About four years ago, St. Petersburg, Florida, salon owner Joe Connell decided to take a chance on something he had never tried before-a formal photo shoot with his staff.
had played around a bit with amateur shoots at his J.Con Salon Spa
, but hadn't really delved into the creative world of professional photo sessions.
But then opportunity knocked.
Connell and his team had the chance to spend a day working with Chrystopher Benson, a NAHA photographer.
Benson came into the salon and put together a full-blown photo shoot.
"It was amazing," says Connell
"It helped us understand the process-getting an inspiration board, planning, etc."
Joe Connell, owner of J.Con Salon Spa
has about 90 staff members, and everyone got involved.
"Suddenly people looked at their work differently," says Connell
"It was a planned day, which removed the fear factor-there was an obligation to be involved, so they weren't as hesitant or as fearful of the unknown.
They had to just dive in."
And once they were committed, Connell
team quickly realized everybody brings something to table.
"You have to consciously work as a team," he
"The whole idea is to give people a different perspective of the industry," says Connell
"Our industry revolves around chair, so I find if they get involved in something peripherally, it keeps our industry and their careers way more exciting."
adds, "It's an avenue to unleash creativity.
We see our clients in a mirror all day long, but when you see your work in a photo, it's very different.
"When the photographer starts shooting, you see a totally different perspective," says Connell
"When you go from a live to static shot, it gives you the opportunity to study what you're doing, making lines and silhouettes more apparent.
It's interesting to see how you can pin or brush hair in a way that hair doesn't live naturally, but it creates a cool effect."
also believes photo shoots generate an appreciation for the complete look-make-up, wardrobe, etc.
creates a sign-up sheet for photo shoots, and everyone is welcome to participate.
"We have a big staff and not everyone is into it, but this way, nobody feels left out."
Marketing the Images
J.Con's photo shoots don't end when the photographer leaves.
is cleverly marketing his
images both inside and out of the salon.
"We've got a big piece of property on a main street in St. Pete with some art monuments out front," he
"We don't just stick to a regimen," says Connell