How to master hair photography, according to David Raccuglia

Photographer and American Crew founder David Raccuglia shares his advice on how to photograph hair – from what makes a great image, to common photography pitfalls to watch out for



“There’s a complicated simplicity to what makes a great image,” says David Raccuglia, barber, salon owner, photographer and founder of American Crew. 

To capture the perfect shot it’s all about doing your research beforehand, and having an idea of the kind of image you want to create. Here are his expert tips and tricks for mastering hair photography:

Strive for authenticity

Authenticity is very important; you want to be able to look at an image and actually believe it. What makes that photo believable, so that people will enjoy looking at it? It could be that the model and the hairstyle just seemed to work together – where the look is so well executed, and it suits the model.

Authentic imagery is very interesting right now. If you look at what all of the top editorial magazines are showing, it’s both very cool and very normal. They’re not as fantastical as past decades, which I think is very refreshing. It’s kind of nice to see this urban realism, I love it.

Don’t overdo it

The beauty industry can tend to overdo things, especially if they’re anxious to show their talent. Sometimes it is better to be a little underwhelming than overwhelming. I’m not saying that creativity should be taken out of it; it could be the coolest, most interesting hairstyle, and yet it has to be authentic. You want the set-up of the image to seem real and believable.

American Crew HQ Collection


Find your photographic voice

You have to try to get a voice photographically. You can develop this by creating mood boards, finding a mentor, finding somebody’s look and feel that you don’t want to necessarily copy but that can inspire you… all of thus is very helpful to a beginner. It helps you to have a benchmark that you’re trying to achieve when you’re working.

Having a defined look and feel for your social media presence is a big one. It could be inspired by a fashion company that you admire, or it could be something else. But try to create a voice that suits what you’re trying to achieve.

Get the most out of your models

I’m always striving to make it look like I just caught somebody there, or I I got them in the right angle or they look comfortable and happy. They’re thriving in my photos!

Discover more inspiring first-person perspectives here >>

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