Entering a submission for the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) is no easy feat. But don't be discouraged! It's not just about winning or losing; the process itself has a million benefits.
According to 2-time NAHA 'Hairstylist of the Year', Charlie Price, the benefits of a NAHA submission are:
1. Help further develop your brand.
2. Use the process and submission as a marketing tool for your business.
3. Get noticed by your local press, salons you may want to work for, manufacturers you may want to work with.
4. Get you excited/reinvigorated about your craft.
5. Enhance your portfolio.
6. Develop a better eye for shape and balance.
7. Exercise your editorial muscle.
This blog post is part 1 of a series of posts that will provide helpful tips for entry. Your first action step is to visit, study and research NAHA's website.
There's an overwhelming amount of information, including webinars and documents, that lay out all of the rules and regulations. Don't try to read this all at once on a Tuesday! Take your time (read: but start right now if you want to submit for 2018).
Once you have a good handle on the nuts and bolts of NAHA, then you can begin deciding on your category, concepting the story, and building your team so you can get it right.
There are 16 categories to choose from. Choose the category that best suits your strength(s). For instance, if your focus is Men's Hairstyling, don't choose Haircolor. Sift through the categories to see what photos resonate with you and that make you think, yeah, I can do that. You may enter the same collection of images into as many categories as you would like, with a few exceptions--refer to their website for more information.
This is a big deal. This part of your journey will take you the most time, and it should. A haphazardly thought out photo shoot will get overlooked.
Judges take into consideration the following:
- Concept or overall creative approach
- Art direction and composition
- Demonstration of skill in the execution of style, make-up and appropriate wardrobe
- Harmony between photographer's execution and stylist's creativity
- Appropriateness of image for concept
- Technical ability corresponding to category entered
- Amount of photo manipulation that was used to create the final look
- Continuity of all images within the entry
- Understanding of category entered
Visit the NAHA site for "Judge's Tips" under "Judging".
BUILDING YOUR TEAM:
We're not kidding when I tell you that it takes a village to produce a NAHA photo shoot. When IN's Director of Education, Jules Annen, submitted for the Avant Garde (photo above) category, she asserts her biggest misstep was not having enough people to help prep and on the day of the shoot. Granted, it was 8 degrees on a rigidly cold day in January and no one wanted to stand inside the ice castle with us. Having the extra hands and creative brains will make all of the difference to get it right.
GET IT RIGHT:
Along with reading up on the rules and regulations, a solid submission lays heavily on your photographer choice. Because you can do very limited Photoshopping of the images, your photographer has to know his/her stuff and get it right with the original shot. Don't ask Aunt Becky to use her Nikon she just bought on Amazon. Seek out photographers who are experienced in beauty and fashion editorial work.
More Tips and Recs to come! For anyone of you who have submitted in the past. Please share your advice as well!