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Instagram. It seems to be the social media platform made for hair professionals. It’s a great place to showcase your work of before and afters, give quick haircutting demos and show the world what you’re made of. If you’re running your Instagram profile to increase business, gain clients and get noticed by brands or your peers, you’ll want to have attractive imagery. After all, if your haircuts look amazing, people will want you to recreate those looks on themselves or it will make other stylists want to know your secrets for recreating those looks for their own clients. In any case, it all starts with a good photo. So how do you make your photos Insta-worthy? Here are some suggestions that could make the same haircut go from drab to fab!
Probably the number one problem that people have is lighting. Either the image is too light, too dark or contains too many shadows. When you have the right lighting, everything looks pleasant to the eye. If possible, use natural light. This is the most flattering light choice. But if you don’t have that option, opt for a ring light. It seems many salons have ring lights already, but if you don’t have one, it may be time to invest in one. Using the ceiling lights within a salon is generally too dark for a good photo and the lighting is coming from the top which is not the best angle.
A ring light brightens up the hair from the direction of the camera since it’s coming from the front. But there are tips to using ring light. First off, don’t put the ring light too close to the subject. This will create harsh shadows and overexposure. It’s easier to lighten a picture in post than it is to darken an overexposed image.
Secondly, if you have a choice for the type of lighting the ring gives off, opt for the most natural setting that’s soft and diffused. This will emulate outdoor natural lighting the best.
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Having a clean background is ideal for taking hair photos. Why? Objects like bottles of hair product, cords from hairdryers or brushes and combs on the counter can distract the viewers eye from what should be the focus…the hair. Keeping the background clear of distractions makes for the best hair photo. This means choosing a plain background that contrasts with the hair color. The simplest background color to use is white but you can use other colors as well. Use a plain white wall or set up a small backdrop where you can ensure a solid color background. Whatever background you have, just make sure it’s not taken while the client is in the chair. Have then stand against a desirable background and direct their positioning.
Position the Client
Having the client pose in a desirable position flatters the hair even more. You might ask…’how do I know how to position my client? I’m not a professional photographer!’Don’t worry. It’s easier than you think. For starters, you can take a look at photos on Instagram that you like. Analyze the way the photos look and how the clients are positioned. If you like them, try to replicate them. To direct the client on where to look, put your hand out to the direction you want them to look so they know what to do. Leaving the client to figure out how to post is stressful and uncomfortable for many.
Also, remember to take a lot of pictures at various angles. By doing this you can choose the best image(s) to use for posting. It’s always great to have options. You can have them smile in some and not in others. Over time, you will learn what poses work great and which ones do not.
When taking the pictures, make sure the subject is in the middle of the screen. You don’t want the client to be cut off in any way so make sure the frame captures the whole client’s head and hair.
Lastly, be sure the client has good posture in the picture. Having a straight back shows confidence and that they like their haircut. They should also pull their shoulders back so they are not hunched over. Again, this shows confidence and everyone wants to feel confident after a haircut.
If you’re struggling to make great Instagram photos of your haircuts, focus on these four areas. Any improvements in these areas can dramatically affect the quality of your pictures. Taking aesthetically pleasing pictures can do wonders for your portfolio, not only for Instagram but for your website and anywhere else you place your work. Your clients, potential clients and your hair pro peers will recognize your amazing work even more. By having great hair photos you are marketing yourself in a way that will attract more people to you. So get out there and show everyone what you’ve got!
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