A ‘Perfect Day Of’ Photo Shoot Factoids

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Planning the perfect photo shoot dayPhoto Shoot TipsFinally, it’s the ‘day of’ your fashion shoot. You’ve done all that great pre-planning (see Part 1: “Tips on Planning Your Photo Shoot) – and now your wonderful ‘cast of characters’ have all shown up on time at the location. They are now waiting for you to set things into meticulous motion. Everyone knows when and what to expect because you have shared your day’s flow chart with them in advance; this was your advance checklist of who and what to bring to the shoot followed to the letter (you hope).  Congratulations are in order just to get to this point!

From the photographer’s perspective, please review the following points – some worthy of repeating and others I have added to ensure a photo shoot ‘perfect day’:

  • Remember that the photographer can be helpful in planning out your mood and picture board of desired hairstyles (go through lots of magazines). He/she can also help in the final selection of models who fit into your board ideas and local resources. Less is more re: clothing to keep things simple and keep the lines of the cut visible (away from the hairline in order to see bob bluntness, etc.).

Note: Models should be chosen primarily for their face – not their hair. You can always deal with the hair, but that face must be of camera ready quality.  Ultimately, this means less retouching of your photos (an added expense) – and is more likely to be published. P.S. Common mistake: wasting time focusing on styling the back of the head; when on the set, the camera picks up on the front and sides so prioritize your time accordingly.

Perfect Photo Shoot Day

  • Make sure you stay focused on the goal of the shoot. This may include photos for publishing, for salon advertising, using for in-salon posters – or for brochures, mailers or website display.
  • Be sure to bring ALL the tools that may be needed for the shoot. You never know when you might need tweezers to pluck brows, razors for nape areas, a set of press-on nails for nails if nails were not pre-done, etc.
  • Start prepping your models early so that your photographer isn’t waiting around on the set.
  • When shooting in a small space (like a salon, etc.), allow enough space for your photographer to shoot but always remain nearby if needed to fix something or touch up on the set when needed. Avoid taking videos or iPhone pics on the set.
  • A common mistake is when a stylist spends more time working on the back of the head (not captured on camera) than the front or sides which is what everyone will see in the final images. Every hair style tells a story … the cut, color, etc. Your photos should accurately tell that story so that other stylists can learn from it in some ways – and that clients will actually go to your website to see if they want something similar to that.
  • A final tip on double-checking your shoot budget both before and on the day of the shoot. This will avoid any misunderstandings or discrepancies between you and your photographer. Remember that there are often a lot of little costs that you didn’t anticipate or plan on. For example, make sure you budget for photo retouching since this is usually an additional charge from a retouching professional. Get a clear contract with your photographer and reap the benefits of great communication and a successful photo shoot!

Gary Lyons

Hair Fashion Photographer

GARY LYONS is one of the leading beauty and hair fashion photographers in the industry. His national photo campaigns have helped to establish the hair fashion imaging and branding of such top companies as Matrix, Joico and John Paul Mitchell Systems. He was the publisher of Passion Magazine … and is sought out by top models, agencies, fashion designers, beauty companies, magazines world-wide, and leading stylists and salons to strategize and define their artistic images -- and set them apart from the crowd. Gary is well-known for how he captures just the right image of hair and face – and the striking lighting that few others achieve when lighting hair fashion for photography. He has also been a judge for many industry events and competitions. … and loves working with students and stylists alike to help them develop professional portfolios of their work.

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