoot location During this blizzard.
It was absolutely freezing, snowing and you know all sorts going on outside and I stupidly it was an oldish car at the time and I stupidly left the car running because I called because I’m going to get really cold, so I’ll leave it running for like a couple of minutes and then I’ll switch it off, and I had a coffee in the car anyway Switched it off and then the car would not switch back on and I had this whole kind of panic of I’m 10 minutes away and I can’t get to the shoot and I called, you know, a husband, I called the recovery. They couldn’t get there because everyone had broken down that morning because of the storm. So I called the stylist and said I’m really sorry, this has happened. And she’s like, oh, it’s fine, it’s fine.
And then luckily the shifter on the set just came to my rescue and it’s huge. And he, he jumped, started in my car and got me to the shoot and it was probably one of the best shoots because it was such a story when I got there was an absolute disaster. But when I finally did get there, it was such a story because the first time I’d worked with this team and worked with this stylist and everything and it just made for a great shoot. I think just the disaster part and just kind of getting to know every it was the instant way of getting to know everyone on the shoot, because it’s like, oh, yeah happened. That was massive mistake on my part, stupid mistake on my part, but it ended up that I got to know the crew really lovely, really quickly, and it was really fun. So I’m trying to think of anything else that might, if I’m like I’ve broken something or if I’ve done. But yeah, I think a year you have to break something.
0:34:00 – EmmaMT
Everyone has to break something. The whole breaking mirrors thing doesn’t count as stylists, because the mountain mirror, oh my goodness, do you park outside the shoot now when you get your coffee.
0:34:11 – Danniella
Well, what I do is I definitely switch my engine off every single time. I don’t leave that running. Yeah, I still have that. Going to the coffee shop half an hour before the shoot. Yeah, getting out the car, going to the shop, yeah.
0:34:27 – EmmaMT
If I’m aspiring assistant stylist or an aspiring stylist, ask your advice. What would you give as advice getting started.
0:34:35 – Danniella
My advice would be find out as much as you can about the actual job and about what life is like on a shoot, because I think a lot of people are going in thinking, oh, it’s a shoot, they’ll be fun, and everyone’s like, no, you’re going to be unpacking this and you’re going to be organizing this and you might not actually be there when they’re taking the beautiful photographs. You’ve really got to kind of be prepared, I think, in that sense. But in order to get onto the shoot, I would say I mean the way I did it was I cold emailed lots of people, basically stalked all, found all of my favourite stylist, made a little spreadsheet obviously all of my favorite stylists and just email them saying I love what you do because of this, this and this, if I’ve done this, this and this, like a little bit which hopefully can help you on your shoot, I would love to come and work with you. Um, I think and I mean it’s obviously hitting message depends on their shoots and what they kind of can’t do. But I always think, rather than kind of having a generic email that you send to everyone, like pick the people that you genuinely want to work with and you like, stalk them on Instagram, find out what their, their style is, and if that’s something you want to learn from, like, tell them that you think they’re incredible and you would love to work, but for me that’s worked.
Um, and then when you’re actually on the shoot, just it’s, it’s. It’s a stranger, like, try and be as intuitive as you can. So when the senior stylist is on one particular shot, maybe go in and take down from the the shot that was before tied in the the props area. Um, maybe set up for the next shot. You know, try and be as on hand as possible would be mine, and also a cup of tea and a coffee always goes down. Well, I think. But try, just trying to be like second guess what the stylist is about to do or have you know what it means so they don’t have to think constantly about the next thing. Like you’re like, oh yeah, I’ve just put all the props there already for the next shot, you go and do everything or whatever. So I think on set, that’s good, and also just being sociable and chatty with, obviously, the sliders that you’re working with the client, the photographer, just on set, being a kind of nice, helping to create that nice environment, I think, is always a good yeah.
0:37:01 – EmmaMT
I want you on my next shoot yeah, hi, peter, how what’s? Your favorite part of being a member of Inside Stylists?
