Articles > 5 Steps to Hack a Photoshoot
May 3, 2016

5 Steps to Hack a Photoshoot

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TIGI® photographer extraordinaire Alex Barron-Hough doing what he does best!


You see gorgeous photos of hair on your Instagram feed and you want to start building your own portfolio, but your iPhone camera just ain’t cutting it and it definitely isn’t in your budget to hire high-end professionals. Here’s what you do—follow these tips for putting together an amazing photoshoot from TIGI® educator Joel Torres, who posts fantastic video tutorials on Instagram at @joeltorresstyle. We spent a week at a special bootcamp for young hairdressers who want to be platform and session artists, so we saw firsthand what goes into a pro shoot. But you can DIY it!


Trust Joel’s tips. He’s worked backstage at New York Fashion Week!


1. Make an inspiration board and narrow down your ideas.
Joel’s tip is to find what inspires you and put it all together (either on Pinterest or on the original inspiration board, some actual paper!). Look beyond just hair—inspiration can come from architecture, fabrics, colors or textures. Once you have an idea, you can narrow down the direction you want to take and the story you want to tell.


2. Find a model.
This can be hard—in fact, TIGI® European Creative Director Akos Bodi says that the model is 50 percent of your success when it comes to photoshoots. Use your inspiration board to determine the look you want your model to have. Is it androgynous? Sexy? Feminine? Use Instagram or other social media to find up-and-coming models who want to build their portfolios and offer to give them the final photos in exchange for their services. Before you make a final model decision, remember two things:


    • The hair has to be good, of course. Feel the hair and see if it will work with what you want to accomplish…
    • But at the same time, remember that the hair isn’t everything. If the model doesn’t have the attitude you need for your vision, the photos won’t work.


3. Choose the perfect wardrobe.
If fashion is your thing, then great! If not, you can totally collaborate with a young designer or curator who wants to get exposure. Offer to credit them and share the photos in exchange for their help. It’s all about collaboration! Same with makeup artists—there are people out there who need to practice on more faces and get that social media content.


4. Secure a photographer.
Again, turn to Instagram for this one. You can find a young, unknown photographer on Instagram who is looking for exposure and practice. It can definitely be hard to get someone to shoot your work for free, but use the exposure they’ll get as a bargaining chip in negotiating your price.


5. Remember to keep practicing!
Don’t one-and-done it with your photoshoot. The key to success on social media is to always be updating your content, so start making relationships with photographers, makeup artists, wardrobe designers and others in the creative industry. It will only benefit you in the long run!


Ready to take your skills to the next level?
Learn how to be a platform artist in five days!



Looking for photo shoot inspiration? Try the TIGI 24/7 app!


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Joel Torres