Behind SALON TODAY's November Neil Ducoff Cover

By Stacey Soble | 11/07/2013 11:46:00 AM


Photographer Roberto Ligrestri and an assistant work with Neil Ducoff of Strategies to create SALON TODAY's November/December 2013 cover. Planning a cover shoot that features a “real” person—whether that be a salon person, stylist or industry expert—as opposed to a professional model can challenge. Models are taught how to move in front of a camera, how to pose to create interesting angles and capture the best light. In addition, when featuring a ‘real person,’ an editor is working closely with the photographer to create an image that also reflects that person’s expertise.

When I was communicating with our Modern Beauty Director Maggie Mulhern and photographer Roberto Ligresti on a photo shoot with Strategies’ Neil Ducoff, we tried to come up with a concept that would communicate that Ducoff is a leading salon business consultant and the founder of ‘No-Compromise’ leadership. We talked about posing Ducoff with the books he’s written, in front of a white board as if teaching a class or with typical coaching paraphernalia. But all of it seemed too gimmicky.

So we asked Ducoff to wear a suit sans tie—so he was professional but approachable—and shot him in a series of poses that communicated he was encouraging salon owners with his ‘no-compromise’ wisdom.

SALON TODAY's Art Director Himanshu Suthar then narrowed down the options to a few shots he liked best and created some different art effects to lend an interesting dynamic to the cover. I went to work by reaching out to Neil, asking him a list of things that he thought salon owners too often compromised in their business leadership. Turns out he’d just written a blog on that topic for one of his Monday Morning Wake Up e-mail newsletters.

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I edited Neil’s lists and Himanshu and I created a backdrop wallpaper of compromises from which a now black and white image of Ducoff with a blue shirt pops. Then we played with our cover lines, further giving impact to Ducoff’s “No Compromise” concepts and the cover story written by Salon Today’s Lauren Salapatek, while including the fact that this issue features other salon business coaches and consultants.

And, here’s the finished result…

Check out the November/December 2013 feature....

20 Years of Tough Love: Neil Ducoff Shares Salon Business Wisdom

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20 Years of Tough Love: Neil Ducoff Shares Salon Business Wisdom

- See more at:

20 Years of Tough Love: Neil Ducoff Shares Salon Business Wisdom

- See more at:







Stacey Soble Stacey Soble, Editor in Chief of Salon Today

Stacey has been involved in the conversation of salon business for 14 years—as a reporter, a consultant and as the Editor in Chief of SALON TODAY.

Read Stacey Soble's Blogs You can e-mail Stacey at


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