Portrait of a Hairdresser

A portrait photograph of a hairdresser and series of still life shots to show tools of the trade, created as part of my university coursework.

Portrait Photography of a Hairdresser

Providing information to the viewer is important, particularly in the scenario of the hairdresser portrait as the photograph was taken in front of a backdrop which would not provide much contextual information to the viewer – so ensuring that the subject would be able to provide this information through the use of props was crucial. American photographer Harold Davis has written about the use of props within portraiture, he writes that props can “reveal information about the subject’s character” when used effectively and appropriately.

The use of orange and blue colour tones reveals different connotations. Orange brings warmth into the image, bringing a sense of “pride” and “assertiveness” into the photograph and subject. The illuminated blue background brings in a sense of peacefulness. These tones working collectively illustrate the friendly personality of the photographic subject.

Still life photographs were captured to show the tools of the trade. Colour was used throughout to add visual interest to the photographs and to create a surrounding environment for the products. Various modifiers such as reflectors and flags were used to light the products, to show their shape and dimension within the frame.

To light the overall scene a light with a large softbox was used to give soft overhead lighting. This gave a pleasant uniform look to the background and prevented any unflattering shadows on the product and helped reduce any imperfections.