Shoot first!

PAINTER Amy Fish shares with PAINT the challenges from her Queens of Colour Department’s first shoot with Larry King

Back when PAINT launched, I shared the exciting news that my boss, Larry King, had agreed that we, the Queens of Colour Department, could create our first photo shoot – and with his help! Fellow Colour Queen Harriet Muldoon and I sourced the models ourselves – we wanted them to be street cast, so what’s more “street cast” than standing outside Topshop Oxford Circus?! But we did find this such a struggle.

Although neither of us are scared to talk to people (being in this industry it is fun meeting and chatting to new people every day!) we found it very challenging, as we didn’t want to disturb girls’ shopping trips. We also found that everyone was blonde, and on this particular scout, we really wanted to find a brunette. It’s funny looking back at that experience now…

Once we found our models, and shoot day was actually happening, we planned all our looks. On the day, some of the colours we had to retouch. I’m sure you all have experiences when you’ve coloured hair and you’re really excited and when it’s dry you look at it and think: “Hmmm that could be much brighter” or “that tone isn’t what I expected” or “that colour is not as vibrant as I thought it would be”. That’s okay!

The thing with colour is that, in most cases, it can be changeable. We don’t let this get us down, we just need to do what we think is right to achieve the best look it can be. I sometimes beat myself up and think: “Why can’t I get this right first time?”. But don’t think like that; learn from the experience and it will only make you a better colourist. Don’t be afraid to say how you feel – it’s your work!

In the salon, I often ask Harriet or our other colourist Lucy’s opinion on hair colour – don’t feel it’s a sign of failure, it’s a sign of good team work and second opinions are valuable.


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We also found on the shoot that things can evolve that we didn’t expect or didn’t plan. That’s okay, just go with it! Lighting played a big role in our shoot – we all know the effects on lighting. We wanted as much natural light as possible to show the true colour.

My top tip for salon shoot days. TEAM WORK! It’s so important when creating a collection for your salon. It represents you and your work together – you want to show everyone what you do, and be proud of that! We also love giving everyone in the salon a chance, no matter how junior or senior they are. We find inspiration from everyone, so encourage the whole team to be involved and have their say. Don’t be scared. It’s fun! The assistants have learnt so much from our shoot, it keeps them inspired and driven to learn more.

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