View Full Version : Flowing Hair

08-28-2012, 01:45 PM
I was wondering if anyone could give me tips on how to take photos with "flowing" hair.

Like for example, this photo: http://extreme2301.deviantart.com/art/Miku-7th-Dragon-2020-Ver-274031593?q=favby%3Afirecloak%2F43294667&qo=0

Do you just get an assistant to flip the hair and then run out of the way or what?

08-28-2012, 08:02 PM
Yup. You have a person hold the hair and then release it.

09-09-2012, 02:42 PM
You can also use a high shutter speed and ask the person to twirl, or flip their hair. It takes a couple tries to get it right. The person has to relax their face, or make a certain face while moving.

09-09-2012, 10:33 PM
The hold and release is the easiest.
I've used fans I've also just had the cosplayer do a spin.

09-11-2012, 03:36 PM
For that particular shot, I would guess either an assistant, or maybe the model flipped her head and upper body to give that effect.

With that amount of hair, it would take a pretty strong fan to make it move that much - and the skirt doesn't show any sign of blowing/flowing, so I would guess that it's not a big fan. Similarly, since the skirt isn't flared out, it's not a full-body twirl.

Anyway, there are a variety of ways to do it. Powerful fans are a lot of fun but a little unpredictable, and can wreak havoc on delicate costumes.

03-28-2013, 12:29 PM
All good suggestions. I would add wooshing with a reflector or a large foam core board.
Also having someone out of frame on a ladder or step-stool dropping hair from height. How about fishing line suspending strands from above. (lol) be careful with these, photoshoots are no fun if someone gets hurt.

07-08-2013, 02:05 PM
In that particular shot, I'd say someone was holding the hair and then dropped it as the shutter was loosed. However, a much more effective way is like what FlashBlitzen said, foamcore or a piece of cardboard is great when you don't have an outlet. When you do, use a hairdryer set on COOL and play with the power settings.

07-11-2013, 12:48 AM
It's probably worth noting that that sample was taken at night with a flash strobe, allowing you greater "freezing power" if you wanted it. From the dust flying around the left side of the frame and the rim light on the pillars' left side (not to mention the actual flash at the bottom left of the frame), I would say this shot was backlit, possibly with a speedlite and using the camera's high speed shutter sync.

The hair is still kind of blurred though (a good thing in my opinion), so it might've been under 1/200th of a second. You usually don't want a FROZEN frozen shot, which would take away the feeling of motion. But you might, it's photography and art, so its your choice, haha. I wanted a blur on this person's jacket so that you would FEEL the jacket flying but not so much it would distract you from the cosplayer's performance. So I didn't use a super high shutter speed.


As for the hair motion itself, I've never worked with hair that long before, but playing with wigs where it was clearly not real hair, I doubt using a head flick would be feasible in creating big motion with hair that long and stiff. For this martial arts shot I actually spent like half an hour inserting wire hangers through the chain whips so that when we shot it, he was just holding it up in place. The sense of motion comes from a little motion blur in photoshop. Same for the girl. I had her jump straight up in place holding the swords that way and in post, I tilted her body to add a sense of motion and added the water streaks to the weapon to simulate a swing.