We checked in with past winners and photographer Babak for tips on managing your money when preparing for a photo shoot. Here’s where you should invest and save.
1. A photographer
“I would spend most of my budget on a great photographer and lighting,” says Christopher Deagle, 2009 British Columbia Hairstylist of the Year. If you’re shopping for a photographer, in addition to consulting the Contessa list on salonmagazie.ca, five-time Contessa winner Rossa Jurenas recommends interviewing potential candidates. “You have to be sure he or she is the best photographer for you.”
2. Your salon team
“If you already have a great makeup artist or nail technician in your salon, don’t hire others,” says Babak. Deagle adds that he often uses makeup artists who are looking to branch out and build a new portfolio. “It’s mutually beneficial and the cost is minimal.” Also, capitalize on the space you already have. “You don’t need a massive set,” explains Babak. “All you’re really looking for are close-ups.”
3. A vision
Babak suggests aiming for longevity in your images. “An image is like a song— you don’t want a one-hit wonder no one remembers the next year.” Invest in a theme and create different looks for each photo. Be prepared. “This helps everyone work more efficiently. Planning ahead makes a difference and costs nothing,” says Martin Hillier, 2007 Session Hairstylist of the Year. Also, before anything else, create a storyboard and see where your budget should be going. “Think big, but always bring it back to what you can afford,” says Hillier.
Scale down on…
“Professional models are limited in terms of cut and colour,” says Hillier. “They’re not always a good investment. Look for people with that spark in their eye. They can be 4 feet tall but have a great face.” Deagle sources his models from everyday life. “I’m always looking for a strong bone structure and physique,.” Jurenas also suggests offering models an 8 -by-10 photo for their portfolio as a thank-you gift in lieu of payment.
2. Wardrobe styling
“I use the internet and magazines for my concepts,” shares Deagle. “Building from this, I create the styling myself.” Jurenas advises using creative problem solving. “Ask to borrow the clothes from stores or make your own. Think outside the box.”
But if you are going to dish out on a stylist, do it wisely. “Remember that you can spend thousands on one gorgeous dress, but in the end you will only have one shot,” Babak says. “Instead you can hire a stylist with experience and he or she can double your looks. They know how to source the best clothes, and sometimes for free.”
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2009 issue of Salon Magazine.