If you’re ready to showcase your creative hairstyling skills, you’ll need to pull off an amazing photo shoot that proves it to the world through Revlon Professional’s Style Master 2015 International Contest. (Find out more about why you should enter and tips for executing your vision here).
For this hairdressing competition, you’ll be shooting one model with three different looks in black and white, which presents some interesting opportunities–and unique challenges.
Luckily we asked three experts (two of which are previous Style Master competition finalists) for their photo shoot planning tips, from budgeting to finding your dream team.
Step 1. Plan ahead.
You only need to find one model for your shoot, points out Tim Kuo, two-time Canadian Style Master International Contest finalist, which can save you time and money. While you can go through an agency to find a professional model, if you’re on a smaller budget, try finding a volunteer model by networking through friends and family. Before you “hire” them, take a snapshot on your phone to make sure they project well in photos. Offer to pay them with products and services instead of cash.
Kuo says you should use your time before the shoot to practice creating your intricate styles so you’ll feel confident on set. “I cannot stress practicing enough, because by practicing [you can] foresee things that may potentially go wrong,” he says. “If something does go wrong, then you will have already thought of a back up plan.”
Jag Moussa, last year’s Canadian Style Master International Contest Finalist, agrees. “Play with product and learn how to layer them. If you’re going to shoot all three looks in one day, you’re going to have a lot of product on the hair.” Knowing how it behaves will help you move smoothly and quickly from one look to the next.
When planning your photo shoot budget, focus on investing in your makeup artist and photographer. Scale back on the costs of your model, clothes and set, since these are secondary to the styling.
Step 2. Find an amazing team.
“Finding the perfect dream team is essential to your success,” says Kuo. So, where should you look for your photo shoot team members?
Marlo Steenman, Revlon Professional Educator, suggests using the power of social networking to ask for references from your friends. If you can find a mentor whose already shot in your area, reach out to ask for advice. She once messaged Charlie Price on Facebook and asked for help planning a shoot in a city she’d never worked in before. He was happy to oblige. “We are very supportive of each other,” she says of the hairstyling community.
Moussa says he used go to agencies and offer to do free work when he first started out so he could meet local photographers, makeup artists and stylists. This helped get his name out there and make connections. He suggests going to schools and looking for independent artists wanting to get into editorial work if you’re on a strict budget.
Before contacting a makeup artist or photographer for a shoot, view their portfolio carefully to make sure their vision is in line with your style, says Kuo. Don’t go with other people’s recommendations alone; meet in person before you decide to hire someone. Consider asking your makeup artist to do a trial before your shoot so you get your vision just right.
Step 3. Prep for shoot day.
Since this contest’s focus is styling, and is shot in black and white, Kuo says you don’t need to worry about cutting or colouring the model’s hair, which significantly cuts down on preparation time, allowing you to focus on the shapes and textures you want to achieve that day.
If you haven’t worked with any of your team members before it’s important to always have photos and a storyboard that explains your vision. “Words can get lost in translation, but not a photo,’ says Kuo.
Keep in mind that since you’re shooting three different looks on one model, you may want a variety of accessories and makeup looks so that each photo is unique. For anyone on a tight budget, try partnering with a local boutique that will allow you to borrow clothing and accessories, in exchange for use of your photos post-competition.
If your vision is well defined, and your team well organized (with accurate shoot date, location and contact information), you should be well on your way to shooting a winning collection.
This post was sponsored by Revlon Professional. Photos courtesy of Revlon Professional and Heiko Wolfgang Ryll.