How to Have a Successful Photo Shoot

He has shot for many heavy hitting beauty brands in the industry, for A-list celebrities, well-known fashion designers and he also directs and shoots for film through his company, Sole Icon. Photographer Robert Lynden has the benefit of being married to salon owner and hairdresser extraordinaire Ginger Boyle (“I learned how to shoot hair and to understand the lingo”) so he has a unique take on what goes into a photo shoot and specifically one that focuses on hair.

“In beauty, there are basically two things that are really important from a photographer’s stand point—it’s the lighting and the direction,” says Lynden.

Here are his top tips for preparing for a successful photo shoot:

1. Pre-production and organizing are so important. What you get out of something will be determined by what you put into it.

2. Find a model that will suit the kind of hair you want to do. An interesting face is important. A good photographer can make anyone look good.

3. Find a photographer who shoots people and is good with lighting. Look at their portfolio. Don’t go purely on a recommendation.

4. Collaborate with your photographer, your makeup artist, your wardrobe stylist and, of course, your hairdresser. Everyone needs to understand the concept.

5. The hairdresser is the art director, they are leading the collaboration. Sometimes hairdressers are afraid to tell the photographer that they don’t really like what is coming out of the camera. You have to speak up and tell them. Don’t listen when they say “We’ll fix it later.” Fix it on set.

6. Many hairdressers or salons want to shoot examples of their work but they don’t’ have the budget for a high-paying model. And many new, inexperienced models don’t know how to move so you need a photographer who is confident directing and helping the model move in front of the camera. The model will actually be more comfortable if they are told the concept. I never say to a model, ‘Just be yourself’ but I suggest they create a character.

7. Don’t use a lot of hairspray.

“When I got out of art school, I assisted Helmut Newton and I watched how he would interact with people,” says Lynden. “We didn’t always shoot models-- it was socialites, celebrities—and he had a way of talking to them, of carrying on a conversation and the person was not even aware that they were being photographed. It’s one way of making someone relax.”

See more of his work at his website:

How to Have a Successful Photo Shoot

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