Expert Advice

Career Development: Editorial Work

Web Editor | July 10, 2011 | 6:17 PM

Career Development: Editorial WorkThis month's question: "How do I get into editorial session work?"

Beauty schools aren't what they used to be. Today, schools like the Eric Fisher Academy in Wichita, Kansas, and a trio of San Diego Beauty Academies teach different career paths.

For those who went to old-school schools, Diego Raviglione, the new Artistic Director for the San Diego schools, whose work has been published in Elle, ElleGirl, Oprah, InStyle, Marie Claire, Cosmo, Allure and Shape, shares these session styling tips:

1. Be Passionate. Session work takes dedication, persistence and hours of work

2. Get Educated. Take advanced classes, so you know exactly what inspires you. You must be able to look at something and manifest it into a hair design with your own sense of style.

3. Build a Book. Visit photography or model schools, find beginners and develop a photo-shoot team. You share the minimal costs; however, make certain the vision is yours. "It's your book," stresses Raviglione. "Photographers will have creative input but you should get what you want." Be creative about obstacles. No great fashions in your small town? Shoot with bare shoulders and edgy lighting. Photograph three or four models at once for continuity; test with various photographers for variety.

4. Expose Yourself. "Offer to assist at hair shows," advises Raviglione. "There are distributor shows all over the U.S., and when you network, things happen." Also network at local fashion or bridal shows and via online communities. Start at, choose your state and city, then check for postings asking artists to join shoots-look under "Jobs or Gigs, Creative."

Career Development: Editorial Work5. Work Your Environment. Join a salon with a creative environment. If you're the only one in your salon who cares about doing session work, it'll be that much harder. In big cities, you need an agent; in smaller towns, show your book to local magazines and be persistent.

Got a question about furthering your career? Send it to and we'll get the answer. You can even suggest who you'd like us to ask!

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