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Dive into the captivating world of hairstyling as we recount the highlights from one of Salon International 2023’s masterclasses, featuring none other than the globally acclaimed hairdressing photographer, Andrew O’Toole. The event drew an enthusiastic crowd of hairstylists, photographers, and creative professionals hailing from diverse corners of the globe.
The masterclass commenced with a gracious welcome from Ken Picton, setting the stage for an enlightening and groundbreaking experience. He portrayed Andrew O’Toole not only as a master of hairdressing photography but also as a trailblazer in the industry. Ken underscored the significance of O’Toole’s collaborative approach, seamlessly blending elements of hair, makeup, styling, and photography.
A standout moment from Andrew O’Toole’s masterclass was his call for attendees to “be a unicorn.” This concept came to life through a visually striking collection that not only caught the eye but became a reference point for mood boards. O’Toole generously unraveled the secrets behind his most iconic shoots, divulging the creative processes and techniques that set them apart.
The masterclass delved into the practicalities of photoshoots, including the often daunting topic of budgeting. O’Toole provided a meticulous breakdown of shoot-related costs, spanning the photographer, model, stylist, makeup artist, studio, lighting, retouching, and even catering. Attendees gained invaluable insights into navigating these financial aspects, with tips on cost reduction for those embarking on their photography journey.
In a live demonstration during the event, Andrew orchestrated four quick shoots alongside ELEVEN Australia Ambassador Melvin Royce Lane. The emphasis on “pre-work as the magic work” resonated, highlighting the importance of thorough preparation for a seamless and beautiful shoot. O’Toole also outlined a timeline for the preparation process, starting a year in advance with idea collection and culminating two weeks before the shoot in presenting key images to the client.
The masterclass didn’t stop at the technicalities; O’Toole shared tips on creating effective mood boards, using Errol Douglas MBE’s board for the British Hairdressing Awards shoot as a prime example. The emphasis on organization as a key to staying true to your vision was a recurring theme.
Andrew O’Toole urged attendees to seek inspiration beyond the obvious sources, encouraging the creation of something truly unique. Nature, clothing patterns, and even unconventional subjects like butterflies were suggested as wellsprings for incredible and unexpected color combinations.
As the session concluded, attendees walked away armed with insights on crafting collections that are not just original but unforgettable. For those aiming to elevate their photography game, this masterclass proved to be a treasure trove of knowledge. O’Toole generously shared secrets and techniques amassed over 25 years of collaboration with the world’s most awarded hairdressers. In his parting words, he affirmed, “If you can cut hair, straighten hair, curl hair…then you are capable of winning awards.”
Models – @blackbirdcage