Can you tell us about your present roles?
I’m primarily a barber, but I also work in education and travel a lot doing shows and seminars when there’s not a pandemic. Alongside that, I do photography, videography, consulting, content creation and editing.
How did you incorporate photography into your role?
I left TONI&GUY in 2007 and decided to go on my own education venture. I was doing little bits of photography but, as I started becoming an independent artist, I wanted to have control over the campaigns and imagery for my brand. I find photography and barbering are completely different skills, but they do play hand-in-hand as well.
When I began doing my own photography people started reaching out to me to shoot their collections. I hate shooting my own stuff because I’m never happy with it. I find it’s easier working with clients because they give me a brief to work with. On the plus side, with my own work, I can re-do it as much and whenever I need to, which helps.
What are the pros and cons of your roles?
When you’re a one-man band, it’s difficult to share ideas. Even though I know and speak to a lot of people in the industry, it can be quite lonely. I’m often in the studio by myself or on the road and, no matter how good something looks on social media, it’s only ever about 10% of a whole picture. Obviously, I love my job, but there’s a lot of hard times that come with it as well.
There are also not enough hours in the day. On the flipside, when you want stuff to get done, you have to get it done because you only have one person to blame, which is a good thing.
What motivates you?
I’m a self-motivated person. During the first lockdown, I launched my first studio in London which allowed me to do a lot more photography and video work, because I knew I had to come out of this pandemic with something done. My motivation stems from what I have achieved previously and wanting to build on that – not necessarily financially, but in terms of progressing on my personal path and using what I have learned.
What have you learned during your career so far?
How to say no – I value my time now because I realise that not everyone automatically has your back. Like anything, if you stay true to your craft and do things a little differently, people start to see you for who you are.
What would you recommend to hairdressers who want to practice photography?
I’d like to stress that it is a very expensive and time-consuming habit, so start slow and make sure it’s something you want to invest in. Buy small and inexpensive cameras to start with and just keep practicing. YouTube is a great resource for this and it is always my go-to because it’s free.
What are your favourite Instagram accounts to follow?
@HairdressersJournal of course! For non-hair related accounts, I like looking at accounts like @LadBible and fitness pages.
What’s your signature look?
Back in the day I was known for the crop, but that look is now quite mainstream. I’m now known for merging barbering and hairdressing together.
What’s next for you and your career?
With everything that happened last year I think everyone’s plan of action went out the window. For me my goal is just to be happy and to spend more time with my family.