How commercial your styles will be should depend upon whom you want viewing them, says Charlie Price, owner of Click Salon in Denver. “Don’t do your avant-garde hair show looks for your salon brochure,” says Price, NAHA’s 2002 and 2008 Hairstylist of the Year. “On the flip side, if you’re using the shoot to meet a fashion designer, don’t take a photo of your sister-in-law’s new cut.”
Know not only whom you’re addressing but also what you’re trying to say. “Your photos should represent a collection,” Anlauf says. “There should be something that connects the images in the hair. When put together, the images should tell a story.”
When you’re shooting for a marketing brochure or ad campaign, your primary goal should be to produce photos of beautiful, enviable, hair. Then the theme can be as loose as: These are looks that we do at our salon. Frank Shortino is known throughout the trade press for his participation in copious amounts of photo shoots. His team at Shortino’s Salon and Spa in York, Pennsylvania, creates trend photos, while Shortino prefers doing makeovers.
“I know we can take an average plain Jane and make her look like an unbelievable Jane,” Shortino says. “That’s what people like. They don’t want to see us take a professional model and make her look better.”
Ultimately, your theme should frame the hair story, not swallow it. “Don’t get too much into the concept, or you’ll overwhelm the hair,” says Barston.
Critical to the concept is the decision of whether to hold your shoot in a studio or venture into the wild. For most, the decision of indoors vs. outdoors is a no-brainer—wind, rain, humidity, temperature and spotty clouds vastly diminish the level of control you’ll have on the set.
“You’ll never see a NAHA entry shot outdoors,” says Ruiz and, according to Carson, consumer magazines tend to prefer collections presented in a studio setting. Furthermore, with today’s digital photography you can decide later to add a background, although that will add some expense.
However, trade magazines tend to like location shoots, Carson says. It can be effective to showcase urban hair in the city, for instance, or farm-girl hair in a field. Ruiz calls that a “lifestyle shoot.”Return to Links
For a shoot aimed at developing photos that market the salon, typically a select handful of staff stylists participate from early in the conceptual development through completion on shooting day. This can be a good opportunity to reward your veterans as well as to give new people an opportunity to assist in an environment completely different from the salon. Some owners hold a competition to determine who will participate, while others methodically select the salon’s top producers. A third option is to establish a “pay to play” framework that requires those interested to chip-in financially; other owners may take along the people with the highest retail numbers.