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.