Photos That Weaponise the World-Changing Potential of Hair

Luke Nugent, British portrait photographer with experience assisting Rankin, teamed up recently with London’s trailblazing hairdresser Lisa Farrell to capture her statuesque collection of afro hairstyling for the British Hairdressing Awards 2016.

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The pair collectively have an impressive back-catalogue of collaborations: in a shared quality not unpredictable for two such talents in the portrait/styling industry, Lisa has also worked alongside Rankin, as well as a whole spread of celebrity clients, from Cara Delvigne to Busted. Luke for his part has shot for the likes of Jessie J, Nylon, and Fader. The two are a collaboration made in heaven.

We caught up with the pair in the wake of the awards ceremony to hear their thoughts on portraiture, hairdressing, and changing the world through their art.

The Plus: Hi Luke, any top tips for taking the best hairstyle portraits?
Luke Nugent:
Precision is the key when it comes to photographing hair. The shape and the movement of the hair must always complement the hair stylist’s vision.

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TP: You’ve gotten a lot of attention for this series; was there anything in particular that was different to the rest of your work?
LN:
It’s always nice to know your work can resonate with a large number of people worldwide. Also I have to admit it was definitely one of the most challenging shoots I’ve done, as we had a lot of looks and I really wanted to make sure I captured the atmosphere and kept the overall finish consistent.

TP: How do you decide on the rest of the look that gets paired with the hairstyles?
LN: That was down to our stylists A+C studio, an incredibly talented styling duo who I collaborate with often. They just nailed the styling.

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TP: Have you experimented much with your hair?
LN:
I’ve got to be honest, in a past life my hair has been every colour under the sun. These days I just keep it simple – I am a lot less focused on my own hair, and way more on that of my subjects!
TP: Lisa, the hairstyles are incredible – how do you get inspired in creating new looks?

Lisa Farrall: think as I’ve grown as an artist I’ve started to address issues in my hair art that I’m passionate about. My latest award-winning collection has gone viral globally, and I think this is because the message I’m sending is very clear: I’m embracing women and their power and strength. Using hair as a weapon to face the world. 

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TP: Is there anyone who’s hair you’d love to work on?
LF:
I think at the moment the woman slaying it in the hair game is Rihanna, she’s always trying new things. I’m obsessed with Solange Knowles at the moment, and Willow smith; the message and confidence these women are giving young girls to embrace their hair. Yep, I would have to say they’re on my list for Christmas! 

TP: And on the flip side, anyone you’d like to see bald?
LF:
I think when someone is bald you can actually see someone’s true beauty, as it strips everything away. The key is a good head shape to carry it off. I mean, if your going  be bald you can always WIG it up. I would love to see Angelina Jolie bald, as I think she would look beautiful, and just for kicks I would love to see the Kardashians strip bare and go bald. Just for kicks.

TP: What’s next for you?
LF:
I’m launching my own hair academy next year – WIG london – in which I’m going to teach the world the beauty of good hair. Watch this space. 

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