When is the Right Time to… Do Your First Photoshoot?

September 22, 2023

A photoshoot is a great way to showcase your skills and creativity, but it can also be a big investment that must only be done for the right reasons. This week, three-times British Hairdresser of the Year and current F.A.M.E. Team leader, Sally Brooks, suggests asking yourself the following questions before embarking on your first photoshoot.


  1. Why are you doing it?

Are you planning to enter a competition? Will the images be used to promote your business? Are you purely wanting to explore your creative side? The answer will affect both your budget and the results you want from the shoot. If your intention is for them to be used to promote a salon business, focus on creating images that will have a direct appeal to clients – something relatable, but also inspiring. If you’re creating a collection for a photographic competition, showcase your skills and vision – be slightly more creative because you’ll want your collection to stand out from hundreds of other entries. Whatever the reasons, shoot for yourself and no one else. Remember, it’s all about having fun – be prepared for things to go wrong!

  1. Do you have the budget?

A shoot doesn’t have to cost a fortune, I’ve done shoots with pennies as well as with big budgets, and I’ve loved them both. If you’re doing it purely to express your own creativity then it can be done without spending a lot of money, but if you’re planning to share it with the world and your clients, you will need to make an investment. Things to think about include a studio, make-up artist, clothes stylist, models and a photographer. Alternatively, you can use your phone camera and play about with angles, lighting and styles – a phone camera is ideal for taking images for social platforms. The most important thing is to set yourself a budget and STICK to it.

  1. Do you have the right team to support you?

A photoshoot is very much a collaboration of creative minds. Do you have the right people to work with you on the shoot? Do you have a team that can share your passion and work hard under pressure? Your team needs to understand hair and your vision for the shoot. If your budget is small, use your social media to build a network of like-minded people who are looking to build their own portfolios. This way you can grow together.

  1. Do you have access to models?

Models can make or break a shoot. A pro will instinctively know how to pose and will understand the importance of telling a story through their facial expression and body language. Remember, a good model isn’t necessarily the prettiest. You want interesting faces that photograph well and tell your story. Get out of the salon and do a street casting, or look at your client base for potential hair models.

  1. Do you have a clear vision?

It’s great to be flexible and allow creativity to come to you on the day, but you also need to have a clear vision before you start. Think about the story you want your collection to tell, and the styles, colours and textures that will help articulate that story. Create a mood board, either virtually or with images from magazines that inspire. Remember to also go with the flow – if something isn’t working, don’t force it, move on and who knows what might happen!

For related articles, click here