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Building Your Online Bridal Hair Portfolio: How to Take Instagram-Worthy Photos

Building Your Online Bridal Hair Portfolio: How to Take Instagram-Worthy Photos

We all know that these days, our online presence is integral to having a successful business. Brides love to flick through magazines, but when it comes to finding bridal hair inspiration and booking their bridal hair and makeup artist it is now almost always off the back of an amazing online portfolio and lots of 5* reviews.

Instagram is the perfect platform for bridal hairstylists, essentially offering a shop window for the world to browse. The only problem is, there is an awful lot of competition you’ll be going up against. This doesn’t mean that you can’t make Instagram work for your business, it just means that you’ve got to go at it like a pro and really make the most of all it has to offer.

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As an image-based platform, your Instagram photos MUST be exceptional. Taking clean, clear, bright images with a strong sense of your brand is the first step you must take to create an online portfolio that gets those all-important views, follows and shares.

As a bridal hairstylist, you will have loads of gorgeous things worth taking photos of: your amazing hairstyles; accompanying bridal makeup; beautiful hair accessories and bridal wear and not to mention those stunning brides in their fabulous wedding locations (just make sure that you get their permission first!). It’s just a matter of knowing how to take those photos and edit them in such a way that it makes a winning image.

Fortunately, there is a science behind this. You don’t have to be the best photographer in the world with a fancy photography kit to take Instagram-worthy photos for your online portfolio, you just need a bit of insider info, which we’re going to share with you in today’s blog.

Use these tips that are easy enough for anyone to follow to build an online bridal hair portfolio on Instagram that will make a huge difference to your business…

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instagram

Make a Plan

Going at Instagram all slap-dash and spontaneous might seem like a great idea and it’s fine if that’s way to do things on your personal account, but your business account, as with anything work-related, is always far more effective with a proper plan of action.

Before you even set about uploading your first post on your business Instagram, you’ll seriously benefit from figuring out what you’re doing there, who you’re targeting, and what your brand is about.

Even an individual hairstylist or makeup artist should consider themselves a brand to grab the attention of your target audience. Think big, be big!

Once you’ve done this and your stream is full steam ahead, you may even want to consider preparing and scheduling your posts, rather than just doing it as and when. This way, you can make sure that you keep in line with your plan at all times and you never miss a valuable day of Instagramming!

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Always Well Lit

One way to make sure that your photo looks terrible is to take a snap in poor lighting. Don’t do it! There’s simply no reason to and it never looks good.

You don’t need to have a full studio set-up to take beautifully lit images; often natural lighting is the best source of light there is. If you’re taking a photo of a client to put on your Instagram, ask their permission first of all and then ask them to step into a well lit space, whether that’s at a window or outside.

Your chance to draw in potential clients on Instagram comes down to what your photo looks like as a tiny thumbnail in-amongst all the other pictures and a dull, dark, poor quality images simply isn’t something that anyone is going to want to take a closer look at.

Do you work justice and take a few extra minutes to take a photo worth posting, otherwise it’s really not worth taking atall.

Thinking about doing a bridal hair photo-shoot?

Read our expert tips on how to do it right

Embrace Negative Space 

Just as an image needs to be well lit to capture the eye on Instagram, it also needs to be appealing to look at and often background clutter is enough to make people scroll on. A messy photo can be hard to take in and it certainly won’t help to highlight your beautiful styles.

A gorgeous backdrop or even a behind the scenes shot can work really well, but you’ll notice on some of the most successful Instagram feeds that images with very little going on in it other than the main subject are frequently the most popular. This is down to the magic of negative space.

Embracing negative space basically means not shying away from empty areas in a photo. Try standing your client in front of a plain white wall, or completely clear the space around them for a more aesthetically pleasing image. This also works really well for product and tool shots, if that is something you would like to try.

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Use Editing Apps

If you think that your favourite Instagrammers upload photos fresh out of their camera or phone, think again. It is very rare that a fabulous image is free from editing. It might be just some very subtle tweaking of the light balance, details  and contrast or it could be quite a bit more.

Don’t freak out if you’re not a photoshop whizz-kid. Thanks to a bucket-load of nifty apps that you can now download straight to your phone, photo editing is easy.

We love Snapseed for it’s straightforward, user friendly tools that can transform a photo in a matter of minutes. Pinpoint areas to light up or dim down, bring out the vibrancy or add a filter or frame for a fun effect.

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Want to know more about how to win at Instagram?

Read our business Instagram tips…

Be Consistent

Following on from our point on editing your images, when doing this, do your best to keep your editing consistent throughout your Instagram feed.

Take a look at Instagram streams you follow and observe how all of their photos have a strong look carried through them. This might be down to their photography style or, more commonly, it is down to keeping their editing choices the same throughout.

