Salon Gold asked hair and beauty industry photographer Liam Oakes (@liamoakesphoto) on his guidance for any therapist or stylist planning on tackling their first professional photo shoot. It can be a daunting task but investing the time to plan ahead will help save costly mistakes and net you some awesome imagery for your website, social and salon space.
Liam’s top tips:
The very first step is to get clear on your theme, idea or concept that will tie all of your images together as a single collection. Create a mood board on your inspiration and go from there. You need to consider clothing, backgrounds, lighting styles and whether you want images in colour or black and white. These are the elements that will tie your images together into a cohesive collection.
Clothing is an essential element as it will really help with the visual narrative of your collection. The clothes styling can be connected in differing ways eg colours, genres, eras. You can hire a stylist to help you and they will source clothing and work with you on shoot day but you can go it alone and even contact clothing brands or local clothes shops for press loans.
Model choice is a very important component. Your model doesn’t just need to have great hair, hands or skin to showcase your work but they need to photograph well and be comfortable in front of the camera. While expensive, professional models know how to work in front of the camera and will typically deliver better results.
Once you have your models and theme in place you need a photographer but not all professional photographers are equal to the job. A good portrait photographer doesn’t necessarily know how to photograph hair, nails or skin correctly. A specialist photographer will prioritise your needs and stay focussed on the main aim of the shoot – to showcase your creative talents.
The more people you have onboard the easier it will be for you, so don’t try and do it all yourself. Find people that specialise in their field, if you can’t afford to hire people ask if they would like to collaborate and offer their services in exchange for some great images. Stunning imagery can be a brilliant record of your best work and a wonderful marketing asset.