9 Tips for Balayage photoshoots on a budget

In this digital age, hairdressers need to showcase our work, but are we showcasing it well and doing enough?

All the product companies and colour houses have imagery you can use, but that isn’t always reflective of you or your salon.

I’ve found Instagram a great tool to show before and afters and the video option is brilliant, but that’s not enough for me. So for the last few years, I’ve taken to doing my own shoots and have learnt many things along the way.

Collections can be shared over a huge army of platforms, you can submit them to trade magazines, use them on your website, in your shop window, put them up on Facebook, Instagram and the many platforms dedicated to the hairdressing industry. You can also submit them for competitions.

Collections can be expensive, but there are ways to bring those costs down I think for my first balayage photoshoot the only costs were the photographer, who was brilliant and who I keep working with,  and the MUA, who again rocked it.

Here are my tips for shooting on a budget

  1. A mood board to set the ideas and looks down so that you have a clear vision and everyone understands what the concept is. I always use Pinterest for this, but keep the board private and only invite the people you’re working with to see it. The more time you spend on this, the better and it costs nothing
  2. Models can be expensive if you go through an agency and many don’t want their girls to have coloured hair. For my first few collections, I found pretty girls who did it for free and I’ve looked after them and they became in-house models. Sourcing the right model can be difficult but Gumtree can be effective, as can local universities or head hunting on the high street. Just go outside a Top Shop, Urban Outfitters or any store that’s fashionable and you will find people. Good skin and hair are important factors to consider and it’s important to take a picture of them too to see if they photograph well.
  3. Location. Hiring a venue for a shoot requires time and again can be costly, but a plain backdrop can be totally effective. You could shoot in your salon.
  4. Photographers. These guys need to make a living but new photographers are often looking to build their books, so they might do it for less or even for free if they can use the images themselves. They will also have backdrops for you to use as well as access to the lighting that will be needed.
  5. Clothes Styling. If you don’t have the budget for a clothes stylist, then either keep it simple or just do head shots. For my first collection the model wore a strapless bra and we shot just below the shoulders. The pictures where brilliant and one even got into Vogue.
  6. Hairstylists. As a colourist I need to work with hairdressers to style the hair in the salon. Working on a shoot with someone is a great team building session. The hair stylist can also use the images, but if you cut and colour then do it yourself at no extra cost.
  7. Make Up Artist. This also adds to the price, but you really do need one. It’s another field where up-and-coming talent is often trying to build their books, so keep the costs down by collaborating with someone new to the game.
  8. Video. Again, this can be expensive but use your smart phone to do 30 second videos that you can use on Instagram. The whole behind the scenes vibe works so well on Instagram Stories so take loads to make sure you have some great content.
  9. This costs nothing but it’s a good rule not to share too much until the final pictures are finished. When you get them back you can start posting all the other content you have. It’s hard because it’s an exciting day, but less really is more and it will give the final images more impact
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