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Last updated: June 17, 2019

4 Ways To Photograph Hair Using A Ring Light

Hawaii Seminar Photo Shoot Instagram Photography Using A Ring Light In The Salon
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4 Ways To Make Any Hair Appointment A Photo Shoot
Are you comfortable shooting your work in the salon, on your phone and using different light sources? Here’s what you need to know: If you can’t easily access natural light in your salon environment, a ring light can be a great photography tool IF you know how to use it properly. That’s why we’re sharing lighting, camera and product tips for capturing those social media-friendly pics—get them all below! 



BTC was onsite at the JPMS Hawaii Seminar where Editorial Director and award-winning stylist Noogie Thai (@noogiethai) led a session on everything from professional editorial work to shooting with a ring light. Here’s what we learned behind the camera lens with Noogie, Mary Cuomo (@cuomocreomeans) and Lucas Doney (@lucasdoney)



1. Avoid Overexposure
A ring light will help you directly reflect light onto hair, but overexposure will blow out any dimension or bright contrast in your client’s color. To avoid this, dim down the ring light so it’s not too bright and adjust the exposure manually on your phone instead for total control. You’ll also be able to play with different levels of shadows and highlights.


2. Adjust For Hair Type: Curls, Long Hair & A-Line Bobs
“Don’t just shoot through the (ring light) hole,” warns Noogie. “Use body position as a direction to point at what you want your audience to look at.” Here are three tips for adjusting light and positioning to accentuate a specific texture or haircut:

  • Curls: Adjust the light intensity so it strongly reflects light, defining every curl and individual bend in the hair.
  • Long Hair: Have your client drop their shoulder down and lean their body over to one side so the hair falls forward to create expansion and a strong silhouette.
  • A-Line Bobs: Have your client turn to show their profile, then try tilting their chin down and head back to accentuate the blunt line.


3. Don’t Overuse Product
“The less amount of finishing product the better when shooting with a ring light,” shares Noogie. Why? Ring lights are a direct source of light that create shine on the hair, so applying too much hairspray can appear as greasy on camera.


Before taming flyaways with product, photograph the hair because sometimes the ring light will blur them out. If that’s the case, applying product on them will actually create a reflective light on the frizz and work against you.


Here’s are the two products Noogie always keeps in his styling arsenal on-set:

Products Used


Hawaii Seminar Photo Shoot Instagram Photography Using A Ring Light In The Salon


4. Work Through The Camera Lens
Don’t assume the hair will photograph the way it looks in person, or make adjustments based on what it looks like directly in front of you. “Look at the hair through your phone instead of relying on the naked eye,” shares Noogie. Then, see how the hair fills the space and find the right distance to capture the entire look without showing excess background or cropping the hair.

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John Paul Mitchell Systems