‘At Work’ – “Four Haircuts”

No 1. “Four Haircuts”. This gallery shows a Barbers on Golborne Rd, London. Nothing special about it, but they do a good cheap haircut! The guys are friendly and will tell you about their holidays.

This gallery shows work made in repsonse to my first assignment on my Masters course. The brief was to find two situations involving people or a person engaged in work and to thoroughly explore the moments to be found. This was a ‘restricted brief’ and as such I was instructed to shoot handheld, no flash, on iso 400, using manual focus and with the camera on manual setting. Furthermore a fixed focal length of 35mm or 5omm was to be used and the images to be shot in black and white. The deadline was for within one week when they would be critiqued in a group tutorial. Ultimately the assignment was to look for and shoot the patterns and dynamics of events as they unfolded; attempting to find a single image that would sum up the persons’ work and their experience of it. I present here the 12 images that are the final edit from the first part of this assignment. Any feedback or comments appreciated especially if you have an opinion on what is the single image from the set that tells the story?

Thoughts on the process: This shoot very nearly didn’t happen. I was mulling over a couple of options for the second part of the “Work” assignment and approached a barbers on Golborne Road near where I live. I explained it was a student project and that he’d be doing me a favour – I also said that the shop could have a couple of prints if they liked the results. Although the guy agreed to it he had to clear it with his boss and told me to come back that night. No luck that night as there were no customers – the following night (last chance before deadline) I arrived to find the shop empty and the guys drinking tea, bemoaning a slow day. On waiting ten minutes, three customers arrived. I gratefully began shooting. This shoot was done with a 20mm lens which is roughly equivalent to 35mm full frame. In contrast to the first shoot with Tony, I had more people and a lot more physical space to work with. This meant I could move between differing scenes and to build up a series of images which showed several different processes involved in the work. I chatted with the customers, putting them at their ease and all in all the shoot was a fun 45 minutes. I will be sending the results to the shop and will follow through on the offer of prints as I feel it is important to say thanks and also important to allow subjects to be well-disposed towards other photographers, who may need them in the future. If I had to choose a single image to tell the story it would be the following one: others are in a slideshow below.



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