Throwing in random filters for each post can leave your feed looking haphazard and messy. This is not something that people enjoy looking at! You need to consider your stream as a whole, like a book or a shop window and dress it accordingly.

Choose a signature look and stick with it for best results.

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Use Your Phone Features

Aside from editing apps, your phone actually comes with some clever in-built features that are designed to help you take a better photo. There’s nothing complicated about it and they’re well worth using, so start today!

The latest iPhones have a portrait mode which will give you fabulously crisp clear images of the hair and makeup and will actually blur out the background so even clutter in the background looks good!

Alternatively, turn on your grid function. This brings up a square grid whenever you go to take a photo, which means that you can line up your subject in a far more symmetrical way or draw attention to bits you want to stand out. Pro photographers will tell you that keeping the main point of interest right in the centre or in a corner surrounded by negative space is the best way to utilise this.

Burst mode is another good one to try out if you’d like to capture some action shots at an event. This feature will allow you to use a fast shutter speed to take lots of quick images – you can then choose to best moment to save and use.

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Keep it Simple

Over-edited shots can be very unappealing, particularly if you’re not that great at doing it. Be conservative with filters and how strong you make them – less is more.

Maintaining a more natural look with subtle changes to bring out the very best in a photo is the best way to go for a stunning Instagram feed.

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Practice & Play

Just like we say with bridal hairstyling, practice makes perfect, so always be taking photos. If you want to improve a skill, there’s no better way that by playing around with it, having fun and doing it every day.

Make taking creative photos part of your daily routine and take time to really look at your favourite Instagram feeds and emulate the look they’re using. Eventually, you will develop your own style, but experimenting with looks that you know you like and trying to understand what makes them work is really helpful.

Practice, practice, practice! You’ll get better all the time.

Practice Makes Perfect!

Keep practicing your bridal hair skills…

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Look for Moments

If you’re not used to taking photos, you might find yourself waiting for a shot to present itself to you, but really it’s down to you to go looking for the moments.

Switch on your creative brain and always keep an eye out for Instagram-worthy moments – something that tells a story, something that shows emotions or something that just looks gorgeous!

Use your eyes before the lens and consider the best composition, lighting and angle before taking a picture. This will help you take less throw-away photos and more worth using, making your time choosing which to upload far more efficient.

The more you train yourself to do this, the easier it will become. Start looking at the world through a photographer’s eyes. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your skill develops.

Win at Instagram for a Serious Bridal Hair Business Boost!

How to Win at Instagram for a Serious Bridal Hair Business Boost!

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Most of you will probably have an Instagram account for personal use, but if you’re not signed up and making the most of this fantastic social media platform for your Bridal Hair Business, then you’re missing a great opportunity.

 

Instagram has recently made it so that you can set your account up as a business account and receive access to insights about your posts, making tailoring your uploads to get the best audience response possible even easier!

online bridal hair course

As a career that has the potential to offer you some really gorgeous images, Instagram is one of the best marketing options for Bridal Hair & Makeup Artists all over the world and with an estimated 500 million users, this is a free advertising opportunity you can’t afford to miss out on! But as with all social media, it’s not as simple as setting up your account, uploading gorgeous photos and waiting for those likes and followers to roll in: if you want to grow your business, you’ve got to learn how to work your Instagram feed for the win.

 

Find out how to take the photos you need for a successful Instagram account on on blog ‘How to Take Amazing Photos for your Social Media’

 

Ready to transform your Instagram feed into a new avenue for success? Here’s how to win at Instagram for a serious Bridal Hair business boost…

Know Your Goals

 

When launching an Instagram feed for your business, you need to treat it as the marketing tool it is and work out some kind of plan to stick to that will help to reach your goals, but before that, you need to know what your goals are!

Do you plan on using Instagram to showcase your work to your customers and potentially generate new leads? Do you want your feed to be a ‘behind the scenes’ access point or more of a portfolio? Or is your main goal just to get the followers in and decide what to do next once you’ve got a small audience set up?

Once you’ve figured out what you would like to achieve from setting up a business Instagram, you can then start making plans for more specific goals, such as how many followers or likes you aim to get in a month or how many photos or videos you would like to try and upload. Having structured goals will help you achieve what you’re setting out to do, in the long run.

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Use Business Insights

 

As of 2016, Instagram introduced their new business platform with built-in insights for users to work with to really get the most out of their posts. Business accounts are not so much about what you want to post, but more about what your audience wants to see and these insights can help you figure out what that is.

Start off by trialling different types of posts to see what sort of response they get: videos, motivational posts, behind the scenes, portfolio shots, pics of your clients and maybe even a competition! This is a great way to quickly figure out what your audience enjoys, particularly when teamed up with trending hashtags.

You can take insights one step further and download a separate tool, such as Iconosquare, to monitor all of your posts closely, including success of hashtags and overall growth.

