Updated: Feb 14
One Saturday in early July, I packed the camera into a small bag, got on the electric scooter, and left the house to ride around the area, hoping that I would see something interesting and capture it. Literally, ten minutes after leaving the house, I found myself on the local canal, and my jaw dropped with the sensation. This was what I was looking for. On the lawn, under the railway viaduct, on the banks of the canal, Barber cutting hairs for peoples. I stopped by and asked if I could take some photos. Nobody protested, not even the customers. I asked the barber if he would cut my hair too. The answer was positive, and since there was a queue of several people, and I wanted to do something in the town, I said that I would come back later. There was no problem with that. Barber asked me if I would buy him a four-pack of Stella. This was what I needed to make contact with, I had a plan in my head. I wanted to spend a few hours with him.
I've never had my hair cut that long in my life. It took about an hour for my barber to do it. It wasn't because of his slowness, he was just having his performance, his show. He laughed, greeted people passing by, danced around the chair. People passing by greeted him, everywhere there was a lot of smiles and cordiality. A happy man with a great personality. He was fed up with being locked inside the house and being “within four walls”, he needed human contact. He told me that when the pandemic is over, he would never return to the barber salon, he would work outdoors, in nature.
A week later, I returned to him to the same place, only this time not with my camera. I brought him a printed and framed photo of him working. I haven't seen such a happy and smiling man for a long time.
My photos are from Britain's Today. This barber, in my opinion, represents what today's British need and seek. Smile, social contacts, trust.
My photos also show that in order to make good material, you don't have to look far, you don't have to go to Africa or London for a street protest. There's a lot going on close to home, you just have to go out, open your eyes, and sometimes talk with a smile on your face.
In the beginning, when I was developing the photos, I was not entirely sure whether they would be coloured or black and white. Colour photos show the beauty and colours of nature, which cannot be seen in black and white photographs. But in the end, I found, that I have to focus on the person of the barber, and the colours would distract the subject, the barber would not be so visible. So I decided to present my material in monochrome. In the final process, I also decided to add black borders. They emphasize the message of photos, they also look great when printed, framed and hung on the wall, or as a collection of photos in a photo album in the form of a book.