0:37:12 – Danniella
um, oh easily. It’s the community, without a shadow of a doubt. It’s just being in contact with other stylists, other assistants. Um, for me well, that’s how I got my first page off was something that I saw inside Inside Stylists and when I was first looking around at the industry and like what, what a stylist actually is and what a nice, I came across Inside Stylists. Um, and I didn’t sign up at first, and it was when I was emailing another stylist really, you know the purple stylist and he’s really funny and I don’t have anything at the moment.
But he said definitely sign up to this website because it’s a great community. You’ll find things. So literally the next I signed up, made a profile and it was the best thing I did, absolutely easy. The best thing I did because I’ve found so many jobs on there and contacts, because obviously you need to make your contacts when you’re first going into the industry. But also it’s some of the questions that you see people asking on the Facebook page like oh, so that’s a part of the job or that’s the question, or I need to be aware of this. And also the content on the website is really good.
Remember the first time I went to a prop house and there was an, there was a blog post I think that you’ve done on what to do when you go to a prop house. I was like, oh, my god, thank god this is here because I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t know, like I’ve never been to a prop house before, even in my, my old career. So it’s it’s just having the community and the information there. Obviously the invites as well that you you send out. Oh yeah, got some more coming up.
0:38:50 – EmmaMT
Oh, great, great, great. I’m doing a shoot in Warthampton and I’m missing three events and I’m absolutely nothing anyway, no hand and I’m sorry, just for you now.
0:38:59 – Danniella
No, no hand and thank you very much.
0:39:01 – EmmaMT
I’m very flattered by everything you just said. You I’m sitting here thinking stop blushing. I’m like yeah, it’s working, I love it.
0:39:09 – Danniella
Thanks for being here as an assistant, if it wasn’t for, as I started to say, yes, it was. It’s a great thing, thank you.
0:39:15 – EmmaMT
Thank you so, um, I normally ask people what’s next. I’ll ask that first, but let’s first share. How can people get hold of you? You’re obviously on inside stylus, so people look under the assistant’s profile. You are there and do you want to share where else?
0:39:28 – Danniella
they can find you. Instagram is my main home at the moment, so, um, my handle is um her bold materials, um. So there, I’m hopefully in the next few months, gonna start my website and try and be a little bit more professional on that sort of thing. So, yeah, that will soon be coming, but Instagram is my main. Yeah, cool very good.
0:39:54 – EmmaMT
So what is next Christmas? It’s, it’s all the issues.
0:39:59 – Danniella
That would be incredible. I just, yeah, live for Christmas um, definitely Christmas, and also just dipping my term into doing a few more shoots of my own, I think and seeing how it works and doing, I need to kind of manage my time and do some more test shoots and all that sort of thing and get some more like official content, I think, from my own, my own look. But just see, I’m quite enjoying assisting at the moment because I’m learning so much still because I’ve been doing it for a year, so I still feel like there’s so much for me to to kind of delve into. But I like the hybrid at the moment of assisting with dipping my term into doing some of my own shoots. So, yeah, that’s a really good set up.
0:40:45 – EmmaMT
It’s really good. I’m very impressed. I think you’re doing phenomenally well for someone who’s been doing it for a year. You are doing really well, thank you thank you so much for sharing your story. I think this is going to be so inspirational to other people who are either already assisting or are interested in getting into it, because I think you’ve shared really. You’ve shared the real life. You’ve shared what I really like, and to do it with very small children is so commendable. So hats off to you.
0:41:11 – Danniella
I’ll tell them that when I go, when I go back, I’m like yes, yeah thank you.
0:41:18 – EmmaMT
Thanks for listening to the Inside Stylus podcast. You can find all the details from today’s episode over in the show notes on insidestyluscom. If you enjoyed the show, I’d love it if you had head on over to iTunes and rate and review it. It’s the best way to help other people find the show and I’d really appreciate it until next time. Bye for now, oh.
Transcribed by https://podium.page