Tanya Lange was invited to assist on a recent photo shoot with editorial stylists and salon owners, Sonya and Christopher Dove. Lange works at The Doves Salon in Santa Monica. “She has an amazing wealth of knowledge not only as a stylist but as a teacher, as well, “says Sonya Dove. The mark of a great teacher is someone who is always learning. Lange took away some terrific insight from her day with The Doves.

“Some of the concepts may seem commonsensical, but actually seeing The Doves execute these ideas has changed the way I will approach photo shoots from now on,” says Lange.

1) Photo shoots don’t have to be hectic and disjointed with a single leader dictating to everyone. They can actually be organize, efficient, naturally flowing environments. I was blown away by how smoothly everything went.

 2) This kind of professional environment can be achieved by surrounding yourself with elite talent… and trusting them! Micromanaging stifles creativity. Christopher and Sonya were so good at communicating an overall theme, while letting everyone else express themselves.

 3) Perform a thorough and clean hair set. Don’t overspray at the beginning, layer throughout. This will leave more options as you take your models from look to look.

Top 5 Takeaways from Time on Set

 4) Maintain a collection of inspiration. Chris and Sonya had a manila folder full of clippings that were used for inspiration and communicating ideas.

 5) There’s a difference between pretty people and great models. Great models really know how to blend their own style with another person’s vision.

 6) Don’t just look at the model, look at the monitor on the camera. Make changes based on what you see on the monitor.

 7) Christopher and Sonya went out of their way to share their knowledge with me. They were so enthusiastic and gracious. I can’t help but think that the Dove’s success is an extension of their passion for the industry, and their desire to share it with everyone they’re around.

 And finally:

 “There’s a reason why most models aren’t shot from the back. Most of their outfits are pinned up, not zipped.”

 See final images from this photo shoot in an upcoming issue of MODERN SALON.