Jessica Tiddes believes that every salon professional should enter as many competitions as possible. "Entering a competition is a great way to push yourself out of your comfort zone and grow as a stylist," she says.

The Chicago based stylist who specializes in special occasion hair recently won a trip to NYC to observe (and help!) at a photoshoot for Modern Salon with Chris McMillan and Ward after winning a Living Proof contest. A former educator and now stylist at Solo Salon, Tiddes' goal is to enter NAHA, and with her track record, she will probably win!

 

Here Tiddes offers her 5 tips for making an entry stand out (and check out her the shot that helped her win the Living Proof competition):

1. Make sure your image is identifiable to the category you are entering.

2. Be sure that there is continuity within your image and all the different elements are working together, not against each other. I like to come up with three adjectives beforehand when I am planning the shoot. For example - soft, romantic, undone. This helps keep me on task to ensure continuity with the hair, makeup, backdrop, wardrobe and lighting.

3. Make sure that if you are entering a hair completion, that your photo CLEARLY showcases the hair. Or, vice versa for makeup.

4. Practice before hand!!!

5. Storyboard with your artistic team to make sure you are all on the same page. You can talk about the concept, but visual looking at pictures as a team is helpful.