Editorial / Modern Barber
We speak to the incredibly talented portrait photographer Marc Hayden about his dynamic mens editorial, Modern Barber. Seeking to capture the (often seen as) ‘everyday occurrence’ of mens traditional grooming with elegance and beauty, Marc talks about the shoot at Bucks Barbers in Kingsland Road, London. We talk about Marc’s photographic journey, his fascination with 16x9 framing and his passion for cinematography, collectively inspiring his stunning portraiture.
Where are you based?
London, United Kingdom
Tell us about yourself.
The way photography has become and continues to be part of my life, is full of contradiction. I have only been shooting seriously for 7 months, yet I remember wanting to be a photographer when I was at school. Digital photography hadn't taken off and I had little patience for developing film. I try and make each of my images a piece of art in its own right. I sometimes take pictures of grimy streets and I shoot with a lot of tattooed models. For high fashion, tattoos are often considered 'dirty’ but I don't think they are. I think they're beautiful. I strive to make images the way I want to make them and it has served me well so far.
I grew up in North London and I've been here most of my life. London is the best. My hobbies are music, playing the guitar, art, popular culture, comics and films. There is so much interesting stuff all around us and there just isn't enough time in the day. I often curse the fact that I have to sleep.
Did you study photography or a related course?
I studied Fine Art and Graphics at university. In all my years of education I think photography featured for all of 2 days, and that was super basic 'go out and take some pictures'. I have the artistic ability, but I don't think you can train someone to take a good picture. Sure you can learn theory and lighting tricks, but I couldn't teach you how to frame an image the way I see it before I have even taken it.
Tell us about your work.
I made a choice to pursue a career in photography in March of this year. I had no idea what direction I was going to take and looking back, it was a massive gamble. However, hard work has paid off, and I’m developing a style without really trying. That’s how it should be. My personality is coming out in my art. I would say my specialism is fashion and portrait as I take a lot of shots of people, and in particular models. I do like to mix it up and take some landscape and street photography, but ultimately, people interest me. Strangely, when I started using Instagram (I used it for 3 years and it actually got me into photography), I avoided shooting people. I have a massive fascination with 16x9 framing. I think it’s so much more natural to produce work in this format as this is how we 'see'. As a result, I love great cinematography and I often shape my work as if it were a still from a film. What is cooler than producing an image that could be from a great film? Not much. I try and shoot at least twice a week, but it can be as many as 3 or 4 shoots a week. Only the editing time stops me shooting.
What do you love about photography?
Creating pieces of art that aren't paintings, but real life snapshots, as I see them. If you think about that concept, it’s pretty mad. It’s actually possible to put your own stamp on a photo. I also like making people happy; it is a buzz showing someone how they look in your photograph.
Which photographers inspire your practice?
I can't really say I know too many known photographers. I’m new to the field and sometimes too busy to stop and look, but I do check out the work of Darren Black, Haris Nukem, and Chip Kennedy.
Tell us about the featured editorial, Modern Barber.
The concept was simple. Capture a modern barber in action, whilst making the shoot look dynamic, beautiful, and interesting. It might be quite a normal, everyday occurrence, but that doesn't mean it can't be wonderful to capture. We used Buck's Barbers as the main barbers and owners there are ladies. Their salon is a cool little spot with great light. Maxwell Carnegie, the model, is with a fabulous agency called AMCK, and Natasha French is a MUA I have worked with before. It’s always a pleasure working with her. This is the first time the images have been released, and I am super happy with the shots. We are also hoping that one image may get the cover of Modern Barber magazine early next year.
Where can our readers see more of your work?
I am the photo editor for a great magazine called Meade Magazine - I usually have an editorial or 2 in there. I also regularly contribute to another magazine called Zero. They are quite different to one another; Meade is more high fashion, and Zero is more edgy and raw. I like to produce work that fits in to both as it keeps my work fresh. I’m always looking to publish in other magazines as it’s a challenge to try and produce something that fits the ethos of that particular publication. I also work on Lookbooks for fashion brands, and have recently developed a real passion for capturing live music performances. For me, it’s the easiest imagery to get. The lighting, emotion, and character is all there... you just have to capture it.
PHOTOGRAPHY / Marc Hayden
MUA / Natasha French
FASHION STYLING / Laura Turner
BARBER SHOP / Bucks Barbers (83 Kingsland Road, E2 8AG)
BARBER / Faye Mitchell (Hair styled by Frank Zamolo)