Creating mood and a story for your hair collection photography 

Anniss_Barton_Hair_Photographers, photographers blog, anniss+barton

Creating mood hair photography by Anniss+Barton

Here are a few tips and tricks from our experience in photographing in the hair and fashion industry.

Following from our first blog, Talent Selection: How the Right Model Strengthens Your Hair ArtIn this issue, we cover ‘Creating mood and a story for your hair collection photography’.

If you look at any of your favourite films, the most outstanding takeaway is that they have a great story.  Delve a little deeper and you’ll also find that within that same narrative, there is certain mood or feeling that provides the whole film its “je ne sais quoi”.    

Think of a horror film, the lighting creates a mood with cool tones and an unsettled atmosphere.  It’s this narrative and mood that can also help make your hair collection stand out and make an impact on your audience. So making the right choices in setting your mood and story for your collection can be a crucial contributor to being noticed and winning awards.

TIP ONE – Create a story

You have your idea of what you want to achieve, but do you have a narrative of what you are going to do?  What is the story? A good story will become the backbone for your production.  This is what will dictate the look and feeling of your collection. The story can literally be anything, so long as it has your passion in it. Once you know where you want to take your vision, then you will be able to communicate and express your vision to your team. It’s important to get everyone on the same page from day one, from your make up artist, wardrobe stylist and even giving your model(s) a ‘character’ to portray and of course your hair photographer.  A good hair photographer will help you with the production and ensuring that you pre-production is clear with everyone involved.

TIP TWO – Mood-board

Creating a mood board at this stage is priority.  Your mood board is where you express your visual representation of your story.  This is where you can make use of fantastic tools like Pinterest – its one of the greatest creative tools on earth for pre-production!  With your story and its mood/feeling in mind, pin references that describe your collection, look at makeup and styling ideas, as well as different lighting techniques that might add drama to your images. Clip images from magazines, fashion websites, fine art and music videos, which can also be very inspiring. The more references you find, the more inspired you are, and the closer you are to clearest idea of what you want to achieve.  This isn’t just for you so you can ground your idea, it’s to show your eventual team, so they can get behind the idea too, sit down with your team – your assistant, colourist,  hair photographer, wardrobe stylist, make-up artist and run through these ideas with them.  Not only will this help everyone be on the same page when you photograph you hair collection, but it will also allow for an expansion of ideas to flow, which can greatly enhance what you initially imagined.  4 or 5 creative brains can be better than one…

Creating mood, hair photography, hair photographers

Creating mood hair photography by Anniss+Barton

Some ideas might seem quite easy to portray but in reality they could be very difficult to photograph as well as creating certain moods and expressions. This is why it is critical to focus on the preparations long before the day of shooting.

TIP THREE – Pre production & storyboarding

With your chosen photographer and team, your now ready to devise the production plan and story board.  A good photographer will provide pre-production as part of their service, and being involved will ensure you all can contribute and achieve the goals you want.  Within the pre-production you want to set about storyboarding your collection as much as possible, right down to each shot listed, ideas for each shots look and mood.    Having sound storyboarding will allow for a smooth shooting process on the day, keep you on track for achieving your desired outcomes and help you with working out a number of key factors;

  • What type of look do you need in your talent/model
  • The style of final images for retouching and also how each look is photographed
  • The location and settings, scenes and props required for the shoot
  • How much time and/or how many shoots you’ll need to do to achieve your desired result.
  • What options can be considered as well? Could you include an editorial photoshoot with your collection shoot / Could you do a short video production whilst doing the photoshoot
  • The budget that might be required to achieve your shoot…

This photographers blog issue was about Creating mood and a story for hair collection photography’.  Be sure to check out our upcoming articles for more photography and hair collection tips. You can contact Anniss+Barton with any questions at and be sure to follow us on Instagram @annissbarton    ( creating mood hair photography by Anniss+Barton  – photos © Anniss+Barton 2015, Hair & Makeup by image1 @adambradyau and image2 @richardkavanagh , Styling by image1 @sirleroylorenzo & image2 @kissmestupidmag)

About the Author – Anniss+Barton

Photography duo, Kurt Anniss and Nathan Barton. Our creative style is quirky, sexy, polished and a little risqué, which we apply to the Hair & Beauty and Fashion realms. Having produced woks & campaigns from local fashion houses, to large multinational hair brands such as OSMO Australia to the L’Oréal Group,  including, MatrixKérastaseRedken 5th Avenue and Shu Uemura.