 

Top Tip: If you want to make sure that all of your posts are as good as they can be, write yourself up a ‘content calendar’ so that nothing is left to spur of the moment, rush entries.

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Optimise Your Profile

 

As a business feed, your Instagram needs to essentially be used as a shop window. No mess is allowed and everything needs to be clear, user-friendly and on brand.

Make sure that your username is recognisable and obviously representing what you have to offer, as this is going to be how people find you! Ensure that your profile is PUBLIC, not private; add your full business name into the ‘name’ section in settings and include a link to your website in your bio. It’s great to change this link up sometimes too, in line with a call to action in your posts. For example, if you’re asking people to read your latest blog, put the direct link to this in your bio.

When you post, you can optimise these too by adding your location, posting relatable content, using trending and relevant hashtags, only uploading beautiful images and asking your audience to do something ie. Comment or read your blog.

 

Need a website to link to or help with a blog to help promote your business? Visit www.seotrotblogs.com and contact Ruby quoting ‘Create Beautiful Hair’ for special student discounts on her services!

Instagram

Always Use Hashtags

 

Hashtags are a must for getting your pics out there, but they have to be relevant to your post or you may end up losing followers rather than gaining them!

Take a look at some of the top Bridal Hair & Makeup Artist feeds and see which hashtags they are using. Do this regularly, as these are constantly changing.

You could even start up your own brand hashtag and try gaining some popularity by encouraging others to use it too. If you do this, it has to be unique to you and your brand so that you don’t end up overlapping with the competition!

 

Love these tips? Don’t forget to share with your friends!

How to Get Your Facebook Business Page Working for You

How to Get Your Facebook Business Page Working for You

facebook business page

Getting your Bridal Hair business online is great, but simply setting up your social media pages and hoping for the best isn’t going to get you very far. If you want to expand your reach and get your services out to the right audience, there’s a lot more to it…but where do you start?

Read this blog for expert advice on how to get your Facebook business page working for you and check back for more on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter too!

On the final day of our Bridal Hair Courses Pam Wrigley lets her students in on all of the business secrets that have helped her to become one of the UKs top Bridal Hair & Makeup Artists.

If you’re an online student, this great advice is also readily available to access at your leisure in the form of tutorials and live webinars with our favourite business consultant, Richard Johnson! But for those of you who have yet to become a Create Beautiful Hair student, the business side of things might be leaving you feeling a little perplexed – especially when it comes to social media.

Facebook can be a fantastic tool for both up and coming and established businesses and freelancers hoping to promote their work and services, but if you’ve set up your page and you’ve yet to see the benefit, there’s probably a good reason for this.

We collaborated with Richard Johnson of Spinach Consultancy to pick his brains on how to really make the most of your Facebook business page…

Get Your Facebook Business Page Working for You

Strictly Business

 

Many people fall at the first hurdle when it comes to setting up their Facebook business page, leaving them feeling at a loss when the likes don’t start rolling in. First thing’s first with your Facebook page: it HAS to be strictly business.

Setting up a personal page for your services or simply using your existing personal account to promote your work just isn’t going to cut it – if you want Facebook to work for you as a marketing tool, you’ll need to set yourself up with a business page in the first instance.

Lots of you Bridal Hair & Makeup Artists out there are just a tad tech-phobic, but there’s really no need! Setting up a Facebook business page is really easy:

 

  1. Log in to your personal Facebook account and open your profile page

  2. Click the ‘Pages’ header in the left navigation

  3. Click the ‘Create a Page’ button

  4. Select ‘Local Business’

  5. Follow the step-by-step instructions, filling in all of the info fields along the way

facebook business page

Focus on Branding

If you take a look at some of your favourite businesses Facebook pages that are successful, you’ll very quickly notice how sharp they all look! There’s no mistaking whos page you’ve landed on or what kind of service or product they offer and this is largely down to branding.

When you’re setting yourself up as a Bridal Hair Stylist, potential clients will see you as vastly more experienced and professional if your social media accounts, website, business cards and all images, flyers, posters etc have strong branding. This comes from having a great logo, a particular font that you use, a colour scheme and even filters or editing styles that you use for your photos.

Utilise the space you have on your Facebook business page to upload an amazing banner as your cover image; a fabulous photo of you, alone or with a client, or a striking logo as your profile picture; and images of your styles or you at work that represent the high-standard that you want to showcase.

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5* Reviews

 

5* reviews are really, really important when it comes to setting up a successful Facebook business page. These reviews not only demonstrate to newcomers that you’re exactly the Bridal Hair & Makeup Artist that they need for their Big Day, they also help to bump your page up the search listings, just as SEO does for your website.

