Ten tips for putting together a winning collection: Akin Konizi

Ten tips for putting together a winning collection: HOB Academy international creative director, Akin Konizi, has been awarded British Hairdresser of the Year an astonishing four times. His eye for detail, beautiful images and precise cutting work ensures he is one of the most creative, inspiring and respected hairdressers of his generation. 

His work has graced the cover of international magazines and his work is frequently posted by hairdressers and publications on social media. 

“People often ask me what makes a great collection – and the answer is there are no rules.  Imagery is subjective and what one person likes, another loathes. So, you have to shoot for yourself and create a collection that represents you and your skills. I have been incredibly privileged to have worked with some amazing photographers over the years and each of the collections are different and tell a different story.”



Akin Konizi’s 10 tips for putting together a winning collection:

  1. Plan your moodboard before you start your collection – this will give you your feel, your theme and your story. 
  2. Prepare like crazy – you can’t over prepare for a shoot! There will always be something unexpected that happens, but the more you are prepared the less stressful it will be! 
  3. Be true to yourself – if you are shooting for an event such as the British Hairdressing Awards, don’t shoot for the judges. Create a collection that showcases your skills and your passion. Judges will be looking at skill rather than choosing something they personally like. 
  4. Think ahead – what are you going to use the images for? A photo shoot is costly, so decide what you will be using your images for after the competition. You want to use them for press, marketing, your window displays – so bear in mind who your audience is. While you want to show your skills as a hairdresser, you also need them to be commercial and wearable.
  5. Use the experts around you – the team you have chosen to work with are all experts in what they do, so listen to their opinions on lighting, or make up.
  6. Concentrate on the hair and let them worry about what they’re there to do; don’t get distracted by other elements on the day. Of course, give your feedback and opinion, but let them do their thing first. 
  7. Try to breathe – if you are stressed, it will show in your photos. You won’t create the amazing work you are capable of and you will be disappointed by the results. There are plenty of people on a shoot so make sure everyone has a job and everyone there contributes in some way. 
  8. Find your own style – you can be inspired by someone else’s work, but don’t copy it. You can take a texture, shape or colour as inspiration, but build on it to make it your own. 
  9. Have a production meeting – gather all the team for a meeting in the morning to make sure everyone knows what is expected. Go through the moodboards with the models, photographer, make-up artist and all the hairdressers and assistants. 
  10. Keep the day positive – It’s easy to fall into a negative hole if something isn’t working. But stand back and start again, look at if from a different angle or move on.


HOB Academy is the award-winning training academy, based in Camden in London, founded in 1997 as part of the HOB Salons group. Home to the HOB Creative Team and led by 4-time British Hairdresser of the Year Akin Konizi, the Academy caters for hairdressers of every level from across the world, and delivers first-class courses and seminars covering the full spectrum of hairdressing education from creative to business to fundamental, as well as bespoke and one-to-one tuition.

The Creative Team has received numerous accolades and awards, including four British Colour Technician of the Year titles, British Artistic Team of the Year, and a British Hairdressing Business Award for Education, and produces annual photographic collections to wide critical acclaim.

Instagram: @hob_academy           www.hobsalons.com/academy

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