Category Archives: Photos of braids


Find Inspiration, Get Creative, Start Braiding…

Since my youth I’ve been drawn to Latin American culture and southern European countries like Italy and Spain. Movies such as the West Side Story spoke to my imagination and made me dream. Mexico is one of my favorite countries. I like the food, the music, the stories; Don Juan de Marco (with Johnny Depp), Zorro and of course last but not least Frida Kahlo.

A few months ago, I was searching for a theme to host a contest on Instagram. Folklore popped into my head. The contest was very successful and there were lots of comments and submissions. You could really see a creative outburst on the Instagram community.


Inspired by Mexican culture Dia de los Muertes, Day of the Dead  

It’s natural to add your own preferences to the braiding style that you develop. In the beginning, when you are a newbie braider, you recreate (don’t forget to mention your sources of inspiration). But when the time is right and you master several techniques, then you can challenge yourself to get more creative.

Think of elements in the design of the hairstyle like ribbon, beads, clothing, etc. Try to tell a story with your photo. Don’t just use lighting, location, and appropriate backdrops. The hairstyle itself can have unique components to distinguish it, as yours. When you work with a theme, you have a big framework in which you can find inspiration.

Think of a theme that seems interesting to you. You will notice that you find inspiration faster each time. Creativity is a process, it has to be nurtured. You will build wonderful memories and share a beautiful experience with others during the project.

Team member 6

Braids, Photos, Backdrops, Oh My.

Backdrops and presenting a braid.

Sometimes, it is hard to get a good photo of your braid. There are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration:  camera,  model, clothes, time of day, available light (which may be dependent on the time of day) weather, location, and how much time the model is available for. All these components are connected to each other and are important to consider. They all determine whether you will get the perfect photograph.

And, let’s face it…a perfect photograph is rare and far in-between (unless you’re a professional photographer working with a professional model).

I don’t have a great camera. I do love to photograph my braids. When I photograph, there are different reasons for doing so. I ask myself a few questions: Am I happy with the creation I made? Did I make something outstanding or innovative? What time is it and what is the weather like? How do I want to present the braid? Is it for a new tutorial I made? And finally, what do I want the photograph to focus on? The braid? A feeling? Am I creating a story?

Below, is a photo shoot I did. Let’s talk through it. The braid is one I dreamed up. I was not recreating something I saw. I was excited to show it to the community. I had just finished a video tutorial of it for my youtube channel. My model wore nice clothes that day. We both had time to spend on a photo shoot. It was the afternoon. And, it was dry outside. I was as euphoric about the technique, as I was about the execution of the creation. I needed a perfect and outstanding photograph.


Which one should I choose?

Picture 1. If I just wanted to take a photo, I would only have taken the first photo.

Picture 2. Although the photo shows the braid better, the greenery may distract from the braid (similar to noise in a room). Yet, the leaf shapes are similar to the braid pattern. Maybe it helps point out the braid pattern?

Picture 3. Just what I need. The braid stands out. The combination of hair color and ribbon, makes her hair look like art. The backdrop does not distract from the braid. I think this picture is really the best choice for presenting the braid as well as stirring interest in people to look at the tutorial.

Picture 4. If I look into my soul – which is very romantic – I like this one the best. The braid is obviously the underlying factor in this photograph. The entire photo tells a story. It has feeling. The complete picture is perfect. Unfortunately, the braid details are hardly visible.

Despite my body and soul shouting out loud “choose picture four!”, I choose with my brain and not my heart. I choose picture three and think I have chosen correctly. What do you think?

Team member 4

Creating fantasy photos

Something that gets me excited and looking forward to braid-time is when my daughter and I decide to do a fantasy photo with our braid style.

We love creating themes around our hairstyles. It is a fun way to try out new looks and keeps her interested in our routine “let’s pull your hair” time.

The photos we get from these sessions are great to post on Facebook, send to grandma, and use on our Christmas cards.

A few friends of mine decided to create a deck of cards with our daughters photos. We actually got quite into it and even challenged each other for inspiration. This was particularly fun for my daughter and we spent time together deciding what would be nice to do for styles and costumes.

12189552_891504164279555_7593793994420297301_nLater that year we did a project on Goddesses. I used the opportunity to look up lesser known Goddesses. Something other than the popular Greek Goddesses. I settled on the Celtic Goddess Cliodna (Klee-nah). Goddess of the after life, associated with the sea and beauty.

12187886_891505134279458_440782010076365973_nWith this project, I even made the dress. We had an extra special photo shoot. We went out to a great location to get the perfect backdrop. It was a lot of work, but also made wonderful memories.

Try a fantasy photo-shoot-hairstyle-day. Put it on the calendar for two weeks from now. It  makes you think differently about braid styles you want to create, wakes up your imagination, and gets you out of the copy/paste mentality of what you saw on the internet.

So, let’s have fun! Think about a style, any style that would fit for a theme you like. Fairies, goblins, goddesses, princesses, and make a hairstyle that shows the theme. We would love to see those styles in our Facebook group!

Team members 7


Taking great photos

Many of us have seen optical illusions. If you have not, my post will make more sense after you read this article by The Washington Post. When you are done reading the fun information, come back here and learn about photographing your braids.

Showing light differencesTake time to look at A, B, C, and D. Same model. Same dress. Same hair. Same blue flowers. I want to talk about two differences: lighting and backdrop.


Chose your favorite from above. Why did you choose it? If you chose A, it could be because you like water or rivers. Really focus in on A. Notice how the details of the hair are difficult to see. The back of the models head is shadowed. The river is the brightest object in the photo. It draws your focus.

When photographing braids you want the viewers focus to be drawn to the hair. Light is a good way to draw that focus. Let’s move on to B. Yes, the hair is better lit, unfortunately her hair is the exact same color and pattern as the rocky backdrop. This brings us to the second part of this lesson. Backdrops.


When items in a photo are the same color and texture, it is unclear what the photo is about. One might assume that B is about the models back. It is the most prominent feature in the photo. If you want hair to stand out, you must place it against something that will help it stand out.

Take a look at C. Placing a well lit object in front of a dark blurry background can be striking. And yet, striking is not always the best  display for a hairstyle. It can be a form of distraction in and of itself. While it may make a great photograph, it will not necessarily draw the viewers attention to the hair specifically.


A well lit photograph with a blurred backdrop, is perfect. The river in D provides reflective light angling up at the model just where it is needed most. The two sources of light (sun and river reflection) maintain a perfect balance, staving off shadows. There is plenty of distinction between objects.

Gather your photographs and lay them out, side-by-side. Remove your emotional attachment to them. Look at them with new eyes. Where is the light? Is the hairstyle detached from the backdrop? What would you remove from the photograph, if you could, to help draw the viewers attention to the hair? Keep this mindset the next time you pull out your camera. You will be taking great photos in no time. Thanks for joining us today at The Braid Zone. We will see you tomorrow.

Team member 3

Our excitement to get to know you!


We are so proud to be up and running. Please anticipate our next post. The seven of us will be blogging each week for exciting new content every day. We invite you to ask us any question you have on braiding. We are confident that among us, we will find an5-strand, dutch, lace, circle, mini knot answer for you.

I hope our posts, tutorials, videos, guest artists, salon reviews, introductions to hair jewelry, and photos are enjoyable.

This is a photo of one of my favorite hairstyles. Until tomorrow, have a great night!