Tantalum: Tell me a little bit about the inspiration behind this shoot?
Paula Kelso: My inspiration for this collection is all about a strong look with amazing hair and a great style. I wanted a mixture of feminine with a strong powerful look. I think we have done a great job achieving different looks that look both sexy and strong.
Tantalum: What does a day like this usually consist of?
Paula Kelso: The more you prepare for a shoot in advance the smoother the day will run, I find. Having the models arrive to the studio on time is a must. The hair comes first and then fashion and make-up happens just before the models go under the lights for the shoot. The photographer and I will have had many discussions about the shoot before the day. This is essential to create the mood, look and get the hair-fashion balance as it should be. We plan the order of the hairstyles and styling in advance, so each team member has a coordinated schedule of tasks to achieve in the allotted time frame of the shoot.
Tantalum: Obviously this shoot has a heavy hair influence but it also has a fashion slant which I find most hairdressers loose in their shoots, how do you find that balance?
Paula Kelso: I think it is a case of getting the right team together. This includes an accomplished photographer experienced in both hair and fashion shoots and a top stylist who takes a fashion forward approach.
Tantalum: Do you teach? if so what is the most rewarding part about that? challenges?
Paula Kelso: No, I am not a hairdressing educator, not yet anyway. As with all salon owners, I focus on training my staff both in the latest commercial hair fashion as well as in client service and other business practices. Whilst I'd like to teach, business expansion has been my motivation over the past two years. I have just opened a second salon which has been a big project and is progressing brilliantly.
Tantalum: Since you've worked on a wide variety of projects, which one has been your most favourite & what kind of work do you have a preference for?
Paula Kelso: My favourite work is with clients. You know you've done a good job when ... example ...Despite the glamour of photo shoots and session work, I love keeping a full book of happy repeat clients most of all. You can only do this with a consistently, strong culture of good hairdressing and client service. I suppose I have opened the second salon in partnership with my most senior stylist as a challenge and to replicate what we already do well in a second business.
Tantalum: What does the next year have in store for you? is there anything we should be keeping an eye out for?
Paula Kelso: Next year I want to ensure that both salons, the existing and the new, run profitably. Times are tougher than previous years, so running profitable, sustainable salons is the priority. I believe the we a flexible and creative enough to take on this challenge. We must also maintain our usual commercial on-trend and fashion forward hairstyling for clients.