Personal Projects

The Barbershop

One project I have been working on for over a year is photo-documenting barbershops in the Seattle Region with the intent of publishing a book.  Barbershops are a throwback to an earlier time.  Their popularity waned in the 80s and 90s but now they seem to be thriving with a new generation of barbers along with some of the old stalwarts still gamely plying their trade.  The barbershop was, and still is, a man’s place.  It offers something personal and intimate, a haircut and shave.  Think about it, what other occasion would most of us allow someone to invade our personal space?  In many shops, there is a strong sense of community.  Each shop has its own vibe, how do you photograph a “vibe”?  Well, that’s what makes it fun and challenging.

I was twelve when I first stepped into a barbershop, I went with a friend.  My dad was always too busy working to take me.  It was a memorable experience indeed.  The barber was a black man who said he didn’t cut white people’s hair.  I won him over, he cut my hair. It felt like a rite of passage to be in his shop.  There’s a sense of timelessness at the barbershop, it’s real “old school” stuff reinterpreted. I wanted to rediscover that feeling again, this project has given me that opportunity.  Below are a few of the images from the project.