A Hairdresser’s Guide to Photoshoots
HJ presents the ultimate hairdresser’s guide to photoshoots – don’t step in a studio without it! A hair photoshoot is the perfect way to express your creativity, showcase your hairdressing skills and to get your own personal interpretation of trends out there for everyone to see.
So it’s natural that most hairdressers will want to take part in a photoshoot at some point in their career.
A photoshoot for your own personal portfolio is the perfect opportunity to experiment, but if you are shooting hairstyles for a hairdressing competition, make sure you thoroughly read the brief before you even start to think about your image or collection.
Photoshoots can be a huge investment of time, energy and money, but the rewards of a successful shoot, that catches the imagination of editors and competition judges, can be huge.
Before you begin there are a variety of factors to consider – and we’re here to help.
The Hairdresser’s Guide to Photoshoots
1. Know your budget
Paying for a studio, a photographer, models, a makeup artist and a clothes stylist can be a costly business, but you don’t need to have a huge budget to create a shoot that you can be proud of.
Before you start planning, work out what you can afford to spend and then stick to it. If you don’t have a big budget to work with, use your connections; think about whether any of your clients have model looks and don’t be afraid of approaching local colleges about working with students or using their facilities.
- Find out how to create a winning shoot on a shoestring budget
- Shooting a men’s hairdressing collection on a budget
- Learn where to scrimp and where to save when you’re shooting
2. Create a moodboard
Creating a moodboard before your photoshoot is a vital step in the planning process. Not only will it help you focus your ideas as a visual brainstorm, but it will also serve as a useful tool to express your ideas to the rest of your team. No matter how tight your brief is, nothing is easier for photographers, makeup artists and stylists to understand than a board of inspirational imagery.
Look through magazines to find images that inspire you – they don’t necessarily have to have hair that you like; the outfit, makeup, pose or even the colour of the sky could all serve as starting points for creating a winning image.
3. Find a photographer
Getting the right photographer can make or break your photoshoot. A great photographer will obviously be able to take fantastic photos but it’s about more than just pointing the camera in the right place and having the right lighting; a good photographer will be able to direct the model to make sure they show off their features, know which clothes will move best in front of the camera and tell instinctively if a shot is going to work.
A good photographer can cost thousands of pounds, but if you’re on a budget it’s worth speaking to local colleges and universities who will have a constant supply of photography students looking to add to their portfolio – often for free.
- Finding the right photographer for your hair shoot
- Top hairdressing photographers spill the beans on shooting
4. Find models
Finding a suitable model for your hair photoshoot can be a difficult task and usually comes down to two schools of thought; spending money on a professional model, or getting a non-professional to pose for free. There are pros and cons to both arguments and winners at HJ’s British Hairdressing Awards have used both to great success.
As well as considering your budget, when choosing a model you also need to bear in mind their hair type, what changes they are willing to undertake, what kind of work they’re going to be used for (ie in front of a camera or on-stage, stationery or involving a routine) and how much time you will need them for.
5. Find a makeup artist
As with most elements of your shoot, spending money on a respected and recommended makeup artist will help to create the best possible image you can. Someone who has vast experience working on shoots will be prepared, calm under pressure and will be able to contribute ideas based on real experience.
If you are on a budget why not consider beauty or theatrical makeup students from your local college or university, who may well be willing to lend their skills in return for copies of the photos for their portfolios?
6. Find a clothes stylist
Styling a photoshoot requires more than just an interest in fashion – finding clothes that work in front of the camera, flatter the model and complement the hairstyles you’re creating are all important considerations that require the expertise of a professional.
Booking a big name stylist may be expensive but will ensure that your shoot looks fantastic, whereas using a non-professional can result in ensembles that detract from the hair and spoil an otherwise perfect shot. Speaking to other hairdressers for recommendations and looking through issues of HJ to see which stylists’ work you like will help you come up with a shortlist of names who you can then research online to find out more.
7. Get maximum PR
Once you’ve finished your shoot and have a series of images that you’re happy with, it’s time to show off your shots and really make the most of your money. If you are entering a competition with the pictures there may be rules and regulations about whether you can show them off before judging, but once any embargoes have passed you will be left with a collection of images that you can use to show off your skills and promote your services.
From posters and promotional materials within the salon to front covers of magazines, there are plenty of ways to use your images and make sure you see a full return on the expenditure of a shoot.