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6 Tips for Taking the Perfect Style Shots on Your Phone

Lauren Salapatek | July 28, 2015 | 1:31 AM
Hair by Sean Rocco Salon, Charlotte, NC. Make-up by Susie Hearn. Photography: Tom Carson.

You've just added that final blast of spray shine, and you’re looking at the most beautiful head of hair you've ever created. You want the world to see it! With no professional camera or photographer like the “big” salons have, your best alternative is your smartphone and social media apps like Instagram. Here, professional photographer Tom Carson, who has shot with hundreds of salons around the globe, shares his tips for the perfect phone pic:

1. Avoid clutter. Nothing is more distracting than seeing your station in the background. Find a light, neutral-colored wall and position your client in front of it.

2. Try to use natural light. Raw, direct flash from a smartphone or iPad is not flattering. Not only will it add a blue or green cast to your color work—some newer phone models don't have flash at all. If it's too dark in your salon, step outside in the shade, or if you are lucky enough to have daylight-balanced fluorescents or halogens in the ceiling, find a place that is not directly under the light source. You’ll avoid funky shadows and hot spots on the hair and face.

3. Less is more. Screen real estate is at a minimum on most mobile devices. With such tiny screens, it's important to shoot “portrait-style” shots: the head and shoulders or from the waist up. If you step back too far, your subject's head will be too small in the shot, and your hair will be just a pixely blob.

4. Multiple images in one post are great for showing before, afters and front-side views. There are several free apps like Photo Grid and Photo Mix that let you merge several shots into a single collage photo. Keep the collage simple—no flowers in the corners or wide colored borders.

5. Keep the artistic filter settings off when shooting your client’s hair. It will only detract from details and the color that you worked so hard to achieve.

6. Don't forget to use hashtags or captions, tag yourself, and make sure the post is set to run on Facebook, too.

 

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