I felt very honored when Jocelyn, the Marketing Director of XYZ Impressions asked me to be apart of their “Insider Impressions” Video Series. The focus of the series is to capture the excitement behind the scenes of photo-shoots, videos and blogger partnerships by inviting the fashion and beauty industry “creatives” to share their advice and experiences. Check out the first episode of the video launch where I give some inside scoop on the nail industry.
Today on Insider Impressions, we’re sitting down with editorial manicurist, Angel Williams to get the inside scoop on the industry.
What’s the importance of having a manicurist on set?
I think the importance of having a manicurist on set is to display that you really are into the details. A lot of times where not – nails might not take over the show, but they complement the entire look. So what’s the point of having this fabulous hair and having this fabulous make-up – and say it’s a beauty shot, and she puts hands in her face? And that does not look good. So I think nails completes the overall look.
What does a typical day for a manicurist look like?
A lot of times the days are not the same. Because some of the days I might be doing editorial, some days I’ll be doing a commercial. Other days, maybe a celebrity, it just depends on what the subject is.
How would you prepare your kit for a commercial shoot?
Usually on a commercial, I have direction ahead of time, usually the night before. A lot of times with commercial work, it’s pretty clean looks. Because commercial is gonna be about the product, whatever the product may be. So I usually fix my kit to be more the neutral side. I have a lot of moisturizers in there, because commercial work can be a very long day. And you might be doing the set over and over again. So you have to duplicate that same look over and over again. So for the manicurist it ends up being a long day.
How do you prepare for creative projects like an editorial shoot?
Well with editorial, like you said it is more creative. So I have, I get to tap into – find inspiration. So if the team and I have collaborated beforehand, then I know what the themes are, I know what the colors are. I can get with the other artists and see what their ideas are. A lot of times I like to see or prepare by seeing what the model actually looks like. If there’s something I want to do new or if there’s new colors, I might reach out to brands and ask them if they have anything new that I might not have in my kit. So editorial is the best, because you do get to be more creative, and you get to be more hands on with the product – excuse me with the project. You get to be more hands on with the project.
What was the most defining moment in your career?
I was rushing on 34th Street. I was rushing to the train. Earphones, dragging my kit – and all of a sudden I just did this double take. And it was this very big, the big billboard on the side. I think it was an Apple product. And I was like, “I did that.” It was – I never made it onto the train. It’s like, “You know what? We should go to New York, just keep going.” But I just stood there and I was like, “Oh my goodness.” So I think that was like one of the defining – it was all about myself, and I knew that I did it. That was my work, just sitting there in the train station. So I thought that was pretty cool.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Always be in position of ready. One of the worst things you could be doing is getting ready. ‘Cause you never know when that big phone call is gonna come. A lot of times in this industry, things are very last minute. There’s been numerous jobs I’ve got because somebody else was busy. And they want to know, “Can you do it? Yes or no?” And that you always need to be in the position of ready.
Do you have advice for upcoming manicurists?
Do your research. A lot of what we do is not just – you technically know what you’re doing if you’re in a – if you’re on set environment. You technically have the skills to be there. But it’s more than that. To make yourself stand out as a professional, you need to– Who is the photographer? Find out who the photographer is, do your research. Who is the model that you’re working on? Who is the creative director? I always say – know the team that’s in the room, know a little bit of something. There might be a common denominator – that you and the make-up artist might be from the same state or something. Know something about what’s going on even before you get there.
How do you go about presenting your work to agencies?
You do need to start working on building your book. If you are interested in being in an agency repped manicurist. You don’t necessarily have to have a big body of work, you just need to have a good body of work. It”s better to have 3 awesome pictures than 10 not so good pictures. So building your book. Show them range. Like I said, do you your research, know what type of clients you want. I know that an Avon campaign is something that I wanted. So you need to show range in your book. So yes, you might be an awesome nail artist, but if you want ads and campaigns, what type of nail looks are in those ads and campaigns? That’s what you also need to display in your book. So you – even if you don’t live in New York or Chicago or LA where shoots are happening. I would say find out who’s in your sandbox where you live? Who’s the greatest photographers already where you live? Who’s the moving and shaking makeup artists and hair stylists? And network with them to build your book.
Angel, thank you so much for coming to the studio. You’ve provided so much insight for the industry.
No problem, thank you for having me.
XYZ Impressions is a New York based fashion studio providing photography, videography, and marketing services.