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3 Salon Owners Team Up to Give Their Stylists a Crash Course in Photography

Elizabeth Jakaitis | June 20, 2017 | 2:31 PM
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With the huge importance that Instagram plays in marketing and building a clientele, it only makes sense that stylists need to be adept at the skills of the social media trade. At Luxury Brand Partner's Idealogue in New York, three salon owners came up with the idea to partner on an educational event centered on social media and photography.  

During Idealogue, Joe Bae, owner of Joe Bae Salon in Bellevue, Washington, was with his friend, photographer Kevin Chung, when a stylist took interest in the great images that Chung was creating, just with his iPhone. This sparked the idea that greater knowledge of photography would be very valuable to stylists. 

Bae used to work with Karen Bocz, owner of Bocz Salon in Seattle, and Michelle Kleppe's Obadiah Salon was in Bellevue, Washington, both very close to Bae's. With close proximity and shared goals, the three owners had always bounced around the idea of collaborating on events. As soon as Bae shared his idea for a photography session with Chung, the group sat down to plan and coordinate. 

The event was attended by nearly 50 stylists who learned from a curriculum that Chung prepared specifically for them. It was a hands-on event, with Chung walking around and guiding the stylists through the skill set. He demonstrated photography skills, such as angling the head to the best position and how to capture the hair color as naturally as possible. 

"It was great that we got to show  stylists how to take great photos, rather than just tell them," Bae says.

There was a community outreach element to the event, with women from a local shelter coming to serve as models for the stylists to make over, then photograph using the methods they had just learned from Chung. He was with the stylists as they shot to guide them through how to use the iPhone cameras to their best advantage, and how to make the most of the lighting that the salons provided. 

The group broke for lunch, then came back for a classroom session with Chung on how to edit the photos, using apps such as SnapSeat and FaceTune. 

"Our three salons had never really done anything all together, so this event gave our staffs the opportunity to meet each other and interact," Bocz says. "It was a great team-building event." 

It was also a productive event, that left the stylists of the three salons with applicable skills that they could use to improve their Instagram pages and build their clienteles. 

"Before the class, there were people who were frequent posters, but their content wasn't great, and then there were people who didn't post at all because they didn't have confidence," Michelle says. "Since the event, I have seen the bad content becoming good and more posting from the people that hadn't been posting before." 

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