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Understanding a Photo Shoot

Web Editor | July 10, 2011 | 10:12 AM

Understanding a Photo Shoot

It can feel indulgent, spending an entire day and thousands of dollars to create photos of your own work. In tight economic times like these, the photo shoot can be the first budget line item that gets deep-sixed. Salon owners who stage these shoots season after season, however, wouldn’t drop them for anything.

The twofold rationale for doing hair photo shoots mirrors all artists’ universal struggle to make a living from their craft:

1. Hairdressers can stay motivated and viable only by continually nourishing their creative drive.

2. The work that comes out of your salon is a uniquely powerful branding and marketing tool.

You know how to do the creative part of a photo shoot, but do you know how to follow legal standards?  Although you probably don’t need a lawyer to draw up a complicated photo shoot legal package for you, read everything you sign and be aware of the typical legal pitfalls. Here are a few guidelines to make your next photo shoot fuss free!

• Require every model to sign a standard model release that permits you to use her image for both editorial and advertising and for print, video and online publication.

• On your calendar, mark the last date you’re allowed to use the photos. Normally, the modeling agency and/or photographer permit about a year’s use. If possible, include in writing that once you offer the images to a magazine, you have no control over how long it will take for them to be published.

• If the players are contributing their various talents for no payment, what you’re doing is a test. You may include the images in your portfolio in order to pursue freelance work, but not for any type of advertising or marketing. They cannot appear on your menu, on a poster in the salon or in a book left out for clients. Shooting on spec is a little different. Although most or all of the contributors come to the table without payment and you are prohibited from using the images for advertising, when you shot on spec you are permitted to send the photos to publications for editorial consideration with the credits naming everyone involved. NAHA shoots fall into this category. Stylists use spec shoots to try to build a relationship with a newspaper or magazine or to get their name out there and possibly get hired for commercials and film work.

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