We live in a visually driven, social media world, which means that having a killer Instagram feed is just as important as honing in on your styling, cutting, and coloring skills. Many prospective clients use social media as a way to check out your work and decide whether or not they want to book a seat in your chair—so you better believe that your IG feed needs to be lit. Also, brands are constantly looking for new artists to be brand ambassadors and use social media as a way to gauge the quality of your work and the size of your reach. This is why we tapped stylist Sal Salcedo from Benjamin Salon Arts District LA—who has upwards of 118,000 Instagram followers and an Instagram hair feed that’s seriously poppin’—to give us his tips on how to take the best photos of your client’s hair.
Grab a pen and paper, because you’ll want to take plenty of notes. Or, you could just bookmark this page. The choice is yours!
How to Take the Best Photos of Your Client’s Hair for Instagram
1. Invest in the right equipment.
Getting a good camera is a great start. You don’t need anything fancy. You really just want to focus on getting a good lens. Portrait lenses are ideal to see all the details of your hair masterpiece. I shoot with a Canon Rebel T6i EOS with a Sigma Portrait lens.
2. Find the light.
Nothing beats natural lighting to really showcase your work. If you need a little extra help, a ring light will always come in handy.
3. Keep your lens clean.
It may be simple but making sure your camera lens is clean is key. So many good photos are wasted by not cleaning the lens! Give yours a gentle wipe down before every use to ensure your photos come out as clear as day.
4. Composition is everything.
Think of the picture you’re taking as a painting. You want the picture to be interesting for others to look at. I’ve never taken a photography class, but I’ve been documenting my work for years so I believe that the constant use of the camera has helped me to develop an eye for the photo-taking aspect of hair. Sometimes it helps to think about the shot you want before you start taking photos.
5. Movement is essential.
Movement makes the hair look alive. Move the hair around to keep the hair from looking flat. This will also add more dimension to your photos and make them all the more captivating for your IG followers.
It’s important for clients to see other happy clients, it completes the image. So make sure your clients are always smiling. But do try to keep it as natural as possible. People can spot a fake grin from a mile away.
7. Practice makes perfect.
The most important tip for how to take the best photos of your client’s hair is to practice. Take pictures of everything. Even if the photos are for yourself. It’s great to compare your photos to see your growth.
8. Train your assistants.
Making time for photos during a busy workday can be very tricky so my assistants are being constantly trained to take photos so that they can facilitate and save time by taking the before shots of clients. I take the after shots of my clients, but I’m also training my assistants to see what I see when I’m taking my photos. An extra set of hands always helps.
How to Take Good Hair Pictures for Instagram
Want some extra advice? Are you a more visual learner? Hairstylist Jamie Dana put together this educational video on how to take the best photos of your client’s hair and it is chock full of helpful tips and tricks. Watch it now for some top-notch hair photography tips for stylists. You’re welcome!