9 Tips for Photographing Hair Collections

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HOB Academy international creative director and award-winning hairdresser Akin Konizi, whose work has been featured on international magazine covers, knows a thing or two about how to capture a beautiful photo.

“People often ask me what makes a great collection – and the answer is there are no rules," he says. "Imagery is subjective and what one person likes, another loathes. So, you have to shoot for yourself and create a collection that represents you and your skills. I have been incredibly privileged to have worked with some amazing photographers over the years and each of the collections are different and tell a different story.”

Here are his tips for putting together a winning collection:

  1. Plan your moodboard before you start your collection. This will give you your feel, your theme and your story.
  2. Prepare like crazy.  You can’t over prepare for a shoot. There will always be something unexpected that happens, but the more you are prepared the less stressful it will be!
  3. Be true to yourself. If you are shooting for an event such as the British Hairdressing Awards, don’t shoot for the judges. Create a collection that showcases your skills and your passion. Judges will be looking at skill rather than choosing something they personally like.
  4. Think ahead – what are you going to use the images for? A photo shoot is costly, so decide what you will be using your images for after the competition. You want to use them for press, marketing, your window displays – so bear in mind who your audience is. While you want to show your skills as a hairdresser, you also need them to be commercial and wearable.
  5. Use the experts around you. The team you have chosen to work with are all experts in what they do, so listen to their opinions on lighting, or make up. Concentrate on the hair and let them worry about what they’re there to do; don’t get distracted by other elements on the day. Of course, give your feedback and opinion, but let them do their thing first.
  6. Try to breathe. If you are stressed, it will show in your photos. You won’t create the amazing work you are capable of and you will be disappointed by the results. There are plenty of people on a shoot so make sure everyone has a job and everyone there contributes in some way.
  7. Find your own style. You can be inspired by someone else’s work, but don’t copy it. You can take a texture, shape or color as inspiration, but build on it to make it your own. 
  8. Have a production meeting. Gather all the team for a meeting in the morning to make sure everyone knows what is expected. Go through the moodboards with the models, photographer, makeup artist and all the hairdressers and assistants.
  9. Keep the day positive. It’s easy to fall into a negative hole if something isn’t working. But stand back and start again, look at if from a different angle or move on.