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How To Set Up a Selfie Station in the Salon

04.10.2019

Let’s face it—stylists went to school for hair, not for taking photos! Setting up a selfie station gives stylists the resources to get a quick “after” picture, without the stress of getting the perfect lighting and backdrop. Think ahead and give stylists some resources to succeed when it comes to Instagram and Facebook. An entire selfie station can be set up with around $300, as we explain in this article (links provided)!

These days, an online social presence is just as significant as a physical location, especially if salons are looking to open new doors and build their business. Setting up a selfie station gets clients to promote the hard work that stylists do day in and day out—and it’s basically free promotion for the salon!

A selfie station is a perfect way to get photos of guests. This type of setup could also be called a photo booth or a studio, but we would argue that the term “selfie station” is better because guests easily understand the concept. That being said, the photo doesn’t have to be a selfie.

Ring Light

A ring light is a must. They’re easily adjustable, which comes in handy when multiple people are using it to take photos. The straightforward design allows anyone to quickly adjust the height and angles—no explanation needed.

A ring light allows for a controlled element to photos. Of course, natural light is impressive, but we know that stylists work long hours and late nights and getting a picture outside is not always possible. Sometimes, wind, rain, and snow can not only ruin the photo, but it can also ruin a client’s hair. As much as we’re styling for the picture, we have to remember that we’re doing it so that clients can walk out of the virtual world and into the real one with confidence.

Also related to control—using a ring light for all photos will give a uniform appearance to the images. This is important if the salon runs an Instagram or Facebook page and wants to reshare photos from all the stylists, but keep a consistent feed.

We recommend this ring light from Amazon mostly because of its dimmable feature. (We also like that this ring light has a mount for a mobile phone or camera!) Often times, stylists will need to adjust lighting to more accurately reflect the hair color. There’s nothing worse than taking a photo of someone with dark hair and not being able to expose it brightly enough. Vice versa, blonde hair can quickly become overexposed or too yellow if care isn’t taken with lighting.

Backdrop

If the salon is really looking to “up the ante” when it comes to professional looking photos, a backdrop is a must. We recommend a seamless paper backdrop and a background stand from Savage. The paper backdrops are affordable and easily interchangeable, and the background stand will support the paper. The paper rolls come in different widths to fit different spaces, but most of them have a length of 36 feet, which means that stylists can cut the paper once it starts to accumulate dirt and sustain damage. One paper backdrop could easily last two to three years if multiple colors are purchased, stored properly, and switched up throughout the year. Fabric backgrounds are also an option if salons are looking for longevity, but they often come in limited colors and are more expensive.

Sandbags

We recommend having a few sandbags on hand to weigh down the ring light and the backdrop. Place these on equipment to make sure they aren’t tipped or kicked over on a mistake. Fill with sand and place on the equipment, so nothing gets damaged with everyone walking around the salon!

Props

With all these new photo opportunities, team members may want to experiment with taking their own photos of special promotions and sales unique to the salon. In that case, make sure enough props are on hand to make the shots look unique and fun! A trip to a Hobby Lobby will provide more than enough materials. Consider purchasing accessories for different holidays and finding some props—like scrapbook paper—that match the colors of the salon to customize photos. Is the salon more earthy and natural? Focus on getting plants for a minimalist vibe. Is the salon flirty and fun? A few colorful accessories will lend a quirky spin.

When it comes to taking photos of clients, often times, they’re not coming to the salon prepared to take pictures. Maybe their clothing is a little off for what the salon would typically share on Instagram or Facebook. In that case, consider clothing and makeup for props as well. Maybe the salon purchases a few sizes of a branded leather or jean jacket that some clients wear in the photos! It’s always good to have makeup on hand if clients need to a quick touch up as well. For fun, the salon could keep some different lipstick or eyeshadow colors near the station to make photos pop.

Board With Social Media Handles

The board should not be in the image, but a framed picture, decal, or a felt letter board should be placed next to the selfie station, so clients know what to do with the photo once it’s taken. Make a sign encouraging customers to share on social media. For example: “Tag us in your selfie on Instagram (@salonname) and Facebook (“Salon Name”).”

Incentivize stylists to take photos of clients “before” and “after” their appointment and encourage tagging on Instagram and Facebook by holding contests with staff and customers. If salons follow our list of suggestions, they’ll have a selfie station set up in no time, which means less stress on stylists and more business from social media! In the meantime, follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay updated on the latest blogs, hair trends, and education classes from Art of Business.

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