PEOPLE: Photographer and producer Alex Barron-Hough on icons, pioneers and shooting for the hair industry
Images: Alex Barron-Hough
Interview: Emma de Clercq
Alex Barron-Hough is a London based photographer and TIGI’s Creative Production Director. He’s worked for the brand for over a decade, after a chance meeting with its founder Anthony Mascolo as a teenager.
His mother was one of Anthony’s clients – “she’d seen an interview in Vogue with Anthony after his 3rd British Hairdresser of the Year award and immediately booked for him to cut her hair”. After some chasing (“I sent him three letters offering to work for free”) Anthony called and offered him an assistant job at the new Bed Head Studio. Here, he built his foundations working on various areas within the business, before finding his feet in production and photography.
These days, his role as Creative Production Director involves “taking an idea from conception to delivery; there is never a dull moment”. As a photographer, he has a love of documentary and reportage, and he captures all the behind-the-scenes action at TIGI’s live shows and fashion shoots. He also documents their looks both backstage, and on the runway at Fashion Week – for designers such as Christopher Kane, Iris van Herpen, Mark Fast and Paul Smith. We spoke to him about his icons, inspirations, and shooting for the hair industry.
What inspires you? I have always been excited by scale, ‘being the biggest and the best’. But I also love anything that I can see has a phenomenal attention to detail. This could be architecture, design, watches, furniture… Pure craftsmanship and perfection always turns me on.
You’ve photographed many hairdressers’ entries for the British Hairdressing Awards. When working with hair creatives, how do you translate their artistic vision into imagery? I think that it’s important to work in complete harmony with the client. Communication and trust are key to building relationships so I can second guess their every thought when looking at the job in hand… I’m very grateful to have worked with some of the biggest names in the industry and I look forward to working with many more!
Do you have a favourite image or shoot to date? I love any image that captures a moment in time perfectly. One image in particular that springs to mind was from the 2013 TIGI World Release in Dallas, of the multi-coloured bobs from behind (above). I thought quickly on my feet and ran onto stage to capture it, it’s brilliant as the lights create the perfect level of atmosphere.
What are the most satisfying and challenging aspects of your profession? The professional haircare industry has become my life, I’m never not working in some form, so it can be a challenge trying to switch off. But on the flipside, the friendships I’ve formed are incredible and I feel lucky to be in a world full of such passion and creativity.
If you could photograph anyone’s hair, dead or alive, who would you choose and why? I’ve always been a huge music fan, so I would love to have been around in the late 60s to photograph icons such as Jimi Hendrix or Keith Moon. It was a time of pure passion and change; I suppose I have a thing for icons and pioneers.
What advice would you give to a young photographer starting out today? I would say anything you do, do with 100% passion and commitment and enjoy the journey, no day is ever the same. Be prepared for it to take over your life.