With so many avenues to explore within the hair world, one of the more exciting ones is editorial and session. This is a fast paced, ever-changing world of fashion and beauty that you get to be a part of. While fun and exciting, starting this journey can also be extremely daunting. Yet now, there are workshops available that give you insight and advice from industry leaders. I recently had the chance to check out Chrystofer Benson and Joseph Cartright's workshop “Visionary Shoot”. This is a two-day course that walks you through what you need to put together your own shoot. On the first day, you are given advice and guidelines on everything from working with a photographer to getting published. Day 2 is all hands-on! You get a professional model, clothing stylist, makeup artist, and high quality equipment. Chrystofer describes the course well as “Taking the mystery out of shooting.” I walked into the studio during the second day of the workshop to see a group of hairstylists prepping their models. The mood was light and energetic with upbeat music playing. Ashley Stewart-Wright, one of the students taking the workshop, said her experience so far had been “Amazing! This is my first time doing a photo shoot. Very exciting!” After speaking with most of the stylists, that was the overall outlook on the course. They came from all over the country to attend, and each had varying levels of experience with fashion photo shoots. Patti Rodriguez said “By providing you with a full team, it makes the experience much less intimidating.” Chrytstofer Benson, a multi NAHA award winner, sat down with me to share some his tips. He says hair and beauty is a passion that you need to have to be successful. He inspires the class to view the world differently. Chrystofer said, “Take what you are passionate about, and turn that into hair”. If art is your passion, then pull your inspiration from that. If nature is your inspiration, then that is what you should draw from. “Looking at things this way opens your eyes to the world and then you can see the possibility in anything”. Lastly, I asked Chrystofer: What is the best advice you could give to a stylist looking to break into the editorial side of hair styling. He replied quite bluntly, “Perseverance. You just have to keep going.” I quickly spoke with Joseph Cartright between shooting to ask him a few questions. As a photographer, who has worked with the top people in the business, I asked Joseph: When working with hairstylists, what separates the good from the great? “Style hair for the camera, not the model.” Understanding all the elements that occur during a photo shoot is necessary to create a beautiful photo. As a stylist that works on set often, it is so true. While you may think something looks great in-person, when you see the image on camera you notice things to tweak and change. The editor of the well-known magazine, Hot by Hairs Now, who herself is also a hair dresser, gave me some advice on how to get published. The images have to tell a story, and all make sense together. To do this, you need to have a strong concept and plan in place prior to the shoot. Keeping the looks fresh and clean. “If you are going to do something, do it with intent and properly pay attention to detail”. If you want a curl in the hair, make it a defined curl, straight style- smooth, etc… As I mentioned before, she is a hairstylist, and knows what to look for. Quality in your work is important. When looking to publish, make sure to use professional models that know how to move and catch light. Overall, the course was very in-depth and gave great insight into how the world of fashion works behind the camera. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with Chrystopher and Joseph to dig even deeper into the workings of a photo shoot. I’d like to end by saying, best of luck to all to all of you in your pursuit of a career in this fast paced, exciting world, that is fashion and beauty!
“Learn to fail, so you know what success is.” - Chrystofer Benson