Photographer – Damien Carney @ www.damiencarney.com
Hair – Damien Carney @ www.damiencarney.com
Make up – Aeriel D’andrea Payne using MAC Cosmetics – www.aerieldandrea.com
Wardrobe - Rod Novoa @ www.rodnovoa.com
Models – Indre@qmodels.com - Snow @qmodels.com - Veronika@rednyc.com
FEATURED HAIR STYLIST INTERVIEW
1. Stylists are very sharp on their artistic visual direction. What do you find to be the most difficult when bringing a team of artists together?
Having too many ideas—that can often cause confusion to the rest of the team and/or distract from the original concept. But sometimes that’s okay; after all, it’s better to have many ideas rather than none! It’s about learning to control that burst of creative energy and nurturing the harmony and chemistry within a team—you can make it work for you or it can go against you. The magic really happens when you are able to work with a team on a regular basis. Then you get to understand each personality and what they can bring to the shoot.
2. When sending your work out for the world to see, what do you hope your element of the project says to the viewers?
There are different forms of beauty, fashion and imagery. I’m a hairdresser first and foremost and have been shooting my own collections. I’m enjoying this journey. I don’t see hair as simply head and shoulders, I always see the total look head to toe—I like to do hair in a non-obvious way. I like to break out of the ordinary hair mold. If you like it, great! But if you don’t, that’s okay, too.
3. What were the best editorial words of wisdom or advice that stand out to you now? Who handed you these pearls and how do you apply it to your professional career?
It’s not necessarily how you shoot, although that’s very important. It’s more in what you’re shooting. The overall quality—e.g. model, make up, photography, etc.—it all has to become one vision; each artist contributes to the bigger picture. A good friend of mine was a beauty editor at Marie Claire. “Keep it beautiful at all times,” she said, regardless of whether it’s a complex shoot or a simple shoot. The bottom line is that it should draw the viewer in.
4. On set, there are often last minute choices, situations...but what do you feel is a common mistake artists make?
Doing too much and not knowing when to stop. It’s all about balance, proportion and vision; sometimes you just need to go with your instincts. One needs to know when to push things more and also when to pull back. If you don’t like something you’ve done, then change it! Don’t be too concerned about listening to others around you. Listen to yourself—what does your heart tell you?
5. Regarding artistic visual direction... What do you find most difficult when bringing a team of artists together?
That the team should be and is all on the same bus—some on top, one driving, some on upper level, some on lower. But we’re all on the same journey, we all have a team vision. I live in NYC so the energy and quality of the teams is great, NYC has great energy. It’s competitive in a good way and it keeps all of us artists on our toes. I try to work with the same team, that way we can all grow and add to the project in hand. I like to listen and see how others view what I’m into.
6. Sharing knowledge not only grows our industry but showcases talent and strong work ethic, as well. Who is your mentor? What was the most valuable lesson they taught you?
Trevor Sorbie, Hairdresser extraordinaire!
I agree it’s important to mentor, pass on knowledge and share. Give back.
Trevor is brilliant with hair, both technically and creatively—a rare balance. Usually, one is better at one skill versus another. He just loved what he did, hair. No agenda, no attitude. Just a great human being. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to work alongside him and benefit from his knowledge and wisdom.
7. As an editorial artist, what do you feel is one of the biggest mistakes beginners tend to make?
Too much product in the hair! Overly “done” hair or hair that is overriding the concept or story can steal the show, but not in the best way for the project as a whole. Hair should complement the rest of the team’s work. Unless you’re shooting a hair story, striking the right balance of just enough and not too little is key. Ask yourself: is your work tasteful, current and relevant? Hairstyling should always be in context with fashion. Fashion moves regardless, so it’s important to stay aware and fresh. Sometimes fashion doesn’t change that much for a period of time. Then, all of a sudden, it does a huge turn! It’s all about the detail. But that’s all a learning curve. Trust me, I’ve made many of those kinds of mistakes. I look back on certain things and say, “Ouch! What was I thinking?”
8. How would you describe your artistic style? What has influenced your work the most?
Individual, refreshing and unique with a DC twist! (I think…I hope! LOL!) That’s a difficult one—I’ll let others decide. I’m all or nothing. Super natural or super fake, super strong or super soft. I love fashion and photographers. Past, present and now. I love watching how fashion changes. I especially love how photographers capture fashion, texture, volume, dimension, form and everything else. Clothes are amazing, they can change everything!
9. What 3 items would you never do a shoot without?
1. Hairspray, extra strong! I can shape and glue anything and also create ultra natural looks, too.
2. Marylin or Mason and Pearson brushes are magic wands when it comes to styling hair. I can do most things with one of these brushes.
3. My great assistants! They put up with my crap and read what I need or want before I even know it! They are the backbone of my brain, my emotions, moods, etc. I love them!
10. Have you ever had an "OMG, what the hell am I doing here?!" moment? Share.
When I was in Paris years ago doing Fashion Week couture. It wasn’t OMG in a negative “I’ve got to get out of here” way. It was “OMG there’s such and such super models. There’s such and such photographers, editors, etc.!” It was “OMG this is why I’ve worked so hard, I’m getting there!” But not “I’ve arrived!” You never arrive anywhere—if you do it’s all over. One should always be moving to newer, greater heights.
11. What do people find most surprising about you?
That I’m so nice, easy, flexible and fun! That sounds a bit like I’m blowing my own trumpet! I’m a simple, ordinary person that had a lot of amazing help and incredible mentors to help me get where I am today; I will never forget that. I always try to make people laugh, but I’m not a constant joker. I love my career and I’m very focused, but humor and fun makes it all the more interesting. You’ll get more out of life and the people around you if you’re nice and pleasant. What you give out, you get back!
12. What is one of your #hairstylist problems?
“I can never just run out for coffee with my hair all messed up, it always has to be done and styled or my credibility has gone right out the window! LOL !!!!!!! #hairdresserproblems!”
13. I knew I was in love with fashion when….
When I met JPG, TOM FORD, KARL LAGERFIELD, ALEXANDER McQUEEN—ENOUGH SAID!