How to juice up photos of your hair, beauty or holistic work: Advice from a photographer

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Photography hacks

In this blog in the creative tips series, we will be talking about photography and I’ll share with you a little bit of magic to get your hair, nail or beauty shots looking the business. It’s incredible how fab mobile phone cameras are now and some photographers like to have the iPhone Pro handy. Although you can’t beat professional SLR camera quality, you can achieve some incredible things with your phone. I would recommend you use the equivalent to iPhone X and above.

So let’s talk lighting. The one thing you absolutely need to take a photograph is light! Ever heard of a pinhole camera? It’s a pinhole in a box with light reactive paper inside. No shutter, just paper and a pinhole and that will take a nice fuzzy black and white photograph which you’d then develop. Thankfully it’s not such a fuss any more! We have our fancy digital phones and SO many free apps to correct and enhance our photos to make them look fantastic.

Now, have you ever heard of noise? Of course you have, but photos contain visual noise if the camera is set incorrectly. But not to worry, you can redeem some of your underwhelming photos with my favourite editing app, Adobe Lightroom. Free to use, the noise and sharpen tools under the detail tab are your best friend. Of course it won’t completely fix a terribly noisy photo but if the adjustments are minor, it’ll really sharpen up your shot. Another little jewel is the colour tab; it lets you change individual colours one at a time – amazing! So if your environment isn’t doing your work justice, worry not – tweak as needed to bring it back to life.

My best tip for enhancing your darker (underexposed) areas of the photos is don’t add too much brightness; don’t do much if anything to the exposure slider. Instead, use the shadow slider. It will lift those darker underexposed areas beautifully, making your photo look brighter.

Edit a photo with me! We can do all of this from our phone!

  • Remove any background you don’t want or use a depth of field, meaning you blur out the background. You can do this on FaceTune (if there’s no face) or use FaceApp (which searches for a face before allowing you to edit). These apps aren’t just for tweaking a spot or adding some makeup, they can come in really handy for proper editing. Here, I chose to make the background white so it contrasts better and pulls all focus to the hair.
  • Next you’ll want to send it into Adobe Lightroom, free to use with the tools we’ll be using. You can click auto to see how it looks, then adjust from there. In this photo, we have a black and white hair style. The black looks blue from the reflection of the sky. So, let’s start tweaking the colour. You can use the select tool to isolate an area. In this case we want to remove the blue, so we can just desaturate under the colour menu item. You can also edit individual colours without isolating an area. Play the video to see how I tone the image as it should look! We all love an aesthetically pleasing image, so toning, cropping and lighting it correctly can make a huge difference.
  • You may want to crop the image square so it previews better on your profile. I always take photos slightly zoomed out because you can crop but you can’t always recapture your subject to fit more in the frame. So some of the thought needs to come as you take the photo.
    Once you’re happy, you are ready to post! Behind your beautiful, enhanced, finished piece, pop in any process images you have! These don’t need to be edited to the same extent. We love to see the process behind the finished piece, but rule no.1 of your portfolio is post your spectacular after image first! It’s what will grab people’s attention and then they will swipe to view the process.

The best way to get good with editing is to keep practicing. Play around with as many photos as you can! You’ll soon be posting impressive shots of your amazing work for the world to see.

Check back next month for the second blog where I’ll share more hacks for fab photos. Don’t forget to tag us. We’d love to see your before and afters! 😍


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