The 5 biggest mistakes salons make when shooting hair collections

Producing a hair collection is always an exciting experience. But whether you’re a seasoned veteran or about to embark on your very first shoot, it is deceptively easy to lose your way when you’re immersed in a creative bubble. We spoke to Alex Barron-Hough, the man who’s been behind the lens on many of our favourite photographic collections, about where salons often go wrong, and what they should be doing to get it right…


I often see clients leaning towards wanting to shoot what they feel the industry or competition judges want to see, rather than shooting what they really want. You can always tell whether a collection was built on passion or not.

The most successful collections are not just a happy accident. When it comes to the hair, they are well planned, carefully thought out and meticulously practiced.

When it comes to styles and techniques, sometimes less is more. I often say to clients to think of themselves as chefs; you wouldn’t want a plate of food that had Chinese, Italian, Indian, British, Thai and Japanese elements all crammed into one dish. Sometimes simplicity is key – choose one technique and execute that really well, as opposed to trying every technique under the sun and not perfecting any of them!

This is a personal pet hate of mine and I think as an industry, we need to remain true to ourselves. You have the talent, so don’t hide it behind overly retouched, obviously edited and ultimately unrealistic

Hair for photoshoots is obviously very different to salon hair, and we are very lucky these days to be able to instantly see how the total image is looking. It’s very important to ensure that ALL aspects marry up together and tell the same story – hair, makeup, styling, composition etc.  – so you need to keep an eye on every aspect of the shoot and not just at the area you are interested in. Make absolutely sure the message it conveys is cohesive.

Finally, remember a photoshoot is a collaboration between creatives – the photographer, the hair team, makeup team, stylists, art directors etc. If one element really doesn’t feel right to you, it probably isn’t… and it could well be time to look for a new member of the shoot crew!

Look out for more of Alex’s work in our June issue (and over the summer here on Creative HEAD Education), where we’ll be exclusively unveiling Stil. Salon’s new collection…