5 Tips for a Successful Photo Shoot

Maggie Mulhern | July 17, 2014 | 10:44 AM
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MODERN recently met with Jessica Tiddes, a stylist at Solo Salon in Chicago, when she came to the Water Street Studio in NYC to work with famed stylists Chris McMillan and Ward.

Tiddes, winner of the Living Proof "Flex Your Style" competition, earned the honor of assisting these superstars as one of its prizes. After the photo session, MODERN asked Tiddes what she has learned doing her own shoots (she shoots regularly and has won several competitions) and what she learned on set with McMillan and Ward.

"One of the most interesting things I learned with Chris and Ward, even though they were creating undone, effortless styles, was to pay attention to detail," Tiddes says. "Every strand was placed or styled. I also did enjoy seeing the 'board' used to create a breezy look. It's a nice alternative to a fan."



1. Professional models - if your models are not comfortable in front of the camera or don't look good in front of the camera then the hair won't either.

2. Lighting is important.  If the hair isn't lit properly then it won't be showcased in the image. Work closely with the photographer to plan out the overall feel of the shoot.

3. When possible, ask the photographer to shoot tether.  Most times, the goal is one amazing money shot.  Shooting tether allows you to see the image and adjust accordingly right then and there.

4. Go for quality not quantity. One to three successful images can take an entire's day work. Plan accordingly and shoot more than one day, if needed.

5. Resilience!  Some shots or looks may not come out as imagined.  Learn from your discoveries and try again!  Some of my images that won contests were from the second shoot, because I wasn't 120% happy with my quality of work from the initial shoot.

Follow Tiddes on Instagram (@jesstiddes) and her professional website is

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