The designer turned stylist turned successful fashion photographer answered our questions about what it's like to transition careers within the fashion industry.
Fashionista: What are all of the jobs you've had in fashion? Frances Tulk-Hart: I started off wanting to be a fashion designer and interned at Oscar De La Renta and Betsey Johnson. I then got an assistant job with designer Sally Penn for three days a week. For the other two days i started interning at Nylon magazine and quickly discovered I preferred styling to designing. So I quit the styling and became a contributing fashion editor at Nylon. I was a freelance stylist for the next ten years working for American Vogue, Teen Vogue, Vogue UK, iD, WWD, Purple and more.
Fashionista: At what point did you realize the first career wasn't right? Or wasn't fulfilling? And how did you decide upon the next career? FTK: I started to feel unfulfilled about five years ago. Styling is fun and creative, but I would feel really empty when I left. I've always loved photography and couldn't ignore the nagging voice in my head anymore, telling me to start pursuing it. The universe has a plan for everyone, if you only listen to what it's telling you!
Fashionista: What was the hardest part about transitioning from one to the other? FTK: The photographers I worked with as a stylist did not like that I was shooting as well as styling. They weren't so keen on suggesting me for jobs with them anymore!!!
Fashionista: What's the best part about what you do now? FTK: I LOVE LOVE LOVE what I do, every aspect, the brainstorming ideas, the research, finding the right location (that can get tiresome) the collaboration with all those involved, bouncing ideas around with them, seeing the shoot slowly start coming together, the nerves the night before, the nerves at the beginning of the shoot, the feeling of relief and excitement as the shoot starts becoming what you hope it will be, the content exhaustion at the end of the day, seeing the result of all your hard work.
Fashionista: Is there anything you miss from your first fashion career? FTK: There is more down time as a stylist on a shoot, as a photographer you have to be on it 100 percent of the time. I'm exhausted--mentally and physically--at the end of a shoot..
Fashionista: What's your fashion dream job? FTK: Photography is a dream job in itself!
Fashionista: If you could shadow someone else in the industry for a day, and see how they do what they do, who would it be and why? FTK: I would love to shadow Inez and Vinoodh. Their work is always changing, but each shoot's genius, always beautiful.
photo from refinery29