- Edition 6, Chapter 3.1 -
Find a collaborator.
After 15 years of doing hair, I have finally found the perfect person to collaborate with and push my love of hairdressing further. My girlfriend Molly has been a professional photographer as long as I’ve been cutting hair. What I find most fascinating about working together is that our collaboration is almost seamless. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a lot of work, from finding the model, to finding time when we both are free, to the hours of editing. However, it’s never forced, and when we are on set together, it is nearly perfect chemistry. Most ideas come from the love that we both have for our art, and creating for our personal benefit.
FIND A MODEL.
Our process can vary greatly, but it always has one thing in common: a great model. It’s important that he/she sparks something creative in us. Molly’s eye for a great face is amazing. We will sit at a bar, cafe, or the airport, pick out passing people and totally break down how they would shoot. We also use social media to scout potential models. For us, a face must be more than pretty, it must also be interesting. It’s hard to describe; I enjoy doing pretty hair, but I really prefer doing hair that has a sense of personality, something beyond beautiful, and raw or unexpected. We all have an image that comes to mind when we think of beautiful; what if you were asked to do something interesting?
FIND An IDEA.
Once our model is chosen, we start to strategize. Usually the model is key: The look; flexibility on length and color; experience in front of a camera; personality… the list goes on. Molly and I discuss the final image and the best way to get there. The easiest way is to pull together a lookbook or “go bys.” It can be difficult to speak each other’s language, so visuals are very important. Sometimes we wing it on set, and other times every step is planned; if we are shooting still images focused on hair, it’s pretty relaxed. If we are shooting a stop-motion video, I have to reverse engineer the haircut and break each section down so that Molly knows exactly how to light and shoot. Post production is all Molly. She edits, retouches, animates, and spends 8-10 hours just to release a 15-second video.
Push each other.
Molly and I push each other to be as creative and original as possible. Our video with Christie titled “The Cut” is our best example of something neither of us could do alone. I am beyond fortunate to be able to work and collaborate with her on a daily basis. It’s important to find someone to bounce ideas off of, and to challenge those ideas and help you improve them.
Our best advice: Find a creative partner, do some homework, and get prepared. But be prepared for nothing to go the way you thought it would. Then adapt. That’s when it gets real good.