Robbie Tomkins on how to build & maintain a positive reputation

By Sophie Nutt | 19 September 2019 | Expert Advice, Feature

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One of the most frequently asked questions in the session world is without a doubt, ‘have you been busy?‘, and the truth is, the workload can vary massively from artist to artist. As anyone who knows me will confirm, I have worked in lots of different jobs in my time – from training staff for a high street bank to flying the world as a cabin crew member for Virgin Atlantic – but working in the fashion industry as a session stylist has been, and continues to be, one of the most uniquely challenging jobs I have encountered.

Work in the session world is notoriously unpredictable; it ebbs and flows, and so I wanted share with you some of the things that I’ve learned over the years in terms of workload and, importantly, getting more work. I don’t think there are any clear-cut guidelines to building a positive reputation, but here are a few tips to help you to boost your profile and cement you as the superstar session stylist you are meant to be:

  • Arrive on time. Obviously emergencies can happen but being late can really dent your reputation.
  • Try not to get caught up in idle gossip – it can be really hard not to get sucked into it on set but it is toxic and the session world is relatively small, so sooner or later it will come back to bite you.
  • Be nice to everyone and keep your side of the street clean. Try to avoid criticising anyone else’s work, focus on what you do and let everyone else do his or her thing.
  • Be flexible when working with the glam team. Be prepared to work together with hair and make-up and be flexible with your approach.
  • Smile and introduce yourself to everyone on set when you arrive – it can be tricky but you want to try and strike up a balance between being visible on set so people know who you are but not so ‘in your face’ that it is annoying.
  • Be super careful when taking pictures on set. Unless you have checked it is OK with the whole team, stay off social media and avoid taking behind-the-scenes snaps.

As the age-old saying goes, treat everyone as you would like to be treated. It takes time to build up a good reputation in this industry so stick at it, show up, do your best and be nice.

Follow Robbie’s session nail journey on Twitter & Instagram and check out his columns in Scratch magazine throughout 2019.