Colour vs Black and White - What's the Best Way to Shoot your British Hairdressing Awards Collection?

Published 14th Feb 2024 by Charlotte Grant-West

It’s an age-old question which has crossed the minds of almost anyone who has put together their own hair collection - shoot in colour or black and white? What will show your hairdressing creations in the best light? We asked former winners to explain the creative process behind their decisions.

Bit of Both 

Tracey Ann Smith, Midlands Hairdresser of the Year 2023, says: "I base my decision on whether to shoot in black and white or colour year by year, depending on what concept I choose and where I think fashion lies at that time. I tend to make a 90% decision well before and prep for it. But I always flip it to colour on the day to check my decision is spot on. It tends to be, but there have been occasions I have used both as it works both ways well. I would say it’s more based on the feeling I’m trying to portray from the shots rather then the creative , but also it can be dependant on the hair I create because some simply works better in colour or vice versa. With black and white, make it striking in lighting, because it can disappear if the concept is not strong enough to cope with no colour."

Team Black and White

Andrea Giles & Terri Kay, Mark Leeson, Men’s Hairdresser of the Year 2020 say:“To be honest, the pair of us have always preferred to shoot our mens collections in black and white. The styling of this specific shoot was going very much down the ‘white shirt’ route – and when we sketched the shapes we initially wanted to create they looked so sharp that we felt that would be best captured in black and white. We genuinely feel that it shows the line, the texture and depth of our work so much better – the clarity is spot on.”    

Thomas Hills, TH1 Hair, Southern Hairdresser of the Year 2020, says: “I have always been in love with black and white photography. The reason why I choose to mainly shoot in this style is down to the shadows I can create and the timeless effect it can give the image. Most of my inspiration comes from 1920’s pictures - the feel of class and strength they show is so timeless.” “Both times I have won, my images have been very current but with a timeless attraction. To win southern has been the highlight of my career, so to win twice was unbelievable. To know the industry judges liked them too was the icing on my cake for me.”  

Team Colour

Sylvestre Finold, Avant Garde Hairdresser of the Year 2020:“I chose colour on my winning collection first because I just love it. If you look at my two winning collections, you will see a lot of bright or pastel colours. I believe that colour really brings your images to life and really makes the images pop. Of course, the way you place your colours is so important; I think you need to surprise people when they look at your collection, as in they don’t know where the colours are coming from, especially when working in the Avant Garde. “I like to work my colours visually. I often use a sponge, where you don’t get any harshness, as well as creating some shadows and contrasts to really compliment the shape I am creating. I am a believer that colour affects people’s mood."

Dylan Brittain, Rainbow Room International, Scottish Hairdresser of the Year 2020, says: “I chose to submit a colour collection as I feel you can only really get a true sense of the style created when you see it from every dimension and angle. Using colour in photography allows the consumer/judges to fully appreciate the style from a wholly holistic perspective; movement, depth of tones, the texture and condition of hair all add to the overall technicality of the style, and I truly believe that colour is the best way to bring these elements – and the overall look - to life. ”Also, my Salon is the Rainbow Room- shooting in colour is the only way to represent the salon’s work in it’s full colour!”  

Charlotte Grant-West

Charlotte Grant-West

Published 14th Feb 2024

Charlotte oversees the print magazine, website and social media channels at HJ. With over a decade of experience as a journalist, Charlotte was formerly Editor of Modern Barber and HJ Men, Social Editor at Netmums and Features Writer at Boots Health & Beauty magazine. She loves any products that make her hair bigger and more voluminous, and loves a behind-the-scenes peek at anything hair-related – whether it's a factory tour, BTS on a shoot or backstage at fashion week.

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