British Hairdressing Awards

Creating a Winning Hairdressing Shoot on a Budget

by sophieh / last updated May 23, 2008

It’s no secret that some of the entrants to HJ’s British Hairdressing Awards spend a lot of money on their photo shoots, but don’t be deterred if your budget is limited – as these winners demonstrate.

Anna Chapman Newcomer of the Year 2007 - putting together a hairdressing shoot on a budget.

Anna ChapmanTrevor Sorbie, Brighton

Budget: Just over £300

Won: Newcomer of the Year

Anna won Newcomer of the Year at HJ’s British Hairdressing Awards in 2007. She had practically no budget for her shoot, but it still looked stunning enough to capture the judges’ attention.

“I had no budget for the first set of four photos,” says Anna. “I used about £300 of my own money to cover travel expenses for the models.”

Finding the right models to portray the natural ‘simply beautiful’ look she wanted proved Anna’s first challenge. In the end, Anna recruited a regular client of the salon and found the others online via social networking sites.

“Although I didn’t have the budget for professional models, I didn’t want this to be apparent,” she says. “I made sure I found women that looked like professional models. In return they received a free haircut!

Helping to ensure the models looked like professionals was photographer Owen Kerbe. “Owen is a professional photographer and a close friend and we have wanted to work on a shoot together for a long time,” says Anna.  “We struck a deal that he would only charge me his usual fee if we made it through to the final. He was great at giving the models direction.”

Not that Anna left it all to Owen. “I was very hands-on,” she says. “This was a very important shoot to me and I only had one crack at it. I am a bit of a perfectionist so I have to be in control of everything.”

Jim Shaw Men's Hairdresser of the Year 2007

Jim Shaw, Essensuals, Billericay

Budget: £8,000

Won: Men’s Hairdresser of the Year

Jim won the men’s award with a stunning selection of images. While his budget was higher than Anna’s, at £8,000, it was still relatively small for the results achieved.

Jim had a clear image of what he wanted – which is the essential first step for any shoot.

“I wanted to capture the trend of groomed hair with sharp lines – an iconic 60s feel with a modern twist,” says Jim. “I wanted models to have a sharp and sophisticated look, and for their hair to look well groomed and super-healthy.”

The two elements Jim wasn’t prepared to compromise on were the models – all sourced from a professional agency in London – and the photographer.

Says Jim: “For me, getting the models and the photographer right are the most important aspects of a shoot. I would not compromise on either, as the combination of the two can be the fine line between a winning or losing image.”

“My photographer was the brilliant Alessandro Cecchini, who also shot my last collection for HJ’s British Hairdressing Awards. It took a large proportion of my budget, but he was worth every penny.”

Jim ensured he was extremely hands-on at the shoot. “It took nine months of planning,” he says. “And, I enjoyed every moment of it.”


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