Hair styling shoot

Before shoot comments:

This shoot should be roughly 10-15minutes long and shouldn’t take too long as this section is only taking photographs. the main factor to bare in mind in this shoot is to make sure the model is comfortable and is guided through the shoot sensibly as to avoid ridged and unstructured images.

we have been told that the models have a mood board to show what kind of image they desire for us to take for them. i need to make sure i have contact details for the stylist maybe an email or a phone number, to see which images they wish to have for their portfolio’s at the end of the shoot, i will then edit their and my own choices of image.

a model release form will be necessary as to avoid legal complications in the photo publishing process, say if these photographs were to be shared anywhere and the model didn’t want that i could be liable to be sued. to avoid this a contract is made with the models to ensure that the photographs we take of them can be used for purposes fit to whatever we see fit, we are basically asking permission for the ownership of these images.

Contact sheet.

Making a contact sheet.

  1. first we had to select all of the images we had taken on the shoot and bridge told us how many had been selected.
  2. then we had to make sure than on the right hand side panel..the tab “Document” was set to size A4, and to quality 300ppi.
  3. Afterwards make sure that in the “Layout” tab that both of the ‘colums’ and ‘rows’ were set to 4, and that the rotate to best fit is ticked in this tab.
  4. in the “overlays” tab make sure the ‘filename’ and ‘extension’ boxes are ticked. (this is so that the filename and phot number will appear underneath each photograph on the contact sheet.
  5. so that each photographer can be identified by their client (by name) a header is added to the contact sheet. this is done by in the “header” tab add header box has to be ticked, you need to make sure that in the ‘add text’ box beneath this you add your name (photographers name).
  6. finally at the very top of the whole ride hand side panel there is a preview option click this and if it is up to your standards, go to the bottom of the panel and tick view PDF after save, then save the PDF of the contact sheet and give to clients for their photo selection.

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i then sent the client the contact sheet via email and also printed a copy off and gave them by hand, the by hand so they could circle which they preferred and i could then go on to send them an edited copy. i sent them also the contact sheet so that they could see the digital quality of the images which they would receive as the paper pinter copies really don’t do the photographs justice. after she hand hand selected which photographs were her favourites i then sent her the two images that she asked for.

i would work with this model again as she was a little shy at first like anyone would be but took direction well and then came out of her shell and was brilliant to shoot with. also the stylist Julia worked well to guide me in exactly what kind of shot she wanted of Rosie (the model).

my second model Rebeka wanted to show off her really long hair, her stylist guided me through how she wanted her hair to look in the image and i believe i followed this quite well, i am pleased wit the end result. the two images on the left the first left hand side ha been edited the hair strands have been edited out and the harsh grey sides have been replaced by a vignette background.

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my favourite pic out of all of the ones i took of Rebeka is the 3rd image across with one up down and one up as  prefer the posture she has here and i like the way she is looking down so the shoot isn’t about her exactly its emphasises her hair as the shoot was meant for this it fits the ‘brief’. she seems elegant and effortlessly flawless whereas in the others to me it feels as though she is trying too hard to be what she thinks she needs to be.

my least favourite picture is the 4th and final picture on this row because she is looking straight into the camera and i don’t like the way she is standing in this image she looks slightly ridged and forced into her position and her hair has a few gaps in it which are bugging me.

Shoot Evaluation.

What went well?

the shoot was successful as i met the brief of shooting the models to show of the hair. both models were very photogenic and took guidance well also the lighting looked brilliant on each models hair and was altered accordingly to what the stylist and model wanted.

What problems did you encounter?

there was a communication problem in that the model and stylist had a strong accent and it was hard for us to interpret each other. we solved this problem by me asking very simple questions and them answering with precise answers they knew i could recognise, we also moved the model personally into each position and gave opinions on what needed changing in the is way.

How could i improve the way i shot the shoot?

the way i could develop the shoot would be if there were less people in the room and that there were music in the background which i knew the model and stylist approved on (as to comfort them and make them more relaxed). next time i would just be closer to the model herself and not zoom as much as you lose a lot of clarity and quality when you zoom (which unfortunately is what i did on the shoot) so next time i would rectify this issue.

Do i think my photos are successful?

i believe my photos are successful and unsuccessful. they are strong as they meet the objective in that they make the hair the main focus of the image at hand, they are also of a good quality and the lighting and posture of the models works well, overall the whole composition just works together great. what i believe to have failed was my own abstract flare on the whole shoot as it was for a stylist’s specifics. also i believe that the photos aren’t perfect to me as they could have been more clear by standing closer, and all of them needed more exposure which i didn’t realise on the actual shoot itself so i needed to edit their exposure. as a whole the photos needed quite a bit of editing but the end result was overall to par.

Technical Factors?

i learned that soft boxes capture hair a lot better than beauty dishes. this is because a beauty dish uses harsh light which hair reflects whereas using the soft box the hair absorbs the light and the light is a lot softer so it is clearer to the eye and makes the hair look exceptional. also trying get the hair sharp in the shot i needed manual focus as you can’t trust auto focus when shooting hair at all. use a longer lens and not a wide angle lens as you get a lot of distortion and this can make the creation of hair look different or funny looking.

Human factors?

i learned that working with a client can be fun or frustrating. as photographers we have the ability to see out subject and know what will look good, sadly this isn’t what the stylist or model may want which can be quite vexing. some models are awkward and uncomfortable and don’t really know how to relax and take guidance which can obstruct the photographer getting the shot which the clients may want, also it may be quite hard for a photographer to also guide the stylist into trying a pose which may be better for the end photograph. if both the clients and photographer have set ideas on what to do on the shoot then intentions can collide and may be either disastrous or compliment each other. at the end of the day the photographer does what the client wants, even if we as photographers don’t like what the client wants we have a job to do this is what i have learnt.

Using the software?

ive had to take the raw files and take them straight into photoshop and change the exposure quite a bit as on this particular factor i struggled to get the lighting correct so when getting into here i had to bring the saturation down a little too warm and also change the exposure.

1 comment
  1. Xaffi, even though I think you’ve done a really good job of photographing the hair models there is a lot of information missing that would help you achieve better grades. You obviously successfully set up and used the studio lights, but haven’t explained or photographed the set-up you used, or mentioned the exposure settings. You could also show evidence of visual research into hair photography and the techniques used in order to demonstrate that you understand the requirements of the client.
    Greater attention to detail in the way you describe the whole process would demonstrate your knowledge and skill in using technology to produce your photos to a certain standard.


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