If you’re just starting out, offer to do hair for your friends and family in exchange for lots of 5* reviews and once you’re working, always ask your clients to review you if they’re happy! Brides have a lot on their plate, so often it’s best to send them over an email with a link to your page a week or two after their wedding day, giving them a nudge and making it really easy for them.

 

Amazing Photos

 

Keeping your Facebook business pages up to date with stunning photos of your work is a must. Read more about how to get amazing images on our blog ‘How to Take Amazing Photos for Your Social Media’

Use Facebook Ads

 

Advertising on Facebook by pushing your business page’s best posts, whether that’s beautiful images or a special offer, can be an excellent thing to do, but only when done right.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the more people that see your page the better! If you select to promote your page in areas hundreds of miles from you, it’s unlikely that those seeing it are going to be interested or ever turn into paying clients. You’ll end up spending a lot more money for very little return. Instead, keep your target audience and area specific to your locale.

Often Facebook Ads works much better for small businesses or individuals if based in more rural areas or in towns with a smaller population. If you’re in a big city, like London or Manchester, you’re less likely to succeed with Facebook Ads as you’re a small fish in a big pond and you’ll be going up against well established competitors.

Love our tips on how to get your Facebook business page working for you? Revisit our blog next week for more on how to win at social media!

How to Take Amazing Photos for Your Social Media

How to Take Amazing Photos for Your Social Media

To be a successful Bridal Hair and Makeup Artist, a great online presence is a must and gorgeous photos of your work on your social media plays a major part in that.

Gone are the days when having some fab shots in a physical portfolio was enough; now, that portfolio needs to be bigger and better than ever and it needs to be accessible for the world to see, especially on social media.

Social media has the potential to be a fantastic tool for anyone in business, particularly when a part of your business is producing amazing visual work, as it is for Bridal Hair and Makeup Artists. However, it’s no use just taking some quick snaps of your hair and makeup creations, sticking them up on your social media feeds and hoping for the best! There are certain rules you need to follow and techniques you must employ to get your photos really working for you.

Need Some Help with Your Portfolio?

come to our 4 Day Bridal Hair Course for a pro portfolio photoshoot!

How to Take Fantastic, Sharable Images

The first step to successful social media pages for your business is to have amazing images of your work that are good enough for people to want to like and better yet, share with their friends.

Blurry, dark and cluttered photos are not going to grab the attention of anyone and they’re certainly not going to showcase your work in any way shape or form, so it’s time to get savvy about what you’re posting. If you have a DSLR camera or the opportunity to collaborate with some skilled photographers, take full advantage of that!

 

The more professional-looking the image, the better; but if you are taking your own photos, here are some points to consider:

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Use Natural Light

Is your model well lit? Lighting can make a monumental difference to the overall result, so think about this before taking any photo. Ideally, you want to use as much natural light as possible to avoid any orange tones that room lighting can create, but avoid direct sunlight as this can make a photo very overexposed.

 

Think About Composition

It’s important to think about what is surrounding your subject, as well as the hair and makeup itself. Make sure that the space around is free from clutter and is pleasing to the eye. This is particularly important for Instagram images as you need your photo to look great even when it’s small and amongst many other photos.

When setting up your shot, try working with the ‘rule of thirds’ using gridlines on your phone or camera. This is a photographic composition principle that says an image should be broken down into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, so you have nine parts in total, making an image more balanced and pleasing to the viewer.

Beautiful Student Portfolio Images from our 4 Day Bridal Hair Course

Use Negative Space

Sometimes a close up photo of the detail in your work can be brilliant, but it doesn’t hurt to mix it up a bit with some images taken from further back that utilise negative space.

If you have your model against a clear, open background like the sky or a large wall, it can make your subject really stand out and draw people into your photo.

 

Don’t Zoom In

If you want a close up, get closer! Zooming in can result in a blurry image and that’s the last thing you want! Your photos need to be clean and crisp, so steer clear of the zoom and instead, try different angles until you find something you’re happy with.

 

Always Edit

The tiniest tweak of an image can take it from ‘good’ to ‘great’, but you have to do it right! You don’t have to be a pro with Photoshop to get an image looking amazing – there are some fantastic phone apps that are easy to use and can really transform a photo.

Snapseed is our favourite – a free app that gives you all the basics (contrast, brightness, saturation etc) as well as a few other nifty options. The ‘selective’ tool gives you the ability to choose an area of your photo to edit rather than having to change the whole thing, so you can brighten up the background or just the face or hair to bring the whole thing to life without overdoing it.

If you don’t feel confident using an editing tool where you have to do it manually, you can always fall back on trusty filters or apps like Instabeauty to automatically get things looks fab.

Interested in more great Bridal Hair & Makeup Artist business tips? Read our blog ‘Mastered Bridal Hair? Time To Get Paid! Our Tips on Going Pro…’ or catch up on our business tips Webinar.