Hair Photography Tips in Portrait Photography

Photography has never been as important as it is in this day and age. More than 1.8 billion pictures are uploaded online everyday with the help of smartphones. This is the number of the ones uploaded, we can only imagine how many photos end up deleted because of bad lighting or a weird frozen facial expression. Social media fashionistas and public figures avoid potential bad photos by hiring professional photographers to take their photos for Instagram and other social platforms. An important aspect of portrait photography they care about is the hair because if it is not captured right, it can ruin the photos. Professional New York hair photographer Araman shared with us some tips for hair photography in portraits photos:


In still photography, any planned movement will elevate the quality of the photo when done properly. You can take advantage of that by directing some air towards the person you are photographing and creating a movement for the hair. This air can be generated using a flapper, a hair dryer, a fan, or a wind machine.


Hair light was invented for a reason, to light up the hair and make it pop. It is generally placed behind the models, angled towards them, about three feet above the head. You can experiment with the placement until you find a balance that works the best for you and the model. Since the light is in front of the camera, it might cause some flare, so do not forget to get a “barn door” or a “snoot” to avoid that.


Unfortunately, no one wakes up in the morning with perfectly made hair on their head. The model or client you are photographing must have their hair done by a professional hairstylist for best results or you can have one with you at the set to ensure that the hair is perfectly styled during the shoot.


Choose the color of the background according to the hair you are photographing. Avoid dark backgrounds with dark hair because they might blur into each other. Create a contrast between the colors of the hair and the background because it will drive the focus to the hair. Also, if you are capturing detailed hairstyles, stick with light hair because the details will be more visible on it.

Progress check

Keep checking the monitor on your camera. This will give you the chance to correct any mistakes while still photographing. You might need to adjust the lighting or the position of the model for a perfect portrait photography. Check your progress every 5 – 6 photos and modify the shoot accordingly.