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4 Tips For Taking Better Photos


Want to start loading your camera roll with client photos, but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’re ready to switch from a phone to a digital camera and need more info? Whether you’re a photo novice or pro, Victory Barber & Brand™ Founder Matty Conrad (@mattyconrad) is sharing everything he knows on how to capture the perfect finished photo. Known for his iconic black and white images, Matty is sharing everything from lighting tips to knowing the importance of a personal aesthetic. Scroll down to learn it all!

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Tip #1: Breaking Down The Basics

Lighting, location and angles are three key elements needed for creating an iconic image. Below, Matty breaks down each category and shares the need to know info for your next photo session! 


The right light set can help accentuate a style's texture and movement—plus highlight your client's best features. Check out Matty’s dos and don’ts for finding the perfect lighting:

Shooting Outdoors:

  • Don’t: Shoot hair in direct sunlight, which can result in heavy shadows. 
  • Do: Have clients stand in a shady area. Photos will still look bright, without the harsh contrast. 

Shooting Indoors:

  • Don’t: Use directional lighting fixtures as a spotlight. Like direct sunlight, these fixtures can create heavy shadows.
  • Do: Invest in a controllable lighting fixture. This can be LED panels with either a softbox or a light that can be diffused, which allows for more control. Once you find the perfect spot in your shop, keep the lighting fixtures there and use that area for photos. 


“Backgrounds are important for showcasing volume and the silhouette of a style,” Matty explains. So he suggests choosing a solid background, like a solid wall or paper backdrop, that will highlight the hair without distraction.

Pro Tip: Have the client stand a few feet away from the backdrop to avoid creating unwanted shadows.


Every client has a “good side” so spend a few minutes at the beginning of a shoot by having them move around and get comfortable (while you find their perfect angle). 

Iconic Image Challenge Round 1 Winner: Brian Muñoz Antía (@brinie) Category: Length

victory-iconic-image-round-1-winner-brinie Round 1 Winner: Brian Munoz Antia Category: Length // Instagram via @brinie

Tip #2: Incorporate Your Personal Brand

“One of the best compliments I get is when people know my images before even seeing my handle,” says Matty. Matty explains his aesthetic: “I’ve always been drawn to black and white images. I also utilize ‘wide dynamic range’ which makes the photo appear stretched out and gives them more of a surreal look,” he explains. Having unique style elements in photos not only builds consistency on your Insta feed, but also creates a visual business card for potential clients.  “Having a style that is unique and authentic really makes a difference,” Matty adds. 

Round 2 Winner: Tyler Kelbert (@tyler_kelbert) Category: Classics

victory-iconic-image-round-2-winner-tyler-kelbert Round 2 Winner: Tyler Kelbert Category: Classics // Instagram via @tyler_kelbert 

Tip #3: Phone vs. Digital Cameras: Choose The One That Works Best For You

There is no doubt that phone cameras have stepped up their game recently, not to mention how convenient it is to have an HD camera in your back pocket. But a digital camera can be a huge investment in your photog skills—which is an investment in your business. To help you choose, Matty shared the pros and cons you should know before deciding on one or the other: 

Phone Camera:


  • Convenient 
  • Simple to use
  • Inexpensive


  • Smaller file sizes reduce photo quality
  • No or limited lens options
  • Limited post-editing features 

Digital Camera:


  • Better lens options
  • Higher quality photos
  • More control with features such as brightness, sharpness, etc.
  • More options for editing in post


  • Cameras and accessories are more costly
  • Less convenient to travel with and carry
  • More complicated to use for novice photographers

Ready to Submit Your Iconic Image? Round 3 Is Open NOW! Category Is: Textured! Post Your Image To Instagram & Tag @victorybrandproducts With The Hashtag #victoryiconicchallenge_textured

victory-iconic-image-feat-image-textured Round 3 of the Victory Barber & Brand™ Iconic Image Challenge is OPEN! Category Is: Textured // Instagram via @mattyconrad

Tip #4: Practice, Practice, Practice

If you're just starting out and your photos aren't exactly picture perfect, don't sweat it—even Matty's been there. “I’ve been taking pictures for 20 years (about 10 years before Instagram) and when I first started, my pictures were AWFUL,” Matty shares. “So practice, practice, practice! And don’t be afraid to take a deep dive into photography and use all of the resources the internet has to offer.”