Should you have your hair done before your photo session? | Minneapolis Photos

by | Jan 14, 2024 | Brand Photography, Business, Family Photography, Kiddos, Maternity, Senior Photos, Sessions

If there’s one thing you should know about me, and my process, and working with Jessica Strobel Photography, it’s that I like to keep things simple. It’s a rule that I apply to almost everything in my life. Or at least as many things as possible! And that applies to things here in the studio as well.

It’s why I provide guides for you to use to pick out wardrobe options before your session, it’s why I turn your image galleries around so quickly, and it’s why I offer gallery wall consultations for printing your images in your home. Those are the stressful things before a session, and I want to be completely sure that I’ve done everything in my power to make your session process easy.

But what about photo session hair styling and makeup?? At this time, I don’t offer hair and makeup before sessions in the studio, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have it done before you arrive to the studio, or to the location we’ve chosen for your session!!

When it comes to deciding whether you’re going to have hair (and/or makeup!) done before your photo session, there are a handful of things to ask yourself.

1. What kind of session are you prepping for?

The first question to ask yourself if you’re thinking about scheduling with the salon ahead of your photos, is what kind of session are you actually having! If you’re coming in for brand photos that you’re going to use for your business, and the tone you’re going for in the session is “professional AF” then it might be a good idea to have a blow-out before the big day. The same goes for Maternity sessions, or boudoir!

But if you’re coming to the studio for a mini session, or updated family photos, then it might not be a necessity to have professional hair styling ahead of time.

brothers in matching navy polo shirts during Minneapolis Fall Mini Sessions

2. What tone are you wanting from your images?

Along with the kind of session, it’s important to consider the tone that you want from your final package. Professional hair (and/or makeup!) definitely brings a bit more “perfection” to your final images. And although we’re kind of trained to think about that as a good thing, perfection isn’t always the goal!!

I’m a huge proponent of “imperfectly perfect” captures. The crazy laughter. The natural smiles. Capturing your life as it really is helps to make sure that you’re documenting who you really are. And if who you really are is casual, and comfortable, and wildly imperfectly HUMAN, then that’s what we want to capture! Come as you are.

But if the tone you’re going for is “high glam” then that’s a totally different vibe to think about!! If the goals for your session are to get glamorous, elegant photos… then hair and makeup can help us achieve that. In that case, it might be time to schedule an appointment with your stylist!

A mom hugging her two daughters during a Minneapolis Fall Mini Session

3. Do you feel comfortable with your hair styled?

I talk a lot about how to feel comfortable in front of the camera, because I know how much people can struggle with being photographed. I mean, I’m still getting completely comfortable with it myself, if I’m honest. But it’s a work in progress, and I’m getting there.

How this relates to your hair though, is if you feel uncomfortable with your hair or the way you’re dressed… it doesn’t matter how well I do my job, it’s going to show in your image package. Not to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty badass at bringing out natural smiles, and real laughter. But if you’re feeling self conscious because of what you’re wearing, chances are that’s going to have an impact.

So even if you’re going for a high-glam look in your session, if you’re not someone who feels comfy having their hair done? Aim for a hairstyle you can accomplish yourself!! That way you can have the best of both worlds. Feeling comfortable, AND having your hair looking amazing before your session.

4. Is it something you can do yourself?

I’m all about outsourcing – it’s part of that “keep things simple” mantra I mentioned. I find that a TON of the time, it’s way easier to leave things to the experts, rather than spend hours and hours trying to figure it out myself.

But… there are always exceptions!! And hair and makeup are in the list, for sure. If you’ve put together a Pinterest board of inspiration for your photo session, go take a look at the hairstyles you like in there. Are they things you can do yourself, at home? If the look you’re going for is some simple beachy waves, or a slicked-back up-do, you might be able to make it happen in your own bathroom, without an appointment with a stylist.

A mom hugging her two daughters during a Minneapolis Fall Mini Session

5. And finally: Let’s talk about those ROOTS.

This is for all of my women (and men! No shame here!) who get their hair colored. And I want to talk about it before it becomes the elephant in the room during your session. It’s your ROOTS.

You know what I’m talking about, right? If it’s been a hot minute since your last root touch-up, it might mean that you need to schedule a sitting with your stylist before your appointment here in the studio whether you want to have styling, or not.

Photoshop isn’t always the answer.

It’s really easy to assume that when you have a session, I’ll be able to “fix” things like your roots, or tan lines, or panty lines, or chipped nail polish in photoshop before you receive your images. And sometimes, that’s absolutely the case! But… not always. It completely depends on the specific situation, and sometimes there’s no natural looking way to eliminate those kinds of details in photos after-the-fact. As a rule, we photographers try to make sure that what we capture in-camera is as close to what we’re going to deliver in your package. And that means trying to make sure that those details are handled in real life, instead of digitally!

So in other words: if your roots are grown out, and you know it’s going to bother you if it shows in your final images, try to get that taken care of before our session date. Whether that means seeing your stylist, or picking up a root touch-up box!!

Hope this has helped you make some decisions about photo session hair styling!

Just like everything before a photo session, the question of whether to have your hair styled can feel like a really big decision. But when you break it down, it’s usually super easy to come to the final decision on it!!

As always, if you have any questions about the direction you’re thinking about going before your session… reach out. I’m more than happy to have a chat and discuss what the best choice will be for your unique situation!

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